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A Milestone in the History of Andalusī Bāṭinism: Maslama b. Qāsim al-Qurṭubī’s Riḥla in the East

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Virtually unknown two decades ago, Maslama b. Qāsim al-Qurṭubī (d. 353/964) is today acknowledged as the genuine author of both the Rutbat al-ḥakīm and the Ghāyat al-ḥakīm/Picatrix and, in all likelihood, as the man by whom the encyclopaedic corpus of the Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ was introduced into al-Andalus. In the early 30s of the tenth century, Maslama al-Qurṭubī travelled extensively through the Middle East and pursued there his education under a great number of reputed masters. Through a thorough investigation of the sources at hand, the present paper seeks to reconstrue the various steps of this riḥla by establishing a comprehensive list of the scholars Maslama met with in the Orient. Among the main novelties of this investigation, one points out Maslama’s meeting with Qāsim b. Muṭarrif al-Qaṭṭān, who is commonly regarded by the historians of Arabic science as the author of the first treatise of astronomy ever compiled in al-Andalus.

Affiliations: 1: University of Louvain ; 2: University of London


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