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Edited by Aafke M.I. van Oppenraay

Aristotle's De Animalibus was an important source of zoological knowledge for the ancient Greeks and for medieval Arabs and Europeans. In the thirteenth century, the work was twice translated into Latin. One translation was produced directly from the Greek by William of Moerbeke. An earlier translation, made available as a critical edition in the present volume for the first time, was produced through an intermediary Arabic translation (Kitāb al-Ḥayawān) by Michael Scot (1175 - c. 1232). Scot's translation was one of the main sources of knowledge on animals in Europe and widely used until well into the fifteenth century. As a faithful translation of a translation produced by a Syriac-speaking Christian, the text contributes to our knowledge of Middle Arabic. The De Animalibus is composed of three sections: History of Animals (ten books), Parts of Animals (four books) and Generation of Animals (five books). Parts of Animals and Generation of Animals were published by BRILL as Volumes 5.2 and 5.3 of the book series ASL in 1998 (ASL 5.2) and 1992 (ASL 5.3). The present Volume 5.1.a contains the first section of Scot's translation of History of Animals: the general introduction and books 1-3, with Notes. Editions of the two concluding parts of History of Animals, ASL 5.1.b, books 4-6 and ASL 5.1.c, books 7-10, are in preparation. Complete Latin-Arabic and Arabic-Latin indices of History of Animals will be published in due course.

Brill's Companion to Hellenistic Astronomy

The Science in Its Contexts

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Edited by Alan C. Bowen and Francesca Rochberg

In Hellenistic Astronomy: The Science in its Contexts, new essays by renowned scholars address questions about what the ancient science of the heavens was in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean worlds, and the numerous contexts in which it was pursued. Together, these essays will enable readers not only to understand the technical accomplishments of this ancient science but also to appreciate their historical significance by locating the questions, challenges, and issues inspiring them in their political, medical, philosophical, literary, and religious contexts.

Illness and Health Care in the Ancient Near East

The Role of the Temple in Greece, Mesopotamia, and Israel

Edited by Hector Avalos

Keeping Watch in Babylon

The Astronomical Diaries in Context

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Edited by Johannes Haubold, John Steele and Kathryn Stevens

This volume of collected essays, the first of its kind in any language, investigates the Astronomical Diaries from ancient Babylon, a collection of almost 1000 clay tablets which, over a period of some five hundred years (6th century to 1st century BCE), record observations of selected astronomical phenomena as well as the economy and history of Mesopotamia and surrounding regions. The volume asks who the scholars were, what motivated them to ‘keep watch in Babylon’ and how their approach changed in the course of the collection’s long history. Contributors come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, including Assyriology, Classics, ancient history, the history of science and the history of religion.

Mesopotamian Medicine and Magic

Studies in Honor of Markham J. Geller

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Edited by Strahil V. Panayotov and Luděk Vacín

Mesopotamian Medicine and Magic. Studies in Honour of Markham J. Geller is a thematically focused collection of 34 brand-new essays bringing to light a representative selection of the rich and varied scientific and technical knowledge produced chiefly by the cuneiform cultures. The contributions concentrate mainly on Mesopotamian scholarly descriptions and practices of diagnosing and healing diverse physical ailments and mental distress. The festschrift contains both critical editions of new texts as well as analytical studies dealing with various issues of Mesopotamian medical and magical lore. Currently, this is the largest edited volume devoted to this topic, significantly contributing to the History of Ancient Sciences.

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Fedor Benevich

In Essentialität und Notwendigkeit: Avicenna und die Aristotelische Tradition stellt Fedor Benevich einen Kerngedanken der Metaphysik und der Epistemologie Avicennas (gest. 1037) vor: seine Theorie der Essenz und der wissenschaftlichen Bestimmung essentieller und notwendiger Attribute. Die Studie untersucht zentrale Begriffe der avicennischen Philosophie wie Essentialität, Notwendigkeit, Universalität, Unmittelbarkeit, Primärheit und Spezifizität. Zudem wird erstmals dargelegt, wie Avicenna seine Position in Bezug auf diese Thematik im Laufe seiner Karriere entwickelte und so seinen revolutionären “konzeptionellen Essentialismus” ausarbeitete. Es wird weiterhin gezeigt, dass Avicennas Position der aristotelischen Tradition zu Teilen folgt, von dieser jedoch am zentralen Stellen abweicht, insbesondere dort, wo sich Avicenna kritisch mit den Interpretationen der „Bagdader Peripatetiker“ auseinandersetzte.

