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{{redirect|Albategnius|the lunar crater|Albategnius (crater)}}

| major_works = Kitāb az-Zīj | influences = Ptolemy| influenced = Abū al-Wafā', al-Bīrūnī, Copernicus}}Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al-Raqqī al-Ḥarrānī aṣ-Ṣābiʾ al-Battānī {{refn|group=n|Al-Qifṭī gives his name: Ibn Sinān Abū ‘Abd Allāh Al-Harranī, known as al-Battānī and mentions that Said al-Andalusi in his book Kitāb al-Qāsī () gives: Abū Jāfar Muḥammad ibn Sinān ibn Jābir al-Harranī, known as al-Battānī, {{sfn|Qifṭī|1903|p=280}}}}() (Latinized as Albategnius, Albategni or Albatenius) (c. 858 – 929) was an ArabJOURNAL, C.A., Nallino, al-BATTĀNĪ, Brill, en, 10.1163/1573-3912_islam_sim_1289, WEB, Al-Battānī {{!, Arab astronomer and mathematician|url=|website=Encyclopedia Britannica|language=en}}WEB, Al-Battani - Oxford Reference,weblink en, astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician. He introduced a number of trigonometric relations, and his Kitāb az-Zīj was frequently quoted by many medieval astronomers, including Copernicus.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Hartner, Willy, Al-Battānī, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad Ibn Jābir Ibn Sinān al-Raqqī al-Ḥarrānī al–Ṣābi, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1970–80, 978-0-684-10114-9,weblink Often called the "Ptolemy of the Arabs",Barlow, Peter; Kater, Henry; Herschel, Sir John Frederick William (1856). The Encyclopaedia of Astronomy: Comprising Plane Astronomy. R. Griffin. p. 494. al-Battani is perhaps the greatest and best known astronomer of the medieval Islamic world.Schlager, Neil; Lauer, Josh (2001). Science and Its Times: 700-1449. Gale Group. p. 291.Griffin, Rosarii (2006). Education in the Muslim World: different perspectives. Symposium Books Ltd. p. 31.Angelo, Joseph A. (2014). Encyclopedia of Space and Astronomy. Infobase Publishing. p. 78.Ben-Menaḥem, Ari (2009). Historical Encyclopedia of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 541.


Little of al-Battānī's life is known other than his birthplace in Harran near Urfa, in Upper Mesopotamia, (today in Turkey) and his father's fame as a maker of scientific instruments. Ibn Khallikan expresses ignorance on the question of his Muslim faith, and points out that his epithet aṣ-Ṣabi’ suggests possible Sabian-sect ancestry.{{sfn|Khallikān (ibn)|1868|p=317}}{{MacTutor Biography|id=Al-Battani}} Some western historians claim he had noble origins as an Arab prince,EB1911, Albategnius, 1, 491, but traditional Arabic biographers make no mention of this. Between 877 and 918/19, over a forty-year period, he lived in the ancient city of Raqqa, in north central Syria, recording his astronomical observations. He is said to have died while returning to Baghdād at a fortress called Kasr al-Hadr, which was near either Tikrit, or Samarra.{{sfn|Khallikan (ibn)|1868|p=317}}


One of al-Battānī's best-known achievements in astronomy was the determination of the solar year as being 365 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 24 seconds, which is only 2 minutes and 22 seconds off.The twelfth-century Egyptian encyclopedist al-Qifṭī, in his biographical history Ta’rīkh al-Ḥukamā’, mentions al-Battānī’s contribution to advances in astronomical observation and calculations based on Ptolemy’s Almagest.{{sfn|Qifṭī|1903|p=280}}Al-Battānī amended some of Ptolemy's results and compiled new tables of the Sun and Moon, long accepted as authoritative. Some of his measurements were more accurate than ones taken by Copernicus many centuries later and some ascribe this phenomenon to al-Battānī's location lying closer to the equator such that the ecliptic and the Sun, being higher in the sky, are less susceptible to atmospheric refraction. Al-Battānī observed that the direction of the Sun's apogee, as recorded by Ptolemy, was changing.BOOK, Courier Dover Publications, 978-0-486-29887-0, Singer, Charles Joseph, A short history of science to the nineteenth century, 1997, 135, {{refn|group=n|In modern heliocentric terms this is due to the changing direction of the eccentricity vector of the Earth's orbit.}}

