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Title: Al-Kharaqī  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Almagest, Astronomy in medieval Islam, Al-Adami, Shadow square, Sibt al-Maridini
Collection: 12Th-Century Astronomers, Astronomers of Medieval Islam, Medieval Persian Astronomers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Note of Guillaume Postel on the Arabic astronomical manuscript of al-Kharaqī, Muntahā al-idrāk fī taqāsīm al-aflāk ("The Ultimate Grasp of the Divisions of Spheres").

Abū Muḥammad 'Abd al-Jabbār al-Kharaqī, also Al-Kharaqī was a Persian astronomer and mathematician of the 12th century, born in Kharaq near Merv.[1] He was in the service of Sultan Sanjar at the Persian Court. Al-Kharaqī challenged the astronomical theory of Ptolemy in the Almagest, and established an alternative theory of the spheres, imagining huge material spheres in which the planets moved inside tubes.[1]

During his travels to the Ottoman Empire in 1536, Guillaume Postel acquired an astronomical work by al-Kharaqī, Muntahā al-idrāk fī taqāsīm al-aflāk ("The Ultimate Grassp of the Divisions of Spheres"), annotated it, and brought it back to Europe.[2]

Al-Kharaqī also wrote mathematical treatises, now lost, Al-Risala al-Shāmila ("Comprehensive Treatise") and Al-Risala al-Maghribiyya ("The North African Treatise", related to the calculus of dirham and dinar).[1]


  • Muntahā al-idrāk fī taqāsīm al-aflāk ("The Ultimate Grassp of the Divisions of Spheres") 1138/9
  • Al-Risala al-Shāmila ("Comprehensive Treatise")
  • Al-Risala al-Maghribiyya ("The North African Treatise")


  1. ^ a b c Encyclopaedia of the history of science, technology, and medicine, ed. Helaine Selin, p.478
  2. ^ Islamic science and the making of European Renaissance, by George Saliba, p.218 ISBN 978-0-262-19557-7
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