Abu Ma’shar: Persian Prince of Astrology

Introduction to Astronomy, Containing the Eight Divided Books of Abu Ma'shar Abalachus - 1140 translation into Latin by Hermann of Carinthia

Initially a student of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammed, Abu Ma’shar went from prominent skeptic to one of Islam’s greatest Medieval astrologers and was responsible for preserving and synthesizing both Persian and Hellenistic techniques and philosophies.

In the Footsteps of Angels: Medieval Arabic Astrology

Illustration of different phases of the moon, from manuscript of the Kitab al-Tafhim by Al-Biruni (973-1048).

As the newly formed Muslim caliphate extended beyond the Arabian Peninsula, it encountered Persian, Hellenistic, and Indian forms of astrology, integrating them into a refined science that would reach its medieval peak in Baghdad, a city whose fortune and fate would be foretold by the stars.