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

Shīrāzī: Quṭb al-Dīn Maḥmūd ibn Masʿūd ibn al-Muṣliḥ al-Shīrāzī

  • F. Jamil Ragep
Reference work entry

BornShīrāz, (Iran), October/November 1236

DiedTabrīz, (Iran), 1311

Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī was one of the most prominent theoretical astronomers of the thirteenth century. Born into a family of physicians, he studied with his father Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn al-Kāzarūnī at the then new Muẓaffarī Hospital. When Shīrāzī was 14, his father died but even at that young age he was able to assume his father’s position at the hospital. He continued his studies, at first with an uncle, also a physician, and later with two prominent teachers, Shams al-Dīn Kīshī and Sharaf al-Dīn Būshkānī. These studies included most prominently the “general principles” of  Ibn Sīnā’s Canon of Medicine as well as Sufi mysticism, which had been another important part of his father’s life. Uncharacteristic for someone of his talents and searching intellect, Shīrāzī remained in Shīrāz until the age of 24, most likely because of the turmoil in Iran brought on by the Mongol invasions.

But the Mongols also provided Shīrāzī with a...

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Selected References

  1. Iranian Journal for the History of Science (Tarikh-e Elm) 11 (Summer 2013). (Entire issue is devoted to Shīrāzī.)Google Scholar
  2. Kennedy, E. S. (1966). “Late Medieval Planetary Theory.” Isis 57: 365–378. (Reprinted in E. S. Kennedy, et al, Studies in the Islamic Exact Sciences, edited by David A. King and Mary Helen Kennedy, pp. 84–97. Beirut: American University of Beirut, 1983.)Google Scholar
  3. Morrison, Robert (2005). “Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī’s Hypotheses for Celestial Motions.” Journal for the History of Arabic Science 13: 21–140.Google Scholar
  4. Niazi, Kaveh (2014). Qu?b al-Dīn Shīrāzī and the Configuration of the Heavens: A Comparison of Texts and Models. Dordrecht: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  5. Ragep, F. J. (1993). Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsīs Memoir on Astronomy (al-Tadhkira fīʿilm al-hayʾa). 2 Vols. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  6. — (2001). “Freeing Astronomy from Philosophy: An Aspect of Islamic Influence on Science.” Osiris 16: 49–71.Google Scholar
  7. — (2001). “Ṭūsī and Copernicus: The Earth’s Motion in Context.” Science in Context 14: 145–163.Google Scholar
  8. Saliba, George (1979). “The Original Source of Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī’s Planetary Model.” Journal for the History of Arabic Science 3: 3–18.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. — (1996). “Arabic Planetary Theories after the Eleventh Century AD.” In Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, edited by Roshdi Rashed, pp. 58–127. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Walbridge, John (1992). The Science of Mystic Lights: Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī and the Illuminationist Tradition in Islamic Philosophy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. (Excellent source for Shīrāzī’s life and works.)Google Scholar
  11. Wiedemann, E. (1986). “Ḳuṭb al-Dīn Shīrāzī.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. 2nd ed. Vol. 5, pp. 547–548. Leiden: E. J. Brill. (Important for a listing of Wiedemann’s articles on Shīrāzī.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Jamil Ragep
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Islamic StudiesMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada