Geography and cartography in medieval Islam
After its beginnings in the 8th century based on Hellenistic geography, Islamic geography was patronized by the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad. Various Islamic scholars contributed to its development, and the most notable include Al-Khwārizmī, Abū Zayd al-Balkhī (founder of the "Balkhi school"), and Abu Rayhan Biruni.
Islamic cartographers inherited Ptolemy's Almagest and Geography in the 9th century. These works stimulated an interest in geography (particularly gazetteers) but were not slavishly followed. Instead, Arabian and Persian cartography followed Al-Khwārizmī in adopting a rectangular projection, shifting Ptolemy's Prime Meridian several degrees eastward, and modifying many of Ptolemy's geographical coördinates.
Muslim scientists made many of their own contributions to geography and the earth sciences.[clarification needed] In the 11th century, the Uyghur scholar Mahmud al-Kashgari was the first to draw an ethnographic map[clarification needed] of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia.
These medieval developments influenced Chinese geography under the Mongol Empire.[additional citation needed] They also provided the underpinnings of the cartographic work of the Ottoman cartographer Piri Reis.
Notes and references
- Alavi, S. M. Ziauddin (1965), Arab geography in the ninth and tenth centuries, Aligarh: Aligarh University Press
- Edson, Evelyn; Savage-Smith, Emilie (2004). Savage-Smith, Emilie, ed. Medieval Views of the Cosmos. Oxford: Bodleian Library. ISBN 978-1-85124-184-2.
- King, David A. (1983), "The Astronomy of the Mamluks", Isis, 74 (4): 531–555, doi:10.1086/353360
- King, David A. (2002), "A Vetustissimus Arabic Text on the Quadrans Vetus", Journal for the History of Astronomy, 33: 237–255
- King, David A. (December 2003), "14th-Century England or 9th-Century Baghdad? New Insights on the Elusive Astronomical Instrument Called Navicula de Venetiis", Centaurus, 45 (1-4): 204–226, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0498.2003.450117.x
- King, David A. (2005), In Synchrony with the Heavens, Studies in Astronomical Timekeeping and Instrumentation in Medieval Islamic Civilization: Instruments of Mass Calculation, Brill Publishers, ISBN 90-04-14188-X
- McGrail, Sean (2004), Boats of the World, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-927186-0
- Mott, Lawrence V. (May 1991), The Development of the Rudder, A.D. 100-1337: A Technological Tale, Thesis, Texas A&M University
- Rashed, Roshdi; Morelon, Régis (1996), Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, 1 & 3, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-12410-7
- Sezgin, Fuat (2000), Geschichte Des Arabischen Schrifttums X–XII: Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland, Historische Darstellung, Teil 1–3 (in German), Frankfurt am Main