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Default 14th century

14th century

1300s - [astronomy, engineering] The spherical astrolabe is invented in the Middle East. Ibn al-Shatir also invents the astrolabic clock in Syria, and he also invents the compass dial, a timekeeping device incorporating both a universal sundial and a magnetic compass, which he invented for the purpose of finding the times of Salah prayers.

1300s - [bacteriology, etiology, medicine, microbiology, pathology] When the Black Death bubonic plague reached al-Andalus, Ibn Khatima discovered that infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms which enter the human body.

1300 - 1348 [navigation] Abubakari II, a mansa of the Mali Empire, attempts to cross the Atlantic Ocean. According to the Arabic historian Ibn Fadlullah al-Umari (1300-1348), in his encyclopaedic work Masalik Al-Absar, Abubakari set out on a journey equipped with "two hundred boats full of men, and many others full of gold, water and provisions sufficient for several years" (see Pre-Columbian Islamic contact theories).

1301 - [ceramics] Al-Kashani promotes a center for ceramics. He also writes a book on Islamic ceramics techniques. His name is still associated with ceramics in the Muslim Orient today.

1312 - 1361 [cryptography] Taj ad-Din Ali ibn ad-Duraihim ben Muhammad ath-Tha 'alibi al-Mausili wrote on cryptology, but his writings have been lost. To his work is attributed the section on cryptology in an encyclopedia (Subh al-a 'sha) by Shihab al-Din abu 'l-Abbas Ahmad ben Ali ben Ahmad Abd Allah al-Qalqashandi (1355 or 1356 – 1418). The list of ciphers in this work included both substitution and transposition, and for the first time, a cipher with multiple substitutions for each plaintext letter. Also traced to Ibn al-Duraihim is an exposition on and worked example of cryptanalysis, including the use of tables of letter frequencies and sets of letters which can not occur together in one word. Al-Qalqashandi was a medieval Egyptian writer born in a village in the Nile Delta. He is the author of Subh al-a 'sha, a fourteen volume encyclopedia in Arabic, which included a section on cryptology. This information was attributed to Taj ad-Din al-Mausili (see Ahmad al-Qalqashandi).

1304 - 1369 [exploration, travel] Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta was a world traveler. He travels along a 75,000 mile voyage from Morocco to China and back. These journeys covered much of the Old World, extending from North Africa, West Africa, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe in the west, to the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China in the east, a distance readily surpassing that of his predecessors and his near-contemporary Marco Polo.

1313 - 1374 - [bacteriology, etiology, medicine, pathology] The Andalusian physician Ibn al-Khatib wrote a treatise called On the Plague, in which he stated: "The existence of contagion is established by experience, investigation, the evidence of the senses and trustworthy reports. These facts constitute a sound argument. The fact of infection becomes clear to the investigator who notices how he who establishes contact with the aflicted gets the disease, whereas he who is not in contact remains safe, and how transmission is affected through garments, vessels and earrings."

1304 – 1375 [astronomy] Ibn al-Shatir, a Muslim astronomer from Damascus, in A Final Inquiry Concerning the Rectification of Planetary Theory, incorporated the Urdi lemma and eliminated the need for an equant by introducing an extra epicycle (the Tusi-couple), departing from the Ptolemaic system in a way that was mathematically identical to what Nicolaus Copernicus did in the 16th century. Ibn al-Shatir's system was also only approximately geocentric, rather than exactly so, having demonstrated trigonometrically that the Earth was not the exact center of the universe. While previous Maragha models were just as accurate as the Ptolemaic model, Ibn al-Shatir's geometrical model was the first that was actually superior to the Ptolemaic model in terms of its better agreement with empirical observations.[273][274] Ibn al-Shatir’s rectified model was later adapted into a heliocentric model by Copernicus which was mathematically achieved by reversing the direction of the last vector connecting the Earth to the Sun in Ibn al-Shatir's model.

1371 [astronomy, engineering] As ancient sundials were nodus-based with straight hour-lines, they indicated unequal hours—also called temporary hours—that varied with the seasons. Every day was divided into twelve equal segments; thus, hours were shorter in winter and longer in summer. The idea of using hours of equal length throughout the year was the innovation of Ibn al-Shatir, based on earlier developments in trigonometry by Muhammad ibn Jābir al-Harrānī al-Battānī (Albategni). Ibn al-Shatir was aware that "using a gnomon that is parallel to the Earth's axis will produce sundials whose hour lines indicate equal hours on any day of the year." His sundial is the oldest polar-axis sundial still in existence. The concept later appeared in Western sundials from at least 1446.

1377 [demography, economics, historiography, history, humanities, political science, social sciences, sociology] Ibn Khaldun, the father of demography, cultural history, historiography, the philosophy of history, sociology, and the social sciences, and one of the forerunners of modern economics, writes his most famous work, the Muqaddimah (known as Prolegomenon in the West), which is encyclopedic in breadth, surveys the state of knowledge of his day, covering geography, accounts of the peoples of the world and their known history, the classification and aims of the sciences, and the religious sciences. In the social sciences, he introduces the concepts of social philosophy, social conflict theories, Asabiyyah (social cohesion), social capital, social networks, the Laffer curve, the historical method, standard of evidence, propoganda, systemic bias, the rise and fall of civilizations, dialectic and feedback loops, systems theory, corporate social responsibility, economic growth, macroeconomics, population growth, human capital development and the Khaldun-Laffer curve.

1377 [biology, chemistry, evolution] Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah also makes several contributions to biology and chemistry. He develops a biological theory of evolution based on empirical evidence and in which he begins with minerals evolving into plants and then animals and ending with humans evolving from monkeys, which he states is "as far as our (physical) observation extends." In chemistry, he refutes the practice of alchemy and discredits the theory of the transmutation of metals.

1380 [mathematics] Al-Kashi "contributed to the development of decimal fractions not only for approximating algebraic numbers, but also for real numbers such as pi. His contribution to decimal fractions is so major that for many years he was considered as their inventor. Although not the first to do so, al-Kashi gave an algorithm for calculating nth roots which is a special case of the methods given many centuries later by Ruffini and Horner."

1393 - 1449 - [astronomy] Ulugh Beg commissions an observatory at Samarqand in present-day Uzbekistan.

Last edited by Shooting Star; Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 02:47 AM.
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