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AVICENNA AMONG MEDIEVAL JEWS THE RECEPTION OF AVICENNA'S PHILOSOPHICAL, SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL WRITINGS IN JEWISH CULTURES, EAST AND WEST

  • Gad Freudenthal (a1) and Mauro Zonta (a2)

Abstract

The reception of Avicenna by medieval Jewish readers presents an underappreciated enigma. Despite the philosophical and scientific stature of Avicenna, his philosophical writings were relatively little studied in Jewish milieus, be it in Arabic or in Hebrew. In particular, Avicenna's philosophical writings are not among the “Hebräische Übersetzungen des Mittelalters” – only very few of them were translated into Hebrew. As an author associated with a definite corpus of writings, Avicenna hardly existed in Jewish philosophy in Hebrew (contrary to Averroes). Paradoxically, however, some of Avicenna's most distinctive ideas were widely known and embraced by Jewish philosophers. This is the phenomenon that we dub Avicennian knowledge without Avicenna. In contrast with the philosophical treatises, Avicenna's medical writings were widely and intensively studied by Jews, especially in Hebrew, and remained influential until at least the seventeenth century. The present article presents a comprehensive picture of Avicenna's reception within medieval Jewish cultures in both Arabic and Hebrew and tries to explain the Jews’ complex attitude to Avicenna.

La réception d'Avicenne par les érudits juifs médiévaux présente une énigme dont on n'a pas encore pris toute la mesure. Malgré la grande stature scientifique et philosophique d'Avicenne, ses écrits philosophiques ont été peu connus des savants juifs, que ce soit en arabe ou en hébreu. Ils n'ont guère fait partie des “Hebräische Übersetzungen des Mittelalters” – peu seulement ont été traduits en hébreu. En tant qu’auteur associé à un corpus de textes, Avicenne n'existe presque pas dans la philosophie juive en hébreu (contrairement à Averroès). Paradoxalement cependant, certaines des idées les plus caractéristiques d'Avicenne étaient bien connues et acceptées par des philosophes juifs. Nous appelons ce phénomène savoir avicennien sans Avicenne. Contrairement aux écrits philosophiques, les ouvrages médicaux d'Avicenne, eux, étaient lus et utilisés par les juifs, notamment en traductions hébraïques, et ce jusqu'au xviie siècle. Cet article présente un tableau général de la réception d'Avicenne, en arabe et en hébreu, dans les différentes cultures juives et il tente d'expliquer l'attitude complexe des savants juifs vis-à-vis d'Avicenne.

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1 Langermann, Y. Tzvi (ed.), Avicenna and his Legacy. A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy (Turnhout, 2009). See also Gutas, Dimitri, “The heritage of Avicenna: The golden age of Arabic philosophy, 1000–ca. 1350,” in Janssens, Jules and De Smet, Daniel (eds.), Avicenna and his Heritage (Leuven, 2002), pp. 8197.

2 Much valuable material on Avicenna in Hebrew can be found in Steinschneider, Moritz, Die Hebraeischen Übersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher (Berlin, 1893; repr. Graz, 1956), hereafter: . Only partial overviews of the subject have been attempted to date. See the useful but brief account: Pines, Shlomo and Suler, Bernard, “Avicenna,” in Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971), 3, pp. 955–9. See also: Zonta, Mauro, “Avicenna in medieval Jewish philosophy,” in Janssens, and De Smet, (eds.), Avicenna and his Heritage, pp. 267–79 (a slightly different version of this article appeared as: The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’ in the 14th-century Jewish debate around philosophy and religion,” Oriente Moderno, 59, n.s. 19 [2000]: 647–60); Harvey, Steven, “Avicenna's influence on Jewish thought: some reflections,” in Langermann, (ed.), Avicenna and his Legacy, pp. 327–40; id., “Editor's introduction: Avicenna – his thought and influence,” in id., Anthology of Writings by Avicenna (Tel-Aviv, 2009), pp. 1134, on pp. 23–32 (Heb.). See also the sections on Avicenna in Zonta, Mauro, “Linee del pensiero ebraico nella storia della filosofia ebraica medievale,” Annali dell'Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, 57 (1997): 101–44, 450–83, on pp. 450–63, and in id., “Influence of Arabic and Islamic philosophy on Judaic thought,” in Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (plato.stanford.edu/entries/arabic-islamic-judaic/). Some still useful material can also be found in Steinschneider's three articles entitled Anzeigen,” in Hebräische Bibliographie, 10 (1870), no. 55, pp. 1623, no. 56, pp. 53–9, no. 57, pp. 72–8.

3 As far as we know, there is no evidence of Jewish scholars reading any of the few Persian texts by Avicenna, notably the Dānesh-Nāmeh.

4 On these trends see Langermann (ed.), Avicenna and his Legacy.

5 The book is divided into three main parts: logic, physics (including psychology), and metaphysics. This division clearly corresponds to that of Avicenna's Najāt.

6 Pines, Shlomo, Studies in Abu'l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī: Physics and Metaphysics (= The Collected Works of Shlomo Pines, vol. 1) (Jerusalem and Leiden, 1979); id., “Abū’l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī, Hibat Allah,” Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 1 (New York, 1970), pp. 26–8; id., “Abu'l-Barakāt, Hibat Allah b. Malkā al-Baghdādī,” Encyclopédie de l'Islam, 2nd edn, vol. 1, pp. 114–16.

7 Pines, Shlomo, “A study of Abu'l-Barakāt's commentary on the Ecclesiastes” (1964), repr. in his Studies in the History of Jewish Philosophy. The Transmission of Texts and Ideas (Jerusalem, 1977), pp. 6883 (Heb.).

8 The poem is published in Schmelzer, Menahem H. (ed.), Yitzhak ben Avraham Ibn Ezra: Shirim (New York, 1980), pp. 44–5. On Isaac Ibn Ezra and his relationship with Abū al-Barakāt see Schirman, Jefim, The History of Hebrew Poetry in Christian Spain and Southern France, edited, supplemented and annotated by Fleischer, Ezra (Jerusalem, 1997), pp. 71–3 (Heb.). See also Pines, Studies in Abu'l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī, p. 101, n. 2.

9 On his conversion see the analysis in Stroumsa, Sarah, “On intellectual converts to Islam in the early Middle Ages,” Peʿamim, 42 (1990): 6175, on pp. 66–8 (Heb.).

10 Stroumsa, Sarah, “On the Maimonidean controversy in the East: the role of Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdadi,” in Ben-Shammai, Haggai (ed.), Hebrew and Arabic Studies in Honour of Joshua Blau (Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, 1993), pp. 415–22 (Heb.); ead. (ed. and trans.), The Beginnings of the Maimonidean Controversy in the East. Yosef Ibn Shimon's Silencing Epistle Concerning the Resurrection of the Dead. Arabic and Hebrew Texts of the Risālat al-Iskāt fī ḥashr al-anwāt, with Introduction and Annotated Hebrew Translation (Jerusalem, 1999), §§ 46–47, 54–58, 146 of the texts and the discussions in the notes pp. 135–41 (Heb.).

11 Y. Tzvi Langermann, “Al-Baghdadi, Abu'l-Barakat,” in http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/J008.htm (accessed Oct. 10, 2010).

12 See infra, n. 31.

13 A full review of the discussion (with bibliography) is given in Zonta, Mauro, “Maimonides’ knowledge of Avicenna. Some tentative conclusions about a debated question,” in Tamer, Georges (ed.), The Trias of Maimonides/Die Trias des Maimonides. Jewish, Arabic, and Ancient Culture of Knowledge/Jüdische, arabische und antike Wissenskultur (Berlin and New York, 2005), pp. 211–22.

14 Maimonides, “Letter to R. Shmuel Ibn Tibbon,” in Marx, Alexander, “Texts by and about Maimonides,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, 25 (1934–1935): 371428, on p. 380; the full text of one of the translations (with the extant fragments of the Arabic original) is also in Letters and Essays of Moses Maimonides (Heb.), ed. Shailat, Isaac (Maʿaleh Adumim, 5748 [1988]), 2, pp. 511–54, on pp. 553–4.

15 In his commentary on the Guide, Falaquera repeatedly compares Maimonides’ statements with Avicenna's views; for an overview see Shiffman, Yair, “Again on Avicenna and Maimonides,” Tarbiẓ, 64 (1995): 523–34 (Heb.); see also n. 179 below. In his Commentary on the Guide, ed. Jacob Goldenthal (Vienna, 1852), Narboni writes that Maimonides “followed the opinion of Avicenna and his statements” (p. 1r) and that “in my view the Master borrows from Avicenna in al-Shifāʾ and al-Najāt, not from what is offered by Aristotle” (p. 14v). Narboni's statements must be treated with circumspection, however. For example, he charged Maimonides with more than one plagiarism from Avicenna's Najāt, but, as it seems, without justification. See Freudenthal, Gad, “Maimonides on the scope of metaphysics alias Maʿaseh Merkavah: the evolution of his views,” in del Valle, Carlos, García-Jalón, Santiago and Pedro Monferrer, Juan (eds.), Maimónides y su época (Madrid, 2007), pp. 221–30; id. “Four observations on Maimonides’ four celestial globes (Guide 2:9–10),” in Ravitzky, Aviezer (ed.), Maimonides: Conservatism, Originality and Revolution (Jerusalem, 2008), pp. 499527 [Heb.] (expanded version of the former item).

16 Maimonides, Moses, The Guide of the Perplexed, translated by Pines, Shlomo (Chicago, 1963), “Translator's introduction,” p. cii.

17 Notably in “Why Maimonides was not a Mutakallim,” in Kraemer, Joel L. (ed.), Perspectives on Maimonides. Philosophical and Historical Studies (Oxford, 1991), pp. 105–14; Maimonides’ Avicennism,” Maimonidean Studies, 5 (2008): 107–19.

18 Davidson, Herbert A., Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect: Their Cosmologies, Theories of the Active intellect, and Theories of the Human Intellect (New York, 1992), pp. 197207.

19 Schwartz, Dov, “Avicenna and Maimonides on immortality: a comparative study,” in Nettler, Ronald L. (ed.), Medieval and Modern Perspectives on Muslim-Jewish Relationships (Oxford, 1995), pp. 185–97. This position is endorsed in Stroumsa, Sarah, Maimonides in his World. Portrait of a Mediterranean Thinker (Princeton, 2009), pp. 154–61.

20 Harvey, “Editor's introduction,” pp. 27–8, referring to two as yet unpublished articles.

21 Davidson, Herbert A., Moses Maimonides: The Man and his Works (New York, 2004), p. 115. Similarly: “[Avicenna's] influence on him [Maimonides] was considerable, but he was not conscious of it because of his failure to distinguish Avicenna's views from Aristotle's” (p. 121). Similarly in id., “Maimonides, Aristotle, and Avicenna,” in Morelon, Régis and Hasnawi, Ahmad (eds.), De Zénon d’Élée à Poincaré. Recueil d’études en hommage à Roshdi Rashed (Louvain and Paris, 2004), pp. 719–34

22 See below, p. 252.

23 Davidson, Moses Maimonides, p. 105; see also pp. 102–4, 364. On the relationship of Avicenna's metaphysics to Aristotle's, see Amos Bertolacci, The Reception of Aristotle's Metaphysics in Avicenna's Kitāb al-Šifāʾ: A Milestone of Western Metaphysical Thought (Leiden, 2006).

24 Davidson, Moses Maimonides, p. 104, n. 146. Davidson continues: “There are, moreover, striking similarities between what Maimonides writes, for example, in Guide for the Perplexed 2.4, and Ghazālī's Maqāṣid al-falāsifa, pp. 209–21.” See also pp. 115, 121. An analogy used by Maimonides in his commentary on the Mishnah which goes back (in part) to Avicenna's writings, is also traceable to al-Ghazālī (Davidson, Moses Maimonides, pp. 94–5).

25 Zonta, “Maimonides’ knowledge of Avicenna.”

26 See below n. 100 on modern appreciations of al-Ghazālī's sincerely.

27 Schwartz, “Avicenna and Maimonides on immortality”; Eran, Amira, “Al-Ghazali and Maimonides on the world to come and spiritual pleasures,” Jewish Studies Quarterly, 8 (2001): 137–66.

28 On the relationship between al-Ghazālī's Maqāṣid and Avicenna's Dānesh-Nāmeh, see Janssens, Jules, “The Dānesh-Nāmeh d'Ibn Sina: un texte à revoir?,” Bulletin de philosophie médiévale, 28 (1986): 163–77, repr. in id., Ibn Sīnā and his Influence on the Arabic and Latin World (Aldershot, 2006), Essay VII.

29 Gutas, “The heritage of Avicenna,” p. 90.

30 This hypothesis is consistent with Charles Burnett's observation that al-Ghazālī was read principally among Arabic (Muslim and Jewish) theologians; see his The coherence of the Arabic-Latin translation program in Toledo in the twelfth century,” Science in Context, 14 (2001): 249–88, on p. 265.

31 On the lasting sway of Maimonides’ Andalusian cultural context, see Blau, Joshua, “Maimonides’ ‘At our place in al-Andalus’ revisited,” in del Valle, , García-Jalón, , and Monferrer, (eds.), Maimónides y su época, pp. 327–40. This is the full text of a paper whose abstract had previously been published under a very similar title: “‘At our place in al-Andalus’, ‘At our place in the Maghreb’,” in Kraemer, (ed.), Perspectives on Maimonides, pp. 293–4. On the negative attitude to Avicenna in al-Andalus see e.g. Gutas, “The heritage of Avicenna,” pp. 90–1, 97. Abdelhamid I. Sabra, followed by Y. Tzvi Langermann, has argued for the existence of an “Andalusian self-assertiveness vis-à-vis the rest of the Islamic world” and suggested that scholars in Andalusia sought to create an alternative to the science and philosophy of the East in all domains of learning; see, respectively, “The Andalusian revolt against Ptolemaic astronomy. Averroes and al-Biṭrūjī,” in Mendelsohn, Everett (ed.), Transformation and Tradition in the Sciences. Essays in Honor of I. Bernard Cohen (Cambridge, 1984), pp. 133–53; “Another Andalusian revolt? Ibn Rushd's critique of the pharmacological computus of al-Kindi,” in Sabra, Abdelhamid I. and Hogendijk, Jan P. (eds.), The Enterprise of Science in Islam (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 351–72, esp. pp. 366–8.

32 Maimonides, , “Treatise on Resurrection,” in Shailat, Y., ed., Letters and Essays of Moses Maimonides, pp. 319–38 (Arabic text), on p. 325.15; in Samuel Ibn Tibbon's Hebrew translation: Maʾamar ha-gemul (ibid., pp. 339–74 on p. 351.13).

33 The source of Maimonides' statement was already discussed in detail in Steinschneider, Moritz, Al-Farabi (Alpharabius). Des arabischen Philosophen Leben und Schriften mit besonderer Rücksicht auf die Geschichte der Griechichen Wissenschaft unter den Arabern (St. Petersburg, 1869; repr. Amsterdam, 1966), pp. 35–7 (n. 44). See also Davidson, Moses Maimonides, p. 528, n. 194.

34 Stroumsa, The Beginnings of the Maimonidean Controversy in the East, p. 139 (note to §§ 51–52) (Hebrew).

35 Stroumsa, Maimonides in his World, p. 174.

36 Zonta, “Maimonides’ knowledge of Avicenna,” p. 220.

37 Fenton, Paul B., “New light on Maimonidean writings on metempsychosis and the influence of Avicenna,” in Langermann, (ed.), Avicenna and his Legacy, pp. 341–68. This study supersedes the author's conclusions in the earlier The literary legacy of David ben Joshua, last of the Maimonidean Negidim,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, 75 (1984–1985): 156; see however p. 34 for texts by Avicenna used by R. David Maimonides.

38 Fenton, “New light,” pp. 364–8.

39 Pourjavaday, Reza and Schmidke, Sabine, A Jewish Philosopher of Baghdad. ʿIzz al-Dawla Ibn Kammūna (d. 683/ 1284) and his Writings (Leiden, 2006), pp. 89.

40 Nemoy, Leon, “Ibn Kammunah's Treatise on the differences between the Rabbanites and the Karaites,” Jewish Quarterly Review, NS 63 (1972–73): 97135, 222–46.

41 Perelman, Moshe (trans.), Ibn Kammūna's Examination of the Three Faiths (Berkley, 1971), “Introduction,” pp. 1–9.

42 Pourjavaday and Schmidke, A Jewish Philosopher of Baghdad, p. 23; Muehlethaler, Lukas, “Ibn Kammūna (d. 683/1284) on the argument of the Flying Man in Avicenna's Ishārāt and Suhrawardī's Talwīḥāt,” in Langermann, (ed.), Avicenna and his Legacy, pp. 179203. On Avicenna's presence in the Examination, see Perelman, Ibn Kammūna's Examination of the Three Faiths, pp. 4, 9, 28 (n. 21).

43 Pourjavaday and Schmidke, A Jewish Philosopher of Baghdad, pp. 59–63; see also p. 129.

44 Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “Ibn Kammūna and the ‘New Wisdom’ of the thirteenth century,” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 15 (2005): 277327.

45 Pourjavaday and Schmidke, A Jewish Philosopher of Baghdad, p. 24; Lukas Muehlethaler, “Ibn Kammūna (d. 683/1284) on the eternity of the human soul: The three treatises on the soul and related texts,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 2010.

46 Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “Ibn Kammuna,” in Zalta, Edward N. (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), URL = http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/ibn-kammuna/ (last accessed Oct. 27, 2010).

47 Pourjavaday and Schmidke, A Jewish Philosopher of Baghdad, pp. 54–7.

48 For other arabophone thinkers who may have used Avicenna, see Harvey, “Editor's Introduction,” p. 25.

49 Landauer, Samuel, “Die Psychologie des Ibn Sīnā,” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Geselleschaft, 29 (1876): 335418, on pp. 335–6.

50 See Wolfson, Harry A., “The internal senses in Latin, Arabic and Hebrew philosophic texts,” Harvard Theological Review, 28 (1935): 69133; Hallevi, Judah, Kitāb al-Radd wa-al-dalīl fī al-dīn al-dhalīl (al-Kitāb al-Khazarī), ed. Baneth, David H. and Ben-Shammai, Haggai (Jerusalem, 1977), “Introduction,” p. 10 and the notes to the text, pp. 200–8. In Book V, Chapter 12 of his work, Hallevi describes the five external senses that correspond precisely with what Avicenna calls the “five internal senses” of the human mind: the common sense, the “formative faculty” (which preserves the external forms of the sensible objects), the memory, the imagination (which recalls what has not been preserved in it), and the “estimative faculty.”

51 Pines has argued that Avicenna's writings reached Judah Hallevi in the time between the composition of Book I and Book V of the Kuzari. See Pines, Shlomo, “Shiʿite terms and conceptions in Judah Halevi's Kuzari,” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, 2 (1980): 165251 on pp. 210–19; repr. with original pagination indicated in The Collected Works of Shlomo Pines, vol. V: Studies in the History of Jewish Thought, ed. by Harvey, Warren Z. and Idel, Moshe (Jerusalem, 1997).

52 Davidson, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect, pp. 180–95.

53 See on this p. 252, n. 142 below.

54 Jacob Guttmann, Die Religionsphilosophie des Abraham ibn Daʾud aus Toledo. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der jüdischen Religionsphilosophie und der Philosophie der Araber (Göttingen, 1879); T.A.M. (Resianne) Fontaine, In Defence of Judaism. Abraham ibn Daʾud. Sources and Structures of ha-Emunah ha-Ramah (Assen, 1990), see index s.v. al-Ghazali, Ibn Sina; Davidson, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect, pp. 195–7.

55 See Eran, Amira, From Simple Faith to Sublime Faith. Ibn Daud's Pre-Maimonidean Thought (Tel Aviv, 1998), esp. p. 27 (Heb.).

56 See this passage in Ibn Daʾud, Abraham, Das Buch Emunah Ramah, oder: der Erhabene Glaube verfasst von Abraham Ben David Halevi aus Toledo (im Jahr 1160), ed. and trans. Weil, Shimshon (Frankfurt, 1852), pp. 2030.

57 See Zonta, “Linee del pensiero islamico,” pp. 453–4.

58 d'Alverny, Marie-Thérèse, “Avendauth?,” in Homenaje a Millás-Vallicrosa, 2 vols. (Barcelona, 1954), vol. I, pp. 2043; Burnett, “The coherence of the Arabic-Latin translation program,” pp. 251–2, 264; Fidora, Alexander, “Ein philosophischer Dialog der Religionen im Toledo des 12. Jahrhunderts: Abraham Ibn Daud und Dominicus Gundissalinus,” in Schwartz, Yossef, Krech, Volkhard (eds.), Religious Apologetics – Philosophical Argumentation (Tübingen, 2004), pp. 251–66.

59 See on him Encyclopedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1972), vol. 12, col. 421422.

60 Steinschneider, Al-Farabi, p. 151; Vajda, Georges, “Un champion de l'avicennisme. Le problème de l'identité de Dieu et du Premier Moteur d'après un opuscule judéo-arabe inédit du xiiie siècle,” Revue thomiste, 48 (1948): 480508, repr. in Vajda, Georges, Études de théologie et de philosophie arabo-islamique à l’époque classique, ed. by Gimaret, Daniel, Hayoun, Maurice and Jolivet, Jean, Reprints, Variorum (London, 1986), Essay IX. See also Wolfson, Harry A., “Averroes’ lost treatise on the Prime Mover,” Hebrew Union College Annual, 23 (1950–51): 683710. See also Vajda, Georges, Recherches sur la philosophie et la kabbale dans la pensée juive du Moyen Âge (Paris and The Hague, 1962), pp. 133, 213–15; id., R. Moses ha-Levi's view on divine providence,” Melila, 5 (1955): 163–8 (Heb.).

61 See Vajda, “Un champion de l'avicennisme,” p. 484.

62 Vajda, Recherches, pp. 115–297.

63 Ibid., pp. 201–6.

64 Ibid., pp. 125–6, 128, 132.

65 Ibid., p. 132.

66 See Steinschneider, Moritz, Die arabische Literatur der Juden (Frankfurt, 1902), p. 167 (§ 129, no. 2); id., , pp. 686–7; and id., “Anzeigen,” p. 23; Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “Solomon Ibn Yaʿish's Commentary on Avicenna's Canon,” Kiryat Sefer, 63 (1990–1991), pp. 1331–3 (Heb.).

67 The term is misleading inasmuch as the term “Judeo-Arabic” denotes a diglossia, namely that used by Jews speaking Arabic, characterized by the inclusion of numerous Hebrew words and phrases. When non-Jewish Arabic texts are copied in Hebrew script, the language remains standard literary Arabic and is not, strictly speaking, Judeo-Arabic.

68 Steinschneider, Moritz, “Schriften der Araber in Hebräischen Handschriften, ein Beitrag zur arabischen Bibliographie,” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 47 (1893): 335–84, on pp. 343–5.

69 Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “Arabic writings in Hebrew manuscripts: a preliminary relisting,” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 6 (1996): 137–60, on pp. 156–8. See also id., “Transcriptions of Arabic treatises into the Hebrew alphabet: an underappreciated mode of transmission,” in Ragep, F. Jamil and Ragep, Sally P. (eds.), Tradition, Transmission, Transformation (Leiden, 1996), pp. 247–60.

70 Lévy, Tony, “Une version hébraïque inédite des Éléments d'Euclide,” in Jacquart, Danielle (ed.), Les voies de la science grecque. Études sur la transmission des textes de l'Antiquité au xixe siècle (Genève, 1997), pp. 181239, on p. 208, n. 37. Lévy notes that this section is identical with the one translated into Hebrew (below, at n. 86).

71 See also Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “Arabic writings in Hebrew manuscripts: Suhrawardi, Ibn Sīnā, and Ibn al-Ṭayyib,” Alei Sefer, 21 (2010): 2133, on pp. 25–7 (Heb).

72 See Michot, Jean, “L’épître sur la connaissance de l’âme rationelle et de ses états attribuée à Avicenne,” Revue philosophique de Louvain, 82 (1984): 479–99; Gutas, Dimitri, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition. Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works (Leiden, 1988), p. 305.

73 Steinschneider, “Schriften der Araber,” pp. 344–5.

74 Ibid., pp. 342–3.

75 See Aloni, Neḥemya, The Jewish Library in the Middle Ages. Book Lists from the Cairo Genizah, edited by Frenkel, Miriam and Ben-Shammai, Haggai (Heb.) (Jerusalem, 2006), index, s.v. Ibn Sīnā.

76 Langermann, “Arabic writings in Hebrew manuscripts,” pp. 148–9. To this, two copies of Zakkah al-nufūs, published by Saʿīd b. Daūd al-ʿAdeni (Syria, c. 1451–1485) under his own name, should be added: Steinschneider (, p. 298) showed that this is a plagiarism of the Maqāṣid.

77 Langermann, “Arabic writings in Hebrew manuscripts,” p. 157.

78 See n. 75 above.

79 van Koningsveld, Pieter Sj., “Andalusian-Arabic manuscripts from Christian Spain: a comparative intercultural approach,” Israel Oriental Studies, 12 (1992): 75110; id., “Andalusian-Arabic manuscripts from medieval Christian Spain: some supplementary notes,” in Forstner, M. (ed.), Festgabe für Hans-Rudolph Singer (Frankfurt, 1991), 2, pp. 811–23.

80 Van Koningsveld, “Andalusian-Arabic manuscripts from Christian Spain,” pp. 100–3, nos. 75, 88, 89.

81 The summa on this subject is still Steinschneider, . See also Zonta, Mauro, La filosofia antica nel Medioevo ebraico (Brescia, 1996). A sociologically informed account is offered in Freudenthal, Gad, “Les sciences dans les communautés juives médiévales de Provence: leur appropriation, leur rôle,” Revue des études juives, 152 (1993): 29136; id., Science in the medieval Jewish culture of Southern France,” History of Science, 33 (1995): 2358; repr. in Science in the Medieval Hebrew and Arabic Traditions, Variorum Collected Studies Series, 803 (Aldershot, 2005), Essay I. For a chronological listing and bibliography see Zonta, Mauro, “Chronological table of the medieval Hebrew translations of philosophical and scientific texts,” in Freudenthal, Gad (ed.), Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 1773.

82 See Fidora, Alexander, Fontaine, Resianne, Freudenthal, Gad, Hames, Harvey, and Schwartz, Yossef (eds.), Latin-into-Hebrew – Studies and Texts. 2 vols (Leiden, forthcoming in 2012).

83 Already noted by Steinschneider, , p. 279.

84 Published by Dukes, Leopold in Ozar Nechmad. Briefe und Abhandlungen jüdische Literatur betreffend 2 (1857), pp. 114–15; repr. in Wolfson, Harry A., “The classification of sciences in medieval Jewish philosophy” (1925), in id., Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion, ed. by Twersky, Isadore and Williams, George H. (Cambridge, Mass., 1973), 1, pp. 493545, on p. 495, n. 8. Preserved in MS Leipzig, University Library, B. H. Fol. 14/9, fol. 205a–206a. The original Arabic text of this passage is found in the second chapter of treatise 1 of Avicenna's Eisagoge in al-Shifāʾ: see Sīnā, Ibn, al-Shifāʾ, al-Manṭīq, vol. I, ed. by Anawati, George C., Khuḍayrī, Maḥmūd and Ahwānī, Fuʾād (Cairo, 1952), pp. 1214.

85 Steinschneider, , p. 285 (§ 154).

86 The translation of arithmetical part of the Shifāʾ is embedded in the translation of a work ascribed to Abū al-Ṣalt al-Andalusī (1068–1134). See Lévy, Tony, “L'histoire des nombres amiables: Le témoignage des textes hébreux médiévaux,” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 6 (1996): 6387, on p. 65. On the geometrical text, a Hebrew version of the uṣūl al-handasa in the Shifāʾ, see id., “Les Eléments d'Euclide en hébreu (xiiie-xvie siècles),” in Hasnawi, Ahmad, Elamrani-Jamal, Abdelali, and Aouad, Maroun (eds.), Perspectives arabes et médiévales sur la tradition scientifique et philosophique grecque (Leuven, 1997), pp. 7994, on p. 80; this text is extant in a manuscript in Hebrew characters (above, near n. 70). See also below (B.1.4 [v]) on the “paraphrase” of these sections by Judah ben Solomon ha-Kohen in his Midrash ha-Ḥoḵmah.

87 Pointed out in Steinschneider, , p. 280.

88 Ibid., p. 285; Ernest Renan [and Adolf Neubauer], Les Écrivains juifs français du XIV esiècle (= Histoire littéraire de la France, vol. XXXI) (Paris, 1893), p. 571. The translation of Book II, Part VI of this work (On the Soul) has been edited in Gabriella Berzin, “The medieval Hebrew version of psychology in Avicenna's Salvation (Al-Najāt),” Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 2010. We thank Dr. Berzin for having put a copy of her dissertation at our disposal.

89 Steinschneider, , pp. 64–5 (§ 21).

90 More on this below (B.1.4 [iii]); see Zonta, “Fonti antiche e medievali,” pp. 555–62.

91 London, British Library, Add. 27559/2, and Paris BNF, MS héb. 1023/4.

92 Corbin, Henry, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (Princeton, 1990).

93 For a chronological listing of Ibn Ezra's works, see Sela, Shlomo and Freudenthal, Gad, “Abraham Ibn Ezra's scholarly writings: a chronological listing,” Aleph, 6 (2006): 1355.

