Barhebraeus, Butyrum Sapientiae, Books of Mineralogy and Meteorology
Butyrum sapientiae, though based mainly on Ibn Sīnā's Kitāb al-šifāʾ (Book of Healing), draws on a number of other sources. The detailed analysis of the text provided in this volume casts some important light on the manner in which Greek science and philosophy were transmitted in the Orient and as such will be of interest to scholars both of the Classical and Islamic world. The philological analysis of the text will be of interest to scholars of Syriac language and culture.
The Syrian Orthodox Christian author Gregory Barhebraeus is known to have often drawn his inspiration and materials from the works of Muslim authors in composing his own writings. The paper provides an account of what is known about his borrowings from the works of Islamic theology, especially Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s Muḥaṣṣal afkār al-mutaqaddimīn wa-l-mutaʾakhkhirīn, in his major theological work, the Candelabrum of the Sanctuary, and attempts an assessment of his achievement through a comparison of this work with another of his theological works, the Book of Rays, as well as with Bar Shakkō’s Book of Treasures.
The reception of Greek scientific and philosophical literature in Syriac, which had a major influence on the later reception in Arabic, is an area that has been the subject of a renewed wave of research in the past few years. This paper provides a brief overview of the reception of the Greek sciences in Syriac, citing some of the latest research in the field. This is followed by the presentation of an example to illustrate how the Syriac intermediary text, when available, can help to elucidate the process of translation into Arabic, together with some observations on the ways in which the Syriac reception of the Greek sciences influenced the later reception in Arabic.