Earth's rotation considered before Galilei in Islamic astronomy

Baha'addin al-'Amili. Tashrih al-aflak [Anatomy of the celestial spheres].

[Central Asia, 18th century].

8vo (160 x 252 mm). Arabic manuscript on smoothed oriental paper. 12 pp. on 7 ff., ca. 18 lines, per extensum. Black ink with red emphases. With numerous red and black ink diagrams in the text. Contemporary blindstamped full calf, restored and spine rebacked.


The "Tashrih al-aflak", known as "general outline of astronomy" or "anatomy of the celestial spheres", is a summary of theoretical astronomy. The philosopher, architect, mathematician, astronomer and poet Baha' al-Din (953-1030 H / 1547-1621), a native of Baalbek, relocated to Iran with his father. Having completed his studies, he is said to have travelled for 30 years before settling in Isfahan, where he was highly respected as Sheikh al-Islam at the court of Shah Abbas. In the present treatise he affirmed a view in support of the positional rotation of the Earth. Baha' al-Din was one of the first Islamic astronomers to advocate the feasibility of the Earth's rotation in the 16th century, independent of Western influences.

Noticeable duststaining throughout; edges remargined. The restored binding uses the stamped original cover material.

GAL II, 415, 6.