- Latin translations of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th centurysaw a major search by European scholars for new learning, which led them to the Arabic fringes of Europe, especially to Islamic Spain and Sicily. A typical story is that of Gerard of Cremona(c. 1114-87), who was described as having [C. Burnett, "Arabic-Latin Translation Program in Toledo", p. 255.]
Unlike the interest in the literature of
classical antiquityfound in the Renaissance, 12th century translators sought new scientific, philosophical and, to a lesser extent, religious texts. The latter concern was reflected in a renewed interest in translations of the Greek Church Fathersinto Latin, a concern with translating Jewish teachings from Hebrew, and most significantly, an interest in the Qur'anand other Islamic religious texts. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 426-33]
Translators in Italy
Just before the burst of translations in the 12th century,
Constantine the African, a Christianfrom Carthagewho studied medicine in Egypt and ultimately became a monk at the monastery of Monte Cassinoin Italy, translated medical works from Arabic. Constantine's many translations included Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi's medical encyclopedia "The Complete Book of the Medical Art" (as "Liber pantegni"),Jerome B. Bieber. [http://inst.santafe.cc.fl.us/~jbieber/HS/trans2.htm Medieval Translation Table 2: Arabic Sources] , Santa Fe Community College.] the ancient medicine of Hippocratesand Galenas adapted by Arabic physicians, [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 422-6] and the "Isagoge ad Tegni Galeni" by Hunayn ibn Ishaq(Johannitius) and his nephew Hubaysh ibn al-Hasan. [D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 4-5.] Other medical works he translated include Isaac Israeli ben Solomon's "Liber febribus, Liber de dietis universalibus et particularibus" and "Liber de urinis"; Ishaq ibn Imran's psychological work "al-Maqala fi al-Malikhukiya" as "De melancolia"; and Ibn Al-Jazzar's " De Gradibus, Viaticum, Liber de stomacho, De elephantiasi, De coitu" and "De oblivione".citation|last=Jacquart|first=Danielle|contribution=The Influence of Arabic Medicine in the Medieval West|page=981 in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=963-84] Sicilyhad been part of the Byzantine Empire until 878, was under Muslim control from 878-1060, and came under Norman control between 1060 and 1090. As a consequence the Norman Kingdom of Sicilymaintained a trilingual bureaucracy, which made it an ideal place for translations. Sicily also maintained relations with the Greek East, which allowed for exchange of ideas and manuscripts. [C. H. Haskins, "Studies in Mediaeval Science," pp 155-7]
A copy of
Ptolemy's " Almagest" was brought back to Sicily by Henry Aristippus, as a gift from the Emperor to King William I. Aristippus, himself, translated Plato's " Meno" and " Phaedo" into Latin, but it was left to an anonymous student at Salerno to travel to Sicily and translate the "Almagest", as well as several works by Euclidfrom Greek to Latin. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 433-4] Although the Sicilians generally translated directly from the Greek, when Greek texts were not available, they would translate from Arabic. Admiral Eugene of Sicilytranslated Ptolemy's "Optics" into Latin, drawing on his knowledge of all three languages in the task. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," p. 435] Accursius of Pistoja's translations included the works of Galenand Hunayn ibn Ishaq.D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 3.] Gerard de Sabloneta translated Avicenna's " The Canon of Medicine" and al-Razi's "Almansor". Fibonaccipresented the first complete European account of the Hindu-Arabic numeral systemfrom Arabic sources in his " Liber Abaci" (1202). The "Aphorismi" by Masawaiyh(Mesue) was translated by an anonymous translator in late 11th or early 12th century Italy.citation|last=Jacquart|first=Danielle|contribution=The Influence of Arabic Medicine in the Medieval West|page=982 in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=963-84]
In 13th century
Padua, Bonacosa translated Averroes' medical work "Kitab al-Kulliyyat" as "Colliget", and John of Capuatranslated the "Kitab al-Taysir" by Ibn Zuhr(Avenzoar) as "Theisir". In 13th century Sicily, Faraj ben Salemtranslated Rhazes' "al-Hawi" as "Continens" as well as Ibn Butlan's " Tacuinum sanitatis". Also in 13th century Italy, Simon of Genoaand Abraham Tortuensis translated Abulcasis' " Al-Tasrif" as "Liber servitoris", Alcoati's "Congregatio sive liber de oculis", and the "Liber de simplicibus medicinis" by a pseudo- Serapion
