Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-xm8r8 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-24T06:54:35.850Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

3 - Textual Traditions

from 1 - Texts and Contexts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2009

Steven Nadler
University of Wisconsin, Madison
T. M. Rudavsky
Ohio State University
Get access


The history of the textual traditions of the philosophical works written down in two different languages (either in Judeo–Arabic or in Hebrew) by medieval Jewish authors active in the near east (mainly in Iraq and Egypt) and in the Mediterranean area (mainly in Spain, Provence, and Italy) during the Middle Ages, from circa 800 to 1500, appears to have been much complicated by various factors, and different aspects of it have to be considered.

Obviously, a detailed study of the handwritten tradition of the original texts of these works is very relevant for a correct philological reconstruction of those texts. Among the most important problems to be solved by scholars of medieval Jewish philosophy, in particular if they are planning a critical edition or a faithful modern translation of one of these texts, is the existence of a lesser or greater number of manuscripts, or at least handwritten fragments, of the original of that text. The language chosen by the authors of the texts was of some importance for their tradition and further diffusion, in particular in Europe during the late Middle Ages (thirteenth–fifteenth centuries) – the period when most of the extant manuscripts were copied, read, and preserved. Some of these texts were originally written in Judeo–Arabic – in reality, a form of Arabic, whose grammatical and syntactical rules, and most of its technical terms, are not substantially different from those of medieval Arabo–Islamic philosophical works.

The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy
From Antiquity through the Seventeenth Century
, pp. 60 - 87
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Alonso, Manuel (1947). “Traducciones del arcediano Domingo Gundisalvo,” Al-Andalus. 12;.Google Scholar
Alonso, Manuel (ed.) (1954). Domingo Gundisalvo, De scientiis. Madrid: Escuelas de Estudios Arabes de Madrid y Granada.Google Scholar
Altmann, Alexander and Stern, S.M. (1958). Isaac Israeli. A Neoplatonic Philosopher of the Early Tenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Altmann, Alexander (1956–1957). “Isaac Israeli’s Chapter on the Elements (MS. Mantua),” Journal of Jewish Studies. 7:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baneth, David H., and Shammai, Haggai Ben (1977). Kitāb al-Radd Wa-⼹l-Dalīl fī-⼹l-Din al-Dhalīl (Al-Kitāb al-Khazarī). Jerusalem: The Magnes Press.Google Scholar
Baneth, David H. (1957). “La-⼹otografim shel Yehudah ha-Levi u-le-hithawwut Sefer ha-Kuzari,” Tarbiz. 26:.Google Scholar
Ben Abraham, Levi (2004). Livyat Ḥen: Account of Creation by R. Levi ben Avraham. Kreisel, Howard (ed.). Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies. [Hebrew]Google Scholar
Benjacob, Yishaq (ed.) (1846). Sefer Ḥovot ha-levavot. Leipzig.Google Scholar
Berman, Lawrence (1978). “Ibn Rushd’s Middle Commentary on the Nichomachean Ethics in Medieval Jewish Literature,” in Jolivet, Jean (ed.), Multiple Averroes. Paris: Belles Lettres.Google Scholar
Bland, Kalman (1991). “Elijah del Medigo’s Averroist Response to the Kabbalahs of Fifteenth-Century Jewry and Pico della Mirandola,” The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy. 1:.Google Scholar
Borisov, Andrei I. (1935). “Some New Fragments of Isaak Israeli’s Works,” in Akademiku N.Ia. Marru: Sbornik. Moscow and Leningrad: Akademiia Nauk SSSR.Google Scholar
