1950 - present
With few exceptions I restrict the entries to works written 1950 or later. Again, I am excluding many, many important books and articles this way. Fortunately Fuat Sezgin has published reprints of the most important works written before 1960 in the series Islamic Mathematics and Astronomy. So far the series has reached 108 volumes. A list of these books can be found at the website for the Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften:
To aid the newcomer to the field of Islamic mathematics, I have included Introductory subcategories. I hope to add many more references to GOOD works accessible to the non-specialist. If you can think of ways to make the bibliography more friendly for such people, let me know what they are!
Several books and articles contain glossaries of technical terms in Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew. To find them, do a text search for "Glossary".
My method for writing the bibliography
(1) I took the twenty or so most prolific authors (David A. King, E. S. Kennedy, etc.), and I searched for their books using the online card catalogues of Indiana University, Harvard University, and Yale University. I then either looked over each book at IU, or I obtained a copy through interlibrary loan;
(2) I read the book reviews published in many journals over the past half century. I entered some of these based solely on reviews, other books I read over in person.
I have at least looked over nearly every article in the bibliography. These I found them two ways:
(1) I read through every volume published 1950 and later of the following journals:
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
History of Science
Journal for the History of Arabic Science
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Journal of Near Eastern Studies
Journal of the American Oriental Society
M.I.D.E.O. (Mélanges - Institut Dominicain d'Études Orientales du Caire)
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Revue de Synthèse
Zeitschrift für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften
(I have no access to Sudhoffs Archiv Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftsgeschichte or Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft Wiesbaden.)
(2) I followed through references in the bibliographies of many articles and books, including the Isis Current Bibliographies.
A few articles I included based on reivews in Mathematical Reviews.
Most works are referred to once. Some, however, fall into two or three categories. Example: Sonja Brentjes' article "Sur quelques travaux mathématiques d'Ibn Fallûs." (Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences 40 (1990), 239-257) can be found under "Arithmetic", "Algebra", and "Geometry", since it deals with each of those topics.
The "Transmission" categories, such as "Transmission--To India & China" include not only works dealing with the history of the transmission of texts, but also original works written in direct response to problems posed in a previous civilization. So an article dealing with Khayyâm's treatment of proportional magnitudes appears in the "Transmission---Greek Geometry---Euclid's Elements" category as well as the "Geometry" category. The latter category contains only works dealing with original Islamic contributions to geometry, including commentaries.
Anyone interested in planetary theories will want to consult works dealing with astronomical tables (zîjes). For this reason it would be superfluous to list works dealing primarily with tables in the "Astronomy--planets" category as well as the "Astronomical tables" category. Likewise, there is a lot of trigonometry to be found in books and articles dealing with astronomy, but only those which treat trigonometry explicitly will be found in the "Trigonometry" section.
Medieval works on some topics within the realm of the mathematical sciences, such as astrology and fixed stars, often have little mathematical content. I have been less thorough in my coverage of these areas.
I tried to reproduce diacritical marks as best I could, but I have no way of producing a dot under a letter, or some occasional rarer marks. For the macron (bar over a letter) I have substituted the .html "hat" (as in "â"). To see the correct version of a book title, article title, or author, refer to the original work.
There are weak points to the bibliography, such as the lack of attention I have paid to the works of medieval Hebrew writers, and the lack of categories dedicated to the mathematics of al-Andalus and the transmissoin of knowledge between the eastern and western Islamic lands.
I thank Jan Hogendijk, Len Berggren, and David A. King for their suggestions. Dimitri Gutas helped as well. All the errors which remain are mine---and I'm sure there are quite a few! Please send corrections and suggestions to me, Jeff Oaks, at email@example.com.
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