◀ ▲ ▶History / Early-middle-ages / Person: Al-Kindi, Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Sabbah
Person: Al-Kindi, Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Sabbah
Al-Kindi was an Islamic mathematician who wrote on the Indian mumber system as well as geometry and optics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- This was certainly the right place for al-Kindi to get the best education possible at this time.
- Although quite a few details (and legends) of al-Kindi's life are given in various sources, these are not all consistent.
- Certainly all agree that al-Kindi was descended from the Royal Kindah tribe which had originated in southern Arabia.
- After beginning his education in Kufah, al-Kindi moved to Baghdad to complete his studies and there he quickly achieved fame for his scholarship.
- The main task that al-Kindi and his colleagues undertook in the House of Wisdom involved the translation of Greek scientific manuscripts.
- Under both these Caliphs al-Kindi fared less well.
- Most of al-Kindi's philosophical writings seem designed to show that he believed that the pursuit of philosophy is compatible with orthodox Islam.
- Al-Kindi "was the most leaned of his age, unique among his contemporaries in the knowledge of the totality of ancient scientists, embracing logic, philosophy, geometry, mathematics, music and astrology.
- Perhaps, rather surprisingly for a man of such learning whose was employed to translate Greek texts, al-Kindi does not appear to have been fluent enough in Greek to do the translation himself.
- Clearly he was most influenced most strongly by the writings of Aristotle but the influence of Plato, Porphyry and Proclus can also be seen in al-Kindi's ideas.
- We should certainly not give the impression that al-Kindi merely borrowed from these earlier writer, for he built their ideas into an overall scheme which was certainly his own invention.
- Al-Kindi wrote many works on arithmetic which included manuscripts on Indian numbers, the harmony of numbers, lines and multiplication with numbers, relative quantities, measuring proportion and time, and numerical procedures and cancellation.
- In geometry al-Kindi wrote, among other works, on the theory of parallels.
- Perhaps al-Kindi's own words give the best indication of what he attempted to do in all his work.
- Certainly al-Kindi tried hard to follow this path.
- Much of al-Kindi's work remains to be studied closely or has only recently been subjected to scholarly research.
Born about 801, Kufa, Iraq. Died 873, Baghdad, Iraq.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Arab, Origin Iraq
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive