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Hassan Sabbah Dabbled in Astronomy


29 August 2004



Following the discovery of a sextant in the legendary castle of Alamut in central Iran, experts now believe Hassan Sabbah, the leader of Ismaili sect, has been an astronomer.

Historical documents assert he was a scientist who dabbled in all major science fields of his lifetime, including medicine, architecture and astronomy.

“During recent excavations in Alamut, archaeologists have discovered some pieces of metal, including a circular and flat plate. After some studies, they concluded it was a sextant,” said Hamideh Chobak, head of the research team.

Now Iranian experts speculate that the theory long-maintained about Sabbah’s astronomical pursuits could be verified. “In Iran’s history of astronomy, Sabbah is not mentioned as an astronomer, but since he was a famed weather forecaster and was a close friend to Iranian scholar and poet Hakim Umar Khayyam, we could guess he dealt with the science as well,” noted Zahra Mobeini, research manager at Tehran’s Astronomical Sciences Center.

Hasan Sabbah (circa 1034 - 1124), or “The Old Man of the Mountain”, was the charismatic leader of the Hashshashin, an Islamic mystery cult, known to us as the Assassins.



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