Burnett, Charles (2002). “John of Seville and John of Spain: a mise au point,” Bulletin de philosophie médiévale. 44:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
d⼹Alverny, Marie-Thérèse (1986). “Pseudo-Aristotle De Elementis,” in Kraye, Jill, Ryan, William F., and Schmitt, Charles B. (eds.), Pseudo-Aristotle in the Middle Ages: The Theology and Other Texts. London: The Warburg Institute.Google Scholar
Davidson, Herbert A. (1988a). “Averrois Tractatus de Animae Beatitudine,” in Link-Salinger, Ruth (ed.), A Straight Path: Studies on Medieval Philosophy and Culture. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.Google Scholar
Eran, Amira (1996a). “The Relation between the Two Translations of Ibn Daud’s Book of Exalted Faith,” Tarbiz. 65:. [Hebrew]Google Scholar
Eran, Amira (1997). “Ibn Daud’s Definition of Substance and Accident,” Arabic Science and Philosophy. 7:.Google Scholar
Eran, Amira (1998). Me-⼹emunah tammah le-⼹emunah ramah. Haguto ha-qdam-Maimonit shel ha-Rabad. Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz hameuchad.Google Scholar
Fenton, Paul B. (1976). “Gleanings from Moseh Ibn Ezra’s Maqālat al-Hādiqa,” Sefarad, 36:.Google Scholar
Fenton, Paul B. (1997). Philosophie et exégèse dans Le Jardin de la métaphore de Moïse Ibn ⼸Ezra, philosophe et poète andalou du XIIe siècle. Leiden/New York/Köln: E.J. Brill.Google Scholar
Fontaine, Resianne (2000). “Judah b. Solomon ha-Cohen’s Midrash ha-Ḥokhmah: Its Sources and Use of Sources,” in S. Harvey 2000a.Google Scholar
Freudenthal, Gad (ed.) (1992). Studies on Gersonides – A Fourteenth-Century Philosopher-Scientist. Leiden: E.J. Brill.Google Scholar
Fried, Salomon (ed.) (1900). Sefer ha-Yesodot. Das Buch über die Elemente…von Isaak b. Salomon Israeli. Drohobycz: A.H. Zupnik.Google Scholar
Geoffroy, Marc and Steel, Carlos (eds.) (2001). Averroès, La béatitude de l⼹âme. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
Glasner, Ruth (1993). “Be⼹ur lo’ yadua‘ shel ha-Ralbag,” Qiryat sefer. 64:.Google Scholar
Glasner, Ruth (1996). “The Early Stages in the Evolution of Gersonides’ ‘The Wars of the Lord,’The Jewish Quarterly Review. 87:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glasner, Ruth (1998). “Gersonides’ Lost Commentary on the ‘Metaphysics,’Medieval Encounters. 4:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glasner, Ruth (2002). “Knowledge of Arabic among Jewish Scholars in Fourteenth-Century Provence: Levi ben Gershom (Gersonides),” Aleph. 2:.Google Scholar
Glasner, Ruth (2003). “On the Writing of Gersonides’ Philosophical Commentaries,” in Sirat, Klein-Braslavy and Weijers 2003.Google Scholar
Goldstein, B.R. (1985). The Astronomy of Levi ben Gerson (1288–1344): A Critical Edition of Chapters 1–20. Goldstein, Bernard R. (trans. and commentary). New York/Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Halevi, Judah (1853). Das Buch Kusari des Jehuda ha-Levi. Cassel, David (ed.). Leipzig: A.M. Colditz.Google Scholar
Halevi, Judah (1887). Das Buch al-Chazari des Abu⼹l-Hasan Jehuda Halevi. Hirschfeld, H. (ed.). Leipzig: Otto Schulze. [Arabic and Hebrew text]Google Scholar
Harvey, Warren Zev (1998a). “Maimonides’ First Commandment, Physics, and Doubt,” in Elman, Y. and Gurock, J.S.. (eds.), Ḥazon Nahum: Studies in Jewish Law, Thought, and History Presented to Dr. Norman Lamm. New York: Yeshiva University Press.Google Scholar
Harvey, Warren Zev (1998b). Physics and Metaphysics in Ḥasdai Crescas. Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben.Google Scholar
Harvey, Warren Zev (2000a). “Levi ben Abraham of Villefranche’s Controversial Encyclopedia,” in S. Harvey 2000a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harvey, Warren Zev (2000b). “Albo on the Reasonlessness of True Love,” ⼸Iyyun. 49:. [Hebrew]Google Scholar
