Averroes commentaries on Aristotle based on Greek?

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ἑκηβόλος
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Averroes commentaries on Aristotle based on Greek?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:01 am

This is question about the history of Greek scholarship.

Were the 14th century Alandalusian philosopher Averroes' commentaries based on the original Greek text, or only on Arabic translations? In other words, was Greek being taught, learned and studied in the Almohad caliphate before the fall of Constantinople and the Renaissance?
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: Averroes commentaries on Aristotle based on Greek?

Post by jeidsath » Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:27 pm

Averroes? Translation, I'd think. But here's a history of Greek translation into Arabic:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arab ... mic-greek/
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: Averroes commentaries on Aristotle based on Greek?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:16 am

jeidsath wrote:Translation, I'd think.
That would be my first instinct too, but is there need to make allowance for a range of engagement with the Greek?

When we are imagining "reading" in Greek, at one end of a continuum, there are the diehards who need only pick up the OCT and at the other the readers of the Penguin classics series, contenting themselves with a couple of dozen transliterated Greek words in footnotes or glossaries. In the middle are those who work with notes and commentators or translations - either parallel or interlined.

If the Greek texts were still available in libraries outside the Greek-speaking world is one issue, and to what extent they could be understood is another. The suggestiin that they were not, comes from the Italian experience. From the 11th to 13th century seems to be quite clearly that Galen and Hippocrates came to the medical schools in Italy via Arabic.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: Averroes commentaries on Aristotle based on Greek?

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:20 am

jeidsath wrote: here's a history of Greek translation into Arabic:
It doesn't directly address the issue, but the assumption seems to be that transmission of knowledge was of primary concern, rather than "reading in the original languages" - which facination concerns us here.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: Averroes commentaries on Aristotle based on Greek?

Post by anphph » Thu Nov 01, 2018 5:35 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:This is question about the history of Greek scholarship.

Were the 14th century Alandalusian philosopher Averroes' commentaries based on the original Greek text, or only on Arabic translations? In other words, was Greek being taught, learned and studied in the Almohad caliphate before the fall of Constantinople and the Renaissance?
Based on the Arabic. You're right that the main concern is with the transmission of knowledge, there is therefore nothing that could be called Greek philology being practised in the Arab-speaking lands after the end of the translation movement. It's also important to remember that this movement was a by-product of the conquest of Greek-speaking Roman lands by the Caliphate and the interest for Greek knowledge that this fostered and, as there cease to be more Greek texts that the Arabs are interested in, so does the translation movement ebb.

These would roughly be Philosophy, Medicine, Engineering, with virtually nothing (if not even nothing at all) of Literature (Prose or Poetry) and History.

The standard text on this is Dimitri Gutas' Greek Thought, Arabic Culture.

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