Translators on the Spanish frontier
As early as the end of the tenth century, European scholars travelled to Spain to study. Most notable among these was
Gerbert of Aurillac(later Pope Sylvester II) who studied mathematics in the region of the Spanish Marcharound Barcelona. Translations, however, did not begin in Spain for another century. [C. H. Haskins, "Studies in Mediaeval Science", pp. 8-10] The early translators in Spain focused heavily on scientific works, especially mathematics and astronomy, with a second area of interest including the Qur'anand other Islamic texts. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 429-30, 451-2] Spanish collections included many scholarly works written in Arabic, so translators worked almost exclusively from Arabic, rather than Greek texts, often in cooperation with a local speaker of Arabic. [C. H. Haskins, "Renaissance of the Twelfth Century," p. 288]
One of the more important translation projects was sponsored by
Peter the Venerable, the abbot of Cluny. In 1142 he called upon Robert of Kettonand Herman of Carinthia, Peter of Poitiers, and a Muslimknown only as "Mohammed" to produce the first Latin translation of the Qur'an (the " Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete"). [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," p. 429]
Translations were produced throughout Spain and
Provence. Plato of Tivoli worked in Catalonia, Herman of Carinthia in Northern Spain and across the Pyreneesin Languedoc, Hugh of Santallain Aragon, Robert of Ketton in Navarreand Robert of Chesterin Segovia. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 444-8] The most important center of translation was the great cathedral library of Toledo.
Plato of Tivoli's translations into Latin include al-Battani's astronomical and trigonometrical work "De motu stellarum",
Abraham bar Hiyya's "Liber embadorum", Theodosius of Bithynia's "Spherica", and Archimedes' " Measurement of a Circle". Robert of Chester's translations into Latin included al-Khwarizmi's "Algebra" and astronomical tables (also containing trigonometric tables). Abraham of Tortosa's translations include Ibn Sarabi's ( SerapionJunior) "De Simplicibus" and Abulcasis' " Al-Tasrif" as "Liber Servitoris". In 1126, Muhammad al-Fazari's "Great Sindhind" (based on the Sanskritworks of " Surya Siddhanta" and Brahmagupta's " Brahmasphutasiddhanta") was translated into Latin. [G. G. Joseph, "The Crest of the Peacock", p. 306.]
The "Toledo School"
One of the sponsors of translations in Spain was Archbishop Raymond of Toledo, (1125-52), to whom
John of Sevillededicated a translation in appreciation. Starting from this fragmentary evidence, nineteenth-century historians proposed that Raymond had established a formal translation school, but no specific evidence for such a school has emerged and its existence is now doubted. Many of the translators worked outside Toledo and those who did work in Toledo, worked after Raymond's episcopacy. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 444-7]
Toledo, however, was a center of multilingual culture, with a large population of Arabic speaking Christians (
Mozarabs) and had prior importance as a center of learning. This tradition of scholarship, and the books that embodied it, survived the conquest of the city by King Alfonso VI in 1085. A further factor was that Toledo's early bishops and clergy came from France, where Arabic was not widely known. Consequently the cathedral became a center of translations, which were on a scale and importance that "has no match in the history of western culture". [C. Burnett, "Arabic-Latin Translation Program in Toledo", pp. 249-51, 270.]
Among the early translators at Toledo were an Avendauth (who some have identified with
Abraham ibn Daud), who translated Avicenna's encyclopedia, the "Kitāb al-Shifa" ("The Book of Healing"), in cooperation with Domingo Gundisalvo, Archdeacon of Cuéllar. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 444-6, 451] Alfonso of Toledo's translations into Latin include Averroes' "De separatione primi principii". John of Seville's translations included the works of al-Battani, Thabit ibn Qurra, Maslamah Ibn Ahmad al-Majriti, al-Farabi, Albumasar , al-Ghazaliand Alfraganus;Salah Zaimeche (2003). [http://www.muslimheritage.com/uploads/Main%20-%20Aspects%20of%20the%20Islamic%20Influence1.pdf Aspects of the Islamic Influence on Science and Learning in the Christian West] , p. 10. Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation.] and Costa ben Luca's "De differentia spiritus et anime".
