Arabic astronomy by a Catholic Christian mathematician of Syrian descent

Girgis ibn 'Abdullah al-Dimashqi al-Bayruti al-Katuliki. Kitab madkhal al-ahkaam fi al-khass wa al-amm [An Introduction to the General and Specific Principles (of Astronomy)].

Beirut, Lebanon, 1884.

4to (180 x 256 mm). Arabic manuscript on paper. Paginated 1-297 (but ff. 101-116 and 273-297 left blank). 21 lines of black riqa' within double pencil rules, illustrated throughout with numerous diagrams. Contemporary blindstamped black cloth.


Finely handwritten Lebanese manual of astronomy, written in Arabic by a Catholic Christian mathematician of Syrian descent. In his preface, the author Girgis indicates that his work deals with the sciences of the stars and constellations, including phenomena such as eclipses. He therefore drew from "ancient manuscripts, some of them thousands of years old", and used the astronomical concordances "of the scholars of India, Persia, Greece and Egypt" to write his treatise, which boasts numerous meticulously executed diagrams and tables. Dated 8 Adar 1884 in the Jewish-Christian style. Apparently, this interesting manuscript was not completed by the scribe.

Spine and corners professionally restored. Paper evenly browned throughout.

Provenance: 20th century Parisian private collection, kept in the family for several generations and dispersed in 2022.