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THÉORIE DES COMÈTES ET OBSERVATIONS INÉDITES EN OCCIDENT MUSULMAN

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2019

Mohamed Reda Bekli*
Affiliation:
GEHIMAB, laboratoire de physique théorique, faculté des sciences de la nature et de la vie, université de Bejaia, 06000 Bejaia, Algérie.
Ilhem Chadou*
Affiliation:
GEHIMAB, département de technologie, faculté de technologie, université de Bejaia, 06000 Bejaia, Algérie.
Djamil Aissani*
Affiliation:
GEHIMAB/LaMOS, université de Bejaia, 06000 Bejaia, Algérie.

Abstract

In this paper, we present the Aristotelian theory of comets, which is well known in the Muslim West through the commentaries of Ibn Rušd and Ibn Bāǧǧa. This aspect is covered three centuries later in an unknown manuscript attributed to the famous mathematician Ibn Ġāzī al-Miknāsī (1437-1513), and this text is not present in the known list of his works. The author devotes a part of his manuscript to the comet astrology following Ptolemy, and introduces a critical position of Iḫwān al-Ṣafā’, characterized by the rejection of the sidereal comets idea. We are also interested in comet classifications given by Ibn Ġāzī and another author ‘Alī al-Antākī. We found that the content of the De cometis of pseudo-Ptolemy is analogous with the text of Ibn Ġāzī, and almost identical to the text of al-Antākī. Then, we are interested in observations of comets from the 9th to the end of the 19th century in North Africa and in Islamic Spain (Andalusia), recorded in some Arabic manuscripts on astronomy and history, which have never been the subject of an extensive study. The studied observations are: the two comets X/975 P1 and X/998 D1 reported by an anonymous author of the 15th century, the X/1381 V1 comet reported by Ibn al-Qāḍī (1553-1616), the passage of Halley's comet in 1456 reported by Muḥammad al-Zarkašī (1434-1525), the C/1743 X1 comet observed by ‘Abd al-Razzāq ibn Ḥamadūš (1695-1785), which confirm its fan structure, the two observations of Ibn ‘Alī al-Šrīf al-Šalāṭī of the D/1770 L1, and especially the C/1769 P1 comet. The graphic representation of this latter comet is unprecedented in the Muslim West.

Résumé

Dans le présent article, on expose la théorie aristotélicienne des comètes, bien diffusée en Occident musulman par le biais des commentaires d'Ibn Rušd et d'Ibn Bāǧǧa, et abordée trois siècles plus tard dans un manuscrit inédit attribué au fameux mathématicien Ibn Ġāzī al-Miknāsī (1437-1513). Dans ce traité qui ne figure pas dans la liste connue de ses écrits, Ibn Ġāzī traite de l'astrologie des comètes suivant Ptolémée, et insére une critique attribuée à Iḫwān al-Ṣafā’, caractérisée par le rejet de l'idée des comètes sidérales. On s'intéresse également aux classifications des comètes données par Ibn Ġāzī et un autre auteur peu connu ‘Alī al-Antākī. Ainsi, nous avons constaté que le contenu du De cometis du pseudo-Ptolémée est analogue au le texte d'Ibn Ġāzī, et pratiquement identique au texte d'al-Antākī. Par la suite, on analyse les observations de comètes réalisées du ixe jusqu’à la fin du xixe s. en Afrique du Nord et en Espagne musulmane (Andalousie), et consignées dans certains manuscrits d'astronomie et chroniques en langue arabe, mais qui n'ont jamais fait l'objet d’études approfondies. Les observations étudiées sont : les deux comètes X/975 P1 et X/998 D1 signalées par un auteur anonyme du xve s., l'observation de la comète X/1381 V1 rapportée par Ibn al- Qāḍī (1553-1616), le passage de la comète de Halley en 1456 rapporté par Muḥammad al-Zarkašī (1434-1525), la comète en C/1743 X1 observée par ‘Abd al-Razzāq ibn Ḥamadūš (1695-1785), et qui confirme sa structure en éventail, les deux observations de Ibn ‘Alī al-Šrīf al-Šalāṭī de la D/1770 L1, et surtout son témoignage concernant la C/1769 P1 où il a inséré une représentation graphique inédite en Occident musulman.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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