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(3,409 words)

Author(s): Hill, D. R.
(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…


(624 words)

Author(s): Hill, D. R.
, Badīʿ al-Zamān Abu ’l-ʿIzz Ismāʿīl b. al-Razzāz , engineer who worked in al-D̲j̲azīra during the latter part of the 6th/12th century. His reputation rests upon his book, Kitāb fī maʿrifat al-ḥiyal al-handasiyya (ed. and tr. D.R. Hill, The book of knowledge of ingenious mechanical devices, Dordrecht 1974), which he composed in 602/1206 on the orders of his master Nāṣir al-Dīn Maḥmūd, a prince of the Artuḳid dynasty [ q.v.] of Diyār Bakr. All that we know of his life is what he tells us in the introduction to his book, namely that at the time of writing he had be…
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