Manuscripts of mathematical works in the Gazi Husrev- bey Library

  • Mustafa Jahić, dr.


Contemporary renowned mathematical research in the world has shows that the emergency and development of a large mathematics concepts is due to the influence and works of Arabic-Islamic mathematicians in the period between IX and XV centuries. The ground work on which mathematical research in Baghdad started developing in ninth century is not quite known, however, it is believed that the development owes largely to the great Indian mathematician, who had then already developed decimal system of numbers, which was very important for the further development of mathematics among the Arabs. The further development of the mathematics among the Arabs was in part due to the translation of Greek mathematical works into Arabic and the study of these works. Arab mathematicians had a great effect on the West, through which the West was acquainted with the achieved results of Indian and Arab mathematicians. This influence was felt all way until the middle of the nineteen-century. With the accession of Bosnian to the Islamic civilization, the Bosniaks of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding countries/provinces, start to intensively, deal with not only religious sciences but also with other fields of study which the Islamic civilization had accepted from the other nations, developed and further perfected, so that after a time being, even the Western civilizations accepted it.

By traveling to famous Islamic educational centers and even to local madrasas, the Bosnian youth slowly start to study the mentioned disciplines. This is proven in the large number of documents and manuscripts that were safe-kept in madrasas, libraries and personal collections. It is also known that a large number of documents have been deliberately destroyed, mainly burned. A considerable number of manuscripts with Bosnian origin, that have been either written or rewritten by Bosnian authors, are still kept in libraries and other institutions throughout the world today. These manu- scripts are very diverse, and range from Islamic-theological works to natu- ral-mathematical works, that were studied at that time. The diversity of the fields of study that the Bosniaks dealt with is also noted in the mentioned manuscripts. Among those places where precious manuscripts are kept, the most significant is the Gazi Husrev-bey Library, which contains more than 10,000 manuscripts, among them many mathematical works.

Some of those works were subject to research and attracted great scientific interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina and therefore we hope that our work will cause our young researchers to devote themselves studying this segment of Bosnians cultural inheritance. In that way they will prove richness and various cultural creativity of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

How to Cite
Jahić, M. (2005). Manuscripts of mathematical works in the Gazi Husrev- bey Library. Anali Gazi Husrev-Begove Biblioteke, 13(23-24), 41-54. Retrieved from