94 That fact that Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān is an adaptation of Avicenna's work was confirmed by Steinschneider in his “Hai ben Mekiz,” in Egers, Jacob (ed.), Diwān des Abraham Ibn Esra, mit einer Allegorie Hai ben Mekiz (Berlin, 1886), pp. 177–82; see also id., , pp. 285–6. For a critical edition of Ibn Ezra's adaptation, see Levin, Israel (ed.), Ḥay ben Meqiṣ (Heb.) (Tel Aviv, 1983); the “Editor's introduction” (pp. 11–45) offers a detailed analysis of Ibn Ezra's work and comments on its differences with respect to Avicenna's.

95 Hughes, Aaron, “The three worlds of Ibn Ezra's Ḥay ben Meqiṣ,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, 11 (2002): 124; id., A case of twelfth-century plagiarism? Abraham Ibn Ezra's Ḥay ben Meqiṣ and Avicenna's Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān,” Journal of Jewish Studies, 55 (2004): 306–11; id., The Texture of the Divine: Imagination in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Thought (Bloomington, IN., 2004).

96 The two texts have been edited by Kaufmann, David: Iggeret Ḥayy ben Meqiṣ le-Ibn Sina ‘im perush talmido Ibn Zayla,” Qoveṣ ʿal-Yad, 2 (1886) (separate numbering, VI+ 29 pp.). See also Steinschneider, , p. 286.

97 The first identification of the Arabic Vorlage of the text is due to Levin, Israel, “The gazelle and the birds: On Megillat ha-Ofer of Rabbi Elijah ha-Cohen and the Treatise on Birds of Avicenna,” in Brinker, Menachem, Yahalom, Yosef, and Fraenkel, Jonah (eds.), Essays in Memory of Dan Pagis (= Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature, vols. 10–11 [1988]), pp. 577611. Text published in Malachi, Zvi, “Megillat ha-ʿOfer by Rabbi Eliyahu ha-Kohen, an allegorical maqāmah from Spain,” in id. (ed.), Aharon Mirsky Jubilee Volume (Lod, 1986), pp. 317–41 (Heb.). The translation was made by Eliyahu ben Moses ben Nissim ha-Cohen on Sunday, 26 January 1276. Nothing is known about this translator – Steinschneider tried in vain to identify him with individuals known from other sources; see his Devarim ‘atiqim. 3. Megillat ha-‘Ofer,” in Ha-Karmel, 6 (1867): 319–21 (Heb.); he lists 10 individuals named “Eliya ha-Kohen” or the sons of Eliya ha-Kohen, in the hope that this would be helpful for future research. See also , p. 884. Yoseph Yahalom identified two further adaptations, which are not extant in full. See his “Ibn Sīnā's Iggeret ha-Ṣipporim in three Hebrew Maqāma-like adaptations,” in Ilan, Naḥem (ed.), The Interwined Worlds of Islam. Essays in Memory of Hava Lazarus-Yafeh (Jerusalem, 2002), pp. 282314 (Heb.). This article also includes interesting reflections on the genre of the maqāma and its use in philosophy.

98 It was incorporated in Judah Hallevi's Kuzari, translated by Judah Ibn Tibbon; it was also translated into Hebrew in Falaquera's Deʿot ha-pilosofim.

99 See above, n. 28.

100 Steinschneider, , p. 310. Translated in Harvey, Steven, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account of natural science?,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, 91 (2001): 359–76 on p. 361. Recent scholarship (following some medieval predecessors) has challenged the sincerity of this self-description. See, e.g., Frank Griffel, “Al-Ghazālī,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/al-ghazali/> id., Al-Ghazālī's Philosophical Theology (Oxford, 2009); Alexander Treiger, “The science of divine disclosure: al-Ghazālī's higher theology and its philosophical underpinnings,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 2008.

101 Narboni's statement is paraphrased in Steinschneider, , pp. 316–17, published in Gershon B. Chertoff, “The logical part of al-Ghazālī's Maqāṣid al-falāsifa, in an anonymous Hebrew translation with the Hebrew commentary of Moses of Narbonne” (Ph.D. Dissertation Columbia University, New York, 1952; available online at http://www.ghazali.org/books/chertoff.pdf), Part II, p. 6 (= p. B3), translated in Harvey, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account,” pp. 366–7 (n. 24). Similarly, in 1492, an anonymous copyist wrote: “al-Ghazālī was a disciple of Avicenna and this book is a compendium of Avicenna's logic, as [Walter] Burley wrote in many places”; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Pococke 343, fol. 160r; see Neubauer, A., Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1886), c. 470. Averroes, too, saw the Maqāṣid as a work whose intention was merely to teach science; see Harvey, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account,” pp. 362–3.

102 Steinschneider, , 301–4, 307–9, 316–17. Simeon Duran, writing in 1423, opined that “this man [al-Ghazālī] learnt wisdom only from the books of Avicenna, as Averroes has remarked in the Destruction of the Destruction”; see Steinschneider, Moritz (ed.), Duran, Simeon, Qeshet u-magen, in Magazin für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, 9 (1882), Hebrew Part: Oṣar Ṭov, 1–36, on p. 26; = Sefer Magen ʾavot (Jerusalem, 1997), p. 241. Translation in Steinschneider, Islam und Judenthum. Kritik des Islam von Simon Duran (1423),” Magazin für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, 7 (1880): 148, on p. 36. The passage to which Duran refers seems to be in Averroes, Tahafut at-tahafut, ed. Maurice Bouyges, Bibliotheca Arabica Scholasticorum, Série Arabe 3 (Beirut, 1930), p. 403.11–12. In Simon Van Den Bergh's English translation (Cambridge, 1954) it reads: “But all the arguments which al-Ghazali gives in this book either against or on behalf of the philosophers or against Avicenna are dialectical through the equivocation of the terms used, and therefore it is not necessary to expatiate on this.” In a note ad loc Bouyges observes that in the Hebrew translation of this passage there is a variant reading here, according to which Averroes writes that “all what is in this book by Abu Ḥamid about [or: against] philosophy [comes] from Avicenna.” It seems that this is what Duran read. Among Muslim and Christian authors, al-Ghazālī's intentions were also diversely perceived; see Harvey, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account?,” pp. 362–3.

103 Steinschneider, , p. 309, distinguishes three translations, but Wolfson casts doubt on this; see Wolfson, Harry A., Crescas’ Critique of Aristotle. Problems of Aristotle's Physics in Jewish and Arabic Philosophy (Cambridge, 1929), p. 10, n. 44.

104 Manekin, Charles H., “The logic of the Hebrew encyclopedias,” in Harvey, Steven (ed.), Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias of Science and Philosophy (Dordrecht, 2000), pp. 277–99 discusses the intentions of the translators of Maqāṣid and the success of the work on pp. 287–92.

105 Steinschneider, , pp. 299–306 (§§ 166–171). About this author and his possible place of origin, see also Zonta, Mauro, “Due note sulle fonti ebraiche di Giovanni Pico e Giordano Bruno,” Rinascimento, 40 (2000): 143–53, on pp. 143–6.

106 Albalag's comments, but not his translation of the Maqāṣid, have been edited in Vajda, Georges (ed.), Isaac Albalag, Sefer Tiqqun ha-deʿot (Jerusalem, 1973). Of the translation, only the introduction has been edited and published: Auerbach, Heimann, Albalag und seine Übersetzung des Makāṣid al-Gazzalis (Breslau, 1907). Vajda translated most of Albalag's commentary into French in his Isaac Albalag, averroïste juif, traducteur et annotateur d'al-Ġazālī (Paris, 1960).

107 Sefer Tiqqun ha-deʿot, ed. Vajda, p. 4.22–26. The term sippur here translates the term ḥikāya employed by al-Ghazālī himself in the Introduction to the Maqāṣid (for this observation we are indebted to Alexander Treiger).

108 Isaac Albalag, ed. Vajda, pp. 267–74.

109 Steinschneider, , p. 306 (§171); Isaac Albalag, ed. Vajda, p. 270.

110 Steinschneider, , p. 309 (§ 173).

111 Chertoff, “The logical part of al-Ghazālī's Maqāṣid al-falāsifa.

112 Steinschneider, , pp. 306–9 (§ 172); Renan-Neubauer, Écrivains, pp. 574–80.

113 Published by Steinschneider in his Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin. 2. Band: Verzeichniss der Hebraeischen Handschriften (Berlin, 1878), pp. 130–2; summarized in , pp. 307–8; Harvey, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account?,” p. 372.

114 “We-kalal bo [kol] kawwanotehem ba-yoter nakon she-efshar” (Steinschneider, Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse, p. 131).

115 For the complete text of this passage, see Steinschneider Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse, p. 132; Zonta, “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” p. 656; id., “Avicenna in medieval Jewish philosophy,” pp. 275–6

116 See Steinschneider, Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse, p. 132, n. 5. Judah says he handed them out only to “wise men” (ibid., p. 132), a remark indicating that they were transmitted in separate manuscripts. This easily accounts for their loss.

117 Steinschneider, , p. 310.

118 E.g., the analysis of 430 lists of books owned by Jewish families, compiled in Mantua at the very end of the sixteenth century, reveals that five (out of 430) families owned manuscripts of Kawwanot ha-pilosofim; see Baruchson, Shifra, Books and Readers. The Reading Interests of Italian Jews at the Close of the Renaissance (Ramat Gan, 1993), p. 149 (Heb.). A manuscript of the work was also owned by an amateur of philosophy in the Midi in the sixteenth century; see Rothschild, Jean-Pierre, “Quelques listes de livres hébreux dans des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque nationale de Paris,” Revue d'histoire des textes, 17 (1987): 291346, on pp. 322–3 (no. 19).

