Isl. Ms. 827


Sharḥ-i Zīj-i Ulugh Beg,[886, i.e. 1481].شرح زيج الغ بيك,[886ه، 1481م].


Qūshjī, ʻAlī ibn Muḥammad,d. 1474 or 5.قوشجى، على بن محمد.

Place/Date of Production:



271 leaves :paper ;180 x 135 (117 x 77 ; 123 x 61) mm.


Fine, early composite copy of the commentary by the astronomer and mathematician ʻAlāʼ al-Dīn ʻAlī al-Qushjī [Ali Kuşcu] (d.1474) on the Zīj-i Gurkānī, the astronomical handbook compiled at Samarqand under the amīr Ulugh Beg (d.1449), also its principal author. Ali Kuşcu himself took part in the compilation of the Zīj as director of the observatory. Table of contents at opening (pp.2-4).

Other Title(s):

Title from inscription on upper doublure:شرح زيج الغ بيكŞerh-i Zîc-i Uluğ BegSharḥ al-Zīj al-jadīd


Astronomy, Arab--Tables.
Manuscripts, Persian--Michigan--Ann Arbor.
Ulugh Beg,--1394-1449.--Zīj-i jadīd-i Sultānī.




Ms. composite codex.
Title from inscription on 'title page' (p.5).


"متن مقالت اول در معرفت تواريخ وان مشتمل است بر مقدمه وهفت باب مقدمه در معرفت معنى تاريخ وسال وماه واجزاء آن جون از سمه اجرام سماوى ظاهر تر افتاب وماهست ..."


"بل وحى و الهام و كيفيت وضع جداويل تر طاهر ست والله اعلم بحقايق الاشيار والحمد لوليه والشكر على نعمائه والصلوه والسلام على نبيه محمد واله وصحبه وعترته اجمعين"


"Scribal," triangular, reads "قد وقع الفراغ من تحرير هذه الرساله فى دار السلطنه تبريز فى غره صفر سنه ۸۸۶"


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Physical Details:

I (2), IV+1 (11), 8 V(91), II (95), 4 IV(127), III (133), IV-4+4 (141), II (145), V (155), IV (163), III (169), 2 IV(185), III (191), 8 IV(255), IV+2 (265), III (271) ; main section mainly quaternions ; opening section chiefly quinions ; catchwords present ; foliation in black ink, Hindu-Arabic numerals ; pagination in pencil, Hindu-Arabic numerals, supplied during digitization (includes inserts and skips two pages between pp.345-6).


Written in 17, 16 and 23 lines per page ; frame-ruled (impression of ruling board evident).


Nastaʻlīq (talik) and naskh ; at least three elegant hands ; text of replacement leaves in naskh.


Keywords, section headings and abbreviation symbols rubricated ; overlining in red ; numerous tables and line diagrams in red.


non-European laid paper of at least three types ; opening through p.184 on type with 7-8 laid lines per cm. (horizontal, typically quite diffuse), chains lines only sporadically visible, well-sized and burnished to glossy ; bulk of manuscript in a similar type with 7 laid lines per cm. (again quite diffuse), chain lines visible as short lengths or occasional pairs (spaced 13 mm. apart, see p.220), darker in color, well-sized and burnished to glossy ; some replacements on still a different type (see bifolia carrying pp.283-70, 295-302, 343-48) ; other replacements, added leaves carrying table of contents at opening, and many inserts on European laid paper.


Pasteboards covered in brown leather ; Type II binding (with flap) ; doublures in brown leather ; upper and lower covers carry blind-tooled rule-border ; sewn in dark blue thread, two stations ; worked chevron endbands in dark blue and cream, quite good condition ; overall in somewhat poor condition with staining, lifting and losses of leather at flap, etc. ; repair to fore edge flap in floral-printed textile.

Accompanying Materials:

Several inserts carrying diagrams and glosses, also paginated (see pp.131-2, 209-10, 251-2, 253-4, 255-6, 263-4, 503-4, 505-6, 525-26).

Former Shelfmarks:

"٤٢٧" from label on upper cover.


As appears in colophon on p.558, transcription of the bulk of the manuscript (from p.185 to close excluding replacement leaves) completed in Tabrīz, 1 Ṣafar 886 [ca. 1 April 1481]. Opening of the manuscript (through p.184) appears to have been copied separately, though likely around the same time (i.e. late 15th or early 16th century).

Ownership and History:

Inscription characterizing contents and book price from recto of opening leaf of table of contents (p.1) "Turkish Work. P.T. [?] 300" ; several former owners' marks on 'title page' (p.5) including effaced statement and oval seal impression in black ink, effaced statement in red ink, ownership statement in name of Mustafa Zeki el-İstanbulî ( مصطفى زكى الاستانبولى / Muṣṭafá Zakī al-Istānbūlī ), chief of the practioners of geometry and arithmetic ("رئيس اهل صناعة الهندسة والحساب"), statement accompanied by oval seal impression both in name of one Mehmet İsmetullah İbrahim bin Hasanullah Ahmet [?] ( محمد عصمت الله ابراهيم بن حسن الله احمد [؟]), and large seal impression with tuğra (ṭughrá), difficult to make out, accompanied by title, script and number of lines per page "شرح زيج الغ بيك بخط تعليق سطر ١٧" ; brief waqf statement "وقف" in outer corners of incipit and facing page (pp.6-7) ; audition / study notice at close on p.558 authorized by the aforementioned mathematician Mustafa Zeki, indicating that Mevlana Mustafa el-Belğradi ( مولانا مصطفى البلغرادى / Mawlānā Muṣṭafá al-Balghrādī ) had studied with him this text with the reading / recitation having concluded in the latter part of Jumādá I 1137 [February 1725], "قرأ على هذا الشرح مولانا مصطفى البلغرادى و اخذ منى ما فيه من اسرار [؟]... وقد تم قراءته فى اواخر جمادى الاولى فى سنه ۱۱۳۷ فى بلده قسطنطنيه ... وانا الفقير مصطفى زكى رئيس [؟] ... فى الدوله العليه العثمانيه ادامها الله تعالى" ; extensive glosses ; notabilia (sideheads, many rubricated) ; occasional corrections and collation marks (main section).

Contributor(s) / Included work(s):

Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!


Unidentified-Can you help supply this information? Please comment!

Former Owner(s):

07 Mustafa Zeki el-İstanbulî, fl. 1725, former owner. 07 مصطفى زكى الاستانبولى, مالك سابق.

In Collection:

Tracy W. McGregor Collection of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Mathematical and Astronomical Manuscripts.


Brockelmann, C. GAL,II 234 ; S II 329King, D. A Survey of the scientific manuscripts in the Egyptian National Library. (Winona Lake, 1986),no. G49 ; no. G51Suter, H. Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber und ihre Werke,no. 438Dizer, Muammer. Ali Kuşçu. (Ankara, 1988),pp.62-63Adnan Adivar, A. "ʿAlīb. Muḥammad al-Ḳūshdjī, ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn." in EI2,vol. I, p. 393, col. 1

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Posted by evyn on October 27, 2010
Tags: Fully Catalogued, Persian MSS, Tracy W. McGregor Collection

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