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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introduction chapter provides an overview of this book, which addresses the major issues in medieval astronomy, and offers examples of several of the cleverest solutions in tabular form. The book concerns syzygies; specifically, the determination of the time interval from mean to true syzygy, where mean syzygy refers to a conjunction or opposition of the mean Sun with the mean Moon, and true syzygy refers to a conjunction or opposition of the true Sun with the true Moon. It addresses the motion of the planets, and presents different sets of tables by several authors, beginning with the zij by Ibn al- Kammād. In the Iberian Peninsula, astronomers were heirs to two traditions: a Greek tradition largely based on the works of Ptolemy, and an Indian tradition introduced into the Islamic world in the eighth and ninth centuries.

Keywords: astronomers; Greek tradition; Iberian Peninsula; Ibn al- Kammād; Indian tradition; planets; Ptolemy; syzygies

10.1163/9789004281752_002
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