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The Commentator: Averroes’s Reading of the Metaphysics

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Chapter Summary

Averroes was a young man when a new Berber domination was established in the Maghreb. When Averroes was 21, in 1147, the Almohads took over al-Andalus with far-reaching consequences for the intellectual life of the Islamic West. State officers were selected among scholars, the guardians of the Almohad dogma, and Averroes was naturally, on account of his lineage, a full member of the ruling class. Both his father and grandfather were chief judges of Cordoba, an office that Averroes would eventually assume in his turn. It is assumed that the Epitomes were generally composed before the Middle Commentaries and the Middle Commentaries prior to the Long Commentaries. As far as the Metaphysics is concerned, the Middle Commentary is the only dated work. Towards its end, Averroes expresses his intention to compose a literal exposition, thus announcing the project represented by the Long Commentary.

Keywords: al-Andalus; Averroes; chief judges; Cordoba; Islamic West; Long Commentaries; Maghreb; Metaphysics; Middle Commentaries



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