Zoomorphic Astrolabes and the Introduction of Arabic Star Names into Europe

  title={Zoomorphic Astrolabes and the Introduction of Arabic Star Names into Europe},
  author={Owen Gingerich},
  journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences},
  • O. Gingerich
  • Published 1 June 1987
  • Physics
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
N THE WINTER of 1966/67 the short-lived Smithsonian Journal of History I featured on its cover a splendid 14th-century English astrolabe with an unusual rete filled with animal heads (PLATE 1). According to the caption, the stars on this astrolabe were indicated by pointers ”shaped in the form of dragon’s teeth.” Dragon’s teeth they were not! Perhaps dog’s tongues? In any event, my curiosity was piqued concerning zoomorphic astrolabes, and for a long time I have been on the lookout for them… 
3 Citations

Sacred Astronomy? Beyond the Stars on a Whipple Astrolabe

  • S. Falk
  • Physics
    The Whipple Museum of the History of Science
  • 2019
It has occasionally been my privilege to act as a stand-in gallery attendant in the Whipple Museum. This has afforded precious opportunities to observe visitors, who seem not to feel my scrutiny as


AARONSON, S. A. See EVA, A., et al. ABBOTT, N. J., A. M. BUTT AND W. WALLIS: The Na-K ATPase of the Blood-Brain Barrier: A Microelectrode Study. 481,390 (1986). ABBOTT, N. J., N. J. LANE AND M.

Improving instruments : equatoria, astrolabes, and the practices of monastic astronomy in late medieval England

i Acknowledgements iii List of figures vii List of tables ix



The ‘Abd Al-A'Imma Astrolabe Forgeries

'Abd al-A'imma is probably the best known and certainly the most prolific of the Persian astrolabists. The three-dozen known examples of his workmanship are characterized by elaborate but pleasing

A Catalogue of scientific instruments (13th-19th century), The collection 0fJ .A

  • Billmeier, C.B.E. (Oxford,
  • 1954

Michel's date of ca.1200 is surely much too early

  • Plate 111, and even better, Henri Michel, Les cadrans solaires de Max Elskamp
  • 1947

Trait6 de lhstrolabe (Paris, 1947), Plate 111, and even better, Henri Michel

  • Les cadrans solaires de Max Elskamp (Liege,
  • 1966

Oxford, 1954). and Francis R. Maddison, A supplement to a catalogue ofscientific instruments in the collection of1

  • 1957

Typen uon Sternverzeichnissen in astronomischen Handschriften des zehnten bis vierzehnten Jahrhunderts (Wiesbaden

  • 1966

Planispheric astrolabes from the NationalMuseum ofAmerican History

  • (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology No
  • 1984

Plate LII; with a few exceptions, Gunther did not illustrate the British Museum astrolabes because the museum declined to help subsidize his work