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Ta'bīr al-ruyā and aḥkām al-nujūm References to Women in Dream Interpretation and Astrology Transferred from Graeco-Roman Antiquity and Medieval Islam to Byzantium: Some Problems and Considerations

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Chapter Summary

The study of civilizations with a “classical” tradition is bound to reveal certain analogies between them, both in the way these civilizations approached their own past and in the way modern scholarship has dealt with them and their use of their older heritage. An important problem that modern scholars have discussed in connection with both the Greek and the Arabic Middle Ages is whether, when, and how, the existence of a “canon” of authors helped maintain intellectual continuity and a higher standard of civilization, or became a hurdle inhibiting this civilization’s forward mobility. This chapter offers certain small-scale considerations fitting into this larger topic. Though it focuses on Byzantine texts, it is hoped that, some of its observations and conclusions can be usefully applied to the study of medieval Arabic texts on divination and in this way help us understand classical Arabic humanities in their own terms.

Keywords: Arabic Middle Ages; Byzantine texts; classical Arabic humanities; divination; Greek; medieval Arabic texts; modern scholars



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