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Albert the Naturalist in Judah Romano’s Hebrew Translations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter relates to core issues of Judah's philosophic and literary interests. Philosophical translation from Latin into Hebrew was admittedly an uncommon feature of medieval Jewish intellectual history, but this cross-cultural endeavor was practiced with enthusiasm by its few devotees. Judah's surviving work consists of translations into Hebrew, but it can be seen as a response to these rare opportunities of Jewish-Christian philosophical interaction. This chapter concentrates on the translations from De forma, De anima, and De spiritu that form the object of the author's publication project. It looks at the linguistic evidence and then returns to the question of their subject matter, thus distributing the author's remarks, in Aristotelian terms, equally between the techne and the episteme. According to Albert, pneuma, "the form of life", is the tool by which the soul guides the different functions of the body: esse, vivere, sentire, moveri, intelligere.

Keywords: Albert; De anima; De forma; De spiritu; Hebrew translation; Jewish intellectual history; Judah; Latin; pneuma



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