Said al-Andalusi

Ṣāʿid al-Andalusī (صاعِدُالأندلسي)
Born1029
Died1070
Other namesAbū al-Qāsim Ṣāʿid ibn Abū al-Walīd Aḥmad ibn Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Ṣāʿid ibn ʿUthmān al-Taghlibi al-Qūrtūbi (صاعِدُ بنُ أحمدَ بن عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن صاعدٍ التَّغْلِبيُّ)
Academic background
InfluencesAbū Muḥammad ibn Hazm (أبي محمد بن حَزْم)
Academic work
EraBanu Dhiʼb-n-Nun dynasty, Umayyad Caliphate
Main interestsastronomy, science, philosophy, universal history
Notable worksṬabaqāt al-‘Umam
InfluencedAl-Qifti

Ṣāʿid al-Andalusī (صاعِدُالأندلسي); he was Abū al-Qāsim Ṣāʿid ibn Abū al-Walīd Aḥmad ibn Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Ṣāʿid ibn ʿUthmān al-Taghlibi al-Qūrtūbi (صاعِدُ بنُ أحمدَ بن عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن صاعدٍ التَّغْلِبيُّ) (1029 – July 6, 1070 AD; 420 – 6 Shawwal, 462 AH);[1] a qadi of Toledo in Muslim Spain, who wrote on the history of science, philosophy and thought. He practised as a mathematical scientist with a special interest in astronomy, and compiled a famous biographic encyclopedia of science that quickly became popular in the empire and the Islamic East.[2]

Life[edit]

Ṣāʿid al-Andalusī was born in Almería in Al-Andalus during the Banu Dhiʼb-n-Nun dynasty[1] and died in Toledo. His Arab origins came from the tribe of Taghlib and his family had fled Cordova to take refuge in Almería during the civil war.[3][4] His grandfather had been qadi (judge) of Sidonia and his father was qadi of Toledo until his death in 1057 when Ṣāʿid succeeded him.

The early biographers Ibn Bashkuwāl, Ibn Umaira al-Dhabbi, Al-Safadi and Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari tell us Ṣāʿid's teachers in Toledo were Abū Muḥammad ibn Hazm (أبو محمد بن حَزْم), Al-Fataḥ ibn al-Qāsim (الفَتْح بن القاسم), and Abū Walīd al-Waqshi (أبو الوليد الوَقّشِي). He was educated in fiqh (law) first in Almería, then Córdoba, before graduating, it seems, in Toledo [5] in 1046, aged eighteen. Toledo was then a great centre of learning and Ṣāʿid studied fiqh (law), tafsir (Qu'ranic exegesis), Arabic language, and al-Adab al-'Arabī (Arabic literature). His teacher, Abū Isḥaq Ibrāhīm ibn Idrīs al-Tajibī, directed him towards mathematics and astronomy, in which he excelled. When on his appointment as qāḍi of Toledo by the governor Yaḥyā al-Qādir, he continued this work and produced several scholarly works that contributed to the Tables of Toledo.[1]

He taught and directed astronomical research to a group of young scholars, precision-instrument-makers, astronomers and scientists – including the renowned Al-Zarqali – and encouraged them to invent. Their research contributed to the Tables of Toledo.[6]

Works[edit]

  • Iṣlāh Ḥarakāt an-Najūn on the correction of earlier astronomical tables;[1]
  • Jawāmiʿ akhbār al‐umam min al‐Arab wa‐l Ajam ('Universal History of Nations – Arab and Non‐Arab')[n 1]
  • Ṭabaqāt al-‘Umam, a classification of the sciences and of the nations (The only extant work), written in 1068 two years before his death.
  • Rectification of Planetary Motions and Exposition of Observers' Errors; An astronomical treatise.
  • Maqālāt ahl al‐milal wa-l-nihal ('Doctrines of the Adherents of Sects and Schools'),[7]
  • Kitāb al-Qāsī (كتاب القاصى), 'Book of Minor'[n 2][8]

