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Aisha Alowais Alshamsi

PhD Student 

Research interests: Medieval Arabic Astronomy | Arabic-Latin Translation Movement | History of Astronomy | High Middle Ages | Medieval Science | Islamic influences in Medieval Europe

Year PhD started: 2023


A Comparative Analysis of Comet Descriptions in Medieval Arabic Astronomical and Historical Treatises

In this research, I examine the comet descriptions found in Arabic books authored by historians and astronomers during the medieval Islamic civilization. A multidimensional approach is employed to investigate their understanding of comets from various perspectives. The analysis focuses on the astronomical, meteorological, and astrological interpretations of comets, including their association with omens and prognostication. The study aims to identify the scholars who attributed negative connotations to comets and those who deviated from Aristotelian views. Through this examination, a comprehensive understanding of the diverse viewpoints and beliefs surrounding comets in medieval Arabic astronomical and historical texts is sought.

Supervisors: Prof. John Tresch and Prof. Charles Burnett