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Review: Artisans and Mathematicians in Medieval Islam
Reviewed Work: The Topkapi Scroll: Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture by Gülru Necipoğlu
Review by: George Saliba
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 119, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1999), pp. 637-645
Published by: American Oriental Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/604839
Page Count: 9
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This review article explores the relationship between the artisans and mathematicians of medieval Islam by examining the earliest historical sources in which such a relationship is depicted, and by focusing especially on the technical language that was used to describe the actual functions of one type of artisan, namely, the architect or master builder. It also argues for the need to draw necessary distinctions between the various types of artisans in order to delineate the exact dimensions of their relationship with theoretical mathematicians. As an example, it demonstrates how a group of early texts could be used to prove the close relationship that had developed between artisans, who were instrument makers, and theoretical mathematicians.
Journal of the American Oriental Society © 1999 American Oriental Society