I love these old mystery schematics where the idiosyncratic drawing style and lack of a readily identifiable energy input system often leave me fairly puzzled as to the true context or viability of the machines. I’m not necessarily sure that a knowledge of Arabic would enlighten us to any great extent.
Although there are a few astrological images, this anonymous manuscript is almost totally devoted to fluid dynamics and mechanics. I can’t find any background to the work and suppose it was produced somewhere between the 16th to 19th centuries.
- All the images here are cropped details from the source pages at Max Planck Digital Library where the ~300 page manuscript is listed simply as ‘Anonym., Ms. or. fol. 3306 ,o. J.’ (‘or.’ being Oriental)
- The above images (fairly large in size) have also been uploaded to Wikimedia.
- I presume this manuscript copies from earlier scholars, most notably Al-Jazari.
Arabic Machine Manuscript