Reconstructing Middle Byzantine Arabo-Greek Astrology from Later Greek Manuscripts

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Joe Glynias

Abstract

This paper sheds light on one aspect of the large-scale influx of Arabic scientific knowledge into Byzantium through an analysis of three Byzantine astrological compendia that contain texts originally written in Greek as well as those translated from Arabic to Greek. While written c. 1200–1400, each manuscript contains a compilation that was assembled in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The paper first considers the dating of each of the three compilations and shows the utility in using these late Byzantine manuscripts to study Middle Byzantine astrology. Second, it analyzes the Arabic texts translated in these compilations and uses them to explain the chronology and the scale of the translation of astrological material from Arabic to Greek. Third, it considers how the Arabic and Greek material is combined within these manuscripts, and what the resulting synthesis says about Middle Byzantine astrology writ large.

Article Details

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Thematic section

References

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