Sergei J. Maslikov (Novosibirsk, Russia) obtained his Ph.D in physics and mathematics in the Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), in 2017. His dissertation, which was written in Russian, has the following title: Astrolabe as astronomical instrument: from Antiquity to Early modern period. He described all the planispheric astrolabes that are stored in Russian museums: the Hermitage, the Kunstkamera, the Museum of the East, the Central Naval Museum, the Russian National Library. He is an author of the books and articles on astrolabes and the history of Russian astronomy.


  • Maslikov S. Yu. Analysis of fragments of astronomical instruments from Tsarevo site (Volgograd region) / Climate&Nature, 2023, no. 1(10), pp. 21-29. Download Article: En; Ru.

    Масликов С. Ю. Анализ фрагментов астрономических инструментов с Царевского городища / Климат и природа. 2023. №4. С. 3-12.
    ABSTRACT: Questions related to the level of astronomical knowledge in Volga Bulgaria and the Golden Horde in the 10th-16th centuries are presented. Fragments of astronomical instruments found during excavations at the Tsarevo site are analyzed. These are the remains of the mount of the celestial globe and the tympan – a part of the astrolabe. A reconstruction of the original appearance of the instruments was carried out, and their purpose was described briefly. Using the lines on the surface of the tympan, an attempt was made to restore the latitude of the place for which tympan was intended.

  • Maslikov Sergei. Sultan Bayazid II’s Astrolabe discovered in St. Petersburg / Channels of Transmission of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ottoman World (14th-18th Centuries). International Congress. 21-24 November 2023, Istanbul, Türkiye. Download The Book of Abstracts. Download Abstract.
  • Масликов С.Ю. Уникальная астролябия, хранящаяся в Российской национальной библиотеке / Национальная библиотека. 2023. № 4 (25). С. 42-49. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. A unique astrolabe, stored in the Russian National Library / National Library. 2023. #4 (25). P. 42-49.
    ABSTRACT: The article talks about the planispheric astrolabe, which is stored in the Russian National Library. Not all parts of this astronomical instrument have survived to this day. Despite this, it is of great scientific value. The fact is that the body of the astrolabe is engraved with the name of the master, the year of manufacture and dedication to Sultan Bayezid II. It is interesting that there is another astrolabe abroad, made by the same master for the same customer.


  • Масликов С. Ю. Восточные астролябии, хранящиеся в России / Историко-астрономические исследования. Вып. XLI / Ин-т истории естествознания и техники им. С. И. Вавилова РАН: отв. ред. Г. Е. Куртик. – Воронеж : АртПринт, 2022. С. 115-133. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. ORIENTAL ASTROLABES STORED IN RUSSIA / Studies in the History of Astronomy. Vol. 41. 2022. P. 115-133.
    ABSTRACT: Two dozen little-studied planispheric astrolabes are stored in Russian museums; most of them are unknown for western researchers. Among them there are unique specimens that can add new touches to the history of astronomy and other sciences. These instruments are also deficiency known to Russian museum employees, who have difficulty creating various expositions and therefore prefer not to exhibit astrolabes. The article provides a survey of astrolabes of eastern origin stored in Russian museums. Their design features and history are described; information about their creators and owners is given. Some special instruments are considered in more detail, including an instrument of late antiquity, which, according to the author, was the predecessor of astrolabe.


  • Maslikov S. J. The Greek portable sundial from Memphis rediscovered / Journal for the History of Astronomy. August 2021. V. 52. № 3. P. 311-324. Download Article (sorry, only 7 pages).
  • Масликов С. Ю. О чём поведала астролябия VP-856 и как цифровые карты помогли заглянуть в прошлое / Наука и жизнь. 2021. № 2. С. 56-63. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. What did the VP-856 astrolabe tell us about and how digital maps helped us look into the past / Science and life. Num. 2. Moscow, 2021. P. 56-63.


  • Масликов С. Ю. Незавидная участь старинных астрономических инструментов в России / Газета «Троицкий вариант. Наука». 14 января 2020. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. The unenviable fate of ancient astronomical instruments in Russia / Newspaper "Troitsk's variant. Sience". January 14, 2020.


