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Default 13th century

13th century

1200s - [Chemistry] Al-Jawbari describes the preparation of rose water in the Book of Selected Disclosure of Secrets (Kitab kashf al-Asrar).

1200s - [chemistry; materials, glassmaking] Arabic manuscript on the manufacture of false gemstones and diamonds. Also describes spirits of alum, spirits of saltpetre and spirits of salts (hydrochloric acid).

1200s - [chemistry] An Arabic manuscript written in Syriac script gives description of various chemical materials and their properties such as sulfuric acid, sal-ammoniac, saltpetre and zaj (vitriol).

1201 - 1274 - [astronomy; mathematics] Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi; Astronomy, Non-Euclidean geometry.

1204 - [astronomy] Died, Al-Bitruji (Alpetragius.)

1206 - [engineering, mechanics, technology] Al-Jazari, the father of modern-day engineering and the father of robotics, publishes The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, in which he authors fifty inventions, including the combination lock, mechanical clocks driven by hydropower and weights, bolted joint lock, clock automaton, flow control regulator, closed-loop system, elephant clock, kitchen appliance, cam, camshaft, connecting rod, crank-connecting rod mechanism, suction pipe, suction piston pump with reciprocating piston motion and double-action motion, programmable humanoid robot, automatic gate, pointer, and geared and hydropowered water supply system. and especially the crankshaft, which is considered one of the most important mechanical inventions after the wheel Other devices he invented include a hand washing device, machines for raising water, accurate calibration of orifices, lamination of timber to reduce warping, static balancing of wheels, use of paper models to establish a design, casting of metals in closed mould boxes with green sand, emery powder, the most sophisticated candle clocks and water clocks of his time, crank-driven chain pump, water-powered saqiya chain pump, and intermittent working, and hour hand

1206 - [astronomy, technology] Al-Jazari invented monumental water-powered astronomical clocks which displayed moving models of the Sun, Moon, and stars. His largest astronomical clock displayed the zodiac and the solar and lunar orbits. Another innovative feature of the clock was a pointer which traveled across the top of a gateway and caused automatic doors to open every hour.

1207 - 1273 [sociology; poetry; spirituality] Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, one of the best known Persian passion poets, famous for poignant poetry on the theme of spiritual enlightenment and passion.

1217 - 1329 [related] "Second wave of devastation of Muslim resources, lives, properties, institutions, and infrastructure over a period of one hundred and twelve years. Crusader invasions (1217-1291) and Mongol invasions (1219-1329). Crusaders active throughout the Mediterranean from Jerusalem and west to Muslim Spain. Fall of Muslim Córdoba (1236), Valencia (1238) and Seville (1248). Mongols devastation from the eastern most Muslim frontier, Central and Western Asia, India, Persia to Arab heartland. Fall of Baghdad (1258) and the end of Abbasid Caliphate. Two million Muslims massacred in Baghdad. Major scientific institutions, laboratories, and infrastructure destroyed in leading Muslim centers of civilization."

1213 - 1242 [anatomy, biology, medicine, pharmacology, pharmacopoeia, physiology] Ibn al-Nafis publishes his Commentary on Compound Drugs, a commentary on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine concerning pharmacopoeia. It contains criticisms of Galen's doctrines on the heart and the blood vessels and dealt with the circulatory system to some extent. This work was later translated into Latin by Andrea Alpago of Belluno (d. 1520), who had lived in Syria for about 30 years before returning to Italy with a collection of medical Arabic books. A printed version of his translation was available in Venice from 1547.

1213 - 1288 [biology, cosmology, epistemology, futurology, geology, literature, physiology, psychology, science fiction, sociology] Ibn al-Nafis publishes his Theologus Autodidactus, the first science fiction novel, where he uses the plot to express many of his own themes on a wide variety of subjects, including biology, physiology, cosmology, epistemology, futurology, geology, natural philosophy, psychology, and sociology. The narrative is used to present religious, philosophical and scientific arguments on spontaneous generation and bodily resurrection, and the book also contains the earliest medical description on metabolism: "Both the body and its parts are in a continuous state of dissolution and nourishment, so they are inevitably undergoing permanent change."

1213 - 1288 - [anatomy, biology, medicine, ophthalmology, physiology] Ibn al-Nafis publishes his ophthalmological work, The Polished Book on Experimental Ophthalmology, where he discovers that the muscle behind the eyeball does not support the ophthalmic nerve, that they do not get in contact with it, that the optic nerves transect but do not get in touch with each other, and many new treatments for glaucoma and the weakness of vision in one eye when the other eye is affected by disease.

1228 - 1229 - [chemistry, military technology] Medieval French reports suggest that Muslim armies also used explosives against the Sixth Crusade army led by Ludwig IV, Landgrave of Thuringia in the 13th century.

1235 - [astronomical instruments] A geared mechanical astrolabe with an analog computer calendar is invented by Abi Bakr of Isfahan. His geared astrolabe uses a set of gear-wheels and is the oldest surviving complete mechanical geared machine in existence.

