SGA 7 (2017)

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    Affiliations and addresses of the Authors and Reviewers of this Volume

    Dr. Yury Arzhanov
    Seminar für Orientalistik und Islamwissenschaft
    GB 2/34, Universitätsstraße 150
    44801 Bochum (Germany)
    Prof. Em. Maurice Borrmans M.Afr.
    Pontificio Istituto di Studi Arabi e di Islamistica
    Viale di Trastevere, 89
    00153 Roma (Italy)
    Dr. Elisa Coda
    Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere
    Università di Pisa
    Via P. Paoli 15, 56126 Pisa (Italy)
    Prof. Cristina D’Ancona
    Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere
    Università di Pisa
    Via P. Paoli 15, 56126 Pisa (Italy)
    Prof. Godefroid de Callataÿ
    Université catholique de Louvain
    Collège Erasme
    Place Blaise Pascal, 1
    B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)
    Prof. Tiziano Dorandi
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
    (UMR 8230, Centre Jean Pépin)
    7, rue Guy Môquet BP N°8
    94801 Villejuif Cedex, Paris (France)
    Prof. Em. Gerhard Endress
    Seminar für Orientalistik und Islamwissenschaft
    GB 2/39, Universitätsstraße 150
    44801 Bochum (Germany)
    Prof. Silvia Fazzo
    Università di Trento (Italy)
    Dr. Giulia Guidara
    Università di Trento
    Via Tommaso Gar 14, 38122 Trento (Italy)
    Prof. Henri Hugonnard-Roche
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
    (UMR 8230, Centre Jean Pépin)
    7, rue Guy Môquet BP N°8
    94801 Villejuif Cedex, Paris (France)
    Dr. Giovanni Mandolino di Scienze Storiche Geografiche e dell’Antichità
    Università di Padova
    Via del Vescovado 6, 35141 Padova (Italy)
    Dr. Issam Marjani
    Centro Linguistico Interdipartimentale
    Università di Pisa
    Via Santa Maria 36, 56126 Pisa (Italy)
    Prof. Cecilia Martini Bonadeo
    cecilia.martini[at] di Scienze Storiche Geografiche e dell’Antichità
    Università di Padova
    Via del Vescovado 6, 35141 Padova (Italy)
    Prof. Oliver Overwien
    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    Institut für Klassische Philologie
    Unter den Linden 6, D-10099 Berlin (Germany)
    Dr. Amir Hossein Pournamdar
    Faculty of Theology and Islamic Studies
    University of Tehran
    16th Azar St., Enghelab Sq.Tehran (Iran)
    Prof. Andrea Rescigno
    Liceo Scientifico Baronissi
    Via Galdi, 26, 84081 Baronissi, Salerno (Italy)
    Dr. Alexander Treiger
    Department of Classics
    6135 University Avenue
    PO Box 15000
    Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
    Prof. John W. Watt
    Cardiff University
    School of History, Archaeology and Religion
    Cardiff, CF10 3AT
    Dr. Marco Zambon
    marco.zambon.2[at] di Scienze Storiche Geografiche e dell’Antichità
    Università di Padova
    Via del Vescovado 6, 35141 Padova (Italy)
    Prof. Zeynelabidin Hüseyni
    İstanbul Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi
    İskenderpaşa Mahallesi Kavalalı Sokak
    A Blok Horhor Fatih, Istanbul (Turkey)


1. Tiziano Dorandi and Issam Marjani, La tradizione siriaca e araba delle cosiddette Divisiones Aristoteleae. Analisi e commento della versione siriaca (ed. Brock) e delle due traduzioni arabe (ed. Kellermann-Rost)
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 1-56

Affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Paris (France); Università di Pisa (Italy)
Keywords: Divisiones Aristoteleae, Recensio Laertiana, Ibn al-Ṭayyib, Theodorus Abū Qurra, Aristotle