  • Масликов С. Ю. Как Бируни измерил Землю / Геодезия и картография. 2019. Т. 80. № 7. С. 57–64. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. BIRUNI'S METHOD OF MEASURING THE EARTH / Geodesy and Cartography. 2019. V. 80, #7. P. 57-64.
    ABSTRACT: A thousand years ago, one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic Era Iranian scientist-encyclopedist Abu Rayhan al-Biruni measured the Earth globe. He described the measurement process in his several treatises. Many of the more recent comments say that he received a very precise result, unrivaled until the New Time. The autor provides a detailed analysis of Biruni's measurement method, as well as an assessment of possible errors accompanying those measurements. Step by step the measurement process is reinstated; binding is made to specific places of observation, technical parameters of the instruments used are discussed. A parallactic method and instrument for measuring elevations proposed by Biruni is considered, which could only be put into practice in the 20th century. As a result of the research it was shown that Biruni's method is not as accurate as it was believed. In addition, it is difficult to compare the unit of the length measurement used at Biruni's time with modern ones.

  • Масликов С. Ю. Научный инструмент эпохи поздней античности в коллекции Государственного Эрмитажа // Труды Государственного Эрмитажа. Т. 99: Византия в контексте мировой культуры: материалы конференции, посвященной памяти А. В. Банк (1906-1984). С.-Пб., 2019. С. 28-42. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov Sergey. A LATE ANTIQUE SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT FROM THE STATE HERMITAGE COLLECTION / Transactions of the State Hermitage Museum. 2019. V. 99. P. 28-42.
    ABSTRACT: The study revisits a well-preserved scientific instrument dating to the Late Antique period, termed in Western research publications as portable sundial. The article provides a detailed description of the instrument, its components and use. We have extended the range of its potential applications by proving that the instrument may have been utilised to determine latitudes during navigation. Given the role of the instrument in the history of science and technology as well as its functionalities, we suggest that this and other similar appliances should be referred to as precursors of planispheric astrolabes or proastrolabes.

  • Масликов С. Ю. Иранские корни астролябии, изготовленной в индийском Лахоре // Научные сообщения Государственного музея Востока. М., 2019. Т. 28. С. 126-141. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. J. Iranian roots of the astrolabe made in Lahore, India / Transactions of the State Museum of Oriental Art. Moscow, 2019. V. 28. P. 126-141.
    ABSTRACT: Open databases of astrolabes and catalogs of the world's leading museums have made it possible to perform a detailed comparison of the Moscow astrolabe with other instruments of the 16th century and even with its earlier predecessors. It is on this task that the author of this article focused, in an attempt to outline a kind of “family tree” of the Moscow astrolabe. And although this astrolabe is just a copy made from the more famous (but not extant) astrolabe of a certain Mirza Baysungur, she was able to talk about her Iranian roots and even indicate the city where her predecessors came from.


  • Масликов С. Ю. Тысяча лет со времени построения первой астрономо-геодезической сети / Геодезия и картография. 2018. Т. 79. № 4. С. 53–58. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. A THOUSAND YEARS SINCE THE FIRST ASTRONOMICAL-GEODETIC NETWORK WAS CONSTRUCTED / Geodesy and Cartography. 2018. V. 79, #4. P. 53-58.
    ABSTRACT: The «Geodesy» tractate written by prominent encyclopedic scientist Abu Rayhan Muḥammad ibn Ahmad Al-Biruni in 1018–1025, is in fact the instruction on the instruments and methodology of astronomical determinations of latitudes and longitudes of cities, measurements of distances between cities and specifying the Earth size. In the same tractate al-Biruni demonstrates the practical appliance of the described methodology to the determination of coordinates of certain localities situated now at the territories of several Middle-East and Central Asia states. For that purpose, the geodetic polygon of around 5400 km in perimeter was devised by al-Biruni with Bagdad as its starting point. Using the Nishapur city lying inside the polygon as the example, al-Biruni shows the possibility of further thickening of the geodetic network. The polygon in whole is bound to the point of Alexandria in Egypt being well-known astronomical center of the antiquity. Described in the tractate are several terms and methods that closely correspond to the modern instructions for devising the state geodetic network. The practical part of the tractate has never been investigated by the researches, and the tractate as a whole is the important source for the history of geodesy, especially in connection with the millennium jubilee of its creation.


  • Масликов С. Ю. Астролябия как астрономический инструмент: от античности до Нового времени : диссертация … кандидата физ.-мат. наук. Институт истории естествознания и техники, М., 2017. 229 с. Download Dissertation (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. Astrolabe as an astronomical instrument: from Antiquity to Early modern period / Dissertation for the degree of candidate of science. Moscow. 2017. 229 p.

  • Maslikov S. Large Wooden Astrolabe from the State Hermitage Museum / Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society. No. 133 (June 2017). London. P. 2-12. Download Article .
  • Масликов С. Ю. Астролябия. Главный астрономический инструмент тысячелетия / Кот Шрёдингера. №7-8 (33-34). Июль-август 2017. С. 42-49. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. Astrolabe. The main astronomical instrument of the millennium / Shroedinger `s cat. No. 7-8 (33-34). July-August 2017. P. 42-49.