119 See Ofer Elior, “Ruaḥ ḥen as a looking glass: the study of science in different Jewish cultures as reflected in the history of a medieval introduction to Aristotelian science,” Ph.D. dissertation, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel, 2010. Elior studies the cultural history of this short thirteenth-century introduction to science and found that al-Ghazālī's Maqāṣid fulfilled a similar role.

120 Steinschneider, , p. 311.

121 Ibid., p. 315; the commentaries are described ibid., pp. 311–26 (§§ 175–183).

122 Zonta, “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” pp. 657–9. On this work see Eisenmann, Esti, “Ahavah be-taʿanugim: a fourteenth-century encyclopedia of science and theology,” in Harvey, (ed.), The Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias, pp. 429–40.

123 Steinschneider, , p. 319 (§ 177).

124 Ibid., pp. 311–25 (§§ 175–182).

125 Ibid., , pp. 325–6 (§183). The translator's introduction was published by Steinschneider as Miscelle 21,” Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, 37 (1893): 407–9. See also Harvey, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account?,” pp. 373–4.

126 Harvey, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account?”.

127 Idel, Moshe, “The study program of R. Yoḥanan Alemano,” Tarbiẓ, 48 (1978–1979): 303–31, on p. 308 (Heb.): “whoever wishes to investigate religion [ḥaqirat ha-dat] will read in the morning The Intentions of the Philosophers with the commentaries of Narboni and Isaac Albalag and the Incoherence of the Incoherence by Ibn Rushd, and the Kuzari and Emunah Ramah and the Guide with its commentaries.”

128 As suggested in Harvey, “Why did fourteenth-century Jews turn to Alghazali's account?,” p. 376. See also Wolfson, Crescas’ Critique, p. 10.

129 Steinschneider, , pp. 327–30 (§ 185).

130 Pointed out in Davidson, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect, p. 181.

131 See Steinschneider, , index, s.v. Averroes; Wolfson, Harry A., “Plan for the publication of a Corpus commentariorum Averrois in Aristotelem,” Speculum, 36 (1961): 88104, repr. in id., Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion, ed. by Twersky, Isadore and Williams, George H. (Cambridge, Mass., 1973), vol. I, pp. 430–44.

132 Steinschneider, , pp. 332–4 (§§ 187, 188–189). There is also a fragment of a third translation. In the introduction to his translation, Qalonymos ben David proclaims his Ghazalian sympathies and lauds Ghazālī for his successful critique of philosophy. He explains that he agreed to translate the defense of philosophy by “the heretic Averroes” only because friends who admire al-Ghazālī's work pleaded with him to do so. See the summary in Steinschneider, , pp. 332–3 and the text in Steinschneider, Die Handschriften-Verzeichnisse der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin, pp. 133–5, on p. 133.

133 A pioneering but small step in this direction was taken by Steinschneider, , p. 280 and p. 998, n. 26. Miguel Cruz Hernández gathered passages in which Averroes criticizes Avicenna in his Abu-l-Walid ibn Rušd (Averroes). Vida, obra, pensamiento, influencia 2nd edn (Córdoba, 1997), pp. 371–5 (we are indebted to Jules Janssens for this reference).

134 See on this work Cruz Hernández, Miguel, El “Fontes quaestionum” (ʿuyun al-masaʾil) de Abu Nasr Al-Farabi (Paris, 1951); Davidson, Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect, pp. 128–9.

135 Steinschneider, , p. 294.

136 On these two passages and their source, see Zonta, Mauro, “Fonti antiche e medievali della logica ebraica nella Provenza del Trecento,” Medioevo, 23 (1997): 515–94, on p. 567 n. 151; id., “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” p. 655. One of Fakhr al-Dīn's works survives in a transcription in Hebrew letters; see Langermann, “Transcriptions of Arabic treatises into the Hebrew alphabet.”

137 Commenting on an early draft of this study, Prof. Y. Tzvi Langermann kindly informed us that his study (in progress) of al-Tabrīzī's commentary on the 25 Propositions with which Maimonides opens Part Two of the Guide led him to conclude that it “draws heavily upon Avicenna, especially some Avicennian innovations, such as the notion of mayl (or inclinatio) in dynamics.” Al-Tabrīzī's commentary was translated into Hebrew twice: by Isaac ben Nathan of Majorca in 1347 and by an anonymous translator; see Steinschneider, , p. 362–3. It was used by a number of Jewish scholars, most notably Ḥasdai Crescas. However, as Langermann has also shown, although “al-Tabrīzī's book has a great deal of information about the Avicennan and post-Avicennan developments in the physics of motion, […] Crescas made no use of this at all; it may just as well have not been transmitted. Neither Crescas nor anyone else in the West – including, it seems now, the Latin scholastics whose work he may have known, and who famously developed their own theories of impetus – reacted in any significant way to the new physics that reached them from the East.” See Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “No reagent, no reaction: the barren transmission of Avicennan dynamics to Ḥasdai Crescas,” Aleph, 12 (2012) (in Honor of Ruth Glasner): 161–88.

138 For this and for what follows, see Steinschneider, , pp. 403–4 (§ 234).

139 On the reception and transmission of the Kuzari, see Shear, Adam, The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167–1900 (New York, 2008).

140 Judah Hallevi's work was translated a second time, by Judah Ibn Cardinal, but this translation had no impact whatsoever and is thus of no relevance in the present context; see Steinschneider, , pp. 404–5 (§ 235).

141 About these two versions of The Exalted Faith, see Steinschneider, , pp. 368–71 (§ 211); Eran, From Simple Faith to Sublime Faith, pp. 22–5.

142 The significance of this fact is not clear. Yossef Schwartz has pointed out a general tendency among Jewish Andalusian writers to refer to their Jewish sources but not to the non-Jewish ones, and an opposite practice in Maimonides. See Schwartz, Yossef, “Zwischen Philosophie und Theologie im 12. Jahrhundert: Halevi, Ibn Daud und Maimonides,” in Fidora, Alexander and Niederberger, Andreas (eds.), The Relation between Metaphysics and Theology in the Philosophical Discussion of the Twelfth Century (Turnhout, 2004), pp. 113–35, on pp. 122–5. Thus, the fact that these authors do not mention Avicenna is not necessarily a consequence of a particular attitude toward him. We are grateful to Prof. Yossef Schwartz for an exchange on this point.

143 See above, n. 15.

144 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Opp. Add. 4° 10, fols. 115r–125r.

145 Rome, Vatican Library, vat. ebr. 384, fols. 125r–139v.

146 On these quotations whose origin has not yet been identified, see Vajda, Recherches, pp. 125–6.

147 See Harvey, Warren Z., “The first commandment and the God of history: Halevi and Crescas vs. Ibn Ezra and Maimonides,” Tarbiẓ, 57 (1988): 203–16, on p. 208 (noted in S. Harvey, “Avicenna's influence on Jewish thought,” p. 329).

148 For a review of all the interpretations of Ibn Ezra's obscure statements, see Lifschitz, Avraham, “Le-torat ha-beri'ah šel R. Avraham Ibn Ezra,” Sinai, 84 (1979): 105–25 (Heb.).

149 Luis Mancha, José, “The theory of access and recess in Levi ben Gerson's astronomy and its sources,” Aleph, 12 (2012) (in Honor of Ruth Glasner): 3764, on p. 55, n. 21.

150 See Otot ha-Shamayim. Samuel Ibn Tibbon's Hebrew version of Aristotle's Meteorology: A Critical Edition, with Introduction, Translation, and Index by Fontaine, Resianne (Leiden, 1995), Introduction, pp. XVI, LVII–LIX. See in particular passages II.438, 480–1, 489–91, III.96–101. We thank R. Fontaine for her kind assistance.

151 As just noted, according to some interpreters, this Avicennian theory was held by Abraham Ibn Ezra as well.

152 Ibn Tibbon, Samuel, Maʾamar Yiqqawu ha-mayim, ed. Bisliches, Mordecai (Pressburg, 1837), p. 7. The passage is translated in Gad Freudenthal, “(Al-)chemical foundations for cosmological ideas: Ibn Sīnā on the geology of an eternal world,” in Sabetai Unguru (ed.), Physics, Cosmology and Astronomy, 1300–1700: Tension and Accommodation, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 126 (Dordrecht/Boston/London, 1991), pp. 47–73; repr. in id., Science in the Medieval Hebrew and Arabic Traditions, Variorum Collected Studies Series, 803 (Aldershot, 2005), Essay XII. Samuel Ibn Tibbon's theory is studied in detail in id., Samuel Ibn Tibbon's Avicennian theory of an eternal world,” Aleph, 8 (2008): 41129.

153 Ibn Tibbon, Maʾamar Yiqqawu ha-mayim, pp. 3-5; Freudenthal, “Samuel Ibn Tibbon's Avicennian theory of an eternal world,” Appendix B, esp. pp. 118–19 (with n. 144, in which M. Ahmed Hasnaoui of Paris is thanked for his help in the identification of the passage in al-Shifāʾ).

154 See Shaʿar ha-shamayim 2:1 (Warsaw, 1876), pp. 1314; already noted in Steinschneider, , p. 14.

155 It is quoted e.g. by the kabbalistically minded Samuel Moṭoṭ (end of fourteenth century), in his supercommentary on Abraham Ibn Ezra's commentary on Genesis: “You know that there is a controversy among the scientists on whether the formation of a human without the copulation of a male and a female is possible. And the wise Avicenna wrote that it is not impossible. Among the recent [scholars] there are some who decided in favor of Avicenna and said that at the equator, where the air is balanced with respect to cold and heat and the other qualities, it occasionally occurs.” Moṭoṭ, Samuel, Megillat setarim (Venice, 1554), fol. 7b-c (noted in Steinschneider, “Anzeigen,” p. 22). The first part of the statement comes either from Ibn Tibbon or from Shaʿar ha-shamayim; the second refers to Ḥayyim Israeli's Maʾamar Gan Eden, discussed below.

