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Comparing Interpretative Notes in the Syriac and Arabic Translations of the Hippocratic Aphorisms

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image of Aramaic Studies

Paris Bibliothèque nationale de France MS Arabe 6734 contains a bilingual Syriac-Arabic text of the Hippocratic Aphorisms. Whereas the Arabic lemmata are clearly taken from Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq’s translation of Galen’s Commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms, the Syriac translator has not been identified conclusively. In the Syriac translation, there is a long note on lemma iv. 47 in which the annotator refutes Galen’s interpretation of this lemma. In his Arabic translation of Galen’s Commentary on the Hippocratic Aphorisms, Ḥunayn also notes Galen’s misinterpretation of this lemma. In this article, I present the Syriac note, along with an analysis of Galen’s comment on lemma iv. 47 to show an inconsistency of Galen’s interpretation of this aphorism. I then present Ḥunayn’s note on this lemma for the first time, and illustrate how he edited the Arabic translation.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan


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