Life and activity of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi

Keywords: Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, history of science, scientific activity, Maragheh, astronomy


At the beginning of the VII century in the political life of the Near and Middle East, fundamental changes have taken place. The Arabs conquered a colossal territory, which included the lands of Iran, North Africa, North-West India, the Asian provinces of Byzantium, most of the former Roman Empire. In the conquered cities of the caliphate, observatories, madaris, libraries were built. At the end of VII century, the first scientific center, an academy, the House of Wisdom, was founded in Baghdad, in which scholars who spoke different languages were assembled. Here the translation and commentary activity were very developed, the main works of ancient thought, such as the writings of Aristotle, Ptolemy were published in the 9th century in the Arabic-speaking world. For two centuries from 750 to 950 years, the works of ancient authors on philosophy, mathematics, medicine, alchemy, and astronomy were translated into Arabic, which indicates the high scientific potential of that time in the East. At the same time, in the XII century, Ibn Rushd composed 38 commentaries on the works of Aristotle, the “Republic” of Plato, the treatise “On the Mind” of Alexander of Aphrodisias, which subsequently had an important influence on the work of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. Thus, this period in the history of Eastern scientific thought is marked by high intellectual potential. To this day, historians of medieval Arabic literature face a sufficient number of difficulties, since the vast majority of manuscripts remain inaccessible to them. The works of many renowned Arab authors of the middle Ages are more than 1000 years old, so it seems obvious that the manuscripts of the vast majority of authors have not survived to this day. The researchers of the history of Azerbaijan and neighboring countries in the middle Ages, with all the variety of available sources on which they rely, still attract little factual material related to the Arabic-language works of the historical and scientific genre. Undoubtedly, a comprehensive study of the entire complex of information of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi on the history of science in Azerbaijan is of great importance.


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Abstracts of reports at the session dedicated to the 750th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Azerbaijani scientist Muhammad Nasiraddin. (1951). Publishing house of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR [in Azerbaijani].

Tusi, K. N. (1989). Akhlagi-Nasiri [Nasir’s ethics]. Baku: Elm Publishing House [in Arabic].

Bunyatov, Z. (1982а). Nasiraddin at-Tusi: Novie bioqraficheskie dannie [Nasiraddin at-Tusi: new biographical data]. Izvestiya Akademii Nauk Azerbaydjanskoy SSR. Seriya istorii, filosofii i prava – Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR. Series of history, philosophy and law, 2, 12‒17 [in Russian].

Bunyatov, Z. (1982b). Nasir ad-din Muhammad at-Tusi i razvitie nauki v Azerbaydjane v XVIII veke [Nasir ad-din Muhammad at-Tusi and the development of science in Azerbaijan in the 18th century]. Izvestiya Akademii Nauk Azerbaydjanskoy SSR. Seriya istorii, filosofii i prava – Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR. Series of history, philosophy and law, 1, 70‒75 [in Russian].

Dinorshoev, M. D. (1987). Filosofiya Nasiriddina Tusi [Philosophy of Nasreddin Tusi]. Dushanbe: Donish [in Russian].

Doru, M. N. (2017). The Influence of Islamic Philosophy on Bar Hebraeus (Abu’l-Faraj Ibn Al-Ibrī). Cumhuriyet İlahiyat Dergisi, 21(2), 913‒946.

Ibn al-Fuwati, K. al-Din (1962‒1967). Talkhis Majma' al-Adab fi Mu'jam al-Alqab. Damascus [in Arabic]

Maksudov, F. G., & Mammedbejli, G. D. (1981). Muhammed Nasireddin Tusi [Mohammed Nasiraddin Tusi]. Baku: Gyandzhilik [in Russian].

Mammadbeyli, G. D. (1951). Znachenie nauchnyih trudov Muhammada Nasir ad-Dina v razvitii astronomii i matematiki [The value of the scientific works of Muhammad Nasir al-Din in the development of astronomy and mathematics]. Baku: Izdatelstvo Akademii Nauk Azerbaydzhanskoy SSR [in Russian].

Razavi, M. T. (1994). Al-Alama al-havaji Nasiraddin at-Tusi. Life and work of the outstanding Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi. Astana: Mashhad [in Arabic].

Rashid ad-Din. (2011). Jami' al-tawarikh. Baku: Naghil evi [in Azerbaijani].

Rashid ad-Din. (1946). Sbornik Letopisei [Collection of Chronicles]. Moscow/Leningrad, Russia: Izdatel’stvo Akademii Nauk USSR [in Russian].

Rozhanskaya, M. M., Matvievskaya, G. P., & Lyuter, I. O. (1999). Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi i ego trudy po matematike i astronomii v bibliotekah Sankt-Peterburga, Kazani, Tashkenta i Dushanbe [Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi and his works on mathematics and astronomy in the libraries of St. Petersburg, Kazan, Tashkent and Dushanbe]. Moskva: Vostochnaya literature [in Russian].

Seyidbeyli, M. (2015). Rol Nasir ad-Dina at-Tusi v istorii nauki [The role of Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi in the history of science]. Institut istorii yestestvoznaniya i tekhniki im. S. I. Vavilova. Godichnaya nauchnaya konferentsiya. Vol. 1. Obshie problemi razvitiya nauki i tekhniki – Annual Scientific Conference of the RAS Institute of the History of Natural Science and Technology. Vol. 1. General problems of the development of science and technology. Moskva: Lenand [in Russian].

Starr, S. F. (2017). Utrachennoe Prosveshchenie: zolotoj vek Central'noj Azii ot arabskogo zavoevaniya do vremen Tamerlana [The Lost Enlightenment: The Golden Age of Central Asia from the Arab Conquest to the Time of Tamerlane]. Moskva: Alpino [in Russian].

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How to Cite
Seyidbeyli, M. (2020). Life and activity of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi. History of Science and Technology, 10(2), 353-367.