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11. History of Science [Prof. Gatto, Italy]

Start Date:
5. June 2019, 08:45
Finish date:
5. June 2019, 09:45



  • The Seven Propositions of Apollonius’ Book on the Pulleys in the Persian Version



  • Around 2010, in studying Heron’s mechanics, Giuseppina Ferriello and I looked up Schiøler’s essay, on Roman and Islamic water-lifting wheels, and we learned about the existence of an Arabic manuscript concerning an Apollonius’ Mechanical work, Book On the pulley. It was a real discovery, because until then nobody knew of Apollonius’ interest in mechanics. Because of our ignorance of the Arabic language, we could not read this text, although we desired to do it.  In 2015, thanks to Mohammad Abattouy and Salim al-Hassani publication of Isfizārī’s Majmu’a, we learnt of the existence of a Persian version of this work in a manuscript kept in the Daneshgā-e Adabiyāt (Library of the University) in Teherān. Thanks to Muhammad Bagheri, in 2017, we came into possession of the transcription of this Persian text that Hamid Nafisi had published on the Journal میرث علم اسلام و اران)) Miras-e Elmi-ye Eslam va Iran (Scientific Heritage of Islam and Iran) and we could study it.  At present our work Apollonius mechanicus. Isfizārī’s Persian version of the treatise “On the pulleys” and two other anonymous Persian texts is in press on the Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche. I will speak here of two paragraphs of this work: The Persian version of Apollonius’ treatise on the pulley andThe Book of Apollonius on the pulleys. Particularly I will dwell upon the seven Propositions of which the above mentioned manuscripts consists.


Selected References

  • Abattouy M (2016) The Corpus of Mechanics of al-Isfizārī: its structure and Signification in the Context of Arabic Mechanics (all in Persian language) English translation of H. R. Nafisi. Miras-e Elmi-ye Eslam va Iran. Scientific Heritage of Islam & Iran. Spring & Summer 9(5)/1:6-34.
  • Abattouy M, al-Hassani S (2015) The corpus of al-Isfizārī in the Sciences of Weights and Mechanical Devices. London, Al-Furqān.
  • Ferriello G, Gatto M, Gatto R (2016) The Baroulkos and the Mechanics of Heron. Firenze, Olschki
  • Schiøler T (1973) Roman and Islamic water-lifting wheels. Acta Historica Scientiarum Naturalium et Medicinalium 28