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Newsletter 10: January Issue 2013
In the first days of the New Year, FSTC team is pleased to present to our wide community Issue 10 of this periodic publication. We list in this new release detailed coverage on FSTC recent activities...
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Eilhard Wiedemann (1852-1928), Professor of Physics at Erlangen University in Germany and pioneer historian of Arabic physics and technology. See: Literatur von und über Eilhard Wiedemann in the Catalogue of the Deutschen Nationalbibliothek.
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Recent milestones in the study of Islamic technology and engineering: front covers of the edition and translation of the treatises of mechanics of Banū Mūsā and Al-Jazarī by Donald R. Hill, Ahmad Y. Al-Hassan and their collaborators.
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Front cover of Islamic Technology: An Illustrated History by A.Y. Al-Hassan and D.R. Hill (Cambridge University Press, 1986).
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Colorful diagram of mīzān al-hikma (the balance of wisdom) designed by Al-Isfizārī and Al-Khāzinī and described in detail by Al-Khāzinī in Kitāb mīzān al-hikma (515 H). This image was displayed in 2001 by Sam Fogg (www.samfogg.com) as part of an original manuscript that was being exhibited among its holdings. Since then, this manuscript is referred to among the holdings of the University of Pennsylvania: Lawrence J. Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts, MS LJS 386.
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Diagram of the balance of wisdom drawn by H. Bauereiss in his dissertation under the direction of E. Wiedeman: Zur Geschichte des spezifischen Gewichtes im Altertum und Mittelalter. Erlangen, 1914, p. 31.
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Two views of the balance of wisdom as reconstructed by H. Bauereiss and F. Keller (1908-1911), rediscovered by M. Abattouy in the Deutsches Museum in Munich in 2002 (item invent. Nr. 31116). © Max Planck Institut für Wissenschaftgeschichte, 2002.
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Arabic steelyard (10th century) kept in the Science Museum in London (accession number Inv. 1935-457). A scale of silver is inlaid along its 2.37m long, wrought-iron beam. It bears two suspending elements, and corresponding calibrations: one ranging from zero to 900 ratl-s ; the other ranging from 900 to 1820 ratl-s (1 ratl ≈ 1 pound). © The Science Museum, London.
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Intercultural history of theoretical mechanics: Greek-Arabic-Latin.
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A sophisticated water raising machine of Al-Jazarī, from manuscript to virtual reconstruction: see Salim Al-Hassani et al. (2008), Al-Jazari's Third Water-Raising Device. © FSTC and www.MuslimHeritage.com.
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The six-cylinder water pump of Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Ma'rūf: manuscript drawing and virtual design. See : The Six-Cylinder Water Pump of Taqi al-Din by Salim Al-Hassani et al. (2008). © FSTC and www.MuslimHeritage.com.
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Two pages from the MS of al-Murādī's treatise Kitāb al-asrār fī natā'ij al-afkār preserved in the Codex Or. 152 preserved in the Library Medicea-Laurenziana, Florence, Italy.
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Two views from the graphical reconstruction of al-Murādī's clock by Spanish scholars: see J. Vernet, R. Casals and V.M. Villuendas, Awraq (Madrid ), no. 5-6, 1982-83.
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Original drawing of a clock from al-Murādī's manuscript and its reconstruction by J. Vernet, R. Casals and V.M. Villuendas.
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Scheme of the program "Electronic Media at the service of Muslim Heritage".
Muezzin's tower, Yining, Xinjiang. This building is in the architectural style of Islamic buildings typical of the Hui heartlands of Shaanxi and Gansu in the mid-Qing period. This mosque was designed by a Chinese Muslim from Gansu and built in two main stages, in 1760 and 1781. From Zhang Shengyi, Xinjiang chuantong jianzhu yishu.
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Great mosque, Tongxin, Ningxia.
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Detail of circular calligraphic motif, Tongxin, Ningxia. This is an example of Islamic calligraphic art of the kind found at many Hui mosques. This particular piece is on a free-standing screen-wall (Chinese: zhao bi) in front of the main entrance to the Tongxin Great Mosque. The text reads, "And the places of worship are for God alone: so invoke not anyone along with God." (Quran 72:18)
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Earthenware water pot with Arabic motifs, 20.8cm, Yangzhou, 8th or 9th century. This water pot was unearthed in 1980 from a Tang dynasty tomb in Yangzhou. It is described as underglaze purplish-brown glaze pottery ware with green Arabic motifs, indicating it was made at the Changsha kiln. The obverse motif has been interpreted by scholars as an inaccurate rendition of "Allah Akbar" (God is great), suggesting it was written by someone with poor Arabic skills. From Changsha yao, Beijing: Zijincheng Chubanshe, 1996, Plate 87.
