Abu Mashar al-Balkhi

Full name: 
Abū Ma'shar Ja'far Ibn Muhammad al-Falakī al-Balkhī
Arabic name: 
أبو معشر جعفر بن محمد الفلكي البلخي
Latin name: 
Albumasar
Date of birth: 
10 Aug, 787
Date of death: 
09 Mar, 886

Afghan mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and philosopher (10 August 787 in Balkh, Afghanistan - 9 March 886 in Wasit, Iraq). Many of his works were translated into Latin and were well known amongst many European astrologers, astronomers, and mathematicians during the European Middle Ages.

Abu Ma'shar developed a planetary model which some have interpreted as a heliocentric model. This is due to his orbital revolutions of the planets being given as heliocentric revolutions rather than geocentric revolutions. His work on planetary theory has not survived, but his astronomical data was later recorded by al-Hashimi and al-Biruni [see Bartel Leendert van der Waerden (1987). "The Heliocentric System in Greek, Persian and Hindu Astronomy", Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 500 (1), 525–545; especially pp. 534-537].

Some modern historians argued that the writings of Albumasar were very likely the single most important original source of Aristotle's theories of nature for European scholars, starting a little before the middle of the 12th century.

Albumasar's astronomical and astrological treatise Kitab al-mudkhal al-kabir ila 'ilm ahkam an-nujjum was translated into Latin as Introductorium in Astronmiam by John of Seville in 1133, and again by Hermann of Carinthia in 1140.