156 See, e.g., Joseph Bonfils (Ṭob Elem), Ṣophnat Paneʾaḥ. Ein Beitrag zur Pentateuchexegese des Mittelalters, ed. David Herzog (Heidelberg, 1911, 1930), vol. 1, p. 36 (composed in Jerusalem around 1385); we are grateful to R. Leicht for this reference. On the supercommentaries on Ibn Ezra's biblical commentaries, see Simon, Uriel, “R. Abraham Ibn Ezra – the exegete who became the object of exegesis” (Heb.), in Yafet, Sara (ed.), Ha-miqraʾ bi-reʾi mefarshaw. Sara Kamin Memorial Volume (Jerusalem, 1994), pp. 367411 [translated as “Interpreting the interpreter: supercommentaries on Ibn Ezra's commentaries,” in Twersky, Isadore and Harris, Jay M. (eds.), Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra: Studies in the Writings of a Twelfth-Century Jewish Polymath (Cambridge, Mass., 1993), pp. 86121]; see also Schwartz, Dov, Yashan be-qanqan ḥadash (Old Thought in New Vessels) (Jerusalem, 1996), about the supercommentaries on Ibn Ezra written by a northern Spanish circle of Jewish authors in the second half of the fourteenth century.

157 On the perception of Samuel Ibn Tibbon as an impious radical, see, e.g., the criticism by Jacob ben Sheshet in his Sefer Meshiv devarim nekoḥim, ed. Georges Vajda, Introduction by Georges Vajda and Efraim Gottlieb (Jerusalem, 1968); Jacob ben Sheshet's criticism is studied by Gad Freudenthal, “The Kabbalist R. Jacob ben Sheshet of Gerona: the ambivalences of a moderate critique of science (ca. 1240),” in Proceedings of the Symposium “Times and Places of Jewish Girona”, Girona Judaica, vol. 5 (Girona 2011), pp. 275–89. Ibn Tibbon was persona non grata among traditionalist and even mildly rationalist circles; indeed, in the decades following the publication of Maʾamar Yiqqawu ha-mayim, parts of it were hidden by its supporters so as to avoid putting ammunition in the hands of Ibn Tibbon's detractors (Sefer Meshiv devarim nekoḥim, 11: 75–76.).

158 Kreisel, Ḥayyim, Sirat, Colette, and Israel, Abraham (eds.), The Writings of R. Moshe Ibn Tibbon (Beer Sheva, 2010) (Heb.).

159 This work (preserved in Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, MS parmense 2620, ff. 91v–100v) has not been published. A critical edition is being prepared by Hagar Kahana-Smilansky. The following brief remarks are all based on her study: Moses Ibn Tibbon's Answers to Queries on Physics: sources and problems,” Aleph, 12 (2012) (in Honor of Ruth Glasner), which in turn is based on her forthcoming critical edition.

160 See Zonta, “Fonti antiche e medievali della logica ebraica,” pp. 568–72, 575; id., “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” pp. 653–5.

161 For details, see Zonta, “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” pp. 654–5.

162 London, British Library, Add. 27559.

163 See above, § B 1.2. (iii), and Steinschneider, , pp. 293–294; Zonta, “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” p. 655.

164 Zonta, “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” p. 655.

165 Steinschneider, , pp. 62–5 (§ 21), 182, 197; Renan-Neubauer, Écrivains, pp. 224–7.

166 Steinschneider, , pp. 735 (§ 472), 738–9 (§ 475), 781.

167 In his introduction to the translation of Averroes’ commentary on the Rhetoric, Ṭodros does not mention any author except Averroes and says that he did the translation for the benefit of “our brothers who seek out philosophy” (aḥenu dorshei ha-pilosofiah); see Berzin, “The medieval Hebrew version of psychology in Avicenna's Salvation (Al-Najāt),” p. 188. This is not how a committed Avicennian would write.

168 See, e.g., Gad Freudenthal, “Holiness and defilement: the ambivalent perception of philosophy by its opponents in the early fourteenth century,” Micrologus, IX (2001): Gli Ebrei e le Scienze. The Jews and the Sciences (2001): 169–93 [repr. in Science in the Medieval Hebrew and Arabic Traditions, Essay II]; Schwartz, Dov, “Changing fronts in the controversies over philosophy in medieval Spain and Provence,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, 7 (1997): 6182, revised version in id., Central Problems of Medieval Jewish Philosophy (Leiden, 2005), pp. 117–36; Stern, Gregg, Philosophy and Rabbinic Culture: Jewish Interpretation and Controversy in Medieval Languedoc (London, 2009).

169 Steinschneider, , pp. 426–8 (§ 246). The paragraph that follows entirely depends on the findings of Ofer Elior's Ph.D. dissertation, “Ruaḥ ḥen as a Looking Glass.” We are indebted to Dr. Elior for permission to describe a few of his findings prior to their publication by him.

170 Steinschneider, , pp. 1–4 (§ 1); Fontaine, Resianne, “Judah ben Solomon ha-Cohen's Midrash ha-Hokmah: its sources and use of sources,” in Harvey, (ed.), Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedia, pp. 191210.

171 We are indebted to Resianne Fontaine, who is editing parts of Midrash ha-ḥokhmah, for this information.

172 Lévy, Tony, “Mathematics in the Midrash ha-Ḥokhmah of Judah ben Solomon ha-Cohen,” in Harvey, (ed.), Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias, pp. 300–12, on p. 309.

173 Steinschneider, , pp. 5–9 (§ 2); Jospe, Raphael, Torah and Sophia: The Life and Thought of Shem Ṭov Ibn Falaquera (Cincinnati, 1988).

174 For an overview, see Zonta, “Linee del pensiero ebraico,” pp. 456–7; “Avicenna in medieval Jewish philosophy,” pp. 269–270; “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” pp. 647–8. Cf. also Zonta, Mauro, “Hebrew transmission of Arabic philosophy and science: a reconstruction of Shem Ṭov Ibn Falaquera's ‘Arabic library’,” in Perani, Mauro (ed.), L'interculturalità dell'Ebraismo (Ravenna, 2004), pp. 121–7.

175 See Zonta, Mauro, “The reception of al-Fārābī's and Ibn Sīnā's classifications of the mathematical and natural science in the Hebrew medieval philosophical literature,” Medieval Encounters, 1 (1995): 358–92.

176 Zonta, “Linee del pensiero ebraico,” pp. 456–7; the passage concerns the two Avicennian philosophical key terms taṣawwur and taṣdīq (conceiving and verifying).

177 Harvey, Steven, “Shem-Ṭov Ibn Falaquera's Deʿot ha-filosofim: its sources and use of sources,” in id. (ed.), Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias, pp. 211–37, on p. 232. This notion was of great importance to Avicenna; see, e.g., Gutas, Dimitri, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition. Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works (Leiden, 1988), pp. 159–77.

178 Jospe, Torah and Sophia, pp. 181–9; Berzin, “The medieval Hebrew version of psychology in Avicenna's Salvation (Al-Najāt),” pp. 138–49, juxtaposes parallel sections from al-Najāt in Ṭodros’ translation and from Falaquera's Sefer ha-Nefesh.

179 For a detailed analysis of the use of Avicenna in Moreh ha-Moreh see ben Joseph Falaquera, Shem-Ṭov, Moreh ha-Moreh. Critical Edition, Introduction and Commentary by Yair Shiffman (Jerusalem, 2001), pp. 4860 (Heb.); see also n. 15 above. The work includes some passages on metaphysics from al-Shifā’; for a complete list see Mauro Zonta, “Avicenna's Metaphysics in the medieval Hebrew philosophical tradition. A short historical sketch of its evident traces,” in Dag Nikolaus Hasse and Amos Bertolacci (eds.), The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna's “Metaphysics” (Berlin-Boston, 2012), pp. 153–8.

180 We are grateful to Hagar Kahana-Smilansky for this suggestion. For Falaquera's acquaintance with Maimonides’ letter to Samuel Ibn Tibbon, see Harvey, Steven, “Did Maimonides’ Letter to Samuel Ibn Tibbon determine which philosophers would be studied by later Jewish thinkers?,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, 83 (1992): 5170, on p. 63.

181 See Zonta, Mauro, “Possible Hebrew quotations of the metaphysical section of Avicenna's Oriental Philosophy and their historical meaning,” in Hasse, and Bertolacci, (eds.), The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna's “Metaphysics,” pp. 177–9.

182 This discovery is described in Szpiech, Ryan, “In search of Ibn Sīnā's ‘oriental philosophy’ in medieval Castile,” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 20 (2010): 185206. Szpiech writes (p. 194): “Although Abner specifically cites the source of his statements as Ibn Sīnā's ‘Oriental Philosophy,’ these citations are all actually direct quotes from Ibn Ṭufayl's Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān.” See, as well, the following encyclopedia articles by Szpiech, which offer a similar summary of Abner's references to Avicenna and to other Islamic philosophers: “Alfonso of Valladolid/Abner of Burgos”; “Teshuvot la-Meḥaref”; “Sermonas contra los moros y judíos”; “Moreh Ẓedek”; “Libro de las tres creencias”; all in Thomas, David and Mallett, Alex (eds.), Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History, IV: 1200–1350 C.E. (Leiden, 2012), pp. 941–62. It has been argued that Abner/Alfonso's determinist philosophy draws on Avicenna; but following Szpiech's study of the Avicennian quotations in Abner/Alfonso's works this seems to be less likely. See Zonta, “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” p. 652, referring to information by Charles H. Manekin, according to whom “there was a strong influence [on Abner/Alfonso] of Avicennism on such points as the doctrine of God's knowledge and providence, which passed from Mūsa Ibn al-Lāwī through Abner of Burgos, arriving to the Spanish Jewish philosopher Ḥasdai Crescas (d. 1412): a sort of ‘Spanish Jewish Avicennism’” (ibid. p. 653). See also: Manekin, Charles H. and Leaman, Oliver (eds.), The Jewish Philosophy Reader (London, 2000), p. 246; Manekin, Charles H. (ed.), Medieval Jewish Philosophical Writings (Cambridge, 2007), p. xxi. We are indebted to Ryan Szpiech for his advice on this section.