  • Maslikov, Sergei and Sarma, Sreeramula Rajeswara. A Lahore Astrolabe of 1587 at Moscow. Enigmas in its Construction / Indian Journal of History of Science. 2016. Vol. 51. Issue 3. New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy, 2016. P. 454-477. Download Article .
  • Масликов С. Ю. Как графометр стал астролябией / Историко-астрономические исследования. Вып. XXXIX / Ин-т истории естествознания и техники им. С. И. Вавилова РАН: отв. ред. Г. Е. Куртик. – Дубна : Феникс+, 2016. С. 152-171. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. HOW THE GRAPHOMETER BECAME AN ASTROLABE / Studies in the History of Astronomy. Vol. 39. 2016. P. 152-171.
    ABSTRACT: Some Russian museums keep scientific instruments of the past, which were widely used for geodetic surveying in 18th – 19th centuries. These instruments for angle measurements are usually called astrolabes, although they have very little in common with real planispheric astrolabes with their bimillenary history. In addition, this appears to be a purely Russian name, because in foreign museums same instruments are called by other terms.
    The paper first traces the origin and history of geodetic angle-measuring instruments of the simplest kind. It is noted that at least since 1725–27, angle-measuring instruments of different types, that had different names originally, in Russia came to be called "astrolabes," a term borrowed from the planispheric tools little-known in our country. This term as a matter of convention was preserved over the entire period of their use during the 18th – 19th centuries.
    The study offers a brief overview is offered of instruments stored in Russian museums under the name of "astrolabe".

  • Масликов С.Ю. Три европейские школы изготовления астролябий, представленные в трех музеях Санкт-Петербурга / Вопросы истории естествознания и техники. Т 37. №4. М.: Наука, 2016. С. 668-683. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. THREE EUROPEAN SCHOOLS OF ASTROLABE MAKING, REPRESENTED IN THREE ST.PETERBURG'S MUSEUMS / Studies in the History of Science and Technology. Vol. 37. Num. 4. Moscow, 2016. P. 668-683.
    ABSTRACT:The paper reviews the history of three European-made astrolabes stored in the museums of St.Petersburg, some general principles used in their making, and their distinctive design features. These instruments represent three different designs of such instruments – classical planispheric astrolabe that had been developed back in the Ancient Greece; universal astrolabe originating from the 11th century; and a comparatively rare 16th century design based on Rojas’ projection – that belong to three school of making astrolabes, the German. Flemish, and Italian schools. Therefore these three astrolabes provide a glimpse into three different principles of projecting spherical astronomical coordinates and stars onto the plane of the instrument and, at the same time, give an idea of its standard unchanging components and of the evolution of the designer’s thought over a period of fifteen hundred years. All of these instruments are also the intricate works of art of “noble” origin: three to four centuries ago each of these had been handled by an eminent owner. The paper also describes the German, Flemish, and Italian schools of scientific instrument-making which existed in the 16th century, the golden era of the astrolabes. The Italian astrolabe is discussed in more detail: it was relatively recently discovered in the Central Naval Museum and its maker has not been identified yet.

  • Масликов С. Ю. Астролябия Петра Первого / Земля и Вселенная. №3. 2016. С. 75-85. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. Astrolabe of Peter the Great / Earth and Universe. Num. 3. Moscow, 2016. P. 75-85.


  • Maslikov S. Peter the Great's Astrolabe Celebrates 400th Anniversary / Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society. No. 124 (March 2015). London. P. 10-15. Download Article .
  • Maslikov S. Two sides of a single astrolabe / Book of Abstracts. XXXIV Symposium of the Scientific Instrument Commission, Turin, Italy, 7-11 September 2015. P. 67. Download The Book of Abstracts. Download Abstract .
  • Масликов С. Ю. От звездных каталогов к таблицам и спискам звезд для астролябий / Историко-астрономические исследования. Вып. 38 / Ин-т истории естествознания и техники им. С. И. Вавилова РАН: отв. ред. Г. Е. Куртик. М.: Физматлит, 2015. С. 69-99. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. FROM STAR CATALOGUES TO STAR TABLES AND LISTS OF ASTROLABE STARS / Studies in the History of Astronomy. Vol. 38. 2015. P. 69-99.
    ABSTRACT: The work review and summarizes the knowledge on the most important star catalogues 2nd-16th A.D. This includes analizes of star tables and lists, which served to construct the spider (rete), the most characteristic part of the planispheric astrolabe. Next are descriptions of auxiliary coordinates – altitudo and mediation. Close connection is established between the Ptolemy’s 30 stars list from his book «The Phases of the Fixed Stars» and stars lists of the 9th-12th A.D. We also specify the date of making the astrolabe from Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (St.-Petersburg, number ML-02723), which was studied by comparative method.

