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Alexandre d'Aphrodise vs Jean Philopon: Notes sur quelques traités d'Alexandre “perdus” en grec, conservés en arabe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 October 2008

Ahmad Hasnawi
Affiliation:
Centre d'histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales, 27 rue Damesme, C.N.R.S., 75013 Paris, France

Abstract

In this paper, are included new data about three treatises ascribed in Arabic to Alexander of Aphrodisias. These treatises were thought to have no Greek correspondent. The author shows that one of them, (D.8a), is an adapted version – following the norms of “al-Kindi circle” – of Quaestio I 21, along with the later and more exact version of this Quaestio by Abū ‘Uