HĀRUN B. ʿALI B. HĀRUN B. YAḤYĀ B. ABI MANṢUR AL-MONAJJEM, astronomer, astrologer, and Hadith expert, born ca. 915 C.E., died 29 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 376/1 May 987 in Baghdad. Hārun’s family traced its ancestry back to Abu Manṣur, whose Persian name was Ābān Gošnasp, the son of Warid, the son of Kād, the son of Mahānidād Gošnasp, the son of Farruḵdād, the son of Asād, the son of Mehrgošnasp, the son of Yazdkart (see al-Nadim, pp. 160-61; Ebn Ḵallekān, IV, pp. 84-85; corrected by Justi). Hārun’s famous great-grandfather, Yaḥyā b. Abi Manṣur, the astronomer and companion of al-Maʾmun, converted to Islam at the caliph’s urging. Nothing written by Hārun survives, but his biographer (Ebn al-Qefṭi, p. 338) states that he was a famous astrologer who worked with astronomical instruments and wrote an astronomical table (zij) (Kennedy, p. 136, no. 102). Ever since the publication of Suter’s Die Mathematiker he has been confused with his relative, Hārun b. ʿAli b. Yaḥyā b. Abi Manṣur, a collector of poetry (al-Nadim, p. 160; Ebn al-Ḵallekān, III, pp. 604-5).


Ferdinand Justi, Iranisches Namenbuch, Marburg, 1895.

Edward S. Kennedy, “A Survey of Islamic Astronomical Tables,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, N.S. 46, 1956, pp. 121-77.

Ebn Ḵallekān, Ketāb wafayāt al-aʿyān, tr. M. de Slane, 4 vols., London, 1842-43; repr. Beirut, 1970.

Al-Nadim, Ketāb al-fehrest, ed. Tajaddod al-Māzandarāni, 3rd imp., Beirut, 1988.

Ebn al-Qefṭi, Taʾriḵ al-ḥokamāʾ, ed. J. Lippert, Leipzig, 1903.

Heinrich Suter, Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber und ihre Werke, Leipzig, 1900.

(David Pingree)

Originally Published: December 15, 2003

Last Updated: March 20, 2012

This article is available in print.
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