By Sally P. Ragep
This booklet presents the single severe variation and English translation of Maḥmūd al-Jaghmīnī’s al-Mulakhkhaṣ fī al-hayʾa al-basīṭa, the main generally circulated Arabic treatise on Ptolemaic astronomy ever written. Composed within the early 13th century, this introductory textbook performed a very important position within the instructing, dissemination, and institutional guide of Islamic astronomy good into the 19th century (and beyond). constructing the bottom textual content is a basic prerequisite for gaining insights into what was once thought of an straightforward astronomical textbook in Islam and in addition for realizing the wide statement culture that equipped upon it.
Within this quantity, the Mulakhkhaṣ is positioned in the broader context of the style of literature termed ʿilm al-hayʾa, which has develop into the topic of in depth learn during the last 25 years. In so doing, it offers a survey of precis debts of theoretical astronomy of Jaghmīnī’s predecessors, either historical and Islamic, that can have served as capability resources for the Mulakhkhaṣ. Jaghmīnī’s dates (which beforehand remained unsettled) are validated, and it truly is definitively proven that he composed not just the Mulakhkhaṣ but in addition different medical treatises, together with the preferred scientific treatise al-Qānūnča, in the course of a interval that has been deemed considered one of medical decline and stagnation in Islamic lands. The publication might be of specific curiosity to students engaged within the learn of Islamic theoretical astronomy, yet is obtainable to a common readership attracted to studying what constituted an advent to Ptolemaic astronomy in Islamic lands.
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Additional resources for Jaghmīnī’s Mulakhkhaṣ: An Islamic Introduction to Ptolemaic Astronomy
94 The dating for Jaghmīnī’s two dedications to Shihāb al-Dīn (601-2/1204-5 and 615/1218) span some thirteen years; these dates not only indicate a rather longstanding relationship between the two, but also fall within the long reign of the Khwārizm Shāh ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad (596–617/1200–20). So the composi tion dates of several of Jaghmīnī’s treatises in conjunction with the floruits of his two dedicatees all support the contention that Jaghmīnī flourished during his reign and that of the Khwārizm Shāh ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Tekish (r.
However, it is unclear whether these works were actually intended as elementary astronomical textbooks. Indeed, the huge discrepencies between these works—with respect to content, structure, and literary style—raise serious questions about what it means to lump together general works dealing with astronomical topics (admittedly with some overlap) and refer to them as a genre of “elementary textbooks” or “introductions,” especially when they clearly contain significant differences and ––––––––––––––––– 123 Otto Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, 3 parts (Berlin; New York: Springer-Verlag, 1975), 1:5 [hereafter cited as HAMA].
7473], ff. 81b–102b)). See also Neugebauer, HAMA, 2:919– 22 (who includes tables comparing the parameters found in the Almagest and the Planetary Hypotheses with Proclus’s Hypotyposis and his Commentary to the Timaeus along with the values of Thābit b. Qurra); Olaf Pedersen, A Survey of the Almagest (Odense: Odense University Press, 1974), 393–97; and Toomer, “Ptolemy,” 197. 5); Jaghmīnī gives for Mars 1;0 and for Mercury 0;45 [Almagest], not 1;50 and 0;10 respectively [Planetary Hypotheses].