Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Records of solar eclipses in Arabic chronicles

  • Said S. Said, F. Richard Stephenson and Wafiq Rada

Extract

Of the many astronomical observations which are recorded in ancient and medieval history, perhaps the most interesting and useful relate to solar eclipses. Obscurations of the Sun are often noticed by the casual observer and may indeed leave a profound impression on him if the degree of obscuration of the Sun is very large. In particular, total solar eclipses are responsible for the onset of sudden and intense darkness, during which the brighter planets and stars may become visible. Hence ancient and medieval accounts of solar eclipses (and to a lesser extent lunar obscurations) are not confined to treatises on astronomy. They also tend to be reported fairly frequently in chronicles and other writings of a historical nature. The only other celestial phenomena regularly to attract widespread attention in ancient and medieval times were comets. However, in chronological studies, eclipses have a distinct advantage over comets. Both solar and lunar obscurations last for only a few hours and their exact date of occurrence can be computed, as well as the time of day (or night) when the event took place. Comets, on the other hand, often remain visible for several weeks and only for Halley's Comet can useful computations of visibility be made.

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 Newcomb, S., Researches on the motion of the Moon, Washington D.C., 1878.

2 Caussin, C., Le Hvre de la grande table Hakemite, Paris, 1804.

3 Goldstein, B. R., Archives inlemationale d'histoire des sciences, xxix, 1979, 101–56.

4 Sachs, A.J., Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., A, CCLXXVI, 1974, 4350.

5 Bruin, F., Vistas in astronomy, xxi, 1977, 331–58.

6 Ginzel, F. K., Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie, I, Leipzig, 1906, 252–62.

7 Freeman-Grenville, G. S. P., The Muslim and Christian calendars, Oxford, 1977.

8 Fotheringham, J. K., Mon. Not. R. Astr. Soc, LXX, 1910, 527–31.

9 Schoch, C. in Langdon, S. and Fotheringham, J. K., The Venus tablets of Ammizaduga, Oxford, 1928.

10 Parker, R. A. and Dubberstein, W. H., Babylonian chronology: 626 B.C.-A.D. 75, Providence, R.I., 1956.

11 Neugebauer, P. V., Astronomische Chronologie, Berlin and Leipzig, 1929, 2 vols.

12 Huber, P. J. (with the collaboration of Sachs, A., Stol, M., Whiting, R. M., Leichty, F., C. B. F. Walker, Van Driel, G.), Occasional papers of the Near East, 1/4, 193.

13 Neugebauer, , Astronomische Chronologie.

14 Ginzel, , Handbuch.

15 Newton, R. R., Ancient planetary observations and the validity of Ephemeris Time, Baltimore, 1977, 53–7.

16 Freeman-Grenville, , The Muslim and Christian calendars.

17 Freeman-Grenville, , op. cit.

18 Ginzel, , Handbuch, I, 252–62; Newton, Ancient planetary observations, 53–7.

19 Neugebauer, , Astronomische Chronologie.

20 Oppolzer, T. R. von, Canon der Finsternisse, Wien, 1887. (Reprinted as Canon of eclipses, New York, 1962.)

21 Schroeter, J. F., Spezieller Kanon der zentralen Sonnen-und Mondfinsternisse, Kristiania, 1923.

22 Stephenson, F. R. and Morrison, L. V., Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., A, cccxm, 1984. 4770.

23 von Oppolzer, Canon der Finsternisse; op. cit.; Schroeter, Spezieller Kanon.

24 von Oppolzer, op. cit.