1242 - [anatomy, biology, medicine, physiology, scientific method] Ibn al-Nafis, an Arab physician and anatomist publishes another commentary on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine called the Commentary on Anatomy in Avicenna's Canon, in which Ibn al-Nafis discovers the pulmonary circulation (the cycle involving the ventricles of the heart and the lungs) and coronary circulation, and describes the mechanism of breathing and its relation to the blood and how it nourishes on air in the lungs, for which he is considered the father of circulation theory and one of the greatest physiologists in history. He followed a "constructivist" path of the smaller circulatory system: "blood is purified in the lungs for the continuance of life and providing the body with the ability to work." During his time, the common view was that blood originates in the liver then travels to the right ventricle, then on to the organs of the body; another contemporary view was that blood is filtered through the diaphragm where it mixes with the air coming from the lungs. Ibn al-Nafis discredited all these views including ones by Galen and Avicenna, and at least an illustration of his manuscript is still extant. William Harvey later explained the circulatory system without reference to Ibn al-Nafis in 1628. Ibn al-Nafis also extolled the study of comparative anatomy in his Explaining the dissection of [Avicenna's] Canon which includes prefaces and citations of sources. He emphasized the rigours of verification by measurement, observation and experiment. He subjected conventional wisdom of his time to a critical review and verified it with experiment and observation, discarding errors. He was also an early proponent of experimental medicine, postmortem autopsy, and human dissection, and he also discredited many other erroneous Avicennian and Galenic doctrines on the humorism, pulse bones, muscles, intestines, sensory organs, bilious canals, esophagus, stomach, and the anatomy of almost every other part of the human body. Ibn al-Nafis also drew diagrams to illustrate different body parts in his new physiological system.

1242 - 1244 [biology, medicine, surgery, urology, scientific method] Ibn al-Nafis publishes the first 43 volumes of his medical encyclopedia, The Comprehensive Book on Medicine. One volume is dedicated to surgery, where he describes the "general and absolute principles of surgery", a variety of surgical instruments, and the examination of every type of surgical operation known to him. He states that in order for a surgical operation to be successful, full attention needs to be given to three stages of the operation: the "time of presentation" when the surgeon carries out a diagnosis on the affected area, the "time of operative treatment" when the surgeon repairs the affected organs, and the "time of preservation" when the patient needs to be taken care of by nurses. The Comprehensive Book on Medicine was also the earliest book dealing with the decubitus of a patient. The Comprehensive Book on Medicine is also the earliest book dealing with the decubitus of a patient. Another section is dedicated to urology, including the issues of sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction, where Ibn al-Nafis is one of the first to prescribe clinically tested drugs as medication for the treatment of these problems. His treatments are mainly oral drugs, though early topical and transurethral treatments are also mentioned in a few cases

1242 - 1288 [medicine] Ibn al-Nafis publishes more commentaries on Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine. All of his commentaries on The Canon of Medicine add up to 20 volumes in length.

1244 - 1288 [medicine] Ibn al-Nafis writes down notes for upcoming volumes of his medical encyclopedia, The Comprehensive Book on Medicine. His notes add up to a total of 300 volumes in length, though he is only able to publish 80 volumes before he dies in 1288. Even in its incomplete state, however, The Comprehensive Book on Medicine is one of the largest known medical encyclopedias in history, and was much larger than the more famous The Canon of Medicine by Avicenna. However, only several volumes of The Comprehensive Book on Medicine have survived into modern times.

1244 - 1288 [anatomy, medicine, science of hadith] Ibn al-Nafis publishes many other works, including The Choice of Foodstuffs which places a greater emphasis on diet and nutrition rather than the prescriptions of drugs; Commentary on Hippocrates' Aphorisms where he expresses his rebellious nature against established authorities as he states that he has decided to "throw light on and stand by true opinions, and forsake those which are false and erase their traces"; A Short Account of the Methodology of Hadith on the science of hadith; Epitome of the Canon; Synopsis of Medicine; An Essay on Organs; Reference Book for Physicians; among many others.

1248 - [anatomy, botany, pharmacy, veterinary medicine] Ibn al-Baitar dies. He studied and wrote on botany, pharmacy and is best known for studying animal anatomy and medicine. The Arabic term for veterinary medicine is named after him.

1258 - The sack of Baghdad results in the destruction of Baghdad along with all its libraries, including the House of Wisdom. Survivors said that the waters of the Tigris ran black with ink from the enormous quantities of books flung into the river.

1259 - [astronomy, instutution] The Maragheh observatory is founded by Nasīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī at the patronage of Hulagu Khan. It was the first example of the observatory as a research institute (as opposed to an ancient observation post).

