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Title: Galen and the Arabic traditions of Plato's Timaeus
Author: Das, Aileen R.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This study surveys Galen of Pergamum's (AD 129–c. 216) impact on the Arabic traditions of Plato's Timaeus in the ninth to thirteenth centuries. It draws attention to the important role that Galen's two exegeses On the Medical Statements in Plato's Timaeus (Περὶ τῶν ἐν τῷ Πλάτωνος Τιμαίῳ ἰατρικῶς εἰρημένων) and the Synopsis of Plato's Timaeus played in transmitting the dialogue into Arabic, and thus shaping medieval Arabic thinkers' understanding of its doctrines. The first of these two texts is fragmentary in Greek and Arabic; this study offers a comprehensive overview of the surviving material and reassesses its authenticity. The Synopsis is preserved in a medieval Arabic translation, and my examination of this work reconsiders its attribution to an associate of the famous translator Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq (d. c. 873 or 877). The analyses of these treatments also highlight Galen's critical approaches to the Timaeus, specifically how he interprets it in light of his medical knowledge and the intellectual context of Middle Platonism. By exploring the use of the Timaeus commentary and Synopsis in the works of ar-Rāzī, al-Bīrūnī, Ibn Sīnā, Mūsā ibn ʿAzrā, Yehuda Halevi, Ibn Rušd, and Mūsā ibn Maymūn, this study shows that Galen's approach helped broaden the dialogue's application to other fields of learning besides philosophy, such as medicine, poetics, and theology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PA Classical philology