Arabic Sciences and Philosophy

Al-Quhi: From Meteorology to Astronomy

Roshdi Rashed  a1
a1 Centre d'histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales, 7 rue Guy Môquet, B.P. no 8, 94801 Villejuif Cedex, France

Article author query
rashed r   [Google Scholar] 

Among the phenomena examined in the Meteorologica, some, although they are sublunar, are too distant to be accessible to direct study. To remedy this situation, it was necessary to develop procedures and methods which could allow observation, and above all the geometrical control of observations. The eventual result of this research was to detach the phenomenon under consideration from meteorology, and to insert it within optics or astronomy. Abu Sahl al-Quhi (second half of the tenth century), composed a treatise on shooting stars in which he carries out such an insertion. In a second treatise, he deals with another type of observation, intended to measure maritime, terrestrial, and celestial surfaces. Here, the author studies al-Quhi's contribution and gives the editio princeps of these two treatises, as well as their translation.