Two treatises on astrolabes

Add MS 9602

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The record is made up of Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. i+55+i. It was created in 14th century. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Oriental Manuscripts.

About this record


Two technical treatises on the 'use of the flat northern astrolabe Ancient instrument for astronomical observations. (العمل بالأسطرلاب المسطح الشمالي)' (see f. 1r).

The title page (f. 1r) reads:

كتاب فيه رسالة بن النطاح ورسالة بن السمح

رحمهما الله تعلى (!) ورضي عنهما والقصد فيهما

معرفة العمل بالأسطرلاب المسطح الشمالي

This is followed by an endowment inscription stating that the manuscript 'has been made the inalienable property of those who are capable [of learning] (حبس على من فيه أهلية)'.

The manuscript which is not dated, was copied in maghribī script, probably in the fourteenth century. The two texts were each copied by a different scribe.


Extent and format
Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. i+55+i
Physical characteristics

Material: Paper

Dimensions: 255 x 193 mm leaf [written: 182 x 116 mm (ff. 1v-23v), 202 x 145 mm (ff. 24v-55v)]

Foliation: British Museum foliation in pencil, Eastern Arabic foliation on verso The back of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'v'. , Eastern Arabic foliation visible on some rectos

Ruling: Misṭarah ; 16 (ff. 1v-23v), 19 (ff. 24v-55v) lines per page; vertical spacing 9 lines per 10 cm (ff. 1v-23v), 10 lines per 10 cm (ff. 24v-55v)

Script: Maghribī ; the two items in the mansucript (ff. 1v-23v and ff. 24v-55v) were copied by two different scribes

Ink: Black

Binding: British Museum binding

Condition: Waterstains, minor worm damage, ff. 1 and 55 damaged at edges and repaired

Marginalia: None in section ff. 1v-23v, very few in section ff. 24v-55v

Written in
Arabic in Arabic script

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Oriental Manuscripts
Access conditions


Archive reference
Add MS 9602

History of this record

14th century (CE, Gregorian)
Context of creation



Endowment inscription, undated, unsigned, no place mentioned (f. 1r)

Related material

Finding aids

Cureton, William and Charles Rieu, Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum orientalium qui in Museo Britannico asservantur. Pars secunda, codices arabicos amplectens (London: The British Museum 1846-71), Item 405, p. 191

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Two treatises on astrolabes, British Library: Oriental Manuscripts, Add MS 9602, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 July 2024]

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