Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Abū al-ҁUqūl: Abū al-ҁUqūl Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Ṭabarī

  • David A. KingEmail author
Reference work entry

FlourishedYemen, circa1300

Abū al-ҁUqūl was the leading astronomer in Taiz, Yemen, circa 1300. His epithet al-Ṭabarī indicates that he or his family came originally from northern Iran. He was a contemporary of the ruler  Ashraf and  Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr al-Fārisī, the latter also of Iranian stock. No details of Abū al-ҁUqūl’s life are known to us beyond the fact that he was the first teacher of astronomy appointed at the Mu’ayyadiyya Madrasa in Taiz by the Sultan al-Mu’ayyad, brother and successor of al-Ashraf.

Abū al-ҁUqūl compiled an astronomical handbook (Arabic: zīj) for the Yemen and was not shy about admitting to having taken most of it from other sources; indeed, he called his work al-Zīj al-mukhtār min al-azyāj (The Zīj culled from other Zījes). In fact, the work is based heavily on the Ḥākimī Zīj of the tenth-century Egyptian scholar  Ibn Yūnus. What is original are the various tables of spherical astronomical functions for latitudes in the Yemen, and it is clear that...

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Selected References

  1. Abū al-ҁUqūl. Al-Zīj al-mukhtār min al-azyāj. London, British Library, MS Or. 3624. (A unique copy.)Google Scholar
  2. —. Mir’āt al-zamān. Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Ahlwardt MS 5720. (A unique copy.)Google Scholar
  3. King, David A. (1983). Mathematical Astronomy in Medieval Yemen: A Biobibliographical Survey. Malibu: Undena Publications, pp. 30–32 (no. 9).Google Scholar
  4. — (2004). In Synchrony with the Heavens: Studies in Astronomical Timekeeping and Instrumentation in Medieval Islamic Civilization. Vol. 1, The Call of the Muezzin (Studies I-IX). Leiden: E. J. Brill. I-2.1.2, 3.1.1, 3.3.2, 4.2.6, 4.5.1, and II-12.1.Google Scholar
  5. Varisco, Daniel Martin (1994). Medieval Agriculture and Islamic Science: The Almanac of a Yemeni Sultan. Seattle: University of Washington Press, pp. 10–11.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johann Wolfgang Goethe-UniversitätFrankfurt am MainGermany