Al-Tusi on the astrolabe

Tusi, Nasir al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-. Bist bab dar ma'rifat-i ustrulab [Twenty chapters on the knowledge of the astrolabe].

Persia or Central Europe, [ca. 1770 / 18th century CE].

8vo (164 x 257 mm). 19 ff. Persian manuscript on paper. Black nasta'liq script with a few marginal commentaries. Modern full leather stamped in blind.


A selection on the astrolabe by the great Persian polymath Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-74), after whom the lunar crater "Nasireddin" is named. Al-Tusi's contribution to astronomy, astrology, the sciences and indeed literature is difficult to overstate; this work on the astrolabe was used extensively by contemporaries and across the centuries following his death, and provided source material for several important commentaries. He is considered the father of trigonometry and worked extensively on planetary motion, and while some of his more abstract works are perhaps better known, it is important to recall that the astrolabe was the tool at the centre of much of his success and work. This text is additionally a good example of the author's Persian writing and his fluency in rendering Arabic tradition into Farsi, a task at which he excelled. With around 150 attributed works, al-Tusi changed to face of both Arabic and Persian scientific literature; this is a nice piece of that legacy.

Endpapers replaced, light staining and edgewear; in quite good condition.


GAL I, 512 (675), 48.