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.
For example Rainer Degen“Zur syrischen Übersetzung der Aphorismen des Hippokrates,”Oriens Christianus62 (1978): 36–52. Sebastian Brock “The Syriac Background to Ḥunayn’s Translation Techniques” Aram 3 (1991): 139–62. Oliver Overwien “The Paradigmatic Translator and His Method: Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s Translation of the Hippocratic Aphorisms from Greek via Syriac into Arabic” Intellectual History of the Islamicate World 3 (2015): 158–87.
Gotthelf BergsträsserḤunain ibn Isḥāq über die syrischen und arabischen Galen-Übersetzungen (Wiesbaden: F.A. Brockhaus1925) 40 (2nd series). This text appears in the new Arabic edition and English translation of the Risāla: Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq on His Galen Translations ed. and trans. John C. Lamoreaux (Provo: Brigham Young University Press 2016) 94–7 [§ 94].