The Methodological Issues on Al-Jazari’s Scientific Heritage in Russian Studies

Bingöl University Journal of Social Sciences Institute 25 (25):160-169 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Extensive scientific, philosophical and artistic activities were carried out in the Islamic World’s various science and civilization centers during the early Middle Ages. In these centers, noteworthy works of mathematics, astronomy, geography, medicine, pharmacology, optics, botany, chemistry and other fields of science, which would later determine improvement paths for these fields, were created. Abu al-Izz Ismail ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari (12th-13th centuries), was a magnificent Muslim scientist known for his work named The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (Kitab fi ma‘rifati’l-hiyal al-handasiyya) and he was born in geography where many scientists were trained. He contributed to the development of science and civilization, the joint legacy of humanity and demonstrated his true capability and success in the field of ilm al-hiyal (the scientific field which addresses the information and practices regarding mechanical technology and engineering in Islamic science history). From this perspective, it is evident that al-Jazari had a wide field of interest, made his mark in the age he lived in with his brave and innovative ideas, and was a wise engineer. al-Jazari’s detailed descriptions and explanations of water clocks, oil lamp clocks and water pumping machines, as well as their construction, were astounding. In addition, al-Jazari’s studies on metal casting techniques, cone valves, wheel balance and the real-world use of aspiration tubes are important in contemporary engineering studies. When all these are considered, it becomes clear that his designation as the “Leonardo da Vinci of the Islamic World” is not a coincidence. Many studies on al-Jazari’s scientific legacy have been conducted in various parts of the world. There are various manuscripts of his aforementioned book. Based on these manuscripts, the work has been -fully or partially- translated into many languages, including Turkish. The German and English translations served as a basis for studies on al-Jazari in other languages. In recent years, studies conducted on al-Jazari in Türkiye (books, articles, domestic and international symposiums, congresses etc.) have demonstrated his brilliance and competence as a scientist. Furthermore, studies on al-Jazari are still ongoing in Türkiye. As for Russia, the scientific legacy of the scientists raised in the Islamic World such as Avicenna, al-Farabi, Abu Bakr al-Razi, Abu Rayhan al-Biruni, Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi, Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, al-Battani, al-Kashi, Abd al-Rahman al-Khazini, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi was researched within the scope of a special plan and program. Depending on the relevant studies, al-Jazari and his work drew attention as well. A small portion of the aforementioned Russian studies is known in Türkiye. It is safe to assume that al-Jazari studies in Russia are virtually unknown in Türkiye. The present study primarily aims to contribute to the literature on the scientific legacy of al-Jazari, a Middle Age Islamic scientist best known for his famous work in the mechanical field. More specifically, the present study aims to: 1) to identify the studies on al-Jazari in Russia, and in the former USSR countries, where academic studies are still in Russian after the Soviet Union period, to create a chronological biography and to set forth their compilation; in other words, to create a bibliography which includes Russian studies on al-Jazari; 2) to provide information on the structure and content of the studies in question, to detect the methodological issues encountered in these works, and make solution recommendations to solve these issues; 3) to contribute to continuing and future studies in Türkiye on al-Jazari in terms of source and material index. In conclusion, it should be stated that comparative reading was conducted centered on The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (Kitab fi ma‘rifati’l-hiyal al-handasiyya). It should also be noted that Russian popular internet publications (which are not based on academic research and are created/reproduced for commercial and personal purposes) were excluded from the assessment.

Author's Profile

Fegani Beyler
Bingol University


Added to PP

67 (#81,834)

6 months
57 (#50,842)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?