The Corpus of al-Isfizārī in the Sciences of Weights and Mechanical Devices

Abū Ḥātim al-Muẓaffar ibn Ismāʿīl al-IsfizārīEdited by Mohammed Abattouy and Salim Al-Hassani
SKU: 101031 Categories: , Date: 2015Language: EnglishEdition: 1ISBN: 9781905122592Format: HardbackNo. of Volumes: 1No. of Pages: 420

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This critical edition of al-Isfizāri’s book deals with the field of mechanics, known by early Muslims as “the sciences of weights and mechanical devices” (‘Ilmay al-Athqāl wal-Ḥiyal). The book introduces the theory of the “steelyard” and its applications. It extensively describes and provides exhaustive details on a large group of mechanical devices. Its contents are organised into seven parts. Reading this work of Isfizāri enhances the knowledge of historians and researchers of Islamic heritage and specifically the history of Arab mechanics. It also confirms both the originality and innovative characteristics of the Arab contribution to the field of machinery in terms of using mathematics and physics in both experimentation and theory. The work demonstrates how Muslim scientists’ ventures had substantially participated in transferring and developing scientific knowledge in addition to elaborating its value from the history of technology and mechanical engineering perspective.


Table of contents 

Transliteration Chart 

Foreword by HE Sheikh Ahmad Zaki Yamani 


I. General Introduction 


II. The Structure of Arabic Mechanics and the Emergence of the Science of Weights

1. Setting the Stage 

2. The Arabic Science of Weights: General Characterisation 

3. The Science of Weights in the Arabic Classical Systems of Knowledge 

4. An Intercultural History of Mechanics 

III. Bio-Bibliography of Al-Isfizārī

1. His Life 

2. His Scientific Works 

       2.1. Various Scientific Writings 

       2.2. The Corpus of Mechanics 

3. The Historical Significance of Al-Isfizārī’s Corpus of Mechanics 

       3.1. The Composite Structure of the Irṧād 

       3.2. The Epitome as Methodology in the Codex of Ḥֺiyal


IV. The Treatise Irṧād: English Translation and Analysis

1. English Translation of the Irṧād

2. English Translation of Al-Khāzinī’s Publication of the Irṧād

3. The Irṧād in the Context of the Arabic Science of Weights 

         3.1. Introduction

         3.2. The Sources of the Irṧād

         3.3. Proof of the Law of the Lever 

         3.4. Reworking the Euclidean Theory of the Steelyard 

         3.5. Concluding Remarks 


V. English Translation of the Codex of Ḥiyal

1. Reproduction of Banū Mūsā's Machines 

2. Reproductions of Philon’s Machines 

3. The Notions of the Book of Heron 

4. Apollonius’ Book on the Pulley 

5. The Fragment on the Clock Box 


VI. Arabic-English Glossary 

VII. Appendices 

Appendix 1: List of Manuscripts 

Appendix 2: List of Illustrations 

Appendix 3: Historical Notes

          1. Philon of Byzantium Author of the Pneumatics 

          2. Heron of Alexandria Author of the Mechanics 

          3. Kitāb fi 'l-bakara: A Newly Discovered Text of Apollonius 

          4. Banū Mūsā and their Kitāb al-Ḥiyal

Appendix 4: Tables of Concordance 

Appendix 5: Sample Pages from the Manuscripts 

VIII. Bibliography

1. Arabic Sources 

2. Sources in Other Languages 

IX. Index 

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Weight 1.504 kg
Dimensions 30 × 22 × 2.5 cm








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Edited by Mohammed Abattouy and Salim Al-Hassani

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