From: Thomas Hockey et al. (eds.). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Springer Reference. New York: Springer, 2007, p. 1058 |
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Sibṭ al‐Māridīnī:
Muḥammad
ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad
Abū ʿAbd Allāh Badr [Shams] al‐Dīn al‐Miṣrī al‐Dimashqī
Gregg De Young
Born possibly Damascus,
(Syria), 1423
Died possibly Cairo,
(Egypt), circa 1495
Sibṭ
al‐Māridīnī was a prolific author of astronomical texts,
which were still being used and studied into the 19th century. Little is known
with certainty about his life. It is thought that he grew up in Damascus,
where his maternal grandfather, ʿAbd 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.
Sibṭ
al‐Māridīnī wrote extensively on mathematics and mathematical
astronomy. Like his grandfather, he was especially interested in astronomical
instruments. The bio–bibliographical sources list some 25 treatises, many
of which exist today in multiple copies. According to the historian al‐Jabartī
(died: 1822), Sibṭ
al‐Māridīnī's works on mīqāt (ritual
timekeeping) and on astronomical instruments were still being studied in the
curriculum of Cairo's al‐Azhar, one of the preeminent educational institutions
in the Islamic world, at about the beginning of the 19th century.
Among Sibṭ
al‐Māridīnī's works related to astronomy and instruments
are: (1) Risāla fī al‐ʿAmal
bi‐ʾl‐rubʿ al‐mujayyab (on using the sine quadrant);
(2) Raqāʾiq al‐ḥaqāʾiq (on calculating with
degrees and minutes); (3) Zubd al‐raqāʾiq (this may
be an extract from the previous treatise); (4) Muqaddima (introduction)
to sine problems and spherical relations; (5) al‐Ṭuruq al‐saniyya
(on sexagesimal calculations); (6) al‐Nujūm al‐ẓāhirāt (on the muqanṭarāt
quadrant); (7) Qaṭf al‐ẓāhirāt (apparently an extract
from the previous treatise); (8) Hāwī al‐mukhtaṣarāt
(another discussion of the muqanṭarāt quadrant); (9)
Iẓḥār al‐sirr al‐mawḍūʿ (use of a specialized quadrant); (10) Hidāyat
al‐ʿāmil (on another kind of specialized
quadrant); (11) Hidāyat al‐sāʾil (on the quadrant
mentioned in the previous entry); (12) al‐Maṭlab (on the sine quadrant);
(13) al‐Tuḥfa al‐manṣūriyya (on quadrants);
(14) Muqaddima (introduction to construction of sundials); (15) a treatise
on the equatorial circle; and (16) a treatise on the quadrant, astrolabe,
and calendar.
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.)
——— (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.)
——— (1986). “Ḳibla:
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.)
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.)
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.)