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The Medieval Hebrew Translations of Dominicus Gundissalinus

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Chapter Summary

Christianized Toledo of the twelfth century became one of the most important cultural crossroads of late medieval Europe. The two most prominent figures of the intellectual movement of the Middle Ages were Gerard of Cremona and Dominicus Gundissalinus. Locating the anonymous translator of the Hebrew Sefer ha-nefes (SH), i.e. of Gundissalinus' Tractatus de anima, is no easy task. The issue was most systematically considered by Jacob Teicher, especially in his important and controversial study on the School of Jewish translators in Toledo. A comparative examination of Senah vi-yqisah le-Aristo and SH reveals some similarities and many distinctive variants. The translation of Gundissalinus' Tractatus de anima was made by an amateur Jewish philosopher, who, while trying to cope with the new Aristotelian science, turned to the most updated available piece of Latin literature.

Keywords: Christianized Toledo; Dominicus Gundissalinus; Hebrew translation; Jewish philosopher; Latin literature; medieval Europe; Tractatus de anima



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