Liber Locis Stellarum Fixarum – Abd al-Rahmān al-Sūfi (964)

عبدالرحمن صوفی’ or Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi was born December 7, 903 in the Persian city of Rey. He was also also known as Abd al-Rahman Abu al-Husayn, ‘Abdul Rahman Sufi, ‘Abdurrahman Sufi and known in the west as Azophi. A Persian Astronomer, Al-Sufi published his celebrated Book of Fixed Stars in 964, using both text and images. It was written in Arabic, rather than Farsi and was an attempt to combine elements of Claudius Ptolemy’s work and indigenous Arabian compositions or Anwa

He is credited with a large number fo discoveries, including what we now call the Magellanic Cloud, not visible from Persia, but from Yemen. It’s clear that he travelled a great deal. Astronomers have honored him by naming a crater and a very small planet after him, but for most of the world he is obscure.

This short piece is to bring attention to his contributions in the history of Astronomy and Astrology. For each constellation he painted two images, one from the outside of a celestial globe, and the other from the inside. He listed the position, colour and magnitude of the star. I also appreciate his fine and charming aesthetic as a visual artist.

The accompanying music is by Le Trio Joubran, ‘Masâr’, dall’album ‘Majâz’

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