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Aristotle's Rhetoric in the East: The Syriac and Arabic by Uwe Vagelpohl

By Uwe Vagelpohl

The 2 centuries following the increase of the Abbasid caliphate in 750 witnessed a wave of translations from Greek into Syriac and Arabic. the interpretation and reception of Aristotle's "Rhetoric" is a chief instance for the ensuing transformation of vintage studying within the Islamic global and past. at the foundation of an in depth textual research of the "Rhetoric", this research develops components of a comparative "translation grammar" of Greek-Arabic translations. Contextualizing the research with an account of the textual heritage and the Syriac and Arabic philosophical culture drawing at the "Rhetoric", it throws new gentle at the internal workings of the "translation circulate" and its impression on Islamic tradition.

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Additional info for Aristotle's Rhetoric in the East: The Syriac and Arabic Translation and Commentary Tradition (Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Science)

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P. –. ⁷⁶ Endress (, vol. , p. ). Kraemer (, p. ) stresses the role of contemporary bureaucrats (kātib, “scribe”, pl. kuttāb) with a Persian cultural background and notes that “[t]he early kuttāb were deeply immersed in the transmission of the ancient Persian and Greek legacies to the world of Islam during the first wave of translation activity”. Heinrichs (, p. f ) points out that the first and most obvious source for the administrative know-how of the kuttāb and their educational ideal was what he termed the “legacy of the destroyed Sasanian empire”; translations om Pahlavi, he claims, started already in the second quarter of the eighth century and formed the basis for the literature and cultural attitudes of the scribal class.

Aer its initiation, the widening and intensification of translation activities beyond the needs of imperial policy was due also to the interests of scholars themselves. Aer the scientific “community” in Baghdad had reached a “critical mass”, scientists started to figure prominently as patrons for translations. The development of mathematics over and above the practical needs of administrators can be interpreted as an example of translators and scientists interacting in the furtherance of their subject.

F, , f ). ⁹² Gutas (, p. ). His sustained emphasis on political motivations during the initial phase of the Greek-Arabic translation movement tends to obscure some of the other important factors at work during this period. g. for the determination of prayer times and direction and the regulation of the lunar calendar; for a concise overview, cf. King (). On the basis of numerous sources, Ragep () makes a very good case for the reappraisal of the relation between religion and science in the field of astronomy.

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