ʿABD-AL-MONʿEM ʿĀMELĪ, 10th/16th century astronomer. He apparently was commissioned to build an observatory at Isfahan by the Safavid Shah Ṭahmāsp I (1524-76). The king would have been pursuing the aborted design of his predecessor, Shah Esmāʿīl I (1502-24), to restore the observatory at Marāḡa. ʿAbd-al-Moṇʿem in any case planned an observatory. About 1560 he wrote a Persian work whose title is lost in the unique manuscript; it is usually called by modern scholars the Ketāb taʿlīm ālāt-e zīǰ (“Book of instruction on astronomical instruments”). In this work he explains his unrealized project and describes previous observatories at Alexandria, Marāḡa, Samarqand, and elsewhere.


A. Sayili, The Observatory in Islam, Ankara, 1960, pp. 288-89.

H. J. Seemann, “Die Instrumente der Sternwarte zu Maragha nach den Mitteilungen von al-ʿUrḍī,” Sb. der Physikalisch-medizinischen Societät zu Erlangen 60, 1928 (1929), pp. 121-26. Storey, II/1, p. 85.

(D. Pingree)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 14, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, p. 130

Cite this entry:

D. Pingree, “'Abd-Al-Mon'em 'Ameli,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, p. 130; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-monem-ameli-16th-century-astronomer (accessed on 16 January 2014).