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Avicenna's Copyists at Work: Codicological Features of the Two Leiden Manuscripts of the Kitāb al-Shifā'

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Two manuscripts of Ibn Sīnā's Kitāb al-Shifā' kept in Leiden's library have played a role of some importance in the transmission and edition of that text. In the present article these two manuscripts are, for the first time, subjected to a detailed codicological analysis. From the results of this analysis the history of the making of either manuscript and the state of repairs in one of them could be reconstructed. The authenticity of Ibn Sīnā's text as contained in the manuscripts could be given more nuance than ever before. The article is an illustrated advice to let codicological observation and analysis precede textual criticism.

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