From: Thomas Hockey et al. (eds.). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Springer Reference. New York: Springer, 2007, p. 823 |
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Nayrīzī: Abū
al‐ʿAbbās al‐Faḍl ibn
Ḥātim al‐Nayrīzī
Gregg DeYoung
Flourished Baghdad, (Iraq),
last half of the 9th century
Nayrīzī
is reputed to have been among the best mathematicians and astronomers of his
day, though not much biographical information is known. In astronomy, his
best‐known work, a commentary on the Almagest of Ptolemy,
is no longer extant. This must have been one of the earliest commentaries
to be written in Arabic, because the Almagest had been first translated
into Arabic only a century earlier. He is also credited with the composition
of two zījes (astronomical tables used for predicting planetary
motions). The longer was said, by the bio‐bibliographer Ibn al‐Qifṭī,
to have been based on the Sindhind, an Indian classic in astronomy.
The shorter was, presumably, based upon the Almagest. These works were
cited by several astronomers from the ʿAbbāsid
period, although they are no longer extant. Three shorter, more specialized
treatises survive: (1) on the spherical astrolabe; (2) on finding the qibla
direction (the direction toward Mecca, toward which pious Muslims pray five
times a day); and (3) on constructing hour lines in a hemispherical sundial.
Ibn Yūnus, in his own zīj,
criticized some elements of Nayrīzī's astronomical work while praising
him as a renowned mathematician.
King, David A. (1993). Astronomy in the Service of Islam.
Aldershot: Variorum. (Reprints of several papers dealing with mathematical
astronomy, including discussions of the problem of the qibla direction.)
Sabra,
A. I. (1974). “Al‐Nayrīzī.” In Dictionary
of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 10,
pp. 5–7. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. (An overview of what is known
of Nayrīzī's life and scientific work, as well as the biographic
and bibliographic source materials and important secondary materials.)
Schoy, Carl (1922). “Abhandlung von al‐Faḍl b. Ḥātim
an‐Nairîzî: Über die Richtung der Qibla.” Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen
Akademie der Wissenschaft zu München: 55–68. (A German translation of
Nayrīzī's treatise on finding the direction of the qibla.)
Seemann, Hugo and T. Mittelberger (1925). “Das kugelförmige
Astrolab nach den Mitteilungen von Alfonso X. von Kastilien und den vorhandenen
arabischen Quellen.” Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften
und der Medizin 8: 32–40. (A discussion of the spherical astrolabe and
its origins in the Arabic world.)