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Underglaze green glaze pottery shard with Arabic motif, late Tang or Five Dynasties. This piece of pottery was also made at the Changsha kiln, in the 10th or 11th century. The photo is of the inside of a bowl or open-top pot. The Arabic motif is again a calligraphic representation of a human face, here with a mirrored "Allah" for nose and eyes, and perhaps an upside down "Muhammad" for the mouth. The positioning of this motif on the inside of the bowl suggests a discrete blessing of its contents. From Changsha yao, Beijing: Zijincheng Chubanshe, 1996, Plate 170.
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Tang dynasty coloured clay figurine of a polo player unearthed in 1972 at Astana, Turfan, Xinjiang.
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Detail from a large scroll painting showing a Yuan dynasty procession, in which Mongol troops and their allies ride together 51.4cm high, 1481cm wide. National Museum of China.
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Half-dome recess entrance, Ashab Mosque, Quanzhou. The Ashab Mosque (Qingjing si) is the most significant surviving example of Islamic architecture from the Yuan dynasty found east of Xinjiang. The stone walls, entrance and support pillars of the prayer hall are what remain of the original mosque completed in 1310, which once also included a domed mausoleum.
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Zanqi madrasa, Kashgar, Xinjiang. From Zhang Shengyi.
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The earliest of the Arabic tombstones with dates unearthed in Quanzhou, 1171 CE. The inscription reads, "This is the tomb of Hussayn bin Muhammad al-Khalat. May God show mercy upon him. Died on the 13th of the fourth month of the year 567." Khalat was at this time the capital of Armenia. From Chen Dasheng, Quanzhou zongjiao shike.
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The latest of the dated Arabic tombstones unearthed in Quanzhou, dating from the late-Yuan to early-Ming period, with embossed cursive Arabic lettering in the shape of a pointed arch. From Quanzhou zongjiao shike.
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Detail of a portrait of Zhu Yuanzhang in the collection of the National Museum of China.
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Imperial edict to Mir Hajji, during the Yongle reign of the Ming dynasty, 100cm by 72cm. This imperial edict was issued forty years after the end of the Mongol Yuan dynasty. The use of the three main languages of the Yuan court, Mongolian, Persian and Chinese, underlines the continuity between the Yuan and Ming imperial systems. The "Hajji" of the addressee's title indicates that he performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, while "Mir" means someone who has earned merit on the battlefield (in Timurid usage this term indicates a member of the military aristocracy). This edict was issued on the 11th of the fifth month of the fifth year of Yongle [1407]. Facsimile copy in the Chinese Nationalities Cultural Palace. Plate and adapted translation from Quanzhou Yisilanjiao Shike.
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Detail. Ming imperial seal, with a date according to the Chinese calendar in Chinese, Persian and Mongolian.
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Quran with Chinese translation recorded in both Arabic and Chinese scripts. The interlinear translation of the Quran shown here was produced by Ma Zhenwu, an octogenarian Hui akhund from Dachang, Hebei.
Part of page 2 of Al-Razi's book on diet therapy Manafi' al-Aghdhiyah wa-Daf' Madharriha with added underlining to highlight relevant text.
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Part of page 2297, volume 15 of Al-Razi's book Al-Hawi (Liber Continens) with added underlining to highlight relevant text. (Source)
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Part of page 326 of Ibn Zuhr's book Al-Taysir fi al-Mudawat wa-‘l-Tadbir with added underlining to highlight relevant text. (Source)
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Part of page 327 of Ibn Zuhr's book Al-Taysir fi al-Mudawat wa-‘l-Tadbir with added underlining to highlight relevant text. (Source) [22]
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Part of page 224, vol. 2, of Ibn Sina's Kitab al-Qanum fi al-Tibb (The Canon of Medicine), in Bulaq edition (Cairo 1877). (Source)
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Part of page 178, vol. 2, of Ibn Al-Baytar, Al-Jami' Li-Mufradat al-Adwiya wa-‘l-Aghdiya (Complete Book of Simple Medicaments and Nutritious Items). (Source)[29]
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Part of page 61 of Muwaffaq al-Din Abd al-Latif Al-Baghdadi's book Kitab al-Ifada wa-‘l-I'tibar (Book of Utility and Reflection) [36], [37], [38]

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