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Symposium and book launch

Observing and interpreting nature: Aristotle’s biology in the Arabic and Latin tradition

Friday 9 November 2018
Free to visit, drinks after
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

Aristotle’s Historia Animalium is one of the most famous and influential zoological works that was ever written. It was translated into Arabic in the 9th century together with Aristotle’s other zoological works, On the Parts of Animals and On the Generation of Animals. As a result, the influence of Aristotelian zoology is widely traceable in classical Arabic literary culture and thought. The Arabic translation found its way into Europe through Michael Scot’s 13th century Latin translation and was extensively used by medieval European scholars, notably by Albertus Magnus and Thomas van Cantimpré. Its influence is also traceable in Jacob Maerlant’s Der Nature Bloeme.

A critical edition of the Arabic Historia Animalium has long been awaited. Lourus Filius' (Free University of Amsterdam)’ edition, made in collaboration with Johannes den Heijer (University of Louvain) and the late John N. Mattock (Glasgow University), is based on all the extant Arabic MSS as well as on Scot’s Latin translation and can rightly be seen as a scholarly landmark. In the symposium, various speakers will bring into focus the influence of Aristotle’s biology in the Arabic as well as the Latin tradition.

Scheduled talks

  • Hans Daiber (Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt):
    Aristotle`s Meteorology in 18th Century Egypt: ad-Damanhūrī (d. 1192/1778)῾Ayn al-ḥayāt fī ῾ilm istinbāṭ al-miyāh
  • Peter Adamson (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich):
     Animals in the Philosophy of the Islamic World
  • Aafke van Oppenraay (Huygens ING, Amsterdam):
    Michael Scotus’ translation of Aristotle’s De Animalibus
  • Pieter Beullens (KU Leuven, Aristoteles Latinus):
    Readers and Readings of De historia animalium in the Latin Middle Ages
  • Godefroid de Callatay (University of Louvain):
    The Ikhwān aṣ-Ṣafā’ and Aristotle’s biology: borrowings and adaptations


Would you like to join us?

Send an email to LUCIS@hum.leidenuniv.nl


You can find the programme here. 

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