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On The Manuscripts Of The Ilāhiyyāt Of Avicenna’s Kitāb Al-Shifāʾ

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Chapter Summary

Several manuscripts of Avicenna's masterpiece on metaphysics, the Ilāhiyyāt of the Kitāb al-Shifāʾ, are preserved in India: further manuscripts of the same work will predictably be discovered in other libraries worldwide by scholars that follows the example of Daiber's ground-breaking research. This chapter provides an inventory of the known codices of the Ilāhiyyāt, adding a few items to the list that can be drawn from the bibliographies of C. Brockelmann, G.C. Anawati and Y Mahdavī, and showing the extremely wide circulation of Avicenna's work in the Islamic world. Next, the chronology of these manuscripts are taken into account, pointing to another remarkable feature displayed by the Ilāhiyyāt, namely the extremely long period of time during which this work was copied. The chapter evaluates the editions of Avicenna's work presently available in light of the data, and points out the necessity of a new, better grounded and more precise, critical edition.

Keywords: Arabic manuscripts; Avicenna's philosophical work; Ilāhiyyāt; Islamic world; Kitāb al-Shifāʾ



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