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

Sibṭ al-Māridīnī: Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Abū ҁAbd Allāh Badr [Shams] al-Dīn al-Miṣrī al-Dimashqī

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-9917-7_1277

BornPossibly Damascus, Syria, 1423

DiedPossibly Cairo, Egypt, circa1495

Sibṭ al-Māridīnī was a prolific author of astronomical texts that were still being used and studied into the nineteenth century. Little is known with certainty about his life. It is thought that he grew up in Damascus, where his maternal grandfather, ҁAbd Allāh ibn Khalīl ibn Yūsuf Jamāl al-Dīn al-Māridīnī (died: 1406), was the muwaqqit (timekeeper in charge of regulating the daily rituals of the Islamic community) of the Umayyad Mosque. Later he traveled to Cairo, where tradition places him as the student of  Ibn al-Majdī. He served as muwaqqit in al-Azhar mosque and also taught mathematics and astronomy there.

Sibṭ al-Māridīnī wrote extensively on mathematics and mathematical astronomy. Like his grandfather, he was especially interested in astronomical instruments. The biobibliographical sources list some 25 treatises, many of which exist today in multiple copies. According to the historian al-Jabartī (died:...

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Selected References

  1. King, David A. (1975). “Al-Khalīlī’s Qibla Table.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 34: 81–122. (Reprinted in King, Islamic Mathematical Astronomy, XIII. London: Variorum Reprints, 1986.) (A discussion of Māridīnī’s method for finding the qibla direction and translation of a crucial passage appears on pp. 111–115.)Google Scholar
  2. — (1983). “The Astronomy of the Mamluks.” Isis 74: 531–555. (Reprinted in King, Islamic Mathematical Astronomy, III. London: Variorum Reprints, 1986.) (A general survey of Islamic astronomical activities at the time of Māridīnī.)Google Scholar
  3. — (1986). “Kibla: Astronomical Aspects.” In Encyclopaedia of Islam. 2nd ed. Vol. 5, pp. 83–88. Leiden: E. J. Brill. (Reprinted in King, Astronomy in the Service of Islam, IX. London: Variorum, 1993.)Google Scholar
  4. Schmalzl, Peter (1929). Zur Geschichte des Quadranten bei den Arabern. Munich: Druck der Salesianischen Offizin. (Outdated, but still the most comprehensive general study of quadrants in Islamic culture.)Google Scholar
  5. Schoy, Karl (1924). “Sonnenuhren der spätarabischen Astronomie.” Isis 6: 332–360. (A discussion of Arabic sources for the mathematical aspects of sundial construction, including tables computed for the latitude of Cairo.)Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The American University in CairoCairoEgypt