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Ḳuṭr

(110 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
means in Arab geometry (1) the diameter of a circle or of any section of a cone and the diameter of a cone; (2) the diagonal of a parallelogram or of any quadrilateral; (3.) in trigometry, the hypotenuse of the so-called umbra triangle; as such it is either the secant or the cosecant of an angle, according as the side opposite it is the tangent or cotangent of this angle; in the first case it is called ḳuṭr al-ẓill al-awwal (“hypotenuse of the first umbra”), in the second case ḳuṭr al-ẓill al-t̲h̲ānī (“hypotenuse of the second umbra”). (H. Suter) Bibliography M. Souissi, La langue des mathématiq…

D̲j̲ābir b. Aflaḥ

(329 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, abū muḥammad , the astronomer Geber of the middle ages; he was often confused with the alchemist Geber, whose full name was Abū ʿAbd Allāh D̲j̲ābir b. Ḥayyān al-Ṣūfī. He belonged to Seville; the period in which he flourished cannot certainly be determined, but from the fact that his son was personally acquainted with Maimonides ¶ (d. 1204), it may be concluded that he died towards the middle of the 12th century. He wrote an astronomical work which still survives under two different titles; in the Escurial Ms. it is called Kitāb al-Hayʾa (the Book of Astronomy), in the Berlin copy it is entitled I…

Algorithmus

(221 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
is the old name for the process of reckoning with Arabic numerals. In mediaeval treatises the word is spelt in various ways: e.g. Algorismus , Alchoarismus , Alkauresmus , etc., corruptions of the nisba of the oldest known writer on Arabic arithmetic: Muḥammed b. Mūsa al-Ḵh̲wārizmī [ q.v.]. His book was translated into Latin in the 12th century by an unknown author, and the only known copy at Cambridge has been edited by B. Boncompagni ( Trattati d’aritmetica i, Rome 1857). It opens with the words: "dixit Algorithmi", the word is here correctly given in the form of an Arabic nisba, i.e. as a p…

Ḳuṭr

(102 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, means in Arab geometry 1) the diameter of a circle or of any section of a cone and the diameter of a cone; 2) the diagonal of a parallelogram or of any quadrilateral; 3) in trigonometry, the hypotenuse of the so-called umbra triangle; as such it is either the secant or the cosecant of an angle, according as the side opposite it is the tangent or cotangent of this angle; in the first case it is called ḳuṭr al-ẓill al-awwal (hypotenuse of the first umbra), in the second case ḳuṭr al-ẓill al-t̲h̲ānī (hypotenuse of the second umbra). (H. Suter)

al-Kās̲h̲ī

(229 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, Ḏj̲ams̲h̲īd b. Masʿūd b. Maḥmūd, G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ al-Dīn, a Persian, was the first superintendent of Ulūg̲h̲-Beg’s observatory in Samarḳand and a collaborator with this prince in the preparation of his astronomical tables. Besides his astronomical and mathematical researches he also studied medicine; he must have died about the year 840 (= 1436/7). Of bis works there have survived: (1) Zīd̲j̲-i Ḵh̲āḳānī (the Ḵh̲aḳānī tables), in Persian, in a manuscript in Constantinople (Aya Ṣofya), a supplement to the Īlk̲h̲ānī tables (of Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī); (2) Miftāḥ al-Ḥisāb (key to arithme…

al-Ḏj̲ag̲h̲mīnī

(198 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
(or Čag̲h̲mīnī), Maḥmūd b. Muḥammad b. ʿOmar, an Arab astronomer of some importance born in Ḏj̲ag̲h̲mīn, a district in Ḵh̲wārizm. His date is not quite certain but it is very probable that he died in 745 (1344-1345) (cf. my note on this point in the Zeitschr. Der Deutsch. Morgenl. Gesellsck., liii. 539). We possess the following works from his pen: 1. al-Mulak̲h̲k̲h̲aṣ fi ’l-Haiʾa (Compendium of Astronomy), a work which was very popular and has often been annotated, e. g. by Ḳāḍīzāda al-Rūmī, al-Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ānī, etc. A German translation of this work by Rudloff was published in the Zeitschr. d…

