Allah's Automata

Artifacts of the Arab-Islamic Renaissance (800-1200)

€ 25.00

The book is out of print. It may be available from ZVAB or other second-hand book portals.

Allah's Automata
Artifacts of the Arab-Islamic Renaissance (800-1200)

Ed. Siegfried Zielinski, ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Peter Weibel, text(s) by Mohammed Abattouy, Ulrich Alertz, Nadia Ambrosetti, Ayhan Aytes, Mona Sanjakdar Chaarani, Claus-Peter Haase, Salim T.S. Al-Hassani, Susanne Rühling, George Saliba, Imad Samir, Peter Weibel, Siegfried Zielinski u.a., Eilhard Wiedemann, graphic design by Clemens Jahn


2015. 152 pp., 80 ills.


22.80 x 27.50 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4106-4

Fascinating artifacts and illuminated handwriting from Baghdad, Kurdistan, and Andalusia

Spectacular evidence of the technical achievements of the Golden Age of Arabic-Islamic cultures

Centuries before the first automata caused a sensation in Europe, their technology had been developed in Arabic-Islamic cultures: as early as between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, Arabic scholars noted down their knowledge about machines, which they had acquired through the translation and further development of antique texts, in praise of God Almighty. The opulent publication introduces four master manuscripts on the construction of automata: two works by the Banu Musa Ibn-Šhakir from the mid-ninth century, one by the engineer Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari written in around 1200, as well as a manuscript by the Andalusian engineer Ahmad ibn Khalaf al-Muradi from the eleventh century.

Accompanying essays reconstruct the development of the Muslim automata from the traditions of Alexandria, Rome, or Byzantium from a media-archeological perspective and throw light on their advancement in Europe.

Exhibition: ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe 31.10.2015–28.2.2016

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