183 Alfonso, , Meyashsher ʿAqov, ed. and trans. Gluskina, Gita M. (into Russian) (Moscow, 1983), see index p. 130, s.v.

184 Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “‘The making of the Firmament’: R. Ḥayyim Israeli, R. Isaac Israeli and Maimonides,” in Shlomo Pines Jubilee Volume on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, Part I, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought IX (Jerusalem, 1988), pp. 461–76 (Heb.). He is also the author of one of the Hebrew versions of Avicenna's Urjuza; see below, B.2 [ii].

185 “Trattato del Paradiso di Hajjim Israel,” ed. Perreau, Pietro in Jubelschrift zum neunzigsten Geburtstag des Dr. L. Zunz (Berlin, 1884), text: pp. 2042 (Hebrew section), introduction: pp. 141–2 (non-Hebrew section).

186 “Trattato,” ed. Perreau, p. 21.32–34.

187 See above, near n. 171; this statement is also reported by Samuel Moṭoṭ (supra, n. 155).

188 “Trattato,” ed. Perreau, p. 25.17–27.

189 Ibid, pp. 26.36–27.1; similarly p. 30.6–7. Averroes makes this statement in Epitome on Meteorology; see Risāla al-Āthār al-ʿulwiyya li-Ibn Rushd, ed. al-ʿAjam, Rafiq and Gehami, Gerard (Beirut, 1994), p. 58.6–8.

190 Ibid, p. 30:9–14. Ḥayyim Israeli mentions Ibn Tibbon's commentary on Ecclesiastes (ibid., p. 39.11–12), but does not seem to have seen Maʾamar Yiqqawu ha-mayim.

191 “Trattato,” ed. Perreau, p. 30.9, 18. See above, nn. 148, 156.

192 Ibid, p. 30.14–15.

193 Ibid, p. 30.7–8.

194 See Vajda, Geoges, “La question disputée de l'essence et de l'existence vue par Judah Cohen, philosophe juif de Provence,” Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age, 43 (1977): 127–47, on p. 136 and note 58.

195 See Steinschneider, , p. 318. Some of Narboni's statements are problematic, however; see above, n. 15.

196 Qeshet u-magen, ed. Steinschneider, p. 21.25–22.8; = Magen ʾavot, p. 238. Translation in Steinschneider, “Islam und Judentum,” pp. 29–30. The origin of this quotation remains to be determined.

197 See Lasker, Daniel J., “Medieval Karaism and science,” in Freudenthal, (ed.), Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures, pp. 427–37.

198 Etz Chayyim, Ahron ben Elias aus Nikomedien des Karäer's System der Religionsphilosophie, ed. Steinschneider, Moritz and Delitzsch, Franz (Leipzig, 1841).

199 Ibid, pp. 26–9, 39. We are indebted to Daniel J. Lasker for his advice on this section.

200 See Nikolaus Hasse, Dag, Avicenna's ‘De anima’ in the Latin West. The Formation of a Peripatetic Philosophy of the Soul 1160–1300 (London and Turin, 2000). (Note that Kitāb al-Nafs is the section on the soul in Avicenna's al-Shifaʾ and is different from the previously mentioned Risāla fī al-Nafs.) The discussion that follows draws on Zonta, La filosofia antica nel Medioevo ebraico, pp. 193–5 and Yossef Schwartz, “The medieval Hebrew translations of Dominicus Gundissalinus,” in Alexander Fidora, Harvey Hames, Yossef Schwartz (eds.), Latin-into-Hebrew–Studies and Texts. Volume 2: Texts (Leiden, forthcoming in 2012). We are grateful to the author for his kind permission to draw on his study prior to its publication.

201 Cambridge, University Library, Add. 1858, ff. 183v–230v.

202 Gershon b. Shlomo, Sefer Shaʿar ha-shamayim 2.11 (Warsaw, 1875), p. 75 f.; (= Chapter 12 of the Rödelheim, 1801 edition, fol. 78r f.).

203 Schwartz, “The medieval Hebrew translations of Dominicus Gundissalinus.”

204 Hillel ben Shmuʾel of Verona, Sefer Tagmulé ha-Nefesh (Book of the Rewards of the Soul), ed. Sermoneta, Joseph (Jerusalem, 1981), Editor's English Introduction, p. vi; see also Index, p. 268, s.v.

205 Schwartz, Yossef, “Einleitung,” in von Verona, Hillel, Über die Vollendung der Seele. Hebräisch-Deutsch. Eingeleitet und mit Anmerkungen herausgegeben von Yossef Schwartz, übersetzt von Yossef Schwartz in Verbindung mit Alexander Fidora (Freiburg, 2009), pp. 1314.

206 Schwartz, “Einleitung,” pp. 14, 23, 26–8, 30–1 and index, s.v. “Avicenna.”

207 Alonso, Manuel, “Ḥunayn traducido al Latin por Ibn Dawud y Domingo Gundisalvo,” Al-Andalus, 16 (1951): 3747; Glasner, Ruth, “The Hebrew version of De celo et mundo attributed to Ibn Sīnā,” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 6 (1996): 89112.

208 Pseudo-Avicenna, , Liber Celi et mundi. A Critical Edition with Introduction by Oliver Gutman (Leiden, 2003).

209 On Solomon b. Moses, see Glasner, “The Hebrew version of De celo et mundo,” on pp. 95–6, and Kahana-Smilansky, Hagar, “Aristotle on sleep and wakefulness: a medieval Hebrew adaptation of an unknown Latin treatise,” Aleph, 10 (2010): 67118, on pp. 70–82.

210 For an in-depth study see Glasner, “The Hebrew version of De celo et mundo.”

211 Kahana-Smilansky, “Aristotle on sleep and wakefulness.”

212 On the Hebrew versions, commentaries, and summaries of The Canon, see Steinschneider, , pp. 678–695 (§§430–442). For an updated listing of the manuscripts, see Richler, Benyamin, “Manuscripts of Avicenna's Kanon in Hebrew translation. A revised and up-to-date list,” Koroth, 8/3–4 (1982): 145–68. See also Ferre, Lola, “Avicena Hebraico: la traducción del Canon de Medicina,” Miscelanea de estudios árabes y hebraicos, sección hebrea, 52 (2003): 163–82; ead., “Tras las huellas del Canon ebraico,” in Canon medicinae Avicena (Barcelona, 2002), pp. 243–87; Tamani, Giuliano, ed., Il “Canon medicinae” di Avicenna nella tradizione ebraica. Le miniature del manoscritto 2197 della Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna (Padua, 1988). The data given below on the number of manuscripts of each translation are based upon the online catalogue of Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, National Library of Israel, Jerusalem.

213 Rabin, Chaim, “The history of the translation of the Canon into Hebrew,” Melilah, 3–4 (1950): 132–42 (Heb.); repr. in Rabin, Ḥayyim, Linguistic Studies. Collected Papers in Hebrew and Semitic Languages (Jerusalem, 1999), pp. 324–38 (Heb.).

214 See , pp. 679–80 and Hameʾati's introduction to his translation, published in Steinschneider, , “Miscelle 29,” Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, 38 (1894): 179–80.

215 Steinschneider, , p. 681.

216 Rabin, “The history,” p. 134.

217 Oxford, Bodleian Library, Opp. Add. fol. 12, includes what is probably the archetype of the entire manuscript tradition, from which all the other copies derive. See Zonta, Mauro, “Hebraica Veritas. Temistio, Parafrasi del De coelo. Tradizione e critica del testo,” Athenaeum, n.s. 82 (1994): 403–28, on pp. 412–13, n. 47.

218 Steinschneider, , p. 682; Rabin, “The history,” pp. 134–5; Neubauer-Renan, Écrivains, pp. 770 (bottom) and 772.

219 Steinschneider, , pp. 686–94.

220 Ibid, pp. 683–4; Rabin, “The history,” p. 135.

221 Rabin, “The history,” pp. 137–8.

222 See Steinschneider, , pp. 699–700 and the exhaustive treatment in Kozodoy, Maud, “Medieval Hebrew medical poetry: uses and contexts,” Aleph, 11 (2011): 213–88.

223 Steinschneider (, p. 700) lost the trace of the single surviving manuscript of this translation; it is now London, British Library, MS Add. 27562, Cat. Margoliouth 1032.

224 Text: “Edriyei Kalbiye,” ed. Rifat Bilge, Kilisli in Büyük Türk Filozof ve Tib Ustadi Ibni Sina (Istanbul, 1937), vol. 3, pp. 155. See also the translation in Abdul Hameed, Hakeem, Avicenna's Tract on Cardiac Drugs and Essays on Arab Cardiotherapy (New Delhi, 1983), pp. 1175.

225 Steinschneider, , pp. 700–1. On the three Latin translations of this work, see van Riet, Simone, “Trois traductions latines d'un texte d'Avicenne: ‘Al-adwiya al-qalbiyya’,” in Actas IV Congreso de estudios árabes e islámicos (Leiden, 1971), pp. 339–44.

226 Langermann, Y. Tzvi, “David Ibn Shoshan on spirit and soul,” European Journal of Jewish Studies, 1 (2007): 6386.

227 Steinschneider, , pp. 701–2.

228 On Baruch Ibn Yaʿish, see Zonta, Mauro, Hebrew Scholasticism in the Fifteenth Century. A History and Source Book (Dordrecht, 2006), pp. 109–15.

229 See Ullmann, Manfred, Die Medizin im Islam, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Ergänzungsband VI/1 (Leiden, 1970), pp. 152–4.

