News Details

The Contributions of Arabic and Islamic Cultures to Astronomy


1-01-2007

The Centre for the Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage (CULTNAT), which is affiliated to Bibliotheca Alexandrina and sponsored by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, has issued a new book titled “The Contributions of Arabic and Islamic Cultures to Astronomy”. This book, which was produced in cooperation with the Library of Al-Azhar, is the second in the CULTNAT’s series published (in collaboration with UNESCO) under the title of “The Contributions of Arabic and Islamic Cultures to the Sciences”. The first book in the series, which was produced in cooperation with the National Library of Egypt and published in the year 2002; had the title of “The Contributions of Arabic and Islamic Cultures to Medicine”.

This latest book projects the contributions and achievements of the two closely linked cultures (i.e. the Arabic, and the Islamic), in the field of Astronomy and time keeping, over the period of more than six centuries (the 3rdH/9thAD to the 9thH/15thAD); together with introductory biographical notes on the most eminent contributors of the period, such as: Albuzgany, Alhamadany, Alkindy, Albyrouni, Ibn Yunis and Assufi.

The book also outlines the course of progress, in both Theoretical and Applied Astronomy, as achieved by scientists of that period; relying on experimental observations and analysis, and employing the newly invented (or duly improved) equipment and instruments: such as the Astrolabe, the Sundial, the Clepsydra and the Compass; as well as the pendulum. The latter, which was invented by Ibn Yunis and used in measuring stellar time interval, preceded Galileo’s by some six centuries.

The newly released book, which is simply and clearly written and presented in three languages (Arabic, English and French) and is available also in CD form, is considered an outstanding documentation work that adds to CULTNAT’s credits in emphasizing the great contributions of the Arabic and Islamic Patrimony; while providing the researchers and scholars in the field of Manuscripts with easily accessible means for a much more expanded, and far deeper, investigations.