Jamshid Al-Kashi

Born on 1380

Died on 1429

Ghiyāth al-Dīn Jamshīd Masʿūd al-Kāshī (or al-Kāshānī);

(Persian: غیاث الدین جمشید کاشانی‎ Ghiyās-ud-dīn Jamshīd Kāshānī) (c. 1380 Kashan, Iran – 22 June 1429 Samarkand, Transoxania) was a Persian astronomer and mathematician.

Much of al-Kāshī’s work was not brought to Europe, and much, even the extant work, remains unpublished in any form.

Al-Kashi was one of the best mathematicians in the history of Iran. He was born in 1380, in Kashan, in central Iran. This region was controlled by Tamerlane, better known as Timur.

The situation changed for the better when Timur died in 1405, and his son, Shah Rokh, ascended into power. Shah Rokh and his wife, Goharshad, a Turkish princess, were very interested in the sciences, and they encouraged their court to study the various fields in great depth. Consequently, the period of their power became one of many scholarly accomplishments. This was the perfect environment for al-Kashi to begin his career as one of the world’s greatest mathematicians.

Eight years after he came into power in 1409, their son, Ulugh Beg, founded an institute in Samarkand which soon became a prominent university. Students from all over the Middle East, and beyond, flocked to this academy in the capital city of Ulugh Beg’s empire. Consequently, Ulugh Beg gathered many great mathematicians and scientists of the Middle East. In 1414, al-Kashi took this opportunity to contribute vast amounts of knowledge to his people. His best work was done in the court of Ulugh Beg.

Al-Kashi was still working on his book, called “Risala al-watar wa’l-jaib” meaning “The Treatise on the Chord and Sine”, when he died, probably in 1429. Some scholars believe that Ulugh Beg may have ordered his murder, because he went against Islamic theologians.

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