A New Arabic Text of Mechanics: Sinan ibn Thabit on the Theory of Simple Machines

A New Arabic Text of Mechanics: Sinan ibn Thabit on the Theory of Simple Machines

The Arabic manuscript Orient fol. 3306 preserved at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin was in its original form a precious collection of Arabic scientific texts of mechanics and optics. It contains a fragment in one folio page consisting in a brief characterisation of the five simple machines: lever, windlass, pulley, wedge, and screw. This short text and is attributed to Sinān ibn Thābit, the son of Thābit ibn Qurra and a known mathematician and physician in Baghdad during the 10th century. It is a new source that has never been studied before. In the following article, we present the Arabic text of Sinan ibn Thabit and its English translation, accompanied with historical and analytical commentaries.

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