(583 words)

, the vertical point, i. e. the highest point in the visible sphere of the heavens in the direction of the vertical (plumb line) above the observer, at the same time the upper (visible) pole of the horizon.

The technical astronomical term for zenith in Arabic is samt al-raʾs or samt al-ruʾūs, which means “direction (samt) of the head”, corresponding to the Greek κορυφή or τò κατά κορυφὴν σημεĩον. Plato Tiburtinus reproduces samt al-raʾs in his Latin translation as zenith capitis or zenith capitum, the Spanish translation of al-Battānī by el zonte (el zont) de la cabeça (cf. al-Battānī, Opus a…

Cite this page
Hartner, Willy, “Zenith”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Consulted online on 10 December 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-871X_ei1_SIM_6093>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004082656, 1913-1936

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