Astrology and Astronomy in Iran: A Statistical Survey
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.
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