Lot 67
  • 67

Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d.1274 AD), Tahrir al-majisti ('Exposition of Almagest', a commentary by al-Tusi), Persia, Ilkhanid, first half 14th century

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
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  • bound paper manuscript
  • 24.8 by 17.5cm.
Arabic manuscript on paper, 103 leaves plus 2 flyleaves, 27 lines to the page, written in nasta'liq script in black ink, numerous charts and diagrams, keywords picked out in red, red morocco binding with floral cartouches stamped on either side with ropework border

Catalogue Note

The present manuscript represents an important early work of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi's landmark astronomical commentary tahrir al-majisti.

In the preface al-Tusi gives credit to Husam al-Din al-Hasan Ibn Muhammad al-Sivasi, the thirteenth-century astronomer, for contributing to the work (see Mathematicians, Astronomers & Other Scholars of Islamic Civilisation and their Works (7th – 19th c.), Istanbul, 2003, p. 221, no.613). The introduction of the present manuscript mentions that the work consists of thirteen maqalah, one hundred and forty one fasl and one hundred and ninety six shakl (diagrams), and was translated by Hunayn Ibn Ishaq (d.873 AD) and revised by Thabet Ibn Qurrah (d.901 A.D.).

The work was originally composed in thirteen articles by Ptolemy (d.168 AD), and first translated into Arabic by al-Hajaj Ibn Yousef Ibn Mattar by the order of the Caliph al-Ma'mun during the first half of the ninth century. Al-Nayrizi (d. circa 922) and al-Tabani both wrote commentaries on the work, but al-Tusi's became the leading version when it was completed in 1247 AD.