Focusing on two particularly rich periods of the history of astronomy in Islamic Central Asia (from the ninth to the eleventh centuries, and in the fifteenth century), the author casts light on four different aspects of this evolution: the making and improvement of astronomical instruments; the appearance of scientific centres; the construction of observatories; the study and experimentation of theoretical issues. He particularly stresses, though in extremely general terms, contributions by al-Biruni on questions like the interaction between the Earth and the cosmos. As it is quite frequently the case in publications of this category issued in Tashkent, the author’s main aim remains apologetic — stressing the ‘modernity’ of the views of mediaeval scientists —; besides, no reference can be found in the relatively rich footnotes to publications external to either the Soviet Union or present-day Uzbekistan.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-3.4.B-243