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Ibn al-Haytham. New Spherical Geometry and Astronomy

A History of Arabic Sciences and Mathematics, Volume 4, 2014

A History of Arabic Sciences and Mathematics, vol. 4

Roshdi Rashed

This volume provides a unique primary source on the history and philosophy of mathematics and science from the mediaeval Arab world. The fourth volume of A History of Arabic Sciences and Mathematics is complemented by three preceding volumes which focused on infinitesimal determinations and other chapters of classical mathematics.
This book includes five main works of the polymath Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) on astronomy, spherical geometry and trigonometry, plane trigonometry and studies of astronomical instruments on hour lines, horizontal sundials and compasses for great circles.
In particular, volume four examines:
  • the increasing tendency to mathematize the inherited astronomy from Greek sources, namely Ptolemy’s Almagest;
  • the development of celestial kinematics;
  • new research in spherical geometry and trigonometry required by the new kinematical theory;
  • the study on astronomical instruments and its impact on mathematical research. These new historical materials and their mathematical and historical commentaries contribute to rewriting the history of mathematical astronomy and mathematics from the 11th century on.

Including extensive commentary from one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject, this fundamental text is essential reading for historians and mathematicians at the most advanced levels of research.

:: Routledge, Series Culture and Civilization in the Middle East, 2014
:: London, Centre for Arab Unity Studies
:: xix-642 p.
:: ISBN 978-0-415-58216-2

Other volumes of the serie:


Chapter 1: The Celestial Kinematics of Ibn Al-Haytham
Chapter 2: Mathematical Commentary
Chapter 3: The Variety of Heights: A Propædeutic to the Configuration of the Motions of the Seven Wandering Stars

Chapter 1: On Hour Lines
Chapter 2: Horizontal Sundials
Chapter 3: Compasses for Great Circles