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Al-Din Muhammad Ibn
30th November, 1520
Damascus, Ottoman Empire
|Place of Death||
Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Taqi al-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf ash-Shami al-Asadi (Arabic: تقي الدين محمد بن معروف الشامي, Ottoman Turkish: تقي الدين محمد بن معروف الشامي السعدي) was an Ottoman polymath active in Cairo and Istanbul. He was the author of more than ninety books on a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, clocks, engineering, mathematics, mechanics, optics and natural philosophy. In 1574 the Ottoman Sultan Murad III invited Taqī ad-Dīn to build the Constantinople observatory. Using his exceptional knowledge in the mechanical arts, Taqī ad-Dīn constructed instruments like huge armillary and mechanical clocks that he used in his observations of the Great Comet of 1577. He also used European celestial and terrestrial globes that were delivered to Istanbul in gift-exchange. The major work that resulted from his work in the observatory is titled "The tree of ultimate knowledge [in the end of time or the world] in the Kingdom of the Revolving Spheres: The astronomical tables of the King of Kings [Murād III]" (Sidrat al-muntah al-afkar fi malkūt al-falak al-dawār– al-zij al-Shāhinshāhi). The work was prepared according to the results of the observations carried out in Egypt and Istanbul in order to correct and complete Ulugh Beg’s Zij as-Sultani. The first 40 pages of the work deal with calculations, followed by discussions of astronomical clocks, heavenly circles, and information about three eclipses which he observed at Cairo and Istanbul. For corroborating data of other observations of eclipses in other locales like Daud ar-Riyyadi (David the Mathematician), David Ben-Shushan of Salonika.
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