Prof. George Saliba: A Short Biography*
George Saliba is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures Columbia University. He received a master's degree in Semitic languages and a doctorate in Islamic sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a professor at Columbia since 1979. He is the author or editor of several books in Arabic and English on Arabic and Islamic sciences. His field of investigation is theoretical astronomy, where he performed tremendous accomplishements.
Professor Saliba qualifies his work as follows: "I study the development of scientific ideas from late antiquity till early modern times, with a special focus on the various planetary theories that were developed within the Islamic civilization and the impact of such theories on early European astronomy".
George Saliba is a recipient of a number of awards and honors, including the History of Science Prize given by the Third World Academy of Science in 1993, and the History of Astronomy Prize in 1996 from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science.
A representative source of his recent work on the transfer of mathematical and astronomical knowledge from Islamic world to Europe during 15-16th centuries is provided by his online article: Whose Science is Arabic Science in Renaissance Europe?
In May 2007, Professor George Saliba gave a lecture on "Arabic Islamic Science and the Making of the Renaissance" at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. The video streaming of this important lecture can be viewed online among Muslim Heritage Videos: Video Stream of George Saliba's Lecture.
Books and Occasional Papers:
- Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance, MIT Press, 2007.
- Rethinking the Roots of Modern Science: Arabic Scientific Manuscripts in European Libraries, Occasional Paper, Center for Contemporary Arabic Studies, Georgetown University, 1999.
- The Origin and Development of Arabic Scientific Thought, [Arabic], Balamand University, Lebanon, 1998.
- A History of Arabic Astronomy: Planetary Theories During the Golden Age of Islam, New York University Press, 1994.
- The Astronomical Work of Mu'ayyadal-Din al-'Urdi (d. 1266): A Thirteenth Century Reform of Ptolemaic Astronomy, Edition of the Arabic text with Arabic and English introductions. Beirut: markaz dirasat al-Wahda al-'Arabiya, Beirut, 1990, 1995, 2nd edition 2001.
- From Deferent to Equant: A Volume of Studies in the History of Science in the Ancient and Medieval Near East in Honorof E. S.Kennedy, co-edited with David A. King. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, NY, 1987.
- The Crisis of The Abbasid Caliphate, an annotated translation of Tabari's caliphate of al-Musta'in and al-Mu'tazz (862 - 869 A.D.), SUNY Press, 1985.
- Planispheric Astrolabes from the National Museum of American History, coauthor, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984.
- "L'astronomie Arabe," in L'âge d'or des sciences arabes, Actes Sud, Insitut du Monde Arabe, Paris, 2005, pp. 53-67.
- "Aristotelian Cosmology and Arabic Astronomy," in De Zénon d'Élée à Poincaré, edited by Régis Morelon et Ahmad Hasnawi, Peeters, Louvain, 2004, pp. 251-268.
- "The World of Islam and Renaissance Science and Technology," in The Arts of Fire: Islamic Influence on Glass and Ceramic of the Italian Renaissance, ed. Catherine Hess with contributions by Linda Komaroff and George Saliba, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2004, pp. 55-73.
- "Greek Astronomy and the Medieval Arabic Tradition," American Scientist, 2002, 90,4: pp. 360-367.
- "Arabic Planetary Theories after the Eleventh Century AD," Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science, Routledge, (London, 1996), pp. 58-127.
- "Early Arabic Critique of Ptolemaic Cosmology: A Ninth-Century Text on the Motion of the Celestial Spheres," Journal for the History of Astronomy, 1994, 25: pp. 115-141.
- "A Sixteeenth-Century Arabic Critique of Ptolemaic Astronomy: The Work of Shams al-Din al-Khafri," Journal for the History of Astronomy, 1994, 25: pp. 15-38.
- "Al-Qushji's Reform of the Ptolemaic Model for Mercury," Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 1993, 3: pp. 161-203.
- "The Role of the Astrologer in Medieval Islamic Society," Bulletin d'Etudes Orientales, 1992, 44: pp. 45-68.
- "The Astronomical Tradition of Maragha: A Historical Survey and Prospects for Future Research," Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 1991, 1: pp. 67-99.
- "A Medieval Arabic Reform of the Ptolemaic Lunar Model," Journal for the History of Astronomy, 1989, 20: pp. 157-164.
*This short biography was reworked and augmented from different sources, including George Saliba's website at Columbia University.
by: FSTC Limited, Wed 27 May, 2009