Photographer's Note

Travels on the Silk Road: Giants of Science

Universities all over the world are proud of their great scholars and erect memorials for them. But few can boast about a pantheon like the University of Buxoro (Bukhara) in Uzbekistan. From left to right:

1) Alexander Pushkin (1799 1837)
the great Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature(not a scientist, but OK...)

2) Ali Shir Herawi (1441 – 1501)
(in uzbek “Alisher Navoiy”; pen name “Nava'I”). He was a Central Asian politician, administrator, architect, and poet who was born and lived in Herat, then the capital of Greater Khorasan under the Timurid (Uzbek) rule. He was educated in Mashhad, Herat, Buxoro and Samarkand. He was responsible for the "Timurid Renaissance" with 470 buildings all over the Timurid empire attributed to him. Under the pen name Navo'i, he firmly established the literary use of the Turkic languages. Navo'i also wrote in Persian and to a lesser degree in Arabic and Hindi.

3) Muhammad ibn Ahmad Beruni (973-1048)
known as “Al Biruni”, was a Persian mathematician, physicist, philosopher, astronomer, historian, who contributed greatly to the respective fields. He was born in Khiva, (Khorezm province, Uzbekistan), then a part of the Persian empire and first worked at the University of Kone-Urgench (Turkmenistan), later on in Ghazni (Afghanistan). His contributions to science include: methods for solving algebraic equations; irrational numbers; summation of series; combinatorics. He devised a cartographic sphere projection, calculated latitudes of cities, constructed the first globe, calculated the radius of the earth to be 6339.6 km! He read the Greek authors Aristoteles and Euclides; note that those works were at that time lost and forgotten in Europe. He travelled to India and wrote “Ta’rikh al Hind” in Arabic. In his honor, a moon crater has been named Al Beruni.

4) Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Sina-e Balkhi (980-1037)
(in Latin called “Avicenna”, in Farsi “Ibn Sina”). He was a universal scholar and physician. Born in Afshana near Bukhara (Uzbekistan, then Persia), the prince of Bukhara let Ibn Sina use his rich library that included works of the classic Greeks. He served several local dignitaries in Persia and taught at universities. Several books, among them “Qanun”, remained influential throughout the world for centuries.

5) Mirzo Ulugh Beg (1393- 1449)
Ulugh Beg (real name “Mirza Mohammad Taragai bin Shahrukh”) was a Timurid sultan as well as an astronomer, mathematician. He was the grandson of the conqueror Amir Temur (Tamerlane; 1336-1405). As a teenaged ruler he set out to turn Samarkand into an intellectual center for the empire. In 1417-1420 he built a university and invited numerous Islamic astronomers and mathematicians to study there. In 1428 he built an enormous observatory. He established himself a catalogue of star positions, the first original one since Ptolemy and determined the length of the sidereal year as 365.2570370 days. In honour of his achievements the Ulugh Beigh crater on the Moon was named after him.

I leaned heavily on Wikipedia for the note. I hope I wrote the names down right when taking the picture.

The slide was scanned, the scan had to be contrasted, an oak leaf removed with stamp, saturation increased by 12%, sharpened, all in PS.

Buin, hgupta, markogts, christian_v trouve(nt) cette note utile

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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