Shams al-Din ibn Ashraf Al-Samarqandi

Quick Info

about 1250
Samarkand, Uzbekistan
about 1310

Shams al-Samarqandi was an Islamic mathematician who wrote works on theology, logic, philosophy, mathematics and astronomy.


Shams al-Din al-Samarqandi's full name is Shams al-din Muhammad ibn Ashraf al-Husayni al-Samarqandi.

Nothing is known of al-Samarqandi's life except that he composed his most important works around 1276. He wrote works on theology, logic, philosophy, mathematics and astronomy which have proved important in their own right and also in giving information about the works of other scientists of his period.

Al-Samarqandi wrote a work Risala fi adab al-bahth which discussed the method of intellectual investigation of reasoning using dialogue. Such methods of enquiry were much used by the ancient Greeks. He also wrote Synopsis of astronomy and produced a star catalogue for the year 1276-77.

In mathematics al-Samarqandi is famous for a short work of only 20 pages which discusses 35 of Euclid's propositions. Although a short work, al-Samarqandi consulted widely the works of other Arab mathematicians before writing it. For example he refers to writings by al-Haytham, Omar Khayyam, al-Jawhari, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, and al-Abhari.

Not only did al-Samarqandi consult the writings of many other mathematicians before writing his short work, in turn several later mathematicians read al-Samarqandi's 20 page work and referred to it in their own writings. For example Qadi Zada mentions al-Samarqandi's short work on Euclid's propositions.

References (show)

  1. H Dilgan, M Levey, Biography in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York 1970-1990). See THIS LINK.
  2. A Ahmedov, The geometrical treatise of Shams ad-Din as-Samarqandi (Russian), Taskent. Gos. Univ. Naucn. Trudy No. 418 Voprosy Mat. (1972), 35-51; 376-377.
  3. A Ahmedov, The geometrical treatise of Shams ad-Din as-Samarkandi (13th century) (Russian), Izv. Akad. Nauk UzSSR Ser. Fiz.-Mat. Nauk 13 (3) (1969), 3-7.
  4. H Dilgan, Démonstration du V postulat d'Euclide pars Shams-ed-Din al'Samarqandi, Revue d'histoire des sciences et de leurs applications 13 (1960), 191-196.
  5. A E-A Hatipov, The theory of parallel lines in the medieval East (Russian), Trudy Samarkand. Gos. Univ. (N.S.) Vyp. 144 (1964), 5-47.
  6. B A Rozenfel'd, and A P Yushkevich, Proofs of Euclid's fifth postulate in the works of Sabit ibn Korra and Sams ad-Din as-Samarkandi (Russian), Istor.-Mat. Issled. No. 14 (1961), 587-602.

Additional Resources (show)

Other websites about Shams al-Din al-Samarqandi:

  1. Dictionary of Scientific Biography

Written by J J O'Connor and E F Robertson
Last Update November 1999