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

Sanad ibn ҁAlī: Abū al-Ṭayyib Sanad ibn ҁAlī al-Yahūdī

  • Sonja Brentjes
Reference work entry

FlourishedBaghdad, (Iraq), ninth century

Sanad ibn ҁAlī was an active mathematician and astronomer in Baghdad during the ninth century and worked as an astrologer for Caliph  Ma’mūn. Sanad was the son of a Jewish astrologer who worked in Baghdad and counted among his clients people from the ҁAbbāsid court. Sanad converted to Islam responding to the lure exercised by the caliph.

In his youth, Sanad studied by himself several scientific books, among them the Almagest. He tried to gain access to the illustrious circle of scholars around  ҁAbbās ibn Saҁīd al-Jawharī (first half of the ninth century), who regularly met in his house to discuss the latest scholarly and social news. But being merely 20 years old at this time proved to be an obstacle. According to a story told by Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Dāya (died: circa 952) on the authority of Abū Kāmil Shujāҁ ibn Aslam (circa 850-circa 930), Sanad convinced Jawharī of his superior knowledge of the Almagest. As a result, Sanad was not only...

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Selected References

  1. Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf al-Kātib (1975). Kitāb al-Mukāfa’a. Beirut: Dār al-waḥda.Google Scholar
  2. Ali, Jamil (trans.) (1967). The Determination of the Coordinates of Cities: Al-Bīrūnī’s Taḥdīd al-Amākin. Beirut: American University of Beirut.Google Scholar
  3. Ibn al-Nadīm (1970). The Fihrist of al-Nadīm: A Tenth-Century Survey of Muslim Culture, edited and translated by Bayard Dodge. 2 Vols. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  4. King, David (2000). “Too Many Cooks … A New Account of the Earliest Muslim Geodetic Measurements.” Suhayl 1: 207–241.MathSciNetMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Mercier, Raymond P. (1992). “Geodesy.” In The History of Cartography. Vol. 2, bk. 1, Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies, edited by J. B. Harley and David Woodward, pp. 175–188. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Rosenfeld, B. A. and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu (2003). Mathematicians, Astronomers, and Other Scholars of Islamic Civilization and Their Works (7th-19th c.). Istanbul: IRCICA, pp. 28–29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja Brentjes
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the History of ScienceBerlinGermany