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Alberto Bardi

Alberto Bardi. “The Paradosis of the Persian Tables. A Source on Astronomy between the Ilkhanate and Eastern Roman Empire”

Book review by Sonja Brentjes
Bibliographical reference

Alberto Bardi. “The Paradosis of the Persian Tables. A Source on Astronomy between the Ilkhanate and Eastern Roman Empire”, Journal for the History of Astronomy 49.2 (2018), p.239-260

Full text

1The paper situates itself in the framework of cross-cultural encounters in the field of astronomy in the Byzantine Empire. It briefly summarizes the progress achieved in the last decades in showing how culturally complex Byzantine Greek writings about astronomical topics have been. It focuses on the textual composition and transmission of a Persian astronomical handbook compiled around 1350 in its form in Byzantine Greek, there called Paradosis eis tous persikous kanonas tes astronomias (Instructions for the Persian Tables of Astronomy). The author of the Greek version is unknown, but two proposals have been made and discussed, without, however, any final solution: Isaak Argyrios (c. 1300-1375) and Theodoros Meliteniotes (1320-1393). The text itself is extant in two redactions, one of them circulating as an independent text, the other as a part of a book by Meliteniotes. The paper traces, if possible, the itineraries and ownership condition of the 27 once known and the 16 indeed extant manuscripts of this work, showing, for instance, that Argyrios was once one of its owners, having copied the text himself between 1352 and 1374. The author also supports the earlier proposal that the text preserved in the two extant manuscripts of Meliteniotes' work is a revised and polished version of a draft, most likely composed around the year 1352. His analysis of the various textual witnesses shows a lively interest in practically relevant elements of the text until the later 15th century: computational methods and examples. Thereafter, the copies express an antiquarian interest as a matter of collecting manuscripts. The difference of two years between the Persian Zij and the Greek translation of several of its tables documents a very close relationship between Byzantium and Iran even after the fall of the Ilkhanids.

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References

Electronic reference

Sonja Brentjes. Alberto Bardi, « Alberto Bardi. “The Paradosis of the Persian Tables. A Source on Astronomy between the Ilkhanate and Eastern Roman Empire” », Abstracta Iranica [Online], Volume 40-41 | 2019, document 1, Online since 15 July 2019, connection on 16 October 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/47870

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