Three treatises on astronomy and mathematics

Sibt al-Maridini (Badr al-Din Abu 'Abdallah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Misri al-Dimashqi). A manuscript collection of three treatises on astronomy and mathematics.

Safavid Persia; copied in al-Jauhariyya School, Isfahan, each treatise dated [1619/20 CE =] 1029 H.

8vo (194 x 130 mm). Arabic manuscript on paper. 90 leaves, 15 lines per page written in more than one hand in cursive script with several words in red; numerous diagrams and tables. Contemporary limp red morocco.


The three works comprise:

1. "Al-Durr al-manthur fi'l-'amal bi-rub' al-dustur". A treatise on calculating time with the aid of the sine quadrant, for any region (GAL II, p. 218, 1, attributed by Brockelmann to Sibt al-Maridini's grandfather, the astronomer Abdallah ibn Khalil ibn Yusuf Jamaladdin al-Maridini al-Qahiri, d. 1406).

2. "Raqa'iq al-haqa'iq fi hisab al-daraj wa'l daq'iq" ("Subtleties of Truths on Arithmetic of Degrees and Minutes"). Instructions for the calculation of celestial motions with the aid of minute proportions (GAL II, p. 217, 11). A commentary on a work by his teacher, the Egyptian mathematician and astronomer Shihab al-din Abu'l-'Abbas Ahmad ibn Rajab ibn Tibugha 'Ibn al-Majdi' (1365-1447), entitled "Kashf al-haqa'iq fi hisab al-daraj wa'l-daq'iq" ("Opening Truths on Arithmetic of Degrees and Minutes").

3. A commentary, "Risalah [al-Fathiyya (al-Shihabiyya)] fi'l-'amal al-jaybiyya" ("Treatise on [Fath al-Din (Shihab al-Din)]". Operations with the sine quadrant (GAL II, p. 216f., 7).

Sibt (Ibn Bint) al-Maridini (the Elder, 1423-1506) lived in Cairo and Damascus. He served as the muwaqqit (time-keeper) of the al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, and was a pupil of Ibn al-Majdi. His works are often conflated with those of his grandfather, and with those of his like-named son, who died in 1527 (GAL II, p. 468).

A few old repairs occasionally affecting letters; altogether very well preserved. Provenance: from the property of Dr. Eugene L. Vigil (b. 1941), of Lynden, Washington, USA.

For Sibt al-Maridini see B. A. Rosenfeld & E. Ihsanoglu, Mathematicians, Astronomers & Other Scholars of Islamic Civilisation and their Works, Istanbul 2003, pp. 276f., no. 815, and pp. 293-298, no. 873.