Astrology and Astronomy in Iran: A Statistical Survey

  • Seyedamir Sadatmoosavi
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP, volume 54)


The eleventh and twelfth centuries were a boom time for astronomy in Islamic civilization. This continued with the establishment of the Maragha School in the thirteenth century but there was a decline in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. During this period, Europeans faced a revolution in astronomy and there was a paradigm change. Initially, Iranians were unaware of these changes and most serious Persian manuscripts about modern astronomy were written after the eighteenth century.

Therefore it seems that the reaction of the scientific community in Iran toward what had happened in European astronomy was delayed for about two centuries. In this paper the reasons for this delay are investigated. In order to do this we carry out a quantitative investigation of manuscripts in Iranian libraries. Our statistical analysis indicates that there was a correlation between the decline of science in Iran and interest in astrology.



I would like to express my special thanks to my wife, Elahe Javadi, who helped me to do this research. This work has been supported financially by the Research Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics of Maragha (RIAAM) under research project No. 1/4717-78.


  1. Arjomand, K., 1997. The emergence of scientific modernity in Iran: controversies surrounding astrology and modern astronomy in the mid-nineteenth century. Iranian Studies, 30, 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chardin, J., 1995. Travels in Persia. Tehran, Toos (translated by E. Yaghmaei).Google Scholar
  3. Della Valle, P., 1624. Manuscript letters. Vatican Library: Persian manuscripts, 9 and 10.Google Scholar
  4. Delle Valle, 1650. Constranti, Viaggi de Pietro delle Valle il Pellegrino Con minuto raggauaglio … Divisi in tre parti, cioè La Turchia, La Persia e L’India. Rome, Appresso Vitale Mascardi.Google Scholar
  5. Derayati, M., 2010. A List of Iranian Manuscripts. Tehran, Library of Parliament.Google Scholar
  6. Gamini, A., 2013. Shīrāzī and his Role in the Science of Hay’a. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Iranian Institute for Philosophy & Science Studies, Tehran, Iran.Google Scholar
  7. Ghalandari, H., 2012. A Survey of the Works of “Hay’a” in the Islamic Period. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran.Google Scholar
  8. Hanway, J., 1753. An Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea. Volume 1. London, Dodsley.Google Scholar
  9. Kennedy, E.S., and Ghanim, I., 1976. The Life and Work of Ibn Al-Shātīr, an Arab Astronomer of the Fourteenth Century. Aleppo, Institute for History or Arabic Science, University of Aleppo.Google Scholar
  10. Olearius, A. 1984. Safarnameh Olearrius (Travel Literature of Adam Olearius). Tehran, Ebtekar Publishing and Cultural Organization (translated A. Behpour).Google Scholar
  11. Sadatmoosavi, S., 2015. A Survey of Qānūn Nāṣirī and its Role in 13th Century Astronomy. Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.Google Scholar
  12. Saliba, G., 1995. History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories during the Golden Age of Islam. New York, New York University Press.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. Saliba, G., 1996. Arabic planetary theories after the eleventh century AD. In Rashed, R., and Morelon, R. (eds.). Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science. Volume 1. London, Routledge. Pp. 59–128.Google Scholar
  14. Tavernier, J.B., 1678. The Six Voyages of John Baptista Tavernier, a Noble Man of France Now Living, Through Tuejkey into Persia and the East-Indies, Finished in the Year 1670. Giving an Account of the State of those Countries … London, Starkey.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hindustan Book Agency 2018 and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyedamir Sadatmoosavi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of History of ScienceTehran UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Research Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics of Maragha (RIAAM)MaraghaIran

Personalised recommendations