Abu ’l-Wafāʾ al-Būzad̲j̲ānī

(640 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, Muḥammad b. Muḥ. b. Yaḥyā b. Ismāʿīl b. al-ʿAbbās , one of the greatest Arab mathematicians, very probably of Persian origin, born in Būzad̲j̲ān in Ḳuhistān, 1 Ramaḍān 328/10 June 1940. His first teachers in mathematics were his uncles Abū ʿAmr al-Mug̲h̲āzilī and Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. ʿAnbasa, the former having in his turn studied geometry under Abū Yaḥyā al-Marwazī (or al-Māwardī) and Abu ’l-ʿAlāʾ b. Karnīb. In the year 348/959 Abu ’l-Wafāʾ emigrated to ʿIrāḳ, and lived in Ba…

al-Ḳabīṣī

(281 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, whose full name was ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (also ʿAbd al-Raḥmān) b. ʿOt̲h̲mān b. ʿAlī, Abu ’l-Ṣaḳr, an important astrologer probably of Persian descent. He was known to the Christian world of the middle ages as alcabitlus (also al-chabitius). He lived for a considerable period at the court of Sulṭān Saif al-Dawla b. Ḥamdān (d. 356 = 969) and dedicated his principal astrological work to him: al-Madk̲h̲al ilā Ṣināʿat Aḥkām al-Nud̲j̲ūm (Introduction to the art of Astrology) of which copies still exist in Oxford, Gotha and Cairo. It was translated into Latin by Joh. Hispale…

Enif

(129 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, i. e. al-Anf “the nose”, is the name of star ε of second to third magnitude in Pegasus, or as it is called by the Arabs the larger Horse. Ḳazwīnī and Ulūg̲h̲ Beg call this star Fam al-Faras (= the horse’s mouth), the latter also calls it Ḏj̲aḥfala al-Faras (= the horse’s lip). Al-Battānī has no special name for it, he calls it “the star which is in its (i. e. the horse’s) mouth”. The name Enif probably passed from the works of western Arab astronomers into the Latin translations of the middle ages. (H. Suter) Bibliography al-Battānī, Opus astronomicum (ed. Nallino), ii. 154 iii. 254 al-Ḳazwīnī, Kosm…

al-Ḥūt

(108 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
= the fish, more accurately al-Ḥūt al-d̲j̲anūbī was the name given by the Arabs to the constellation of the Southern Fish the largest star in which is Fomalhaut [q. v.]. Al-Ḥūt, however, is also used of the zodiacal sign of Pisces, for which we find in al-Battānī, etc. the dual al-Samakatāni = the two fishes; Ptolemy uses the plural IχθύεΣ for this sign and IχθύΣ νότιοΣ for the former. Ṣāḥib al-Ḥūt = Jonah. (H. Suter) Bibliography Al-Battāni (ed. Nallino), ii. 166, 176, iii. 265, 274 Ḳazwīnī, Kosmographie (ed. Wüstenfeld), i. 38, 41 L. Ideler, Untersuchungen über den Ursprung u. die Bede…

al-Kark̲h̲ī

(347 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan (or al-Ḥusain), was one of the most important mathematicians of the Arabs; he also calls himself al-ḥāsib (the arithmetician). He lived in Bag̲h̲dād in the time of Abū G̲h̲ālib Muḥammad b. Ḵh̲alaf Fak̲h̲r al-Mulk, vizier of the Būyid Bahāʾ al-Dawla [q. v.] and his son Sulṭān al-Dawla Abū S̲h̲ud̲j̲āʿ. The date of his death is not known but it may lie between 410 and 420 (1019—1029). The two of his mathematical works that still exist are entitled al-Kāfī fī ’l-Ḥisāb (the requisite for arithmetic) and al-Fak̲h̲rī (i.e. the book dedicated to the vizier Fak̲…

Abu’l-Wafāʾ

(650 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, his full name, Muḥammed b. Muḥammed b. Yaḥyā b. Ismāʿīl b. al-ʿAbbās ¶ al-Būzd̲j̲ānī, one of the greatest Arab mathematicians, very probably of Persian origin, born in Ḵh̲orāsān, the 1st Ramaḍān 328 (10th June 940). His first teachers in mathematics were his uncles Abū ʿAmr al-Mug̲h̲āzilī and Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammed b. ʿAnbasa, the former having in his turn studied geometry under Yaḥya’l-Merwazī (or Māwardī) and Abu’l-ʿAlāʾ b. Karnīb. In the year 348 (959), Abu’l-Wafāʾ emigrated to ʿIrāḳ, and then he lived in Bagdad until his…

Algorithm

(219 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
is the old name for the process of reckoning with Arabic numerals. In mediæval treatises the word is spelt in various ways: e. g. Algorismus, Alchoarismus, Alkauresmus, etc., corruptions of the nisba of the oldest known writer on Arabic arithmetic: Muḥammed b. Mūsa ’l-Ḵh̲wārizmī. His book was translated into Latin in the 12th century by an unknown author, and the only known copy at Cambridge has been edited by B. Boncompagni ( Trattati d’aritmetica i.; Rome 1857). It opens with the words: “dixit Algorithmi”, the word is here correctly given in ¶ the form of an Arabic nisba, i. e. as a prope…

