Avicenna in Medieval Hebrew Translation

Ṭodros Ṭodrosi’s Translation of Kitāb al-Najāt, on Psychology and Metaphysics

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Gabriella Elgrably-Berzin

In this volume, Gabriella Elgrably-Berzin offers an analysis of the fourteenth-century Hebrew translation of a major eleventh-century philosophical text: Avicenna’s Kitāb al-Najāt (The Book of Salvation), focusing on the psychology treatise on physics. The translator of this work was Ṭodros Ṭodrosi, the main Hebrew translator of Avicenna’s philosophical writings. This study includes a critical edition of Ṭodrosi’s translation, based on two manuscripts as compared to the Arabic edition (Cairo, 1938), and an appendix featuring the section on metaphysics. By analyzing Ṭodrosi’s language and terminology and making his Hebrew translation available for the first time, Berzin’s study will help enable scholars to trace the borrowings from Todrosi’s translations in Jewish sources, shedding light on the transmission and impact of Avicenna’s philosophy.

The Malay Hikayat Miʿrāj Nabi Muḥammad

The Prophet Muḥammad’s Nocturnal Journey to Heaven and Hell. Text and Translation of Cod. Or. 1713 in the Library of Leiden University

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Edited by Th.C. van der Meij and Nannoo Lambooij

Texts about the nocturnal journey of the Prophet Muḥammad (Mi‘rāj) abound in the Muslim world and outside. International attention has never been afforded to any version of text in any language of the Indonesian archipelago. One old version of the text from the area, the Malay Hikayat Mir’āj Nabi Muḥammad is presented here in Malay and English translation. The introductory chapters place the text in a wider context in Indonesian literatures while the manuscript of the text (Cod.Or. Leiden 1713) is described in detail. The text and translation purport to enhance interest in this important text in the Muslim world as seen from the Malay/Indonesian perspective.

Wrestling with the Demons of the Pahlavi Widēwdād

Transcription, Translation, and Commentary

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Mahnaz Moazami

The Pahlavi Widēwdād (Vidēvdād), The Law (Serving to Keep) Demons Away, a fifth-century Middle Persian commentary on the Avestan Vidēvdād, describes rules and regulations that serve to prevent pollution caused by dead matter, menstrual discharges, and other agents. It recognizes the perpetual presence of the demons, the forces of the Evil Spirit –forces that should be fought through law-abiding conduct. In spite of its formidable textual problems, the commentary provides an invaluable quarry for the rules of the Zoroastrian community through its citation of regulations for the conduct of its members. Many topics are covered, from jurisprudence to penalties, procedures for dealing with pollution, purification, and arrangements for funerals. Viewed together, they provide the reader with an exquisite interlace of a community’s concerns.

The Skandapurāṇa Volume IIb

Adhyāyas 31-52. The Vāhana and Naraka Cycles

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Edited by Hans Bakker, Yuko Yokochi and Peter Bisschop

Skandapurāṇa IIb presents a critical edition of Adhyāyas 31-52 from the Skandapurāṇa, with an introduction and English synopsis. The text edited in this volume includes central myths of early Śaivism, such as the destruction of Dakṣa's sacrifice and Śiva acquiring the bull for his vehicle. Also included is an extensive description of the thirteen hells (Naraka).

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Andrew Weeks

Jacob Boehme’s Aurora (Morgen Röte im auffgang, 1612) exercised a vast open or underground influence on popular and mystical religion, poetry, and philosophy from Germany to England to Russia. This beautiful and highly original work containing elements of alchemical, esoteric, and anticlerical thought is a portal to the cultural, scientific, and theological currents on the eve of the Thirty Years' War. Its author heralded the new heliocentrism, opposed intolerance and religious conflict, and entertained an ecstatic vision of order reconciled with freedom. This first modern English translation places the translated text opposite an edition of the German manuscript from the author’s own hand. Also included is the brief, influential Fundamental Report (Gründlicher Bericht, 1620) in a critical edition and translation. An extensive commentary that cites documents of the time offers access to the sources of Boehme’s themes and concepts.

