Multilingual astrolabe from Spain

Date: Fourteenth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Spain
Medium: Bronze, Silver
Dimensions: 13.5 cm
Description: A bronze astrolabe with inscriptions in Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew attests to the multiple faiths of its owners in fourteenth-century southern Spain. The original expert astrolabe maker was probably a Christian in Toledo, who labeled salient features in Latin. Next, a man named Mas'ud added inscriptions in Arabic, inlaid in small silver panels on the back, as well as a circular plate to calculate time in Algiers. Finally, a Jewish owner roughly incised additional latitudes in Hebrew. These multiple owners employed the device to observe the heavenly bodies, deducing times and distances based on their relative positions at a specific latitude.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 10
Image Credits: Aga Khan Museum; Linda Safran

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Multilingual astrolabe from Spain  (AKM611) Multilingual astrolabe from Spain (AKM611) Multilingual astrolabe from Spain (AKM611), back Multilingual astrolabe from Spain, back (AKM611)