Jaghmīnī’s Mulakhkhaṣ: An Islamic Introduction to Ptolemaic by Sally P. Ragep

By Sally P. Ragep

This publication presents the single serious version and English translation of Maḥmūd al-Jaghmīnī’s al-Mulakhkhaṣ fī al-hayʾa al-basīṭa, the main commonly circulated Arabic treatise on Ptolemaic astronomy ever written. Composed within the early 13th century, this introductory textbook performed a very important function within the instructing, dissemination, and institutional guideline of Islamic astronomy good into the 19th century (and beyond). developing the bottom textual content is a basic prerequisite for gaining insights into what was once thought of an hassle-free astronomical textbook in Islam and likewise for knowing the broad observation culture that outfitted upon it.

Within this quantity, the Mulakhkhaṣ is positioned in the broader context of the style of literature termed ʿilm al-hayʾa, which has turn into the topic of extensive examine during the last 25 years. In so doing, it presents a survey of precis debts of theoretical astronomy of Jaghmīnī’s predecessors, either old and Islamic, that can have served as capability assets for the Mulakhkhaṣ. Jaghmīnī’s dates (which beforehand remained unsettled) are tested, and it's definitively proven that he composed not just the Mulakhkhaṣ but additionally different medical treatises, together with the preferred scientific treatise al-Qānūnča, in the course of a interval that has been deemed one in all medical decline and stagnation in Islamic lands. The publication should be of specific curiosity to students engaged within the research of Islamic theoretical astronomy, yet is offered to a basic readership attracted to studying what constituted an creation to Ptolemaic astronomy in Islamic lands.

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Extra info for Jaghmīnī’s Mulakhkhaṣ: An Islamic Introduction to Ptolemaic Astronomy

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See also Neugebauer, HAMA, 2:907–9; Pedersen, A Survey of the Almagest, 392–93; and Swerdlow, “Ptolemy’s Theories of the Latitude of the Planets in the Almagest, Handy Tables, and Planetary Hypotheses,” 68 (Swerdlow provides here a convenient table of the inclinations for the three Ptolemaic works and the modern values); and Neugebauer, HAMA, 2:907–9.

P. Ragep Eratosthenes circa 250 BCE) would be the hallmark of a sound astronomical text­ book in that it indicates a concern for precision. 2b Ptolemy134 In the second century BCE, the Alexandrian Claudius Ptolemy proposed a coherent picture of the universe consisting of contiguous or nested planetary spheres around an immobile, spherical Earth; each sphere contained embedded within it additional non-concentric eccentric spheres and epicycles whose various combinations of mo­ tions accounted for perceived observations.

132 Nevertheless, their employment of the Babylonian sexagesimal system (dating back to ––––––––––––––––– 126 Evans and Berggren, Geminos’s Introduction to the Phenomena, 8. Evans and Berggren seemingly find it unproblematic to refer to Geminus’s work as an introduction even though they acknowledge, “we cannot be sure that Introduction to the Phenomena is the title that Geminos himself gave it,” 3. 127 See Bowen, “Three Introductions to Celestial Science in the First Century BC,” 303n11, 319–20.

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