Among his Innovations

  • Introduction {{refn|group=n|Probably independently of the 5th-century Indian astronomer Aryabhata}} of the use of sines in calculation and partially that of tangents.
  • Calculation of the values for the precession of the equinoxes (54.5" per year, or 1° in 66 years) and the obliquity of the ecliptic (23° 35').
  • Use of a uniform rate for precession in his tables, choosing not to adopt the theory of trepidation attributed to his colleague Thabit ibn Qurra.
Al-Battānī's work was instrumental in the development of science and astronomy. Copernicus, in his book that initiated the Copernican Revolution, the De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, quotes his name no fewer than 23 times,BOOK, Cambridge University Press, 9780521576000, Hoskin, Michael, The Cambridge Concise History of Astronomy, 1999-03-18, 58, and also mentions him in the Commentariolus.BOOK, I.B.Tauris, 9781784531386, Freely, John, Light from the East: How the Science of Medieval Islam Helped to Shape the Western World, 2015-03-30, 179, Tycho Brahe, Riccioli, Kepler, Galileo and others frequently cited him or his observations. His data is still used in geophysics.Dalmau, W. (1997) CRITICAL REMARKS ON THE USE OF MEDIEVAL ECLIPSE RECORDS FOR THE DETERMINATION OF LONG-TERM CHANGES IN THE EARTH'S ROTATION', Surveys in Geophysics 18: 213-223.The major lunar crater Albategnius is named in his honor.Ewen A. Whitaker, Mapping and Naming the Moon (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p.61.


In mathematics, al-Battānī produced a number of trigonometrical relationships:
tan a = frac{sin a}{cos a}
sec a = sqrt{1 + tan^2 a }
He also solved the equation sin x = a cos x discovering the formula:
sin x = frac{a}{sqrt{1 + a^2}}
He gives other trigonometric formulae for right-angled triangles such as:
b sin (A) = a sin (90^circ - A)
Al-Battānī used al-Marwazi's idea of tangents ("shadows") to develop equations for calculating tangents and cotangents, compiling tables of them. He also discovered the reciprocal functions of secant and cosecant, and produced the first table of cosecants, which he referred to as a "table of shadows" (in reference to the shadow of a gnomon), for each degree from 1° to 90°.WEB, trigonometry,weblink Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-07-21,


  • Kitāb az-ZÄ«j ("Book of Astronomical Tables"); Al-BattānÄ«'s magnum opus reflects Ptolemaic and Greco-Syriac astronomical theory, with Indo-Persian influences to a lesser degree.E. S. Kennedy, A Survey of Islamic Astronomical Tables, (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, 46, 2), Philadelphia, 1956, pp. 10–11, 32–34. Al-BattānÄ«'s zij contains a description of a quadrant instrument.JOURNAL, Moussa, Ali, Mathematical Methods in AbÅ« al-Wafāʾ's Almagest and the Qibla Determinations, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 2011, 21, 1, 1–56, 10.1017/S095742391000007X, Of the many early translations into Latin and Spanish, a Latin version De Motu Stellarum by Plato of Tivoli (1116), was reprinted with annotations by Regiomontanus, and again at Bologna in 1645. The original manuscript is preserved at the Vatican library in Rome.
  • Kitāb ZÄ«j al-Ṣābī’ () published by Carlo Alfonso Nallino (1899-1907) under the Latin title Al-BattānÄ« sive Albatenii opus astronomicum: ad fidem codicis Escurialensis Arabice editum {{sfn|Battani (al-)|1899}}; a multi-volume scientific treatise on geography and astronomical chronology from an Arabic manuscript with Latin annotations. The manuscript is held at the Escorial library.
  • Arbā Mākālāt ('Four discourses'){{sfn|Khallikān (ibn)|1868|pp=318, 320}}; a commentary on Ptolemy’s Quadripartitum de apotelesmatibus e judiciis astrorum, known as the Tetrabiblos. The tenth-century encyclopedist Isḥāq al-NadÄ«m in his Kitāb al-Fihrist lists al-BattānÄ« among a number of authors of commentaries on this work.{{sfn|NadÄ«m (al-)|p=640}}{{refn|group=n|Ptolemy's treatise was translated into Arabic by Ibrahim ibn al-Salt and this translation was amended by Isḥāq.}}
  • Marifat Matāli'l Buruj ('Knowledge of the rising-places of the zodiacal signs'){{refn|group=n|This may have been about zodiac amplitude calculations. See McGuckin. {{sfn|Khallikān (ibn)|1868|p=319, n.2}}}}{{sfn|Khallikān (ibn)|1868|p=317}}
  • Kitāb fÄ« Mikdār il-Ittisālāt’; treatise on the four quarters of the sphere.

