Astrolabes & Quadrants

The Universal Astrolabe
Saphea Arzachelis

A Sine Quadrant made for the Timbouctou Library
Project's documentary film.

The astrolabe was not invented, but evolved from Greek mathematical foundations and observational
instruments. True astrolabes existed by the late 4th century and probably somewhat earlier. Arabs adopted the astrolabe, improved both the instruments and the theory and the astrolabe was largely
complete by the 10th century AD. The astrolabe was introduced to Europe from Islamic Spain in the 11th century and became the most popular astronomical device until it was replaced by more accurate and specialized instruments in the 17th century.
Using it, Astronomers were able to chart the heavens and through finding the altitudes of the stars at given periods of the year, the seasons, months, time of day or night, day length, right ascensions, latitude and longitude, orbital path of the earth and so on, could be obtained.
Then, Astrology was deemed of great importance and so the astrological instrument was calibrated for night time observations of the heavens and particular stars.
Because, in use, the Astrolabe was suspended from a hanger, it could be used at sea and early explorers and Mediterranean sea and land traders relied heavily on its accuracy and dependability.

Most Astrolabes are site specific and all are purpose made.
Both Universal and Planispheric Astrolabes are offered.

Enquire from:-

In the learning of Astrolabes I am deeply indebted to and humbly thank
'Janus', the late Mr. James E. Morrison
Of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA for the expert and detailed knowledge he
So freely imparted.
Thanks Jim. You certainly opened the doors to my mind for me.
Go well, my friend.
It was you alone that took me from the basics right to the top of scientific knowledge
And understanding of astrolabes.
Your book 'The Astrolabe' is one of my lasting treasures.   

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