Hasselhoff, Görge K. (2004). Dicit Rabbi Moyses. Studien zum Bild von Moses Maimonides im lateinischen Western vom 13. bis zum 15. Jahrhundert. Würzburg: Königshausen und Neumann.Google Scholar
Hayoun, Maurice Reuben (1990). “Ibn Bājja et Moïse de Narbonne: édition de l⼹Iggeret ha-Petirah,” in Hallamish, Mosheh (ed.), Alei Sefer. Studies in the Literature of Jewish Thought. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press.Google Scholar
Hayoun, Maurice Reuben (2002). “Moses Narbonis Kommentar zum Hayy ibn Yaqzan des ibn Tufayl,” Trumah. 12: (German); -25 (Hebrew).Google Scholar
,Hillel of Verona (1981). Sefer Tagmulei ha-Nefesh le-Hillel ben Shmu⼹el mi-Verona. Sermoneta, Joseph (ed.). Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.Google Scholar
Ibn Daud, Abraham (1852). Das Buch Emunah Ramah, oder: der Erhabene Glaube verfasst von Abraham Ben David Halevi aus toledo (im Jahr 1160). Weil, S. (ed. and trans.). Frankfurt.Google Scholar
Ibn Daud, Abraham (1986). The Exalted Faith. Weiss, Gershon (Hebrew text. ed.) and Samuelson, Norbert (Engl. tr. with commentary). Rutherford, Madison, et al.: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, and London/Toronto: Associated University Presses.Google Scholar
Ibn Daud, Abraham (2001). Emunah Ramah. Ben-Joseph, Michael (ed.). Yosephshwili: n.p.Google Scholar
Ibn Gabirol, Solomon (2001). Shelomoh ibn Gabirol, Fons Vitae, Meqor Ḥayyīm. Gatti, Roberto (ed.). Genova: Il melangolo.Google Scholar
Ibn Paquda, Bahya (1912). al-Hidāya ⼹ilā Farā⼹id al-Qulūb des Baḥya Ibn Josef Ibn Paqūda aus Andalusien. Yahuda, Abraham S. (ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill.Google Scholar
Ibn Paquda, Bahya (1973a). The Book of Direction to the Duties of the Heart. Mansoor, M. (ed.). London: Routledge Press.Google Scholar
Ibn Paquda, Bahya (1973b). Baḥya ben Paquda, Sefer torat Hovot ha-levavot. Qāfih, Yosef, (ed.). Yerushalayim: Va⼸ad ha-kelali li-Yehudei Teman.Google Scholar
Ibn Tzaddiq, Josef (1903). Der Mikrokosmos des Josef Ibn Tzaddiq. Horowitz, Samuel (ed.). Breslau: Jahresbericht des Jüdisch-theologischen Seminars Fränckel’scher Stiftung.Google Scholar
Ibn Tzaddiq, Josef (2003). Yosef ben Yaaqov Ibn Tzaddiq, The microcosm of Joseph Ibn Saddiq. Horovitz, Saul (ed.) and Haberman, Jacob (trans., intro. and notes). Madison, N.J: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.Google Scholar
Idel, Moshe (1976). “Mihu⼹ ha-meturgeman shel ⼸Arugat ha-bosem shel R. Mosheh Ibn ⼸Ezra?Qiryat sefer. 51:.Google Scholar
Jellinek, Adolf (ed.) (1854). Der Mikrokosmos. Ein Beitrag zur Religionsphilosophie und Ethik von R. Joseph Ibn Zadik. Leipzig.Google Scholar
Langermann, Y. Tzvi (2000b). “Supplementary List of Manuscripts and Fragments of Dalālat al-Hā⼹irīn.” Maimonidean Studies. 4:.Google Scholar
Maimonides, (1930/31). Dalālat al-Ḥāirīn. Munk, S. and Joel, I. (eds.). Jerusalem: J. Junovitch.Google Scholar
Maimonides, (1972). Moreh Nevukhim le-Rabbenu Mosheh ben Maimon. 3 vols. Qāfih, Josef (ed.). Yerushalayim: Va⼸ad ha-kelali li-Yehudei Teman.Google Scholar
Maimonides, (1974). Dalālat al-Ḥā⼹irīn, ta⼸līf al-Ḥakīm al-faylasūf Mūsā bin Maymūn al-Qurhubī al-Andalusī. Atay, Husayn (ed.). Ankara: Maktaba al-Haqāfa al-dīniyya.Google Scholar
Mancha, Jaime Luís (1992). “The Latin Translation of Levi ben Gerson’s Astronomy,” in Freudenthal 1992.Google Scholar
Mancha, Jaime Luís (1998). “The Provençal Version of Levi ben Gerson’s Tables for Eclipses,” Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences. 52:.Google Scholar
