Di, 14.03.2023 17:00

Astronomy in the Ilkhanate: The Early Manuscript Tradition of al-Ṭūsī's Taḥrīr al-Majisṭī

Webinar series "Pre-modern Islamic manuscripts"

Online ZOOM lecture by Nadine Löhr| Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Abstract  Arabic translations of Claudius Ptolemy’s Almagest spawned numerous commentaries, summaries, and introductions. Throughout history none of the derivative works became as prominent as Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī's 13th century recension (Taḥrīr al-Majisṭī). The yet unedited text is witnessed in at least 170 manuscripts as well as translations into Persian and Sanskrit, and had major impact on the study of astronomy in the Arabic speaking world.

The text relies primarily on the Arabic translation credited to Isḥāq b. Ḥunayn (d. c. 911) with corrections by Thābit b. Qurra (d. 901), but includes material from other Almagest versions and earlier commentaries, some of which are considered lost today. With these sources at hand al-Ṭūsī rephrased, corrected, and updated the Almagest. The diligent recension was originally written while al-Ṭūsī still resided at the Ismāʿīlī citadel of Alamut, but extensively studied and copied under Mongol patronage. Over the centuries, a rich literary tradition developed around the Taḥrīr, with renowned astronomers such as Niẓām al-Dīn al-Nīsābūrī (d. 1328/29) and ʿAbd al-ʿAlī al-Birjandī (d. c. 1527) writing super-commentaries that further facilitated the dissemination of the work.

This talk addresses the temporal and geographical distribution of extant manuscripts and takes a closer look at the surviving witnesses from the Mongol period. We attempt to trace the influence al-Ṭūsī’s colleagues and students had on the dissemination and study of the text, focusing in particular on marginal annotations and manuscript notes.


Please register with https://oeaw-ac-at.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6G1txBG3TpyUyIjs8TaPwA

This is the 6th lecture in this year's Webinar series organised by the NoMansLand research project (FWF Y 1232) dedicated to the study of Islamic manuscripts in pre-modern Iran and Central Asia.

Convenor: Project team "Nomads' Manuscripts Landscape"

For a list of upcoming lectures in the webinar series, please see Webinar series "Pre-modern Islamic manuscripts"


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