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Ibn al-Hayt̲h̲am
(1,138 words)

, Abu ʿAlī al-Ḥasan b. al-Ḥasan (or Ḥusayn) b. al-Hayt̲h̲am al-Baṣrī al-Miṣrī , was identified towards the end of the 19th century with the Alhazen , Avennathan and Avenetan of mediaeval Latin texts. He is one of the principal Arab mathematicians and, without any doubt, the best physicist.

In respect of his biography we have numerous lacunae. He was born in Baṣra in about 354/965; during the reign of al-Ḥākim (386-411/996-1021) he went to Egypt where he tried to regulate the flow of the Nile. He abandoned this task when he realized its imposs…

Cite this page
Vernet, J., “Ibn al-Hayt̲h̲am”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 16 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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