dept1_brentjes_crop

A rule to calculate the weight on a steelyard from al-Khazini's Book on the Balance of Wisdom on the cover page of a mathematical manuscript written in Mamluk Cairo. MS Cairo, Dar al-Kutub, hisab 33.

Project (2017-)

A Book on al-Khazini’s Book on the Balance of Wisdom

This project studies the book ’Abd al-Rahman al-Khazini’s Kitab Mizan al-hikma (The Book of the Balance of Wisdom). This project aims to produce a translation and a study on al-Khazini and on the history of balances in the medieval Islamic sciences.

dept1_brentjes_book

A rule to calculate the weight on a steelyard from al-Khazini's Book on the Balance of Wisdom on the cover page of a mathematical manuscript written in Mamluk Cairo. MS Cairo, Dar al-Kutub, hisab 33.

A draft English translation of Khazini’s book has been prepared. It is superior to the complete Russian and partial English, French, and German translations insofar as it was prepared on the basis of additional manuscripts. Scribal errors and reading errors of the various translators were corrected and an attempt was made to avoid glossing over textual problems caused by lacunae, dialectal Arabic, and content errors. The next stage is the production of a book consisting of a paraphrase of Khazini’s work and various chapters on the contexts, content, and problems of the Arabic texts, which are either copies or editions of Arabic translations of Greek texts, works by Arabic and Persian authors in Arabic, or extracts from identified as well as anonymous treatises on different types of balances.

Research concerning the links that have emerged between mechanical practices and the foundation of theoretical mechanics in classical antiquity as well research focusing on later developments up until the ninth century in the Islamicate world is conducted in the context of the project “Global Perspectives on Knowledge” because of the crucial role of cross-cultural transmission processes at these stages in the development of mechanical knowledge.