Abstract, Full Text

This paper is devoted to the Syriac and Arabic translations of the Divisiones quae dicuntur Aristoteleae (DA). The discovery and publication of some fragments of an anonymous Syriac translation of the DA sheds new light on the two translations into Arabic, by Theodorus Abū Qurra and Ibn al-Ṭayyib, transmitted in revised and interpolated redactions. The Greek model of the three Oriental translations was close, and possibly identical with that of the Recensio Laertiana. However, the two Arabic translations are attested in a form that prevents the philologist from confidently use them to restore the corrupt passages of the Greek. These translations attest the circulation in late Antiquity of a collection composed of several Greek writings in the form of a “textbook” in all likelihood with didactical purposes. This collection included, under the name of Aristotle, not only the DA, but also abstracts of Peripatetic ethics, among others the treatise De virtutibus et vitiis. The presence of the DA in this collection shows that the application of the dihairaetic method was practiced also in Syriac and Arabic philosophy. The paper is supplemented by the edition of the anonymous Syriac text and English translation of the DA published in 2014 by S. Brock, as well as by the Arabic text of the two versions of Abū Qurra and Ibn al-Ṭayyib edited by M. Kellermann-Rost, here accompanied by the brand-new translation into Italian by I. Marjani.

2. Yury N. Arzhanov, Menander in Syriac: From Euthalian Apparatus to Scholia on Gregory of Nazianzus
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 57-74

Affiliation: Seminar für Orientalistik und Islamwissenschaft, RUB Bochum (Germany)
Keywords: Syriac literature, Menander, Gregory of Nazianzus, Euthalian apparatus, pseudo-Menander

Abstract, Full Text

The collection of moral maxims known as the “Syriac Menander” has much in common with the new Christian educational models of the fourth–fifth centuries, which established the Bible, especially the books of Proverbs and Jesus Sirach, as alternatives to the gnomic collections attributed to Menander. The Syriac reception of the “Euthalian apparatus” adopted for the study of the orations of Gregory of Nazianzus gave birth for new collections of sentences, which were closely connected with the name of Menander. The evidence presented in the article helps us better understanding the reception of the figure of Menander in Syriac literature.

3. Andrea Rescigno, Nuovi frammenti del Commento di Filopono ai libri V-VIII della Fisica
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 75-104

Keywords: Parisinus Coislinianus 166, Philoponus’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, Philoponus, Aristotle, Aristotle’s Physics

Abstract, Full Text

The aim of this study is to show the existence of a new testimonium, the manuscript Parisinus Coislinianus 166, of Philoponus’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics 5-8, which currently survives only in the fragmentary compilation of Girolamo Vitelli in the series Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca XVII. The manuscript represents a significant increase in the knowledge of Philoponus’ Commentary because it contains, in addition to those published by Vitelli, a large number of fragments without comparison in his edition. In this paper I first select some of these fragments, the paternity of which is established through comparison with the Arabic tradition and through the usus auctoris respectively. The study contains also a critical list of fragments departing from their counterparts in Vitelli by virtue of their almost always greater completeness.

4. Henri Hugonnard-Roche, Un cours sur la syllogistique d ’Aristote à l’ époque tardo-antique: Le commentaire syriaque de Proba (VIe siècle) sur les Premiers Analytiques. Édition et traduction du texte, avec introduction et commentaire
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 105-170

Affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-Paris (France)
Keywords: Proba, Prior Analytics, Elias, Philoponus, Aristotle’s Prior Analytics

Abstract, Full Text

The aim of this article is to provide a new edition, with translation and commentary, of the treatise on the Prior Analytics by Proba, an archiatros (chief physician) and archdeacon of Antioch, composed probably in the second half of the 6th century. The commentary examines in detail Proba’s Syriac text by comparison with the main Greek sources on the subject, namely the commentaries by Ammonius and Philoponus, but also with the text of an author most probably contemporary of Proba, that is the commentary by Elias. Proba’s treatise is clearly a school text, the first part of which is modelled on the exegetical Greek commentaries, whereas most of the second part is a presentation of the concludent moods of the Aristotelian assertoric syllogistic. Among other topics, it is interesting to underline the use by Proba and Philoponus of the Porphyrean theory of the predicables for the description of the syllogistic moods.