In Essentialität und Notwendigkeit: Avicenna und die Aristotelische Tradition Fedor Benevich presents the key doctrine of Avicenna’s (d. 1037) metaphysics and epistemology: his theory of essence and the scientific determination of essential and necessary attributes. The book studies central notions of Avicenna’s philosophy such as essentiality, necessity, universality, immediacy, primacy, and specificity. It also provides an unprecedented account of how Avicenna’s views on these issues changed throughout his career, in arguing for his revolutionary “conceptual essentialism”. Avicenna’s position partially follows the Aristotelian tradition yet also departs from it, especially when Avicenna argues against the Baghdad Peripatetic School.

"The Scaffolding of Our Thoughts"

Essays on Assyriology and the History of Science in Honor of Francesca Rochberg

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Edited by C. Jay Crisostomo, Eduardo A. Escobar, Terri Tanaka and Niek Veldhuis

Francesca Rochberg has for more than thirty-five years been a leading figure in the study of ancient science. Her foundational insights on the concepts of “science,” “canon,” “celestial divination,” “knowledge,” “gods,” and “nature” in cuneiform cultures have demanded continual contemplation on the tenets and assumptions that underlie the fields of Assyriology and the History of Science.

“The Scaffolding of Our Thoughts” honors this luminary with twenty essays, each reflecting on aspects of her work. Following an initial appraisal of ancient “science” by Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, the contributions in the first half explore practices of knowledge in Assyriological sources. The second half of the volume focuses specifically on astronomical and astrological spheres of knowledge in the Ancient Mediterranean.

Sources of Evil

Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore

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Edited by Greta Van Buylaere, Mikko Luukko, Daniel Schwemer and Avigail Mertens-Wagschal

Sources of Evil: Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore is a collection of thirteen essays on the body of knowledge employed by ancient Near Eastern healing experts, most prominently the ‘exorcist’ and the ‘physician’, to help patients who were suffering from misfortunes caused by divine anger, transgressions of taboos, demons, witches, or other sources of evil. The volume provides new insights into the two most important catalogues of Mesopotamian therapeutic lore, the Exorcist’s Manual and the Aššur Medical Catalogue, and contains discussions of agents of evil and causes of illness, ways of repelling evil and treating patients, the interpretation of natural phenomena in the context of exorcistic lore, and a description of the symbolic cosmos with its divine and demonic inhabitants.

Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran

Mulla Muḥammad-Ṭāhir Qummi’s Ḥikmat al-ʿĀrifīn

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Edited by Ata Anzali and S.M. Hadi Gerami

In Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran, Ata Anzali and S. M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript that is arguably the most erudite and extensive polemical work against philosophy and philosophical mysticism from the Safavid period. The introduction offers an extensive and in-depth analysis of the status of philosophy in the late Safavid period, placing Mulla Muhammad-Tahir Qummi’s (d. 1689) work in the broader context of the relevant cultural and intellectual developments of his time.
The content of Hikmat al-‘arifin itself is divided between a refutation of many traditional philosophical arguments about the nature of God and His attributes and, more importantly for those interested in Safavid intellectual history, attacks on Mulla Sadra and his students for synthesizing fundamental elements Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought into the framework of traditional philosophical discourse.

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Edited by John Z Wee

The Comparable Body - Analogy and Metaphor in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman Medicine explores how analogy and metaphor illuminate and shape conceptions about the human body and disease, through 11 case studies from ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman medicine. Topics address the role of analogy and metaphor as features of medical culture and theory, while questioning their naturalness and inevitability, their limits, their situation between the descriptive and the prescriptive, and complexities in their portrayal as a mutually intelligible medium for communication and consensus among users.