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Did Abraham IBN Ezra Maintain a Circumsolar Arrangement of Venus and Mercury?

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The controversy among Indian and Arabic astronomers about the position of the orbs of Venus and Mercury in relation to the other five planets emerges a few times (and very briefly) in Abraham ibn Ezra's scientific writings and exceptionally in one of his biblical excursus. As Ibn Ezra uses different arrangements for these two planets without explaining them, his position regarding the order of these two planets among the heavenly orbs seems to be (apparently) inconsistent. In this article, we focus on two matters. First, we will consider what could be Ibn Ezra stance in relation to this question: inconsistent arrangements of the two planets depending on the contexts or a circumsolar explanation for the orbs of Venus and Mercury that could be somehow consistent with the Ptolemaic and customary order of the planetary orbs. Second, we will track the sources of these two possible explanations in Arabic and Latin literatures.

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/content/journals/10.1163/18253911-88000011
2010-01-01
2016-12-04

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