Vallicrosa, Millás, Maria, José (ed.) (1952). La obra enciclopédica Yesodé ha-Tebuná u-Migdal ha-Emuná de R. Abraham bar Hiyya ha-Bargeloni. Madrid: Instituto Arias Montano.Google Scholar
Munk, Salomon (1859). Mélanges de philosophie juive et arabe. Paris: A. Franck.Google Scholar
Narbonne, Moses (1977). Ma⼹amar bi-shelemut ha-nefesh le-R. Mosheh Narboni. Ivry, Alfred (ed.). Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.Google Scholar
Peyron, Bernardino (1880). Codices hebraici manu exarati Regiae Bibliothecae quae in Taurinensi Athenaeo asservatur. Rome/Turin/Florence: Fratelli Bocca.Google Scholar
Pines, Shlomo (1957). “Sefer ⼸Arugat ha-bosem: ha-qeta⼸im mi-tokh Sefer Meqor Ḥayyim,” Tarbiz. 27:.Google Scholar
Pines, Shlomo (1964a). “Ha-⼹im dibber Shelomoh ibn Gabirol sarah ⼸al ha-ummah?Tarbiz. 34:.Google Scholar
Rigo, Caterina (1989). “Un passo sconosciuto di Alberto Magno nel Sefer ⼸etzem ha-shamayim di Yehudah b. Mosheh Romano,” Henoch. 11:.Google Scholar
Rigo, Caterina (1993c). “Le traduzioni dei commenti scolastici al De Anima eseguite da Yehudah b. Mosheh nella tradizione filosofica ebraico-italiana dei secoli XIII–XIV,” in Vattioni, F. (ed.), Atti della VII settimana (Roma, 25–30 novembre 1991): Sangue e antropologia nel Medioevo. Rome: Pia Umione Preziosissimo Sangue.Google Scholar
Rigo, Caterina (1994). “Egidio Romano nella cultura ebraica: le versioni di Yehudah b. Mosheh Romano,” Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale. 5:.Google Scholar
Rigo, Caterina (1995). “Yehudah b. Mosheh Romano traduttore degli Scolastici latini,” Henoch. 17:.Google Scholar
Robinson, James T. (2000). “Gershom b. Solomon’s Sha⼸ar ha-Shamayim: Its Sources and Use of Sources,” in S. Harvey 2000a.Google Scholar
Rothschild, Jean-Pierre (1994). “Questions de philosophie soumises par ⼸Ēlī Habiliō à Šēm Tōb Ibn Šēm Tōb, v. 1472,” Archives d⼹histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age. 61:.Google Scholar
Rothschild, Jean-Pierre (2003). “Le dessein philosophique de Joseph Ibn Shem Tob (flor. 1442–1455).” Revue des études juives. 162:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rothschild, Jean-Pierre (2006). “The Hebrew Translation of Ps.-Thomas Aquinas De Potentiis Animae in the Circle of the Ibn Šem Tovs (Spain, ca. 1450–1475),” in Busi 2006.Google Scholar
Rubio, Mercedes (2000). “The First Hebrew Encyclopedia of Science: Abraham bar Hiyya’sYesodei ha-Tevunah u-Migdal ha-Emunah,” in Harvey, S. 2000.Google Scholar
Sela, Shlomo and Freudenthal, Gad (2006). “Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Scholarly Writings: A Chronological Listing.” Aleph. 6:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sela, Shlomo (1999). Astrology and Biblical Exegesis in Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Thought. Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press. [Hebrew]Google Scholar
Sermoneta, Joseph (1980). “Jehudah ben Moše ben Daniel Romano, traducteur de Saint Thomas,” in Nahon, Gérard and Touati, Charles (eds.), Hommage à Georges Vajda: Études d⼹histoire et de pensée juive. Louvain: Peeters.Google Scholar
Shiffman, Yair (1994). “Shem Tov Falaquera u-Shemu⼹el Ibn Tibbon ki-metargemei Moreh Nevukhim le-ha-Rambam,” Da⼸at. :.Google Scholar
Shiffman, Yair (1999). “The Differences Between the Translations of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed by Falaquera, Ibn Tibbon and al-Harizi, and their Textual and Philosophical Implications,” Journal of Semitic Studies. 44:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shiffman, Yair (ed.) (2001). Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera: Moreh ha-Moreh. Yerushalayim: The World Union of Jewish Studies.Google Scholar