230 Steinschneider, , pp. 695–7.

231 Falaquera, , Sefer ha-Mevaqqesh (Bene Beraq, 1990), p. 57. Noted in Steinschneider, , p. 38.

232 The centrality of Avicenna among philosophers in Andalusia is underscored in Burnett, “The coherence of the Arabic-Latin translation program,” see esp. p. 265 and infra, pp. 280–1.

233 This state of affairs is rendered even more complex by the fact that what medieval Hebrew readers took to be Avicenna's authentic corpus included a Hebrew version of Liber de celi et mundi, a well-disseminated ps.-Avicennian text some of whose doctrines contradict those of Avicenna. Some authors also ascribed a second spurious text, Aristotle on Sleep and Wakefulness, to Avicenna.

234 Zonta, “The role of Avicenna and of Islamic ‘Avicennism’,” p. 651.

235 We will content ourselves with a few examples, drawn from the scholarly literature. The first concerns Maimonides: as noted earlier, generations of scholars identified a number of distinctly Avicennian doctrinal items in the Guide. Here we have a paradigmatic example of a philosopher who silently incorporated Avicennian ideas in his thought, but only erudite arabophone readers could identify them. Much the same can be said about the identification of Avicennian doctrinal items in the Kuzari and in the Exalted Faith. These works are discussed by Davidson in his Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes on Intellect; he devotes a paragraph to what he calls “reverberations” in Jewish philosophy of the themes studied in his work (pp. 180–209; similarly pp. 298–300). After a detailed discussion of the ideas of al-Fārābī, Avicenna, and Averroes on various subjects related to intellect, Davidson systematically examines Jewish philosophers who appropriated some of them. His survey shows that the appropriation was selective; that is, each thinker chose this or that doctrinal item from one of the Islamic philosophers and integrated it into his work. As far as our subject is concerned, Davidson offers a full account of the presence of Avicennian views on a number of topics in the thought of several arabophone Jewish philosophers. This is a model for the kind of research needed for an adequate treatment of the presence of Avicenna (or any other philosopher) in the thought of Jewish philosophers. A second example is given by Dov Schwartz's Yashan be-qanqan ḥadash, which studies the thought of a fourteenth-century Neoplatonic circle of Jewish thinkers. Schwartz analyses their doctrines on several issues and points out that on some topics these thinkers followed Avicenna rather than Averroes. For example, the majority appropriated the Avicennian idea of emanation, sometimes with modifications (e.g. pp. 63, 78–9, 98–9 [n. 77], 111 [n. 106].), and explicitly preferred Avicenna's notion of the deity to Averroes’ (pp. 119–21, 125–38). This did not prevent them from rejecting decidedly Avicennian theses, such as the naturalistic cyclical coming-to-be of the sublunar world advanced by Samuel Ibn Tibbon (pp. 74, 107–10; implicitly also in the commentary on the Kuzari by R. Solomon b. Judah of Lunel [1424], see Ḥesheq Shelomo by R. Shelomo ben Yehuda of Lunel, ed. Schwartz, Dov [Ramat Gan, 2007], pp. 165–6). Although there is an inner coherence in the thought of each member of this group, the borrowings from Avicenna are eclectic; each thinker appropriated discrete doctrinal items as he saw fit. And a last example: Avicenna substantially influenced the classifications of the sciences in Hebrew medieval writings, as has been shown, e.g., by Zonta, Mauro, “The reception of al-Fārābī's and Ibn Sīnā's classifications of the mathematical and natural sciences in the Hebrew medieval philosophical literature,” Medieval Encounters, 1 (1995): 358–82. On the special case of psychology see Kahana-Smilansky, Hagar, “The mental faculties and the psychology of sleep and dreams,” in Freudenthal, (ed.), Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures, pp. 230–54, on pp. 248–50.

236 Bertolacci, Amos, “A community of translators: the Latin medieval versions of Avicenna's book of The Cure,” in Mews, Constant J. and Crossley, John N. (eds.), Communities of Learning: Networks and the Shaping of Intellectual Identity in Europe 1100-1450 (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 3755. We are grateful to Amos Bertolacci for having allowed us access to his paper prior to its publication. See further his “Avicenna's Christian reception” in Adamson, Peter (ed.), Interpreting Avicenna: Critical Essays (Cambridge, forthcoming in 2013).

237 The idea was very briefly and prudently entertained by Steinschneider (, p. 280) and advanced as a full explanation by Harvey, “Did Maimonides’ Letter to Samuel Ibn Tibbon determine which philosophers would be studied?”. Harvey aims “to show that the letter was dramatically influential and indeed determined [!] those philosophers who would be studied by Jewish thinkers in the centuries after Maimonides” (p. 42). Harvey (perhaps circularly) considers the “surprising disinterest in translating the writings of Avicenna, especially, Al-Šifāʾ,” as an indication of “the influence of Maimonides’ letter on the choice of scientific texts to be translated” (p. 66).

238 Steinschneider, , pp. 1067–8.

239 Letters and Essays of Moses Maimonides, ed. Shailat, p. 532.

240 Marx, “Texts by and about Maimonides,” p. 380; the quoted sentence is found in only one of the two versions, but there is no reason to assume it is a later interpolation; see Letters and Essays of Moses Maimonides, ed. Shailat, p. 553.

241 “[Ibn Al-Biṭrīq's] translation is very confused [mevulbelet] as the great Rabbi, the divine philosopher […] Moses [Maimonides] wrote to me in his first letter that came to me”; see Otot ha-Shamayim, ed. and trans. Fontaine, p. 2.18–19 (text), pp. 3–4 (translation).

242 Maimonides’ comment also refers to two other Christian philosophers: Abū al-Faraj Ibn al-Ṭayyib and Yaḥyā Ibn ʿAdī. Three Ibn al-Biṭrīqs are known: chronologically first is the translator Yaḥyā Ibn al-Biṭrīq, c. 877–940; the second is Saʿīd Ibn al-Biṭrīq, c. 877–940, who was Melchite patriarch of Alexandria (known in his ecclesiastical capacity as Eutychius) from 933; and the third is the latter's brother ʿĪsā. On the first, see Dunlop, Douglas M., “The translations of al-Biṭrīq and Yaḥyā (Yuḥannā) b. al-Biṭrīq,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 3/4 (Oct., 1959): 140–50; for a list of his translations, see Daiber, Hans, Bibliography of Islamic Philosophy (Leiden, 1999), p. 201. On Saʿīd and ʿĪsā, see Atiya, Aziz S. (ed.), The Coptic Encyclopedia, 8 vols. (New York, 1991), 4, pp. 1265–6 (Aziz Atiyya); “Saʿīd b. al-Biṭrīq,” Encyclopédie de l'Islam, 2nd edn, vol. 8, pp. 883–5 (Françoise Micheau). The comparison of their respective profiles shows that Maimonides must have had Yaḥyā Ibn al-Biṭrīq in mind. This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that Maimonides expresses his low opinion of al-Biṭrīq – clearly identified as the translator – in his Aphorisms, too (24:44); cf. the Hebrew translation in Maimonides, Ketavim refuʾiyim, ed. Sussmann Muntner (Jerusalem, 1961), vol. 3, p. 311. Maimonides’ judgment of the three philosophers mentioned in the letter reflects his generally negative attitude to Christian philosophy; see Stroumsa, Sarah, “Al-Farabi and Maimonides on the Christian philosophical tradition: a re-evaluation,” Der Islam, 68 (1991): 263–87.

243 See n. 180.

244 Noted by Manekin, Charles H. in “Logic in medieval Jewish culture,” pp. 113–35, in Freudenthal, (ed.), Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures, on pp. 117–18; for another early translation of al-Fārābī, see Freudenthal, Gad, “Ketav ha-daʿat or Sefer ha-Sekhel we-ha-muskalot: the medieval Hebrew translations of al-Fārābī's Risālah fī’l-ʿaql. A study in text history and in the evolution of medieval Hebrew philosophical terminology,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 93 (2003): 29115.

245 The following section somewhat differs from (and hopefully improves upon) its counterpart in the short version of this paper (see infra, p. 283); it owes much to David Wirmer's insightful suggestions.

246 Burnett, “The coherence of the Arabic-Latin translation program,” p. 265.

247 Langermann, “Another Andalusian revolt?,” p. 366. See also Pines, Studies in Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdadi, p. 77; see also above, n. 31.

248 Burnett, “The coherence of the Arabic-Latin translation program,” p. 269.

249 Glasner, Ruth, “Levi ben Gershom and the study of Ibn Rushd in the fourteenth century: a new historical reconstruction,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 86 (1995): 5190.

250 d'Alverny, Marie-Thérèse, “Translations and translators,” in Benson, Robert L. and Constable, Gilles (eds.), Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century (Oxford, 1982), pp. 421–62, on p. 451; see also Bertolacci, “A community of translators.”

251 Maḥḥbarot Immanuel ha-Romi, ed. Yarden, Dov (Jerusalem, 1957), 28.90–98. In all likelihood, Immanuel derived his knowledge of Avicenna's geology from Samuel Ibn Tibbon's summary, perhaps via Shaʿar ha-shamayim. The following translation has absolutely no pretensions of doing justice to the poetical qualities of the original:

Ibn Sīnā is there,
an object of mockery and ridicule.
Because he said that the generation of man not from man is possible over a long time,
And that the mountains were born in a natural process.
If only he had kept his mouth shut!
For he followed the belief in the eternity of the world.

Interestingly, Dante does not criticize Avicenna: he refers to him as a physician (not a philosopher) and lists him, together with Hippocrates and Galen, among the so-called spiriti magni or “high souls” (Inferno IV, 143). This highlights that the reticence about Avicenna was specific to Jewish intellectuals.

252 The Baghdad edition is a reprint of the Būlāq 1877 edition mentioned above.

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AVICENNA AMONG MEDIEVAL JEWS THE RECEPTION OF AVICENNA'S PHILOSOPHICAL, SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL WRITINGS IN JEWISH CULTURES, EAST AND WEST

  • Gad Freudenthal (a1) and Mauro Zonta (a2)

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