5. John W. Watt, The Curriculum of Aristotelian Philosophy among the Syrians
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 171- 192

Affiliation: Cardiff University (U.K.)
Keywords: Aristotelian logic, Jacob of Edessa, Philophonus, Syriac Aristotelianism, Sergius of Rešʿainā, Pseudo-Dionysius

Abstract, Full Text

Since many Syriac texts on secular subjects have not come down to us, an assessment of the philosophical culture of the Syrians, both in the pre-Abbasid and early Abbasid eras, should take into account not only the preserved philosophical writings, but also those known to have once existed from references in other Syriac or Arabic texts. Equally important to bear in mind is the fact that particularly in the pre-Abbasid era, many learned Syrians were able to read Greek and were not confined in their reading to those works which had been translated. Considered in this light, it becomes clear that Syriac interest in Aristotelian philosophy, at least on the part of an elite which in the seventh century appears to have been particularly drawn to the School established at the monastery of Qenneshre on the Euphrates, did not fundamentally differ, despite its Christian colouring, from the Neoplatonic School of Ammonius at Alexandria, and in particular envisaged Aristotelian philosophy as proceeding from logic through physics and mathematics to metaphysics. The Organon was studied at least up to the Sophistical Refutations, and there is evidence of some interest in mathematics, particularly astronomy. In the pre-Abbasid period, however, there is no sign of any engagement with the physical treatises of Aristotle, despite some interest in natural philosophy evident in the Hexaemeron of Jacob of Edessa. The most likely explanation for the divergent estimations of Aristotle as logician and natural philosopher is the rejection of his theory of the eternity of the world, already manifested in the reserve of some Christians at Alexandria to his Physics, and the rejection of the theory together with the support provided to the creation story of Genesis in the writings of John Philoponus, fragments of whose Contra Aristotelem and De Opificio mundi are extant in Syriac. In Abbasid Baghdad, Syrians and Christians writing in Arabic who wished to engage with Muslim philosophers could no longer confine their writing on natural philosophy within the framework of the biblical Hexaemeron, and Aristotle’s physical treatises again assumed great significance, without, however, Christians abandoning their rejection of the eternity of the world. The Metaphysics was regarded from the earliest days of Syriac Aristotelianism as the culmination and goal (telos) of Aristotelian philosophy, but while in the School of Alexandria the curriculum was completed by a pagan exposition of Plato, such as is evident in the Platonic Theology of Proclus, the pioneer of Syriac Aristotelianism, Sergius of Rešʿainā, fashioned a Christian version of the curriculum by replacing it with the biblical interpretation presented in the corpus of Pseudo-Dionysius.

6. Alexander Treiger, Reconstructing Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn’s Arabic Translation of Aristotle’s De Anima
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 193-211

Affiliation: Dalhousie University, Halifax (U.S.A)
Keywords: Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn, Aristotle’s De Anima, Themistius, Avicenna’s Marginal Notes on the De Anima, Averroes

Abstract, Full Text

The present contribution reconstructs several passages from Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn’s lost Arabic translation of Aristotle’s De Anima, based on the Hebrew and the Latin versions produced from Isḥāq’s Arabic, as well as on Isḥāq’s extant Arabic translation of Themistius’ commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima. The relationship between these texts is carefully examined. One passage from Ibn Zurʿa’s supplement to Isḥāq’s translation of Aristotle’s De Anima is similarly reconstructed. The reconstruction sheds light on Avicenna’s commentatorial technique in his Marginal Notes on the De Anima and on Averroes’ commentatorial technique in his Long Commentary on the same book.

7. Gerhard Endress, Ibn al-Ṭayyib’s Arabic Version and Commentary of Aristotle’s De Caelo
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 213-275

Keywords: Aristotle’s De Caelo, Ibn al-Biṭrīq, Abū l-Faraǧ ʿAbdallāh Ibn al-Ṭayyib, Kitāb al-Samāʾ, Averroes’‘Great Commentary’ on the De Caelo

Abstract, Full Text

Aristotle’s cosmological treatise De Caelo, appropriately named “Book on the Heaven and the World” in the Arabic tradition, was one of the most influential, and – apart from the Organon of logic – the best represented among Aristotle’s authentic works in Mediaeval Arabic translations and commentaries. The identity and ascription of the extant versions poses a number of problems which only recently, in the light of manuscript findings and the discovery of some early testimonies, can be solved with certainty. The present contribution, after giving a survey of the translators’ work – beginning with Ibn al-Biṭrīq, working in the age of al-Maʾmūn and in the circle of al-Kindī – concentrates on the translation, annotation and commentary of the Baghdad physician and philosopher Abū l-Faraǧ ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Ṭayyib (d. 1043). The transmission, language and interpretation of his Kitāb al-Samāʾ, parts of which have been identified in an acephalous manuscript, and a fragment of his ‘Great Commentary’, are presented and analysed in detail.

