Qusta ibn Luqa

Full name: 
Qusta ibn Luqa
Latin name: 
Costa ben Luca, Constabulus
Date of birth: 
820
Date of death: 
912

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.

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