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A Reconsideration of the Authorship of the Syriac Hippocratic Aphorisms: The Creation of the Syro-Arabic Bilingual Manuscript of the Aphorisms in the Tradition of Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s Arabic Translation

In: Oriens
Author: Taro Mimura1
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The manuscript Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds arabe 6734 contains a Syriac translation of the Hippocratic Aphorisms. This text remains one of the few examples of an entire Greek medical work translated into Syriac. The copyist however did not include information about the Syriac translator, which has left his identity open to speculation. Since this bilingual manuscript contains both the Syriac translation of the Aphorisms as well as the lemmata from Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s Arabic translation of Galen’s commentary on the Aphorisms, it is generally accepted that Ḥunayn is also the Syriac translator. Although the Arabic translation is the key to identifying the Syriac translator, no one has yet attempted to situate the Arabic text within the tradition of Ḥunayn’s Arabic version of the Aphorisms in order to better understand the work of the copyist. This article will analyse the copyist’s editorial process when working with these Arabic lemmata. In doing so, the relationship between the Syriac and the Arabic translations will be explored, providing new insight into the identity of the Syriac translator.

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