Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Ḥiyal
(3,409 words)

(a.), with the basic meaning of “devices, subterfuges”, has had its sense considerably extended, and in particular, denotes in Classical Arabic ingenious contrivances, automata, various pieces of machinery, and finally, the science of mechanics. Since the article Ḥiyal in Vol. III deals mainly with legal fictions and ruses and with casuistic processes, the present article is especially concemed with automata, with the Arabic works describing them and with the tradition of which they are the most remarkable expression.

The mediaeval Arabic books on machines are often calle…

Cite this page
Hill, D. R., “Ḥiyal”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 19 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_8624>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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