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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Arabic and Persian for astronomical tables, manuals), astronomical tables, which, as a rule, included star catalogs; they were compiled in many countries of the Orient during the Middle Ages. Dozens of zij by different authors are known. The most complete are the Zij Il-Khani and the Zij Ulug Beg. The Zij Il-Khani is one of the principal works of the 13th-century Maragha Observatory. It was compiled under the direction and with the direct participation of the Azerbaijani astronomer Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (Nasireddin Tusi). It contains a catalog of the bright stars and an extensive preface, which includes geographic tables and tables of sines and tangents, generally accurate to the fifth decimal point.

The Zij Ulug Beg, one of the most complete and detailed zij, was compiled in Ulug Beg’s observatory in Samarkand. It contains a catalog of the positions of 1,018 stars in the ecliptic coordinate system, most of which were obtained from observations in Samarkand. The introduction contains a compendium of astronomical knowledge in the Orient in the 15th century and includes numerous tables for astronomical calculations. Among these, the tables of sines and tangents are accurate, as a rule, to the ninth decimal point. The Zij Ulug Beg represents the highest stage achieved by Oriental astronomy before the beginning of optical observations.


Mamedbeili, G. D. Osnovatel’ Maraginskoi observatorii Mukhammed Nasireddin Tusi. Baku, 1961.
Kary Niiazov, T. N. “Astronomicheskaia shkola Ulugbeka.” Izbr. trudy, vol. 6. Tashkent, 1967.
Hevelius, J. Atlas zvezdnogo neba. Introduction by V. P. Shcheglov. Tashkent, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
To celebrate I gave a zij whose charts are like the measuring vessels by which the span of life exacts its due.
[mu] = 1/Nx * Ny [Ny.summation over (j=1)] [Nx.summation over (i=1)] Zij (2)
Als mensen een verschillende mening over iets lijken te hebben, wijs is hen graag op de punten waar zij het eigenlijk over eens zijn (dropped from scale)
In addition to his contributions to the "Zij", Qushji wrote nine major books in astronomy, two in Persian and seven in Arabic.
Zij was zo zwart als men onder de vrij gemengde negers van het eiland bijna niet aantrof.
The Zij, ceremoniously presented by Sawai Jai Singh to his emperor, was thus used by the general population as well as by rulers and administrators throughout the Mughal empire to plan forthcoming religious, agricultural, social and cultural activities as well as larger political events.
And this [correspondence between calculation and observation] is such a proof on the correctness of the principles applied in this zij.' (19)
38v; 'Ashab al-zijat in Wabkanawi's Zij, III, 5.4, or 'Ashab al-Sinaca in III, 7.1.) Sinaca even sometimes was applied for naming the whole 'astronomy' (e.g.
He had formulated his own Zij. In the book Nafh al-Tayyib it was stated: "...he wrote some works on astronomy.but the Andalusians accused him as Kafir Zindiq, because of this, he did not disclose his works and fruits of his research..." (Al-Muqriyy, 1949).
Zij zijn den voornaamsten inzet van een beslissende partij die tussen land en stad gespeeld wordt.