The Skandapurāṇa III

Adhyayas 34.1-61, 53-69: The Vindhyavāsinī Cycle

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Yuko Yokochi

Skandapurāṇa III presents a critical edition of the Vindhyavāsinī Cycle (Adhyāyas 34.1-61, 53-69) from the Skandapurāṇa , with an introduction and annotated English synopsis. The text edited in this volume provides the oldest full account of the myth of the goddess of the Vindhya mountains; it is one of the main sources of the Devīmāhātmya, the most famous scripture of the goddess worship in India, and as such indispensable for the study of the history of goddess worship. The introduction contains an examination into the relationship of the manuscripts and the date of the Skandapurāṇa .
The work is currently only available in print as an exact reprint done in a smaller book size (15.5 x 23.5 cm) than the first printrun.

The Secret History of the Mongols, VOLUME 3 (Supplement)

A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century

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Igor de Rachewiltz

Volume Three of Igor de Rachewiltz’s annotated translation of the Secret History of the Mongols (Brill 2004, 2006), now regarded as the standard English version of this epic biography of Činggis Qan, is both a complement and a supplement to the first two volumes. On the one hand it revises and updates the work to the end of 2012, and on the other it introduces new interpretations and ideas about both the identity of its anonymous author and the date of its composition. It is, therefore, an indispensable companion volume for all readers and users of the earliest Mongolian literary production which contains, in the words of Arthur Waley, ‘some of the most vivid primitive literature that exists anywhere in the world.’

The Secret History of the Mongols has been selected by Choice as Outstanding Academic Title (2005).

Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasāntaka

An Old Javanese Epic Poem, its Indian Source and Balinese Illustrations

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Edited by Peter Worsley, S. Supomo, Thomas Hunter and Margaret Fletcher

Mpu Monaguṇa's early thirteenth century epic poem Sumanasāntaka is a vernacular rendering of Kālidāsa's story of Prince Aja and Princess Indumatī told in the Raghuvaṃśa. In it the poet exploits his source narrative to describe and comment on the Javanese world of his times.
In Mpu Monaguṇa's Sumanasāntaka the authors offer an edited text and translation of Mpu Monaguṇa's epic kakawin and extensive commentary on the editing of the manuscripts and history of the poem and its story, the relationship between the Old Javanese poem and Kālidāsa's Raghuvaṃśa, the way in which the poem imagines the lived environment of ancient Java in the early thirteenth century and Balinese painted representations of the story of Prince Aja and Princess Indumatī.

Abraham Ibn Daud's Dorot 'Olam (Generations of the Ages)

A Critical Edition and Translation of Zikhron Divrey Romi, Divrey Malkhey Yisraʾel, and the Midrash on Zechariah

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Katja Vehlow

Written by Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo (c. 1110-1180), Dorot ‘Olam (Generations of the Ages) is one of the most influential and innovative historical works of medieval Hebrew literature. In four sections, three of which are edited and translated in this volume for the first time, Dorot ‘Olam asserts the superiority of rabbinic Judaism and stresses the central role of Iberia for the Jewish past, present, and future. Combining Jewish and Christian sources in new ways, Ibn Daud presents a compelling vision of the past and formulates political ideas that stress the importance of consensus-driven leadership under rabbinic guidance. This edition demonstrates how Dorot ‘Olam was received by Jewish and Christian readers who embraced the book in Hebrew, Latin, and two English and German translations.

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Lambert van Velthuysen

Edited by Malcolm de Mowbray

Although little known today, the Utrecht physician and town councillor Lambert van Velthuysen (1622–1685) was a prolific Dutch seventeenth-century philosopher and a vociferous advocate of the new philosophies of Descartes and Hobbes. The Letter on the Principles of Justness and Decency of 1651 constitutes both the first published reaction to Hobbes's political philosophy and the first attempt by a Dutch philosopher at using Hobbes to supply a ‘Cartesian’ moral philosophy. It is also a highly original work that seeks to define the nature of virtue and vice and to justify the magistrate's right to punish crimes. It will thus be of interest not only to historians of philosophy but to all those interested in the social and cultural history of the Dutch Golden Age.