7. Amir Hossein Pournamdar, Šaḫṣ: Its Origin and Development as a Logical TermSGA 7 (2017), pp. 277-290
Affiliation: University of Tehran (Iran)
Keywords: Šaḫṣ, atomon, Shakhṣ, Individual, Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ

Abstract, Full Text

Abundantly used as a technical term in the Arabic classical texts of logic and philosophy, the word šaḫṣ will be studied in detail as a preamble to a thorough analysis of a turning point which occurred in its meaning, during the Graeco-Arabic translation movement (starting from the 8th century). Through discovering the genuine meaning of šaḫṣ in the context of the Arabic language at the time of the emergence of Islam and its following two or three centuries, it will be ascertained that this term, in its common usage in the intellectual tradition of Islam, i.e. ‘a thing or a person belonging to a species’, has imposed itself upon the non-specialized, ordinary language of the Arabs as the result of the dominance of the logico-philosophical literature. Šaḫṣ was never used to serve such a meaning before the transmission of the philosophical works to the Arab world, and it was the attempts of the translators that made this word signifying ‘a specific entity or individual’, in contrast to its real meaning, viz. ‘body’, ‘material appearance’. In the second part, by taking into account one of the oldest extant logical works in the Islamic tradition, i.e. al-Manṭiq attributed to Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ, it is suggested that this change of meaning could be regarded as a case of Arabic borrowings from Persian.

8. Godefroid de Callataÿ, The Ṣābiʾans of Ṣāʿid al-Andalusī
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 291-306

Affiliation: Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Keywords: Sābi’ans, Ṣā’id al-Andalusī, Chronology of nations, Paganism, Philosophy

Abstract, Full Text

The Ṭabaqāt al-umam opens with an account of the seven primeval nations taken from Masʿūdī’s Tanbīh. At the end of Ṣāʿid’s version, however, we are told that “these seven nations, which together constituted the whole of mankind, were all Ṣābiʾans” – an indication not found in the Oriental model. Several references to Ṣābiʾans also appear in the core of the Ṭabaqāt, a definitely more original section of the work in which the author reports the achievements of the eight nations (Indians, Persians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Arabs, and Jews) which in his view contributed to the improvement of science. The present paper examines all these passages. We try to determine where the author of the Ṭabaqāt situates these groups of Ṣābiʾans in the overall history of the nations, and we ask ourselves to what extent these groups may be regarded as continuators or remnants of the primordial Ṣābiʾans.

9. Elisa Coda, The Soul as “Harmony” in Late Antiquity and in the Latin Middle Ages. A Note on Thomas Aquinas as a Reader of Themistius’ In Libros De Anima Paraphrasis
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 307-330

Affiliation: Università di Pisa (Italy)
Keywords: Thomas Aquinas’ Sentencia libri de anima, Themistius’ In De Anima, De Anima, Aristotle, Plotinus’ polemics against the doctrine of soul as harmony

Abstract, Full Text

The importance of Themistius’ paraphrasis of the De Anima is often ackowledged in scholarship mostly with respect to Thomas Aquinas’ own understanding of the Aristotelian doctrine of intellection, and occasionally also with respect to Avicenna and Averroes. This focus on Themistius’ interpretation of De Anima III should not prevent those interested in the history of the reception of Aristotle from taking into account other ideas typical of this paraphrasis. The present article argues that Themistius’ emphasis on soul as ousia, prompted by Plotinus’ polemics against the doctrine of soul as ‘harmony’ that Themistius quotes almost literally, was crucial for Thomas Aquinas’ own exegesis in his Sentencia Libri De Anima.

