The Toledan Tables, or Tables of Toledo, were astronomical tables which were used to predict the movements of the Sun, Moon and planets relative to the fixed stars. They were a collection of mathematic tables that describe different aspects of the cosmos including prediction of calendar dates, times of cosmic events, and cosmic motion.
The Toledan Tables were completed around 1080 by a group of Arabic astronomers at Toledo, Spain. They had started as preexisting Arabic tables made elsewhere, and were numerically adjusted to be centered on the location of Toledo.The Tables of Toledo were partly based on the work of al-Zarqali (known to the West as Arzachel), an Arab mathematician, astronomer, astronomy instrument-maker, and astrologer, who lived in Toledo. The tables were produced by a team whose membership is largely unknown, with the exception of al-Zarqali.
Toledo came under Christian Spanish rule in the mid-1080s, shortly after the tables were completed. A century later at Toledo, the Arabic-to-Latin translator Gerard of Cremona (1114–1187) translated for Latin readers the Tables of Toledo, the most accurate compilation in Europe at the time. This collection of tables was influenced heavily by the work of earlier astronomers and tables such as that of Ptolematic tables and the work of al-Battānī.What the Toledan Tables didn't derive from previous texts was their parameters for the mean motion of celestial bodies. These parameters use sidereal co-ordinates which is different than other tables, Ptolemy's are tropical for instance. During the mid-thirteenth century, Campanus of Novara constructed tables for the meridian of Novara from the Toledan tables of al-Zarqali.
The original version of the Arabic Toledan Tables have been lost but there is still over one hundred versions of the Latin translation which were used for a Greek translation of the Toledan Tables, written in Cyprus in the 1330s, likely by the Greek Cypriot scholar George Lapithes.
There are a fair amount of errors in the Toledan Tables' calculations. The Toledan Tables are almost entirely a collection of copies of other tables. Because of this, the many errors and discrepancies are primarily considered to be copy errors.
The Toledan Tables were updated in the 1270s by the Alfonsine tables, which were produced at Toledo, in Spanish and Latin, from the original tables of two centuries earlier.The descendants of the Toledan Tables, as updated with some corrections, were the most widely used astronomy tables in late medieval Latin astronomy. Although the compilers of the tables assumed the Earth was stationary at the center of the universe, the data in the tables was successfully used by Copernicus in the development of the model in which the Sun is stationary.
The Toledan Tables were used in the work of a man by the name of Isaac ben Joseph Israeli of Toledo. He used a collection of various Toledan Tables along with other sources to provide information on eclipses. These eclipses had been observed by R. Isaac ben Sid, who was known as one of the authors of the Castilian Alfonsine Tables. Because of this, it was thought that Isaac ben Joseph would speak about the Alfonsine Tables, however he makes no mention of these tables, instead he references the Toledan Tables.
An important characteristic of a few of the Toledan Tables is that they listed the arguments of the planetary positions in half-degrees, making these tables twice as long as other tables which dealt in only full degrees.These arguments were specifically found for Saturn, Venus and Mercury. The Toledan Tables were organized into categories such as:
In modern astronomy, tables of movements of astronomical bodies are called ephemerides. These expand upon the ideas of the Toledan tables, and are used with modern computing methods to calculate where any celestial body will be at any point in time in relation to another celestial body. They are updated yearly by NASA to provide the accuracy needed for modern calculations. This expands upon the Alfonsine tables by using an updated analytical solution to the conics of the orbital bodies that more accurately map their orbits.
Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences, dating back to antiquity, with its origins in the religious, mythological, cosmological, calendrical, and astrological beliefs and practices of prehistory: vestiges of these are still found in astrology, a discipline long interwoven with public and governmental astronomy. It was not completely separated in Europe during the Copernican Revolution starting in 1543. In some cultures, astronomical data was used for astrological prognostication.
Claudius Ptolemy was an Alexandrian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific treatises, three of which were of importance to later Byzantine, Islamic, and Western European science. The first is the astronomical treatise now known as the Almagest, although it was originally entitled the Mathēmatikē Syntaxis or Mathematical Treatise, and later known as The Greatest Treatise. The second is the Geography, which is a thorough discussion on maps and the geographic knowledge of the Greco-Roman world. The third is the astrological treatise in which he attempted to adapt horoscopic astrology to the Aristotelian natural philosophy of his day. This is sometimes known as the Apotelesmatika but more commonly known as the Tetrábiblos, from the Koine Greek meaning "Four Books", or by its Latin equivalent Quadripartite.
The Almagest is a 2nd-century mathematical and astronomical treatise on the apparent motions of the stars and planetary paths, written by Claudius Ptolemy in Koine Greek. One of the most influential scientific texts in history, it canonized a geocentric model of the Universe that was accepted for more than 1,200 years from its origin in Hellenistic Alexandria, in the medieval Byzantine and Islamic worlds, and in Western Europe through the Middle Ages and early Renaissance until Copernicus. It is also a key source of information about ancient Greek astronomy.
In astronomy and celestial navigation, an ephemeris is a book with tables that gives the trajectory of naturally occurring astronomical objects as well as artificial satellites in the sky, i.e., the position over time. Historically, positions were given as printed tables of values, given at regular intervals of date and time. The calculation of these tables was one of the first applications of mechanical computers. Modern ephemerides are often provided in electronic form. However, printed ephemerides are still produced, as they are useful when computational devices are not available.
