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Appendixes—Inventory of Avicenna’s Authentic Works

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Chapter Summary

Avicenna left behind a huge oeuvre, even by the standards of polygraphic authors in medieval Islamic civilization, but "the preservation and transmission of the written record of [his] philosophy proved to be a singularly disastrous affair". Briefly, Avicenna was what may be called a disorganized writer who kept clean copies neither of what he wrote for himself nor of the commissioned pieces; his itinerant life style was the cause of the dispersal of many of his works; he corresponded on philosophical matters with colleagues, students, and adversaries; he was involved in a number of social disputes which were partly caused by some of his homiletic works and which themselves occasioned some private correspondence; he wrote many occasional pieces for patrons which may have resurfaced at any time in subsequent centuries. The medieval lists of Avicenna's works are bibliographies that were drawn up within two centuries of his death.

Keywords: Avicenna; bibliographies; medieval Islamic civilization; social disputes



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