The most productive of the Toledo translators was
Gerard of Cremona, [C. H. Haskins, "Renaissance of the Twelfth Century," p. 287. "more of Arabic science passed into Western Europe at the hands of Gerard of Cremona than in any other way."] who translated 87 books, [For a list of Gerard of Cremona's translations see: Edward Grant (1974) "A Source Book in Medieval Science", (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr.), pp. 35-8 or Charles Burnett, "The Coherence of the Arabic-Latin Translation Program in Toledo in the Twelfth Century," "Science in Context", 14 (2001): at 249-288, at pp. 275-281.] including Ptolemy's " Almagest", many of the works of Aristotle, including his Posterior Analytics, Physics, On the Heavens and the World, On Generation and Corruption, and Meteorology, al-Khwarizmi's "On Algebra and Almucabala", Archimedes' " On the Measurement of the Circle", Aristotle, Euclid's "Elements of Geometry", Jabir ibn Aflah's "Elementa astronomica", Al-Kindi's "On Optics", al-Farghani's "On Elements of Astronomy on the Celestial Motions", al-Farabi's "On the Classification of the Sciences", the chemical and medical works of al-Razi(Rhazes), the works of Thabit ibn Qurraand Hunayn ibn Ishaq, [D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 6.] and the works of al-Zarkali, Jabir ibn Aflah, the Banu Musa, Abu Kamil, Abu al-Qasim, and Ibn al-Haytham(including the " Book of Optics"). The medical works he translated include Haly Abenrudian's "Expositio ad Tegni Galeni"; the "Practica, Brevarium medicine" by Yuhanna ibn Sarabiyun ( Serapion); Alkindus' " De Gradibus"; Rhazes' "Liber ad Almansorem, Liber divisionum, Introductio in medicinam, De egritudinibus iuncturarum, Antidotarium" and "Practica puerorum"; Isaac Israeli ben Solomon's "De elementis" and "De definitionibus"; Abulcasis' " Al-Tasrif" as "Chirurgia"; Avicenna's " The Canon of Medicine" as "Liber Canonis"; and the "Liber de medicamentis simplicus" by Ibn Wafid (Abenguefit).citation|last=Jacquart|first=Danielle|contribution=The Influence of Arabic Medicine in the Medieval West|page=983 in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=963-84]
At the close of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries,
Mark of Toledotranslated the Qur'an(once again) and various medical works. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 429, 455] He also translated Hunayn ibn Ishaq's medical work "Liber isagogarum".
Michael Scot(c. 1175-1232) [William P. D. Wightman (1953) "The Growth of Scientific Ideas", p.332. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 1135460426.] translated the works of al-Betrugi (Alpetragius) in 1217, al-Bitruji's "On the Motions of the Heavens", and Averroes' influential commentaries on the scientific works of Aristotle. [ [http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/m/michael_sco.shtml "Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexicon"] ]
Alfonso X of Castile(reigned 1252-84) continued to promote translations, as well as the production of original scholarly works.
David the Jew (c. 1228-1245) translated the works of
al-Razi(Rhazes) into Latin. Arnaldus de Villa Nova's (1235-1313) translations include the works of Galenand Avicenna[D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 5.] (including his "Maqala fi Ahkam al-adwiya al-qalbiya" as "De viribus cordis"), the "De medicinis simplicibus" by Abu al-Salt (Albuzali), and Costa ben Luca's "De physicis ligaturis".
In 13th century
Portugal, Giles of Santaremtranslated Rhazes' "De secretis medicine, Aphorismi Rasis" and Mesue's "De secretis medicine". In Murcia, Rufin of Alexandriatranslated the "Liber questionum medicinalium discentium in medicina" by Hunayn ibn Ishaq(Hunen), and Dominicus Marrochinus translated the "Epistola de cognitione infirmatum oculorum" by Ali Ibn Isa(Jesu Haly). In 14th century Lerida, John Jacobi translated Alcoati's medical work "Liber de la figura del uyl" into Catalan and then Latin.
