San‘at al-zāmir صنعة الزامر Apollonius the carpenter and geometer أبلنيوس النجار الهندسي

Or 14270, ff 14r-21r

Download PDF (59 MB)

Search within this record

The record is made up of Ff. 14r-21r. It was created in 28 Shawwāl 691. It was written in Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Oriental Manuscripts.

About this record


Treatise on the design and construction of an hydraulic flute playing machine. The treatise is attributed to 'Apollonius the carpenter and geometer (أبلنيوس النجار الهندسي)', who some have identified as the geometer Apollonius of Perga (Ἀπολλώνιος; أبلونيوس; fl ca 200 BC).

The text in this copy differs from that in Add MS 23391, ff 21r-25v and edited by Hill, Shehadeh and Lorch (1994-95).

Begins (f. 14r, lines 5-8):

... صنعة الزامر لاٮلٮٮٮوس

النجار الهندسي يتخذ صندوق

مهندم مزفت أو مرصص من

داخله كله طوله أربعة أذرع

Ends (f. 20v, line 16-20v, line 18):

فإنه يقطر منه شيء منسبة (!) باللؤلؤة والصوبة الحرعة (!) وهيدمها والضوء

الانتركة (!) على النعار بالرصاص ويوسع الجرعة إذا أردت بالشريط

التسادح الناعم ولا تضع النعار الأعلى كرسيه لئلا يبعد وهذه صورته

The treatise contains seven diagrams:

Internal mechanisms within a water-clock (f. 15r);

Internal mechanisms for a pipe-organ within a water-clock (f. 16r);

Internal mechanisms within a water-clock (f. 16v);

Disc indicating the signs of the zodiac and the corresponding Syro-Macedonian months (f. 17r);

Base (?) of a water-clock (f. 18v);

Base (?) of a water-clock (f. 20r);

Base (?) of a water-clock (f. 21r).

Extent and format
Ff. 14r-21r
It is part of
Written in
Arabic in Arabic script
Manuscript item

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Oriental Manuscripts
Access conditions


Archive reference
Or 14270, ff 14r-21r

History of this record

28 Shawwāl 691 (CE, Gregorian)

Related material

Select Bibliography

Edition, translation and study:

Donald R. Hill, Kamal Shehadeh and Richard P. Lorch, 'Construction of a Fluting Machine by Apollonius the Carpenter', Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften, 9 (1994-95), 326-56

Use and share this record

Share this record
Cite this record in your research

San‘at al-zāmir صنعة الزامر Apollonius the carpenter and geometer أبلنيوس النجار الهندسي, British Library: Oriental Manuscripts, Or 14270, ff 14r-21r, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 November 2019]

Link to this record
IIIF details

This record has a IIIF manifest available as follows. If you have a compatible viewer you can drag the icon to load it. in Universal viewerOpen in Mirador viewerMore options for embedding images