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Jan P. Hogendijk

« The Geometrical Works of Abu Sa’id al-Darir al-Jurjani ». SCIAMUS 2, (2001), pp. 47-74.

Compte-rendu réalisé par Sonja Brentjes

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1This paper edits, translates, and comments on the two preserved geometrical works of an almost unknown author from north eastern Iran who lived around 1000. It confirms what we know from other texts, i.e. that Khorasan in the later 10th and early 11th centuries was a major centre of intellectual life, both in the religious and the secular sciences. It underlines secondly that there was apparently a well defined mathematical culture in place whose members shared an interest in a range of mathematical problems and methods considered appropriate and adequate for solving such problems. They practiced the direct study of translated, but now lost treatises of ancient Greek mathematicians as a major part of their work (p. 56). Other well known features of this culture are the lively exchange of letters on the problems and solutions its members were interested in and the competitive challenges issued between them (p. 51f). Hogendijk moreover believes that on mathematical grounds one of al-Jurjānī’s problems and its solution paved the way for Ibn al-Hayṯam’s solution of the so-called Alhazen problem (p. 55). If this mathematical reasoning could be substantiated by historical evidence for the arrival of al-Jurjānī’s works in either Basra or Cairo, our understanding of the complex connections of this culture with other mathematical centres could progress. We could start asking questions about what turned some regions into a fertile cultural ground for a vivacious and complex network of mathematical debate and exchange, while other regions seem to have sustained mathematical research only on a very limited scale if we consider the number of scholars who actively contributed to it.

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Sonja Brentjes. Jan P. Hogendijk, « « The Geometrical Works of Abu Sa’id al-Darir al-Jurjani ». SCIAMUS 2, (2001), pp. 47-74. », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 26 | 2005, document 324, mis en ligne le 07 décembre 2005, consulté le 25 août 2019. URL :

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