Avicenna is famous for the enormous impact of his philosophical and medical works on subsequent thinkers belonging to the three monotheistic religions (Islam, Christianity, Judaism) and on the three cultures embracing the Mediterranean Sea (Arabic, Latin, Hebrew) during the Middle Ages. Outside the boundaries of the Arab-Islamic world, beginning with the last decades of the twelfth century, the two main branches of Avicenna's thought (philosophy and medicine) deeply influenced a great variety of Christian thinkers who used Latin as the language of communication, arousing among them a wide array of different reactions and attitudes. Borrowing the scheme coined by Dimitri Gutas for the reception of Avicenna in Arabic, we can envisage also the Latin fortuna of the shaykh ra?is according to a three-fold division, given by (more or less) faithful followers of the master, independent thinkers capable of revising some crucial tenets of his teaching, and outspoken critics who were not only polemical, but also indebted towards him. Avicenna's writings entered the official curricula of medieval universities, and were copied and commented upon, although less intensively than Aristotle's; as a consequence, they were mentioned frequently by philosophers, theologians, and physicians. But the scope of Avicenna's authority overcame the boundaries of the disciplines taught in universities, and the borders of academic faculties: his thought also entered other fields of Latin culture, like literature (as in the case of Dante Alighieri, among others), and society in general (as its traces in ecclesiastic documents witness). Given this massive impact throughout the medieval period, it is not surprising that the Western reception of Avicenna's philosophy did not end with the Middle Ages: thanks to the edition of the Latin translation of the main parts of Avicenna's Book of the Cure (Kitab al-Shifa?), accomplished by the Augustinian friars of San Giovanni in Verdara in Padua and printed by Ottaviano Scoto in Venice in 1508, it reached modern authors such as Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz.

The Reception of Avicenna in Latin Medieval Culture

BERTOLACCI, Amos
2013

Abstract

Avicenna is famous for the enormous impact of his philosophical and medical works on subsequent thinkers belonging to the three monotheistic religions (Islam, Christianity, Judaism) and on the three cultures embracing the Mediterranean Sea (Arabic, Latin, Hebrew) during the Middle Ages. Outside the boundaries of the Arab-Islamic world, beginning with the last decades of the twelfth century, the two main branches of Avicenna's thought (philosophy and medicine) deeply influenced a great variety of Christian thinkers who used Latin as the language of communication, arousing among them a wide array of different reactions and attitudes. Borrowing the scheme coined by Dimitri Gutas for the reception of Avicenna in Arabic, we can envisage also the Latin fortuna of the shaykh ra?is according to a three-fold division, given by (more or less) faithful followers of the master, independent thinkers capable of revising some crucial tenets of his teaching, and outspoken critics who were not only polemical, but also indebted towards him. Avicenna's writings entered the official curricula of medieval universities, and were copied and commented upon, although less intensively than Aristotle's; as a consequence, they were mentioned frequently by philosophers, theologians, and physicians. But the scope of Avicenna's authority overcame the boundaries of the disciplines taught in universities, and the borders of academic faculties: his thought also entered other fields of Latin culture, like literature (as in the case of Dante Alighieri, among others), and society in general (as its traces in ecclesiastic documents witness). Given this massive impact throughout the medieval period, it is not surprising that the Western reception of Avicenna's philosophy did not end with the Middle Ages: thanks to the edition of the Latin translation of the main parts of Avicenna's Book of the Cure (Kitab al-Shifa?), accomplished by the Augustinian friars of San Giovanni in Verdara in Padua and printed by Ottaviano Scoto in Venice in 1508, it reached modern authors such as Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz.
2013
Interpreting Avicenna, ed. P. Adamson
Cambridge University Press
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/1234
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