Ṭabaqāt al-ʼUmam (Categories of Nations)[edit]

The Tabaqāt composed in 1068 is an early "history of science"[9] that comprises biographies of the scientists and scientific achievements of eight nations. In the field of nations are the Indians, Persians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Greeks, Byzantines, Arabs and Jews (in contrast to others not disposed, such as Norsemen, Chinese, Africans, Russians, Alains and Turks). Ṣāʿid offers an account of the individual contribution each nation makes to the various sciences of arithmetic, astronomy, and medicine, etc., and of the earliest scientists and philosophers, from the Greeks, – Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle[n 3] – to the Roman and Christian scholars of the 9th and 10th centuries in Baghdad. The second half of the book contains Arab-Islamic contributions to the fields of logic, philosophy, geometry, the development of Ptolemaic astronomy, observational methods, calculations in trigonometry and mathematics to determine the length of the year, the eccentricity of the sun's orbit, and the construction of astronomical tables, etc.[10]

The Ṭabaqāt al-ʼUmam has been transcribed and translated into many different languages in many periods and cultures. The original document is not extant and discrepancies in the translations creates problems for historians, including variations in the title of the book.[9] Discrepancies in the content of the editions appear with some versions omitting words, sentences, paragraphs or entire sections. Some omissions or variations may have arisen through scribal error, or difficulties of direct translation, while others arose, perhaps deliberately, out of the political, religious, or nationalistic sensibilities of the translators.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ These three titles on history and astronomy are mentioned among his works in Tabaqāt.
  2. ^ Mentioned by al-Qifṭī in the account of the astronomer al-Battānī in his Ta’rīkh al-Ḥukamā’ .
  3. ^ Ṣāʿid singles out Aristotle for particular praise saying of him: "No one can object if Allāh/Assembled the world in one individual".[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Khan, M.S. (17 August 1995). "Tabaqat Al-Umam of Qadi Sa-id Al-Andalusi (1029-1070)" (PDF). Indian Journal of History of Science. 30: 2–4.
  2. ^ Selin, Helaine (2008). Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer Science & Business Media.
  3. ^ Martinez-Gros, Gabriel, ed. (1995). "Ṣāʿid al-Andalusī". The Encyclopedia of Islam (New Edition). VIII. Leiden: E.J. Brill. pp. 867–8.
  4. ^ Selin, Helaine (2008). Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 1911."As his name indicates, he was a member of the tribe of Taghlib, one of the largest tribes of Arabia."
  5. ^ Khan, M.S. (17 August 1995). "Tabaqat Al-Umam of Qadi Sa-id Al-Andalusi (1029-1070)" (PDF). Indian Journal of History of Science. 30: 2–4.
  6. ^ 1932-, De Weever, Jacqueline, (1988). Chaucer name dictionary : a guide to astrological, Biblical, historical, literary, and mythological names in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. New York: Garland. ISBN 9780815323020. OCLC 26673949.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. ^ Richter‐Bernburg, Lutz (2007). "Ṣāʿid al‐Andalusī: Abū al‐Qāsim Ṣāʿid ibn abī al‐Walīd Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al‐Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Ṣāʿid al‐Taghlibī al‐Qurṭubī". In Thomas Hockey; et al. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. New York: Springer. pp. 1005–6.
  8. ^ Qifṭī, p. 280.
  9. ^ a b 1029-1070., Andalusī, Ṣāʻid ibn Aḥmad, (1991). Science in the medieval world : book of the Categories of nations. Salem, Semaʻan I., 1927-, Kumar, Alok, 1954- (1st ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292704690. OCLC 23385017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  10. ^ a b Scott, Bruce L. (1997). "Review of Science and the Medieval World: "Book of the Categories of Nations" by". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 56 (3): 218–220. JSTOR 545654.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ṣāʻid al-Andalusī (1935). Livre des catégories des nations. Régis Blachère (trans.). Larose Éditions.

External links[edit]