Renowned as great centres of learning, the cities of Baghdad and Isfahan were at the heart of the Islamic 'age of science'. Their distinct cultural voices inspired a unique historical dialogue, which finds new expression in Baghdad and Isfahan: A Dialogue of Two Cities in an Age of Science, the story of how knowledge was transmitted and transformed within Islamic lands, and then spread across the globe. Charting the history of Baghdad and Isfahan from 750 to 1750, Elaheh Kheirandish draws on the voices of court astronomers, mathematicians, scientists, mystics, jurists, statesmen and Arabic and Persian translators and scholars. Telling the story of the rise of Baghdad and the decline of Isfahan, as capital cities and as centres of intellectual thought, this unique book addresses Islamic culture's extensive and lasting contribution to the history of science. Kheirandish bases her narrative on a unique medieval manuscript and other historical sources and the result is more than a thousand-year “tale of two cities”-it is a city by city, and century by century, look at what it took to change the world. In a feat of travelogue and time travel, Kheirandish creates parallel stories with modern and historical characters, crossing cities worldwide, and capturing changes through time.
The century after the conquests of Timur witnessed the division of eastern and western Iran between his Turko-Mongol successors, and a flowering of Persian culture in the great cities of Herat, Samarqand and Tabriz, among others. In this, the ninth volume in The Idea of Iran series, leading scholars analyse the ways that Timurid contemporaries viewed their traditions and their environment, asking questions such as: what was the view of outsiders, and how does modern scholarship define the distinctive aspects of the period? Essential reading for scholars, students, and all those interested in the history of Iran, the book considers the political, religious and cultural history of this rich and highly productive interval that was the springboard for the formation of new imperial Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal and Ozbek orders of succeeding centuries.
This book is about the development of optics and perspective between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. The point of departure of this book is the recognition of the polysemy of perspective, that is, the plurality of meanings of perspective. To bring forward the polysemy of perspective, this book explores the history of perspectiva in terms of practices, a conglomerate of material, social, literary and reproductive practices, through which knowledge claims in perspective were produced, promoted, legitimated and circulated in and through a variety of sites and institutions. The ways optical knowledge was used by different groups in different places (such as the university classroom, the anatomist's dissection table, the goldsmith's workshop, and the astronomer's observatory) defined the meanings of Renaissance perspective. As this period was characterized by widespread 'optical literacy', perspective was defined in different ways in different places and sites by various groups of practitioners. Most interestingly, sites such as the theatre, the instrument maker's workshop and the courtly garden were home to practices of perspective which have remained on the margin, or even completely invisible, in the historiographies of optics and perspective. The book also brings out the differences between codifications of perspectiva and practice. There were a variety of non-Albertian constructions to create the illusion of space, and other types of optical knowledge were as important to artists as the geometry of perspective.
The articles in this volume are dedicated to Professor Ahmad Mahdavi Damghani for the breadth and depth of his interests and his influence on those interests. They attest to the fact that his fervor and rigorously surgical attention to detail have found fertile ground in a wide variety of disciplines, including (among others) Persian literature and philology; Islamic history and historiography; Arabic literature and philology; and Islamic philosophy and jurisprudence. The volume has brought together some of the most respected scholars in the fields of Islamic studies and Islamic literatures, all his prior students, to contribute with articles that touch on the fields Professor Mahdavi Damghani has so permanently touched with his astonishing scholarship and attention to detail. A. Korangy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA; R. P. Mottahedeh and W. Granara, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.
The Qur’an makes rich references to light, tying it to revelation, and light consequently permeates the culture and visual arts of the Islamic lands. God Is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth explores the integral role of light in Islamic civilization across a wide range of media, from the Qur’an and literature to buildings, paintings, performances, photography, and other works produced over the past 14 centuries. A team of international experts conveys current scholarship on Islamic art in a manner that is engaging and accessible to the general reader. The objects discussed include some of the first identifiable works of Islamic art—modest oil lamps inscribed in Arabic, which developed into elaborately decorated metal and glass lamps and chandeliers. Later, photography, which creates images with light, was readily adopted in Islamic lands, and it continues to provide inspiration for contemporary artists. Generously illustrated with specially commissioned, sumptuous color photographs, this book shows the potential of light to reveal color, form, and meaning.
Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair share the Hamad bin Khalifa Endowed Chair of Islamic Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship in Islamic and Asian Art at Boston College.
Kheirandish E. Optics, History of . Encyclopaedia Iranica: A Comprehensive Research Tool Dedicated to the study of Iranian Civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent, Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University [Internet]. 2010. Publisher's Version
This study traces the early developments of the concept of experiment with a view of extending the subject in both content and approach. It extends the content of the subject slightly backward, prior to the methodological breakthroughs of the Optics of Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen or Alhacen, d. ca. 1040), which are credited as a "significant landmark in the history of experimental science." And it extends the approach to the subject slightly forward, from the premise that early science was "largely carried out in books," to a close examination of the books through which the footprints of 'experiment' may be traced. The point of departure is the Optics of Ahmad ibn 'Ī;sā, a revealing text for the early developments of concepts such as 'demonstration' and 'experiment', and one through which some modern discussions are examined and extended with reference to this and other historical sources.
Qusṭā ibn Lūqā (Constantine, son of Loukas), a scholar of Greek Christian origin working in Islamic lands in the 9th century, did work in astronomy that included translations of Greek astronomical works and original compositions. In addition, he composed and translated mathematical, medical, and philosophical works. Qusṭā's scholarly reputation extended far and wide, and he was noted for his scientific achievements (especially in medicine, where his authority surpassed Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq according to the bibliographer Ibn al‐Nadīm [died: circa 990]). He reportedly collected Greek scientific manuscripts from Byzantine lands; his translations and revisions of these formed an important part of his scholarly activities. Qusṭā was fluent in Greek (as well as Syriac), as demanded by his scientific translations, and he also mastered Arabic, a language in which he produced many original scientific compositions. Qusṭā's scholarly career, which was centered in Baghdad, is notable for his association with numerous patrons, who are particularly important for establishing his biography as well as the chronology of his work. These include various members of the ʿAbbāsid caliphal family, government officials, and a Christian patriarch; the most likely interpretation of the evidence places the bulk of his work in the second half of the 9th century.