Other European translators
Adelard of Bath's (fl. 1116-1142) translations into Latin included al-Khwarizmi's astronomical and trigonometrical work "Astronomical tables" and his arithmetical work "Liber ysagogarum Alchorismi", the "Introduction to Astrology" of Abū Ma'shar, as well as Euclid's "Elements". [Charles Burnett, ed. "Adelard of Bath, Conversations with His Nephew," (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. xi.] Adelard associated with other scholars in Western England such as Peter Alfonsi and Walcher of Malvernwho translated and developed the astronomical concepts brought from Spain. [M.-T. d'Alverny, "Translations and Translators," pp. 440-3] Abu Kamil's "Algebra" was also translated into Latin during this period, but the translator of the work is unknown.V. J. Katz, "A History of Mathematics: An Introduction", p. 291.] Alfred of Sareshel's (c. 1200-1227) translations include the works of Nicolaus of Damascusand Hunayn ibn Ishaq. Antonius Frachentius Vicentinus' translations include the works of Ibn Sina (Avicenna). Armenguad's translations include the works of Avicenna, Averroes, Hunayn ibn Ishaq, and Maimonides. Berengarius of Valentiatranslated the works of Abu al-Qasim(Abulcasis). Drogon (Azagont) translated the works of al-Kindi. Farragut (Faradj ben Salam) translated the works of Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Ibn Zezla (Byngezla), Masawaiyh(Mesue), and al-Razi(Rhazes). Andreas Alphagus Bellnensis' translations include the works of Avicenna, Averroes, Serapion, al-Qifti, and Albe'thar. [D. Campbell, "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages", p. 4.]
In 13th century
Montpellier, Profatius and Bernardus Honofredi translated the "Kitab alaghdiya" by Ibn Zuhr(Avenzoar) as "De regimine sanitatis"; and Armengaudus Blasius translated the "al-Urjuza fi al-tibb", a work combining the medical writings of Avicennaand Averroes, as "Cantica cum commento".citation|last=Jacquart|first=Danielle|contribution=The Influence of Arabic Medicine in the Medieval West|page=984 in Harv|Morelon|Rashed|1996|pp=963-84]
Other texts translated during this period include the alchemical works of Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber), whose treatises became standard texts for European alchemists. These include the "Kitab al-Kimya" (titled "Book of the Composition of Alchemy" in Europe), translated by
Robert of Chester(1144); the "Kitab al-Sab'een" translated by Gerard of Cremona(before 1187), and the "Book of the Kingdom", "Book of the Balances" and "Book of Eastern Mercury" translated by Marcelin Berthelot. Another work translated during this period was "De Proprietatibus Elementorum", an Arabic work on geology written by a pseudo-Aristotle. A pseudo-Mesue's "De consolatione medicanarum simplicum, Antidotarium, Grabadin" was also translated into Latin by an anonymous translator.
Renaissance of the 12th century
Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe
Islamic Golden Age
Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete
List of translators
Mark of Toledo
* Burnett, Charles. "The Coherence of the Arabic-Latin Translation Program in Toledo in the Twelfth Century," "Science in Context", 14 (2001): 249-288.
* Campbell, Donald (2001). "Arabian Medicine and Its Influence on the Middle Ages".
Routledge. (Reprint of the London, 1926 edition). ISBN 0415231884.
* d'Alverny, Marie-Thérèse. "Translations and Translators", in Robert L. Benson and Giles Constable, eds., "Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century", p. 421-462. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1982.
* Haskins, Charles Homer. "The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century". Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Pr., 1927. See especially chapter 9, "The Translators from Greek and Arabic".
* Haskins, Charles Homer. "Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science." New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1967 (reprint of the Cambridge, Mass., 1927 ed.) Most of the book deals with the translations of Arabic and Greek scientific literature.
* Joseph, George G. (2000). "The Crest of the Peacock".
Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691006598.
* Katz, Victor J. (1998). "A History of Mathematics: An Introduction".
Addison Wesley. ISBN 0321016181.
Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science
* [http://www.muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=344 The Impact of Translations of Muslim Sciences on the West]
* [http://libro.uca.edu/alfonso10/emperor5.htm Norman Roth, "Jewish Collaborators in Alfonso's Scientific Work,"] in Robert I. Burns, ed., "Emperor of Culture: Alfonso X the Learned of Castile and His Thirteenth-Century Renaissance Culture"
* [http://inst.santafe.cc.fl.us/~jbieber/HS/trans2.htm Medieval Translation Table 2: Arabic Sources]
* [http://inst.santafe.cc.fl.us/~jbieber/HS/trans3.htm Medieval Translation Table 3: Greek Sources After 1100]
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