Two Astrolabes by Persian Astrolabe Makers from the Safavid Era Preserved in the Malek Museum: A Description and Survey of Their Geometrical and Numerical Inscriptions

Among the six standard planispheric astrolabes in the astronomical instrument collection of the Malek National Museum in Tehran, Iran, four are either bad copies or forgeries; however, the remaining two astrolabes (identified as nos. 2064 and 2067) seem to be original and are dated 1051 AH and 1121 AH. This paper will provide a detailed description of them, which includes a discussion of matters related to establishing their precision. My analysis draws some rather interesting conclusions regarding Safavid science, especially regarding the technical proficiency and precision of Safavid-era scientists, something that is often denied inasmuch as many historians have maintained that the Safavid period represents a time of scientific decline.