Book Announcements and Reviews

    Book Announcements
–Giulia Giuidara, A. Longo, D.P. Taormina (eds.), Plotinus and Epicurus. Matter, Perception, Pleasure, Cambridge U.P., Cambridge - New York 2016
SGA 7 (2017), pp. 333-335

–Cecilia Martini Bonadeo, Ideas in Motion in Baghdad and Beyond. Philosophical and Theological Exchanges between Christians and Muslims in the Third/Ninth and Fourth/Tenth Centuries, ed. by D. Janos, Brill, Leiden-Boston 2015 (Islamic History and Civilization. Studies and Texts, 124), SGA 7 (2017), pp. 335-338

–Elisa Coda, Trajectoires européennes du Secretum secretorum du Pseudo-Aristote (XIIIe-XVIe siècle), sour la direction de C. Gaullier-Bougassas, M. Bridges et J.-Y. Tilliette, Brepols, Turnhout 2015 (Alexander Redivivus, 6), SGA 7 (2017), pp. 338-342

–Zeynelabidin Hüseyni, V. Kaya, İbn Sînâ’nın Kelâma Etkisi, Avicenna’s Influence on Islamic Theology, Otto Yayınları, Ankara 2015 (in Turkish),SGA 7 (2017), pp. 343-347

–Giovanni Mandolino, Jari Kaukua, Self-Awareness in Islamic Philosophy. Avicenna and Beyond, Cambridge U.P., Cambridge 2015, SGA 7 (2017), pp.348-351

–Marco Zambon, Formen und Nebenformen des Platonismus in der Spätantike, hersg. von H. Seng, L.G. Soares Santoprete, C.O. Tommasi, Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2016 (Bibliotheca Chaldaica, 6),SGA 7 (2017), pp. 352-359

–Marco Zambon, Heidi Marx-Wolf, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Authority. Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century C.E., University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadephia 2016 (Divinations. Rereading Late Ancient Religion), SGA 7 (2017), pp. 360-374

–Giulia Guidara,H. Seng - G. Sfameni Gasparro (Hg.), Theologische Orakel in der Spätantike, Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2016 (Bibliotheca Chaldaica, Band 5), SGA 7 (2017), pp. 375-381

–Giulia Guidara,W. Kroll, Discours sur les oracles chaldaïques. Traduction par Henry Dominique Saffrey, Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, Paris 2016 (Textes et traditions, 28), SGA 7 (2017), pp.382-383

–Henri Hugonnard-Roche, Sergius of Reshaina, Introduction to Aristotle and His Categories, Addressed to Philotheos. Syriac Text, with Introduction, Translation, and Commentary by S. Aydin, Brill, Leiden-Boston 2016 (Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus, 24), SGA 7 (2017), pp. 384-390

–Maurice Borrmans M.Afr., The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology. Edited by Sabine Schmidtke, Oxford U.P., Oxford 2016, SGA 7 (2017), pp. 391-399

–Oliver Overwien, Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq on His Galen Translations. A parallel English-Arabic text edited and translated by John C. Lamoreaux, with an appendix by Grigory Kessel, Brigham Young U.P., Provo (Utah) 2016, SGA 7 (2017), pp. 400-405

–Cristina D'Ancona,Epistles of the Brethren of Purity. Sciences of the Soul and Intellect. Part I. An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 32-36, edited and translated by P.E. Walker; I.K. Poonawala and D. Simonowitz; G. de Callataÿ. Foreword by N. El-Bizri, Oxford U.P. in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Oxford 2015, SGA 7 (2017), pp. 406-413

–Cristina D'Ancona,C. Cerami, Génération et substance. Aristote et Averroès entre physique et métaphysique, De Gruyter, Boston – Berlin 2015 (Scientia Graeco-Arabica, 18), SGA 7 (2017), pp. 414-421

–Elisa Coda,M. Zonta, Il Commento medio di Averroè alla Metafisica di Aristotele nella tradizione ebraica. Edizione delle versioni ebraiche medievali di Zeraḥyah Ḥen e di Qalonymos ben Qalonymos con introduzione storica e filologica, I-II, T. 3, Pavia U.P. Pavia 2011 (Editoria scientifica), SGA 7 (2017), pp. 422-425

–Silvia Fazzo, Mauro Zonta (1968-2017). In memoriam, SGA 7 (2017), p. 426

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