In popular culture

A ship in (Star Trek: Voyager) is named after Al-Battānī, known as the USS Al-Batani, which Janeway originally served on.

See also






  • Al-BattānÄ« sive Albatenii, Opus Astronomicum. Ad fidem codicis escurialensis arabice editum, ed. by Carlo Alfonso Nallino. Milan, Ulrico Hoepli, 1899-1907 [= Pubblicazioni del Reale Osservatorio di Brera in Milano, nr. XL], 412 + 450 + 288 pp. (anast.: I-III, [La Finestra editrice], Lavis 2002 {{ISBN|978-8888097-26-8}}
  • BOOK, harv, Battani (al-), Muḥammad ibn Jabir, Al-BattānÄ« sive Albatenii opus astronomicum: ad fidem codicis Escurialensis Arabice editum (Kitāb ZÄ«j al-Ṣābī’), Carlo Alfonso Nallino, Nallino, Carlo Alfonso, Milan, Mediolani Insubrum: Prostat apud Urlichum Hoeplium, 1899, Arabic, 3, 978-8888097-26-8,weblink
  • BOOK, harv, Ibn Khallikan, Khallikān (ibn), Aḥmad i. M, Wafayāt al-A’yān wa Anbā’ (Ibn Khallian’s Biographical Dictionary), William McGuckin de Slane, Mac Guckin de Slane, William, Paris & London, W.H. Allen, 1868, III, 317,weblink
  • BOOK, harv, NadÄ«m (al-), AbÅ« al-Faraj Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq AbÅ« Ya’qÅ«b al-Warrāq, The Fihrist of al-Nadim; a tenth-century survey of Muslim culture, Bayard Dodge, Dodge, Bayard, New York & London, Columbia University Press, 1970, English,
  • BOOK, harv, Smith, David Eugene, History of Mathematics, Boston, Ginn, 1923, 1925, I, 175,weblink
  • ENCYCLOPEDIA, Hartner, Willy, Al-BattānÄ«, AbÅ« Ê¿Abd Allāh Muḥammad Ibn Jābir Ibn Sinān al-RaqqÄ« al-ḤarrānÄ« al–Ṣābi, Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1970–80, 978-0-684-10114-9,weblink
  • {{MacTutor Biography|id=Al-Battani|title=Abu Abdallah Mohammad ibn Jabir Al-Battani}}

External links

  • ENCYCLOPEDIA, Thomas Hockey, Dalen, Benno van, BattānÄ«: AbÅ« Ê¿Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al‐BattānÄ« al‐ḤarrānÄ« al‐Ṣābiʾ, The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Springer, 2007, New York, 101–3,weblink 978-0-387-31022-0, etal, (PDF version)
  • {{ScienceWorldBiography | urlname=Albategnius | title=Albategnius (ca. 858–929)}}
  • {hide}Wikisource-inline|list=
    • NIE, al-Battani, Mohammed ibn Jabir ibn Sinan, 1905, x,
    • EB1911, Albategnius, x, x, 1, 491,
    • NIE, al-Battani, 1920, x, x,
{edih}{{Islamic astronomy}}{{Islamic mathematics}}{{Authority control}}

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