Abū Ḥanīfa Dīnawarī

Muslim scholar
Ābu Ḥanīfah Āḥmad ibn Dawūd Dīnawarī
Title Al-Dinawari
Born 828CE
Died 896CE
Ethnicity Persian
Region Islam
Main interests botanist, historian, geographer, metallurgy, astronomer and mathematician

Ābu Ḥanīfah Āḥmad ibn Dawūd Dīnawarī (Persian: ابوحنیفه دینوری) (828–896) was a Persian[1][2] polymath excelling as much in astronomy, agriculture, botany and metallurgy and as he did in geography, mathematics and history. He was born in Dinawar, (halfway between Hamadan and Kermanshah in western Iran). He studied astronomy, mathematics and mechanics in Isfahan and philology and poetry in Kufa and Basra. He died on July 24, 896 at Dinawar. His most renowned contribution is Book of Plants, for which he is considered the founder of Arabic botany.[3] He is also considered among the very first writers to discuss the ancestry of the Kurds. He wrote a book about this subject called Ansâb al-Akrâd (Ancestry of the Kurds).

Contents

Works

He is the author of about fifteen works

Mathematics and natural sciences

  1. Kitâb al-jabr wa'l-muqâbila ("Book of Algebra")
  2. Kitâb al-nabât ("Book of Plants")
  3. Kitâb al-kusuf ("Book of Solar Eclipses")
  4. Kitâb al-radd alâ rasad al-Isfahâni ("Refutation of al-Isfahani's Astronomical Observations")
  5. Kitâb al-hisâb ("Book of Arithmetics")
  6. Bahth fi hisâb al-Hind ("Analysis of Indian Arithmetics")
  7. Kitâb al-jam' wa'l-tafriq ("Book of Arithmetics")
  8. Kitab al-qibla wa'l-ziwal ("Book of Astral Orientations")
  9. Kitâb al-anwâ' ("Book of Weather")
  10. Islâh al-mantiq ("Improvement upon Logic")

Social sciences and humanities

  1. Kitâb al-akhbâr al-tiwâl ("General History")
  2. Kitâb al-kabir ("Grand Book" in history of sciences)
  3. Kitâb al-fisâha ("Book of Rhetorics")
  4. Kitâb al-buldân ("Book of Geography")
  5. Kitâb al-shi'r wa'l-shu'arâ ("Book of Poetry and Poets")
  6. Ansâb al-Akrâd ("Ancestry of the Kurds").

Translations

His General History has been edited and published numerous times (Vladimir Guirgass, 1888; Muhammad Sa'id Rafi'i, 1911; 'Abd al-Munim 'Amir & Jamal al-din Shayyal, 1960; Isam Muhammad al-Hajj 'Ali, 2001), but has not been translated into a Western language.

Book of Plants

Botany

Al-Dinawari is considered the founder of Arabic botany for his Kitab al-Nabat (Book of Plants), which consisted of six volumes. Only the third and fifth volumes have survived, though the sixth volume has partly been reconstructed based on citations from later works. In the surviving portions of his works, 637 plants are described from the letters sin to ya. He also discusses plant evolution from its birth to its death, describing the phases of plant growth and the production of flowers and fruit.[3]

Many of the Muslim early Botanical works are lost, such as that of Al-Shaybani (d.820), Ibn Al-Arabi (d.844), Al-Bahili (d.845) and Ibn as-Sikkit (d.857), but their works, however, are extensively quoted in later books by Abu Hanifa Al-Dinawari.

Astronomy and meteorology

Parts of al-Dinawari's Book of Plants deals with the applications of Islamic astronomy and meteorology to agriculture. It describes the astronomical and meteorological character of the sky, the planets and constellations, the sun and moon, the lunar phases indicating seasons and rain, the anwa (heavenly bodies of rain), and atmospheric phenomena such as winds, thunder, lightning, snow, floods, valleys, rivers, lakes, wells and other sources of water.[3]

Earth sciences

Parts of al-Dinawari's Book of Plants deals with the Earth sciences in the context of agriculture. He considers the Earth, stone and sands, and describes different types of ground, indicating which types are more convenient for plants and the qualities and properties of good ground.[3]

References

  1. ^ "ad-Dīnawarī." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 27 Dec. 2008<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/163804/ad-Dinawari>.
  2. ^ CHARLES PELLAT, “DĪNAVARĪ, ABŪ ḤANĪFA AḤMAD” in [Encyclopedia Iranica] [1]
  3. ^ a b c d Fahd, Toufic, "Botany and agriculture", pp. 815 , in Morelon, Régis; Rashed, Roshdi (1996), Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, 3, Routledge, pp. 813–852, ISBN 0-415-12410-7 

External links

See also



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