An almanac is a regularly published listing a set of current information about one or multiple subjects. It includes information like weather forecasts, farmers' planting dates, tide tables, and other tabular data often arranged according to the calendar. Celestial figures and various statistics are found in almanacs, such as the rising and setting times of the Sun and Moon, dates of eclipses, hours of high and low tides, and religious festivals. The set of events noted in an almanac may be tailored for a specific group of readers, such as farmers, sailors, or astronomers.
Gerard of Cremona was an Italian translator of scientific books from Arabic into Latin. He worked in Toledo, Kingdom of Castile and obtained the Arabic books in the libraries at Toledo. Some of the books had been originally written in Greek and, although well known in Byzantine Constantinople and Greece at the time, were unavailable in Greek or Latin in Western Europe. Gerard of Cremona is the most important translator among the Toledo School of Translators who invigorated Western medieval Europe in the twelfth century by transmitting the Arabs' and ancient Greeks' knowledge in astronomy, medicine and other sciences, by making the knowledge available in Latin. One of Gerard's most famous translations is of Ptolemy's Almagest from Arabic texts found in Toledo.
Aryabhata or Aryabhata I was the first of the major mathematician-astronomers from the classical age of Indian mathematics and Indian astronomy. His works include the Āryabhaṭīya and the Arya-siddhanta.
Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Yaḥyā al-Naqqāsh al-Zarqālī al-Tujibi ; also known as Al-Zarkali or Ibn Zarqala (1029–1100), was an Arab maker of astronomical instruments and an astrologer from the western part of the Islamic world.
Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jābir ibn Sinān al-Raqqī al-Ḥarrānī aṣ-Ṣābiʾ al-Battānī, usually called al-Battānī, a name that was in the past Latinized as Albategnius, was an astronomer, astrologer and mathematician, who lived and worked for most of his life at Raqqa, now in Syria. He is considered to be the greatest and most famous of the astronomers of the medieval Islamic world.
Johannes de Sacrobosco, also written Ioannes de Sacro Bosco, later called John of Holywood or John of Holybush, was a scholar, monk, and astronomer who taught at the University of Paris.
The Alfonsine Tables, sometimes spelled Alphonsine Tables, provided data for computing the position of the Sun, Moon and planets relative to the fixed stars.
Nur ad-Din al-Bitruji was an Iberian-Arab astronomer and a Qadi in al-Andalus. Al-Biṭrūjī was the first astronomer to present a non-Ptolemaic astronomical system as an alternative to Ptolemy's models, with the planets borne by geocentric spheres. Another original aspect of his system was that he proposed a physical cause of celestial motions. His alternative system spread through most of Europe during the 13th century.
Medieval Islamic astronomy comprises the astronomical developments made in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age, and mostly written in the Arabic language. These developments mostly took place in the Middle East, Central Asia, Al-Andalus, and North Africa, and later in the Far East and India. It closely parallels the genesis of other Islamic sciences in its assimilation of foreign material and the amalgamation of the disparate elements of that material to create a science with Islamic characteristics. These included Greek, Sassanid, and Indian works in particular, which were translated and built upon.
Campanus of Novara was an Italian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and physician who is best known for his work on Euclid's Elements. In his writings he refers to himself as Campanus Nouariensis; contemporary documents refer to him as Magister Campanus; and the full style of his name is Magister Campanus Nouariensis. He is also referred to as Campano da Novara, Giovanni Campano or similar. Later authors sometimes applied the forename Johannes Campanus or Iohannes Campanus.
The Toledo School of Translators is the group of scholars who worked together in the city of Toledo during the 12th and 13th centuries, to translate many of the Judeo-Islamic philosophies and scientific works from Classical Arabic into Medieval Latin.
An equatorium is an astronomical calculating instrument. It can be used for finding the positions of the Moon, Sun, and planets without arithmetic operations, using a geometrical model to represent the position of a given celestial body.
Qusta ibn Luqa, also known as Costa ben Luca or Constabulus (820–912) was a Syrian Melkite Christian physician, philosopher, astronomer, mathematician and translator. He was born in Baalbek. Travelling to parts of the Byzantine Empire, he brought back Greek texts and translated them into Arabic.
A zij is an Islamic astronomical book that tabulates parameters used for astronomical calculations of the positions of the sun, moon, stars, and planets.
John of Saxony was a medieval astronomer. Although his exact birthplace is unknown it is believed he was born in Germany, most likely Magdeburg. His scholarly work is believed to date from the end of the 13th century into the mid 14th century. He spent most of his active career, from about 1327 to 1355, at the University of Paris.
The Libros del saber de astronomía, literally "book[s] of the wisdom of astronomy [astrology]", is a series of books of the medieval period, composed during the reign of Alfonso X of Castile. They describe the celestial bodies and the astronomical instruments existing at the time. The collection is a group of treatises on astronomical instruments, like the celestial sphere, the spherical and plane astrolabe, saphea, and universal plate for all latitudes, for uranography or star cartography that can be used for casting horoscopes. The purpose of the rest of the instruments, the quadrant of the type called vetus, sundial, clepsydras, is to determine the time, which was also needed to cast the horoscope. The king looked for separate works for the construction and use of each device.