Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 14 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian

A Collection of Scientific Treatises


Several short scientific and mathematical treatises

Language(s): Persian & Arabic

Incipit: رب يسر. يسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. كتاب الأكر لثاوذوسيوس وهو ثلث مقالات وتسعة وخمسين شكلا
Explicit: فقوس ط ك أعظم من قوس من دائرتها نسبة قوس ره وذلك ما اردناه والله أعلم

There are lots of illustrations throughout this section, all astronomical in nature. The last nine propositions do not have illustrations.

This section is not dated, but is likely 17th Century.

The original text was the Liber Sphaerarum of Theosodius Tripolitanus which was translated into Arabic by Qusṭā ibn Lūqā and later revised by Thābit ibn Qurra al-Ḥarrānī.

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. بعد از حمد کردکار ودرود بر نبی مختار
Explicit: باید وبر چند در ایران یکدیگر نزدیکتر قولش بیشتر

This extract ends abruptly mid-sentence.

The fragment likely dates to the seventeenth century.

There is a large annotated illustration on f35v.

Incipit: مقاله اول کتاب اقلیدس در خواص متقاطعه و متوازیه
Explicit: در نصف النهار روز مطلوب بطول ن ه نایاد

This section is a series of folios which have been written on on only one side. The contents are all written transversely down the page and are all astronomical fragments.

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. الحمد لله الذي خلق كل شئ بقدر *** وقدر له ما يليث به من كل اشكال وصور
Explicit: والصلوة علي عبيد وأله الكرام وصحبه العظام
Colophon: تمت تمام شد هذه رساله المماة شرح الاشكال بيد العيد الراجي إلى رحمته حقيقي

The scribe signs off under the name Ḥaqīqī. The manuscript is likelye 17th century.

The work is a commentary on the Ashkāl al-Taʾsīs of Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ashraf al-Samarqandī.


Fragment of a text concerning the use of the astrolabe. The extract begins and ends imperfectly, with no basmalah and the ending mid-sentence.

Incipit: اقسام در جانب راست میان افق مغرب وخط وسط الشماء
Explicit: این صوراند دولیت ونود هفت اند واکه خایع
Incipit: ...که واقع شود آن مقداری انخفاض آن عمیق باشد
Explicit: گفتم باقی عمق چاه باشد ه والسلام والکرام

This section has been extensively annotated in Persian by several hands. There are purchase notes on f205v.

This is also likely 17th century.

The fragment begins part way through the second chapter of the parent text and contains chapters three, four, five and sixty five (the final chapter, which is complete). The parent text is so far unidentified.

Incipit: علم حکمت دانستن احوال موجودات است بر وجه حقیقت بقدر طاقت بشری
Explicit: وعطارد را سه درجه وشش رقیقه وبیست وچهار ثانیه باشد تمت تمام

This fragment is also likely seventeenth century.


Written in the same hand as the sixth item in the manuscript.

Also seventeenth century.

Dennison Ross and Brown give the title of this fragment as "fī 'l-ʿaml bi-rubʿ al-dāʾirah al-mawdūʿ fīhi al-muqanṭarāt".

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم. الحمد لله فاطر السموات ومبدع المخلوقات ومدبر الكائنات
Explicit: الباب العشرون في معرفة وحال الكوكب في وقت مفروض الق مطالع طلوعة من مطالع الوقت

F249r is blank.

The fragment is also about the use of the astrolabe.

Also seventeenth century.

Incipit: خطی بحیب کشیده قطی وفرس قطب آن میخ بود
Explicit: حجره بود در ست بود والاخطال

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Brown woven paper.
Extent: ff.iii+249+iv
Dimensions (leaf): 210 × 140 mm.

European numerals in pencil.


Variable condition depending on the text. Some very stained.


Layout is variable depending on the section.


Range of hands, all of which write in nastaʿlīq script, whether Arabic or Persian. At least eight different hands.


There are lots of images and illustrations across the manuscript, all of which are of a mathematical/technical nature.


There are marginal comments on almost every item in the manuscript in a variety of different hands.


Standard India Office half leather binding with wine-coloured marbled endpapers.

Accompanying Material

Appended to the manuscript before the first folio is a letter from Francis Gladwin to William Jones, informing him that he was sending Jones some mathematical treatises, these being, presumably, the manuscripts collected here.


Origin: 17th century CE ; India

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. According to Wilkins, this manuscript was presented by Lady Jones.

The Royal Society's collection of 280 Persian and Arabic, and 86 Sanskrit manuscripts were transferred to the India Office Library in 1876.


India Office Library

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on E. Denison Ross and E. G. Browne, Catalogue of two collections of Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1902), p. 9-12 no. XIV


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Funding of Cataloguing



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