  • Масликов С. Ю. Неизвестные работы востоковеда Б. А. Дорна, посвященные арабским астролябиям / Вестник НГУ. Серия: История, филология. 2015. Том 14, вып. 10: Востоковедение. – Новосибирск : РИНЦ НГУ, 2015. С. 117-122. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. UNKNOWN WORKS OF THE ORIENTALIST B. A. DORN DEVOTED TO THE ARABIAN ASTROLABES / Vestnik Novosibirsk State University. Series: History and Philology. Vol. 14. Iss. 10: Oriental Studies. 2015. P. 117-124.
    ABSTRACT: The article reveals new aspects of the scientific activity of Russian orientalist Academician B. A. Dorn who lived in the middle of the 19th century (1805–1881). Over almost forty years B.A. Dorn was the head of the Asian Museum in St. Petersburg (now the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences). The main Dorn’s scientific contribution is considered to be the vast catalogue of Oriental manuscripts and also the study of ethnography, philology, and history of Caspian Sea peoples and the Afghans. Little is known about that during all his life B. A. Dorn was interested in scientific instruments of the past: quadrants, celestial globes, planispheric astrolabes, first of all, of the Arabian origin. In his works on this theme he described both foreign and Russian instruments possessed by state institutions and private owners. Some works written by B. A. Dorn in 1838—1865 years are in fact the continuation of a unified study of Arabian planispheric astrolabes. These works have so far remained unknown to Russian science historians due to several reasons. Specialists who studied the main activity of B. A. Dorn left these works without attention because for their understanding it was necessary to have the appropriate knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. After B. A. Dorn’s death the studies of the instruments were not continued by anyone and there were still no references to them in Russian works.

    At the same time, B. A. Dorn’s works have become known to foreign researchers because they were written in German, and in 1990 some of them were reprinted in Germany and later digitized in the project books.google.ru. Expert Western researchers, e.g. David King from Frankfurt am Main Institute for the History of Science, refer to B. A. Dorn’s works. The study of the works of the Russian orientalist elucidates the fate of some astronomic instruments of the Arabian origin and supplements their modern description. The question is posed about the priority of the Russian scientist in the composition of the first description of Arabian astronomic instruments (in 1865), among which there were 24 planispheric astrolabes, including six Russian ones. The major scientific activity of B.A. Dorn as the orientalist is more deeply analyzed within his work at the Imperial Academy of Sciences and his interaction with other researchers, state and religious figures of the middle of the 19th century. Moreover, the article demonstrates the importance of the investigation of scientific instruments of the past because they represent the technological, scientific, cultural, and artistic imprint of past epochs and are a kind of depositories of the knowledge gained.


  • Масликов С. Ю. История изучения астролябий в России / Вопросы истории естествознания и техники. Год выпуска 35. №3. М.: Наука, 2014. С. 22-33. Download Article (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. THE HISTORY OF ASTROLABES IN RUSSIA / Studies in the History of Science and Technology. Vol. 35. Num. 3. Moscow, 2014. P. 22-33.
    ABSTRACT: Astrolabes appeared in Russia starting in the 16th century. The autor describes the history of their use as astronomical and geodesic instruments, the literature about astrolabes, existing museum samples and problems raised by their study.


  • Maslikov S. Amateur astronomy in Russia / Sky & Telescope. Vol. 102. No. 3 (September 2001). P. 66-73. Download Article .


  • Масликов С. Ю. Наблюдения солнечных затмений в России и СССР. С древности до наших дней. - Новосибирск: Агентство «Сибпринт», 2021. 436 с. Download chapters on eclipses: 1896, 1936, 1973, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2006, 2008 years (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. Observations of solar eclipses in Russia and the USSR. From ancient times to the present day. - Novosibirsk: Sibprint, 2021. 436 p.

  • Масликов С. Ю. Судьба астронома. Иван Наумович Язев: 1895-1955. – Новосибирск: Агентство «Сибпринт», 2020. 184 с. Download book (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. The fate of the astronomer. Ivan Naumovich Yazev: 1895-1955. - Novosibirsk: Sibprint, 2020. 184 p.

  • Масликов С. Ю. Индия в зелёном цвете: военно-путевые заметки. – Новосибирск: Агентство «Сибпринт», 2020. 88 с. Download book (in Russian).

    Maslikov S. Yu. India in green: military travel notes. - Novosibirsk: Sibprint, 2020. 88 p.

© С. Масликов, 2019-2024