Taqi al-Din ibn Ma’ruf (Damascus, 1526–Istanbul, 1585)
26/2 Kapak Hikayesi
Taqi al-Din Muhammad ibn Ma’ruf (Modern Turkish: Takiyuddin or Taki) (1526–1585) was a major Ottoman scientist and polymath who excelled in mathematics, astronomy, engineering, mechanics, and optics in the second half of the 16th century. He was the author of more than ninety books on a wide variety of subjects including astronomy, clocks, engineering, mathematics, mechanics, optics, and natural philosophy. One of his books, Al-Turuq al-Saniyya fi al-Alat al-Ruhaniyya (The Sublime Methods of Spiritual Machines), described the workings of a rudimentary steam engine and steam turbine, predating the more famous discovery of steam power by Giovanni Branca in 1629. Taqi al-Din is also known for the invention of a ‘monobloc’ six cylinder pump, for his construction of the Istanbul observatory, and for his astronomical activity there for several glorious years until the observatory was closed. This figure depicts Taqi al-Din ibn Ma’ruf together with a group of astronomers in his observatory in Istanbul. The very detailed depiction of all the elements of the scene (the architectural frame, furniture, instruments, etc.) characterize Ottoman painting from the second half of the 16th century. The same attention to detail and pursuit of an almost documentary accuracy is apparent in most works of the period. This illustrious scientist wrote a treatise in which he argued that contemporary astronomic tables were obsolete and petitioned for the development of new tables. At this instigation, Murad III decided in 1575 to build an astronomical observatory in Istanbul, on the European side of the Bosphorus, on the summit of the hill in the Topkhane quarter. The observatory, which was completed in 1577, occupied two buildings: one housed a library and accommodation for staff; the second contained numerous measuring and observational instruments belonging to Taqi al-Din. When compared with those of the contemporary Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, Taqi al-Din’s observations are more precise. Furthermore, some of the instruments that he had in his observatory were of superior quality to Tycho Brahe’s.
A group of astronomers working in the Istanbul Observatory of Taqi al-Din. “They constructed a small observatory, next to the Center, fifteen scholars began working there, in the service of Takiyüddin, then each began observations, and five of them became a master.”