Observing and Interpreting Nature: Aristotle's Biology in the Arabic and Latin Tradition

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-Damanhuri (d. 1192/1778), ?Ayn al-?ayat fi ?ilm istinba? al-miyah
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 Ikhwan a?-?afa’ and Aristotle’s biology: borrowings and adaptations
Would you like to join us?

Send an email to LUCIS@hum.leidenuniv.nl