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Le Kitāb dā’irat al-aḥruf al-abjadiyya est un traité de magie pratique attribué à Hermès. Ce texte composite, qui ne peut être daté avec précision, est un ouvrage de magie basée sur la doctrine de la science des lettres (‘ilm al-ḥurūf). Le présent livre offre la première édition critique du texte, accompagnée d’une traduction annotée et d’une étude historique et philologique exposant les principes théoriques à la base des procédés décrits dans les recettes ainsi que des entités, objets et ingrédients utilisés (noms des anges invoqués, types de fumigations et d’encres, dessins et figures, etc.). Il s’agit d’une des premières éditions critiques d’un traité de magie pratique des lettres, genre encore fort méconnu bien qu’abondamment représenté dans les manuscrits arabes.

The Kitāb dā’irat al-aḥruf al-abjadiyya is a composite treatise of letter magic attributed to Hermes. The edition and annotated translation of the Arabic text are accompanied by an explanation of the theoretical principles underlying the procedures described in the recipes, and a discussion of the entities, objects and ingredients used. These include names of the angels to be summoned, types of incenses and inks to be used, sketches and images to be drawn, etc. This is one of the first critical editions and translations of a full-length text of practical magic containing recipes pertaining to ‘ilm al-ḥurūf (the science of letters). The book is addressed to Arabists and to any non-Arabist interested in the tradition of magic.


In the article, the authors present a study, a critical edition and an English translation of an Arabic alchemical epistle attributed to the Umayyad prince Ḫālid b. Yazīd, together with its Latin translation recently identified by the authors. Among the many alchemical works attributed to Ḫālid b. Yazīd, this untitled Risāla (inc.: ‮إني رأيت الناس طلبوا صنعة الحكمة‬‎) is the second most represented in the manuscript tradition, with no less than twelve witnesses containing it. Its partial Latin translation, available in six manuscripts, was also attributed to Calid, but the name of the translator remains unknown.

In: Arabica

Virtually unknown two decades ago, Maslama b. Qāsim al-Qurṭubī (d. 353/964) is today acknowledged as the genuine author of both the Rutbat al-ḥakīm and the Ghāyat al-ḥakīm/Picatrix and, in all likelihood, as the man by whom the encyclopaedic corpus of the Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ was introduced into al-Andalus. In the early 30s of the tenth century, Maslama al-Qurṭubī travelled extensively through the Middle East and pursued there his education under a great number of reputed masters. Through a thorough investigation of the sources at hand, the present paper seeks to reconstrue the various steps of this riḥla by establishing a comprehensive list of the scholars Maslama met with in the Orient. Among the main novelties of this investigation, one points out Maslama’s meeting with Qāsim b. Muṭarrif al-Qaṭṭān, who is commonly regarded by the historians of Arabic science as the author of the first treatise of astronomy ever compiled in al-Andalus.

In: Intellectual History of the Islamicate World

This article is focused on the manuscript tradition of the Rutbat al-ḥakīm, an alchemical treatise written in al-Andalus by Maslama b. Qāsim al-Qurṭubī in 339/950-342/953. The authors also describe new manuscripts of the work, including one among the earliest in the tradition of the Rutba, remained unknown until now. At the end of the article, new elements are provided about the dating of the Rutba as found in manuscripts.

In: Arabica