World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathir al-Farghani

The statue of al-Farghani in Farg'ona
Born 9th century
Era Islamic Golden Age
Region Baghdad
Main interests
Major works
The compendium (jawāmiʿ) of the Almagest

Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī. (800/805-870) also known as Alfraganus in the West, was an Arab[1] or Persian[2][3] Sunni Muslim astronomer, and one of the most famous astronomers in the 9th century. The crater Alfraganus on the Moon is named after him.


  • Life 1
  • Works 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Statue of al-Farghani Rhoda Island, Cairo. Al-Farghani supervised the building of the Nilometer in Cairo. builder

He was involved in the calculation of the diameter of the Earth by the measurement of the meridian arc length, together with a team of scientists under the patronage of al-Ma'mūn in Baghdad. Later he moved to Cairo, where he composed a treatise on the astrolabe around 856. There he also supervised the construction of the large Nilometer on the island of al-Rawda (in Old Cairo) in the year 861.


His textbook Kitāb fī Jawāmiʿ ʿIlm al-Nujūm (كتاب في جوامع علم النجوم A Compendium of the Science of the Stars) or Elements of astronomy on the celestial motions, written about 833, was a competent descriptive summary of Ptolemy's Almagest, while using the findings and revised values of earlier Islamic astronomers.[4] It was translated into Latin in the 12th century and remained very popular in Europe until the time of Regiomontanus. Dante Alighieri's knowledge of Ptolemaic astronomy, which is evident in his Divina Commedia as well as other works such as the Convivio, seems to have been drawn from his reading of Alfraganus.[5][6] In the 17th century the Dutch orientalist Jacob Golius published the Arabic text on the basis of a manuscript he had acquired in the Near East, with a new Latin translation and extensive notes.

See also


  1. ^ Science, The Cambridge History of Islam, Vol. 2, ed. P. M. Holt, Ann K. S. Lambton, Bernard Lewis, (Cambridge University Press, 1978), 760.
  2. ^ Sir Patrick Moore, The Data Book of Astronomy,CRC Press,2000,BG 48ref Henry Corbin, The Voyage and the Messenger: Iran and Philosophy, North Atlantic Books, 1998, pg 44
  3. ^ Texts, Documents and Artefacts: Islamic Studies in Honour of D.S. Richards. Edited by Chase F. Robinson, Brill Academic Publishers, BG 25.
  4. ^ Dallal, Ahmad (2010). Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History.  
  5. ^ Mary A. Orr, Dante and the Early Astronomers (London: Gall and Inglis, 1913), 233-34.
  6. ^ Scott, John A. (2004). Understanding Dante. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P. p. 22.  

Further reading

  • Sabra, Abdelhamid I. (1971). "Farghānī, Abu'l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad Ibn Muḥammad Ibn Kathīr al-".  
  • Jacobus Golius (ed.), كتاب محمد بن كثير الفرغاني في الحركات السماوية وجوامع علم النجوم، بتفسير الشيخ الفاضل يعقوب غوليوس / Muhammedis Fil. Ketiri Ferganensis, qui vulgo Alfraganus dicitur, Elementa astronomica, Arabicè & Latinè. Cum notis ad res exoticas sive Orientales, quae in iis occurrunt, Amsterdam 1669; Reprint Frankfurt 1986 and 1997.
  • El-Fergânî, The Elements of Astronomy, textual analysis, translation into Turkish, critical edition & facsimile by Yavuz Unat, edited by Şinasi Tekin & Gönül Alpay Tekin, Harvard University 1998.
  • Elements of Chronology and Astronomy - Muhamedis Alfragani Arabis Chronologica et astronomica elementa (in Latin). 
  • Richard Lorch (ed.), Al-Farghānī on the Astrolabe. Arabic text edited with translation and commentary, Stuttgart, 2005, ISBN 3-515-08713-3.
  • Yavuz Unat, El-Fergânî, Cevami İlm en-Nucûm ve Usûl el-Harekât es-Semâviyye, Astronominin Özeti ve Göğün Hareketlerinin Esası, T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı, Bilimin ve Felsefenin Doğulu Öncüleri Dizisi 14, Ankara 2012.
  • Yavuz Unat, “Fergânî’nin ‘Astronominin Özeti ve Göğün Hareketlerinin Esasları’ Adlı Astronomi Eseri”, DTCF Dergisi, Cilt 38, Sayı 1-2, Ankara 1998, s. 405–423.

External links

  • DeYoung, Gregg (2007). "Farghānī: Abū al‐ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Kathīr al‐Farghānī". In Thomas Hockey; et al. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. New York: Springer. p. 357. (PDF version)  
  • , 1992, Saudi Aramco WorldAl-Farghani and the “Short Degree”Paul Lunde,
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.