1260 - [mathematics] Al-Farisi isa born. He gave a new proof of Thabit ibn Qurra's theorem, introducing important new ideas concerning factorization and combinatorial methods. He also gave the pair of amicable numbers 17296, 18416 which have also been attributed to Fermat as well as Thabit ibn Qurra

1260 - [chemistry, military technology] The first portable hand cannons (midfa) loaded with explosive gunpowder, the first example of a handgun and portable firearm, were used by the Egyptians to repel the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut. The gunpowder compositions used for the cannons at these battles were later described in several manuscripts in the early 14th century. According to Shams al-Din Muhammad (d. 1327), the cannons had an explosive gunpowder composition (74% saltpetre, 11% sulfur, 15% carbon) almost identical to the ideal compositions for explosive gunpowder used in modern times. Gunpowder cartridges were also first employed at the Battle of Ain Jalut by the Egyptians, for use in their fire lances and hand cannons against the Mongols. Egyptian soldiers at the Battle of Ain Jalut were also the first to smear dissolved talc (from Arabic talq) on their hands, as forms of fire protection from gunpowder. They also wore fireproof clothing, to which gunpowder cartridges were attached.

1270 - [chemistry, military technology] The first complete purification process for potassium nitrate is described in 1270 by the Arab chemist and engineer Hasan al-Rammah of Syria in his book al-Furusiyya wa al-Manasib al-Harbiyya (The Book of Military Horsemanship and Ingenious War Devices, a.k.a. the Treatise on Horsemanship and Stratagems of War). He first described the use of potassium carbonate (in the form of wood ashes) to remove calcium and magnesium salts from the potassium nitrate. Several almost identical compositions were first described by the Arab engineer Hasan al-Rammah as a recipe for the rockets (tayyar) he described in The Book of Military Horsemanship and Ingenious War Devices in 1270. Several examples include a tayyar "rocket" (75% saltpetre, 8% sulfur, 15% carbon) and the tayyar buruq "lightning rocket" (74% saltpetre, 10% sulfur, 15% carbon). He also states recipes for fireworks and firecrackers made from these explosive gunpowder compositions. He states in his book that many of these recipes were known to his father and grandfather, hence dating back to at least the late 12th century. Compositions for an explosive gunpowder effect were not known in China or Europe until the 14th century. The torpedo is also invented by Hasan al-Rammah, who shows illustrations of a torpedo running on water with a rocket system filled with explosive materials and having three firing points.

1270 - [medicine, psychiatry, psychology] Famous psychiatric hospitals are built by Muslim physicians in Damascus and Aleppo.

-1271 - 1273 Ballistic weapons were manufactured in the Muslim world since the time of Kublai Khan in the 13th century. According to Chinese sources, two Muslim engineers, Alaaddin and Ismail (d. 1330), built machines of a ballistic-weapons nature before the besieged city of Hang-show between 1271-1273. Alaaddin's weapons also played a major role in the conquest of several other Chinese cities. His son Ma-ho-scha also developed ballistic weapons. Ismail (transliterated as I-ssu-ma-yin) was present in the Mongol siege of Hsiang-yiang, where he built a war machine with the characteristics of a ballistic weapon. Chinese sources mention that when this war machines were fired, the earth and skies shook, the cannons were buried seven feet into the ground and destroyed everything. His son Yakub also developed ballistic war machines.

1273 - 1331 [astronomy; geography; history] Abu al-Fida (Abulfeda).

1274 - [chemistry, military technology] The use of cannons as siege machines dates back to Abu Yaqub Yusuf who employed them at the siege of Sijilmasa in 1274, according to Ibn Khaldun.

1275 - [engineering, rocketry, weaponry] Hasan al-Rammah invents the torpedo in Syria.

1277 - [materials; glass and ceramics] A treaty for the transfer of glassmaking technology signed between the crusader Bohemond VII, titular prince of Antioch and the Doge of Venice leads to the transfer of Syrian glassworkers and their trade secrets and the subsequent rise of Venetian glass industry, the most prominent in Europe for centuries. The techniques henceforth, closely guarded by Venitians only become known in France in the 1600s.

1285 - [medicine] The largest hospital of the Middle Ages and pre-modern era is built in Cairo, Egypt, by Sultan Qalaun al-Mansur. According to Will Durant, the hospital had a spacious quadrangular enclosure with four buildings around a courtyard "adorned with arcades and cooled with fountains and brooks." The hospital had "separate wards for diverse diseases and for convalescents", and had laboratories, a dispensary, out-patient clinics, kitchens, baths, a library, a religious place of worship, lecture halls, and "pleasant accommodations for the insane." Treatment was given for free to patients of all backgrounds, regardless of gender, ethnicity or income, while convalescents were offered disbursements on their departure so that they wouldn't need to return to work immediately. "The sleepless were provided with soft music, professional story-tellers, and perhaps books of history."

c. 1296 - [astronomy, technology] The first astronomical uses of the magnetic compass is found in a treatise on astronomical instruments written by the Yemeni sultan al-Ashraf (d. 1296). This was the first reference to the compass in astronomical literature.

Last edited by Shooting Star; Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 02:50 AM.
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