Simonson, Shai (2000). “The Missing Problems of Gersonides – Critical Edition.” Historia Mathematica. 27:.Google Scholar
Sirat, Colette and Geoffroy, Marc (2005). L⼹originale arabe du Grand Commentare d⼹Averroès au De Anima d⼹Aristote. Prémices de l⼹édition. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
Sirat, Colette (1991). “Une liste de manuscrits: préliminaire à une nouvelle édition du Dalālat al-Hā⼹irīn,” Archives d⼹histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age. 58:.Google Scholar
Smithuis, Renate (2006a). “Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Works in Hebrew and Latin: New Discoveries and Exhaustive Listing,” Aleph. 6:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smithuis, Renate (2006b). “Science in Normandy and England under the Angevins. The Creation of Avraham Ibn Ezra’s Latin Works of Astronomy and Astrology,” in Busi 2006.Google Scholar
Sonne, Isaiah (1928). “Ein Beitrag zu der verschollenen Kuzariübersetzung des Jehuda ben Cardinal.” Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums. 72:.Google Scholar
Steinschneider, Moritz (1893). Die hebraeischen Übersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher. 2 vols. Berlin: Im Kommissionsverlag des Bibliographischen Bureaus.Google Scholar
Steinschneider, Moritz (ed.) (1871–1872). The Hebrew translation of Isaac Israeli’s Book on Spirit and Soul, Ha-Karmel. 1:.Google Scholar
Stern, S.M. (1956–1957). “The Fragments of Isaac Israeli’s Book of Substances,” Journal of Jewish Studies. 7:.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stern, S.M. (1961). “Ibn Hasday’s Neoplatonist - A Neoplatonic Treatise and its Influence on Isaac Israeli and the Longer Version of the Theology of Aristotle,” Oriens. 13-14:.Google Scholar
Teicher, Jacob L. (1956). “The Latin-Hebrew School of Translators in Spain in the Twelfth Century,” in Homenaje a Millás-Vallicrosa. 2 vols. Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 2: -44.Google Scholar
Tirosh-Rothschild, Hava (1998). “Human Felicity – Fifteenth-Century Sephardic Perspectives on Happiness,” in Cooperman, Bernard D. (ed.), In Iberia and Beyond: Islamic Jews Between Cultures. Newark: University of Delaware Press.Google Scholar
Wolfson, Harry A. (1929a). Crescas’ Critique of Aristotle. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Zonta, Mauro (1992a). La “Classificazione delle scienze” di Al-Fārābī nella tradizione ebraica. Torino.Google Scholar
Zonta, Mauro (1994). “Gersonides, ‘Philosopher-Scientist:’ Some Recent Books,” Henoch. 16:.Google Scholar
Zonta, Mauro (2001b). “Aristotle’s Physics in Late-Medieval Jewish Philosophy (14th-15th Century) and a Newly-Identified Commentary by Yehudah Messer Leon,” Micrologus. 9:.Google Scholar
Zonta, Mauro (2004). “Hebrew Transmission of Arabic Philosophy and Science: A Reconstruction of Shem Tov Ibn Falaquera’s ‘Arabic Library,’” in Perani, Mauro (ed.), L⼹interculturalità dell⼹Ebraismo. Ravenna: Longo.Google Scholar
Zonta, Mauro (2006a). Hebrew Scholasticism in the Fifteenth Century: A History and Sourcebook. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zonta, Mauro (2006b). “The Knowledge of Latin Philosophical Literature Among Jewish Philosophers in 15th Century Italy. Scholastic Sources in Yehudah Messer Leon’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics,” in Busi 2006.Google Scholar
Zonta, Mauro (2006c). “The Jewish Mediation in the Transmission of Arabo-Islamic Science and Philosophy to the Latin Middle Ages. Historical Overview and Perspectives of Research,” in Speer, Andreas and Wegener, Lydia (eds.), Wissen über Grenzen. Arabisches Wissen und lateinisches Mittelalter. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats