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The First Survey Of The Metaphysics In Hebrew

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Chapter Summary

In his seminal and often-quoted study on the appropriation of the sciences by Jews in medieval Provence, Gad Freudenthal calls attention to the important role of the medieval Hebrew encyclopedias in the transmission of science and philosophy from Arabic into Hebrew. This chapter seeks to address one such area, namely the section on Aristotles Metaphysics in the Midra ha-?okhmah (M.Ḥ), by elaborating on Mauro Zontas valuable observations on the subject in his The Place of Aristotelian Metaphysics in the Thirteenth- Century Encyclopedias. The importance of this section lies in the fact that, to the best of the knowledge, it is the first Hebrew text to present a substantial survey of Aristotles Metaphysics. Latin-into-Hebrew translations of Aristotles Metaphysics were to follow only in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, in Spain.

Keywords: Aristotles Metaphysics; Jews; medieval Hebrew encyclopedias; Midra ha-?okhmah (M.?)



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