Miriam Al-Astrulabi

Miriam Al-Astrulabi

MATHEMATICIAN | ASTRONOMER | PIONEER

Mid 10th century

Scientific innovator and Master maker of astrolabes

I am Miriam “Al-Astrulabi” Al-Ijliya from Aleppo, Syria.

I am a scientist, engineer and mathematician who designed and built astrolabes. My father, Al-‘Ijli al Astrulabi, was an expert who worked at a famous astrolabe manufacturer in Baghdad and I became his apprentice.

My handmade drawings were so intricate and innovative that I was employed by the city’s governor, Sayf Al Dawla, from 944 until 967 AD. I am known for my engineering creations. The little that remains of my works is mentioned in the first index of the writings of the Arab world until the 10th century, Kitab al-Fihrist, written by Ibn Al-Nadim.

Astrolabes

Astrolabes are instruments that allow to represent the movement of the stars on the celestial vault but also to calculate the time. They are used in astronomy and astrology, as well as for navigation to find latitude and longitude. Very useful and very aesthetic, this object was a true jewel of technology in its time.