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A Syriac Intermediary For The Arabic Theology Of Aristotle? In Search Of A Chimera

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Chapter Summary

Of the large number of theories which have been put forward concerning the origin of the Arabic Theology of Aristotle, several involve a Syriac intermediary, or even a Syriac origin. The John of Apameia whom Baumstark has in mind certainly belongs to the sixth century, and Michael the Syrian specifically mentions that Philoxenus of Mabbug wrote against him and had his writings burnt in public at Antioch. It seems very probable that he is the same person as "John the Egyptian", whom Philoxenus describes as the teacher of Stephen bar Sudhaili. The only Syriac library about whose holdings a certain amount of information is available is that of the Syrian Monastery in the Nitrian desert, whose erstwhile rich holdings today form the cream of the Syriac holdings of both the Vatican and the British Library.

Keywords: Arabic Theology of Aristotle; John of Apameia; Nitrian desert; Philoxenus of Mabbug; Stephen bar Sudhaili; Syriac origin



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