Reading the Cosmos: Commentaries and the Education of an Islamic Astronomer

Scott Trigg
History and Philosophy of Science Postdoctoral Fellow


Late medieval Islamic commentaries are a potentially rich but little-used source for historians to explore how ideas about science and religion were transmitted, criticized, and revised both in and outside of formal educational institutions. In this paper, I discuss examples taken from the previously unstudied commentaries of Fatḥallāh al-Shirwānī, a 15th c. astronomer and theologian who trained at the famous Samarqand observatory and was associated with the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II in Istanbul.