Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.1.28

أسئلة على بعض المواضع من المجسطي لابن الهيثم
Asʾila ʿalā baʿḍ al-mawāḍiʿ min al-Majisṭī 〈li-Ibn al-Haytham〉

This is a shortened version of Ibn al-Haytham’s Ḥall shukūk fī Kitāb al-Majisṭī (C.1.10), in which he engages with questions and problems concerning Ptolemy’s Almagest that were put forward by other scholars. In comparison to the original version, this adaptation contains the entire Part IV (Sezgin, pp. 204, 293, and 294) and also dense abridgments of some of the questions and doubts of Parts II and III in roughly the following order:

  • Part II, Question 3;
  • Part III, Doubt 2;
  • Part II, Question 1;
  • Part II, Question 6, somewhat mixed with Part III, Doubt 4;
  • Part II, Questions 7–9.

The three manuscripts that transmit this reworked version also contain abridged versions, similar to the present one, of commentaries on parts of the Almagest by a large number of other authors (see, for example, C.1.19, C.1.30, and C.1.36). These compilations go back to the scholars working at the observatory in Marāgha and more specifically to Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that also the present version of Ibn al-Haytham’s Ḥall shukūk fī l-Majisṭī was compiled by one of the members of the Marāgha school or even by Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī himself.

Text: [Istanbul, Topkapı, Hazine 455]

[Parts II and III] (80r–84v) أسئلة على بعض المواضع من المجسطي. سؤال على قول بطلميوس في زمان السنة وهذه حكايته. — فذها لذي ذكرناه هو تفسير قول بطلمويس لو خلطناها وما يتّبعه من الكلام. تمّت. [Part IV] (85r–v) جواب شكّ في اختلاف منظر القمر من شكوك أبي القاسم بن معدان. وقفت على ما اتّبعه مولانى الشيخ أطال الله بقاؤه في اختلاف منظر القمر وعلى الشكّ الذي في آخذ الكلام. — وهذا القول هو غاية ما يمكن أن يعتذر به لبطلميوس في استعماله التقريب في جزئيّات اختلاف منظر القمر دون التحقيق. والله أعلم بالصواب.

Bibl.: Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa, ʿUyūn al-anbāʾ (ed. MüllerAugust Müller, ʿUyūn al-anbāʾ fī l-ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ li-ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa, 2 vols, Cairo: al-Maṭbaʿa al-Wahbiyya, 1882, vol. II, p. 98); Ibn al-Qifṭī, Taʾrīkh al-ḥukamāʾ (ed. LippertJulius Lippert, Ibn al-Qifṭī’s Taʾrīḫ al-ḥukamā, Leipzig: Dieterich, 1903, p. 168). — KrauseMax Krause, ‘Stambuler Handschriften islamischer Mathematiker’, Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik, Abteilung B: Studien 3 (1936), pp. 437–532, p. 478; GAS VIFuat Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums. Vol. VI: Astronomie bis ca. 430 H., Leiden: Brill, 1978, pp. 204, 258, 293, and 294. — Abdelhamid I. Sabra, ‘On Seeing the Stars, II. Ibn al-Haytham’s “Answers” to the “Doubts” Raised by Ibn Maʿdān’, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 10 (1995–1996), pp. 1–59; Abdelhamid I. Sabra, ‘One Ibn al-Haytham or Two? An Exercise in Reading the Bio-bibliographical Sources’, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 12 (1998), pp. 1–50; Abdelhamid I. Sabra, ‘One Ibn al-Haytham or Two? Conclusion’, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 15 (2002–2003), pp. 95–108; Roshdi Rashed, ‘The Celestial Kinematics of Ibn al-Haytham’, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 17 (2007), pp. 7–55, here p. 10; Roshdi Rashed, ‘The Configuration of the Universe: A Book by al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham?’, Revue d’Histoire des Sciences 60 (2007), pp. 47–63.

Ed.: Edition of parts of the original version with English translation in Sabra, ‘On Seeing the Stars’, pp. 9–59.