The astrolabe Muḥammad Ibn al-Saffar: Córdoba Edinburgh

Front of Cordoba astrolabe EdinburghAstrolabe made in Córdoba, the oldest manufactured and dated in Europe known. An astrolabe is an instrument of analog computation for astronomical and nautical use. Given date, time and location, to calculate the apparent position of the stars and the sun. Also serves other accessory uses as measuring the height of the stars (alidade with reverse). Like other similar, this can be removed by removing astrolabio central pin; Plates were then discovered seven, each produced for a different latitude. In this case the plates correspond to latitudes of Mecca, Medina, Saragossa, Samarra, Cairo, Toledo and Constantinople. The plates feature vertical designs and almicantarates, and lines indicating the hours of prayer. The craftsman signature appears on the back of the motherboard.

I found the piece thanks to the magnificent Museum Without Borders, in this file. From there I selected and retouched the following data.

Part Listing: The astrolabe Muḥammad Ibn al-Saffar

Holding: National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Original Owner: Unknown
Museum Inventory: T. 1959.62
Dimensions: Diameter 15,5 cm
Materials / techniques: Cast and incised bronze.
Dating: 417 of the Hegira / 1026-27 d. C.
Period / Dynasty: Umayyads of al-Andalus
Artist / Artisan: Muḥammad Ibn al‐Ṣaffār
Place of origin / source: Cordova
Method at the museum: Donado by James H. Farr Real Museum 1959. More details about the origin in a publication fee, Robert W. Plenderleith (Head of the Department of Technology Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh), “Discovery of an old astrolabe”, Scottish Geographical Journal, Volume 76, number 1 April 1960 , page 25. Whoever gets done with the publication to tell us, please.
Dating method: In the back of the piece is an inscription in Kufic says: "Work of Muḥammad Ibn al-Saffar in Cordoba in 17 400 " (417 / 1026-27).

Reverse Cordovan astrolabe EdinburghThe author of this astrolabe is Muḥammad Ibn al-Saffar, who built it in the year 417 / 1026-27. His brother was the author of the first treatise on astrolabes of Muslim Spain. From this period are preserved otros of astrolabes, both work Muḥammad Ibn al-Ṣaffār but later this. As a natural es, none of them is kept in Cordoba, Memories of Me, as lack of interest by not carrying inscriptions relating to football, brotherhoods, pilgrimages to bullfighting.

Although the Muslim world production and use of astrolabes continued until the fourteenth century / XX, decreased in Europe in the twelfth / XVIII. Why be?

Muḥammad Ibn al-Saffar was one of the builders of astronomical instruments in the world's top. It was other brother Aḥmad (Abu al-Qasim al-Ahmad ibn ʿ Abd Allah ibn ʿ Umar ibn al-Saffar al-Andalusia Ghafiqi), one very remarkable astronomer al-School Majriti (Abu al-Qasim ibn Ahmad al-Hasib al-Faradi Maslama al-Majriti, Madrid who lived in Cordoba, which forever changed the course of the in the West).

All these biographical data out of the work The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0), published in 2007 in English by the German publisher Springer Verlag, in which articles about Aḥmad al-Saffar al-Majriti and the Catalans have drawn Monica Rius and Josep Casulleras. Someday we must ask why these data have to find them in English and why they are interested in only the Germans and Catalans. The answer is not that English, Catalan and German are smarter or cult or something, but the Andalusians are smarter and we have realized that all these people were mora, so it is clear that they have nothing to do with Imperial Spain to Win out and therefore not for us Andalusian. The Cordovan encyclopedias are more likely, and do well, pouring vernacular articles about players, toreros, frailes e imagineros. So there, all in order.

Be Sociable, Share!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.