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Al-Qūhī: From Meteorology to Astronomy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 May 2002

Roshdi Rashed
Centre d'histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales, 7 rue Guy Môquet, B.P. no 8, 94801 Villejuif Cedex, France


Among the phenomena examined in the Meteorologica, some, although they are sublunar, are too distant to be accessible to direct study. To remedy this situation, it was necessary to develop procedures and methods which could allow observation, and above all the geometrical control of observations. The eventual result of this research was to detach the phenomenon under consideration from meteorology, and to insert it within optics or astronomy. Abū Sahl al-Qūhī (second half of the tenth century), composed a treatise on shooting stars in which he carries out such an insertion. In a second treatise, he deals with another type of observation, intended to measure maritime, terrestrial, and celestial surfaces. Here, the author studies al-Qūhī's contribution and gives the editio princeps of these two treatises, as well as their translation.

Research Article
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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