Alfraganus, Islamic astronomer

Alfraganus, Islamic astronomer

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Alfraganus, 9th-century Islamic astronomer. Known as Alfraganus and born in around 800, he died in around 870. His full name was Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathir al-Farghani. He worked in Baghdad and Cairo, publishing a summary in 833 of Ptolemy's 'Almagest'. He also worked on meridian arc astronomy (to measure the diameter of the Earth) and supervised the construction of a Nilometer. The person at left is named here as 'heremita' and is probably a member of the Eremita family, of Ferrara. This artwork is the frontispiece from a 15th-century translation of his works ('Compilatio astronomica'), produced in 1493 in the Italian city of Ferrara.

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