The Chinese Capital in Astrolabes

astrolabium

(Image source: Wikimedia, Caption: Persian Astrolabe from 1208)

Before the invention of modern compasses and rapid modes of transportation Astrolabes used to be the principal instrument for Muslim travellers to determine the direction of the Qibla. While going through In Synchony with the Heavens the following caught my attention, many of the astrolabes had the location of the medieval Chinese capital (Xian) inscribed on it. There was one (Volume II, Page 936) where Mansura, which is located in Sind which is now in Pakistan, was incorrectly identifed as being in China.

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One response to “The Chinese Capital in Astrolabes

  1. Pingback: Islam in China | Mohamed Iqbal Pallipurath’s Blog·

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