Abū Maʿs̲h̲ar

(467 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
Ḏj̲aʿfar b. Muḥammed b. ʿOmar al-Balk̲h̲ī, one of the Arab astrologers most frequently cited in the Christian Middle Ages (under the name of Albumasar). He was a native of Balk̲h̲, in Ḵh̲orāsān, and a contemporary of al-Kindī. At first he devoted himself to the science of tradition, and only at the age of 47 he began to occupy himself with the study of astrology. Arab authors already charged him with plagiary, that which was recently confirmed through the investigations of O. Loth ( al-Kindī als Astrolog, in the Morgenl. Forschungen: Festschrift für Prof. Dr. Fleischer, Leipsic, 1875, pp…

al-Ḥasan

(238 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
b. al-Ḵh̲aṣīb, Abū Bakr, an important Arab astrologer, of Persian descent, often quoted in astrological works of the Christian middle ages under the name Albubather. He flourished about the middle of the third century a. h., for Aḥmad b. Abi Ṭāhir Ṭaifūr (died 280 = 893) mentions him in his Kitāb Bag̲h̲dād as a contemporary. A Liber de Nativitatibus (beginning: ¶ Dixit Albulather magni Alchasili Atcharsi filius) by him was translated into Latin by a certain Canonicus Salio(?) in Padua in 1218 and printed at Venice in 1492 and again in 1501, and in 1540 at Nürn…

Ḏj̲ābir

(395 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
b. Aflaḥ Abū Muḥammad, is the Astronomer Geber of the middle ages; he was often confused with the alchemist Geber, whose full name was Abū ʿAbd Allāh Ḏj̲ābir b. Ḥaiyān al-Ṣūfī (see the next article). He belonged to Seville; the period in which he flourished cannot certainly be determined, but from the fact that his son was personally acquainted with Maimonides (d. 1204), it may be concluded that he died towards the middle of the xiith century. He wrote an astronomical work which still survives under two different titles; in the Escurial Ms. it is called Kitāb al-Haiʾa (the Book of Astronomy…

Almagest

(332 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
, more correctly al-Mad̲j̲isṭī (also al-Mid̲j̲isṭī) or Kitāb al-Mad̲j̲istī, was to the Arab astronomers the name of the great astronomic work by Ptolemy μεγάλη σύνταξις (the great compilation). It has been supposed that the Greeks or the Arab translators in their admiration for the great work, turned μεγάλη into μεγίστη, hence the book was simply called al-Mad̲j̲isṭī by the Arabs. In a way this is already early corroborated by Arab writers: al-Yaʿḳūbī says in his historical work (written in 278 = 891; edid. M. Th. Houtsma, Leiden 1883), p. 151: “The book al-Mad̲j̲isṭī treats of the sci…

al-ʿIḍāda

(48 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
(a.) is the line of vision (diopter) marked on the reverse of the astrolabe, turning round the axis or pivot, with the aid of which various observations can be made, particularly the taking of the altitude of a star (see above i. p. 501a). (H. Suter)

Ibn Abi ’l-Rid̲j̲āl

(327 words)

Author(s): Suter, [H.
, whose full name was Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Abi ’l-Rid̲j̲āl is the Arab astrologer often quoted in mediaeval Europe under the names Albohazen (also Alboacen) or Abenragel. Whether he belonged to Spain (Cordova) or North Africa is uncertain; we only know ¶ that he spent a portion of his life at the court of the Zīrid Muʿizz b. Bādīs b. al-Manṣūr (406—454 = 1016—1062) in Tunis. It is also probable that he is identical with the Abu ’l-Ḥasan al-Mag̲h̲ribī, who attended the astronomical observations made in 378 (988) in Bag̲h̲dād by order of …

al-Farḳadāni

(83 words)

Author(s): Suter, H.
(dual of farḳad) «the two calves”, is the name given by the Arabs to the two brighter stars β and γ in the quadrilateral of the Little Bear (cf. the article al-dubb, i. 1078a); β is called Anwar al-Farḳadain (the brighter of the two calves) and γ = Ak̲h̲fā al-Farḳadain (the darker of the two calves). (H. Suter) Bibliography al-Ḳazwīnī, Kosmographie (ed. Wüstenfeld), i. 29 L. Ideler, Untersuchungen über den Ursprung u. die Bedeutung der Sternnamen (Berlin 1809), p. 3 and 12.
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