25 Ibn, ‘Idhārī, al-Bayan al-Mughrib fi Akhbār Ahlal-Andalus wa'l-Maghrib, Beirut, 1950, II, 125.

26 Freeman-Grenville, , The Muslim and Christian calendars.

27 Al-Tabarī, , Tarīkh al-Tabarī: Tarīkh al-Rusul wa'l-Mulūk, Cairo, 1968, ix, 613.

28 Ibn, al-Jawzī, al-Muntazam fī Tarīkh al-Mulūk wa'l-Umum, Hyderabad-Deccan, 1357 A.H., V, Pt. 2, 65.

29 Ibn, al-Athīr, al-Kāmil fī al-Tarīkh, Cairo, 1353 A.H., VI, 50.

30 Ibn, Ḥayyān, al-Muqtabis fī Tarīkh al-Andalus, Paris, 1937, III, 140.

31 Ibn, Ḥayyān, al-Muqtabis, III, 147.

32 Ibn ‘Idhārī, al-Bayān, II, 223.

33 Condé, J. A., History of the dominion of the Arabs in Spain, trans. Forster, J., London, 1854, I, 362.

34 Ibn, Ḥayyān, al-Muqtabis, Madrid, 1979, v, 434.

35 Ibn, Ḥayyān, al-Muqtabis, v, 447.

36 Al-Maqrīzī, , Itti'āz al-Hunafā bi-Akhbār al-A'imma al-Fātimiyīn al-Khulafā, Cairo, 1967, I, 280.

37 Ibn, 'Idhārī, al-Bayān, in, 221.

38 Ibn, al-Jawzī, al-Muntazam, 1359 A.H., VIII, 221.

39 Ibn, al-Athlr, al-Kamil, vIII, 92.

40 Al-Suyūtī, , Husn al-Muhadara fī Akhbār Misr wa- 'l-Qāhira, Cairo, 1327 A.H., II, 153.

41 Muller, P. M. and Stephenson, F. R., in Growth rhythms and the history of the Earth's rotation, ed. G. D., Rosenberg and S. K., Runcom, London, 1975, 459534.

42 Ibn, al-Jawzī, al-Muntazam, 1359 A.H., X, 250.

43 Ibn, al-Athir, al-Kāmil, IX, 138.

44 Encyclopedia of Islam (new edition: Ibn 'Umar, Djazīrat), Leiden, 1971, III, 960–61.

45 Ibn, al-Jawzī, al-Muntazam, x, 258.

46 Abū, Shāma, kitāb al-Rawdataim fī Akhbār al-Dawlatain, Cairo, 1277-1288 A.H., I, 250.

47 Lane-Poole, S., Saladin and the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, London and New York, 1926, p. 143n.

48 Ibn, al-Jawzī, al-Muntaẓam, x, 283.

49 Al-Maqrīzī, , al-Sulūk fī Ma'rifat Duwal al-Mulūk, Cairo, 1936, I, 308.

50 I., Forget (ed.), Synaxarium Alexandrinum (Arabic text and Latin translation), Louvain, 1963.

51 Al-Maqrīzī, , A short history of the Copts and their Church, trans. Malan, S. C., London, 1873, 97.

52 Ginzel, F. K., Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie, III, Leipzig, 1914, 322.

53 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘ al-Zuhīr fī Waqā'i‘ al-Duhūr (New edition), Wiesbaden, 1974, I, 164.

54 Al-‘Asqalānī, , Inba’ al-Ghwnr bi ’Bnā’ al-‘Umr. Hyderabad-Deccan, 1967, I, 196.

55 Al-Suyūtī, , Ḥusn al-Muḥaḍara, II, 162.

56 Al-Maqrīzī, , al-Sulūk, 1970, in, 536.

57 Ibn, Iyās, Badā’i‘, New edition, 1974, I, 366.

58 Ibn, Qādī Shuhba, Tarīkh ibn Qādi Shuhba, Damascus, 1977, I, 165.

59 Ibn, Tūlūn, al-Thaghr al-Bassām fī Dhikr man Wuttiya Qadā al-Shām (Qudāt Dimashq), Damascus, 1956.

60 Al-‘Asqalānī, , Inba’, 1970, iv, 8.

61 Al-Maqrīzī, , al-Sulūk, III, 984.

62 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, I, 555.

63 Al-‘Asqalānī, , Inbā’, IV, 102.

64 Al-‘Asqalānī, , Inbā’, 1974, VII, 347.

65 Al-Maqrīzī, , al-Sulūk, 1971, iv, 482.

66 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New Edition, 1972, II, 44.

67 Al-Maqrīzī, , al-Sulūk, iv, 855.

68 Al-‘Asqalānī, , Inbā’, 1975, vIII, 179.

69 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, II, 138.

70 Al-‘Asqalānī, Inbā’, vIII, 280.

71 Ibn, al-‘Imìd, Shadharāt al-Dhahab fī Akhbār man Dhahab, Cairo, 1350–1351 A.H., VII, 215.

72 Al-Maqrīzī, , al-Sulūk, Iv, 892.

73 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, II, 148.

74 Al-Maqrīzī, , al-Sulūk, iv, 1090.

75 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, II, 201.

76 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, II, 405.

77 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, Older edition, Cairo, 1311 A.H. II, 75.

78 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, II, 447.

79 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, 1963, III, 87.

80 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'‘, New edition, III, 282.

81 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, 1960, Iv, 42.

82 Ibn, Tūlūn, Mufakahat al-Khullān fī Hawādith al-Zamān, Cairo, 1962, Pt. I, 375.

83 Ibn, Iyās, Badā'i‘, New edition, Iv, 295.

Records of solar eclipses in Arabic chronicles

  • Said S. Said, F. Richard Stephenson and Wafiq Rada

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed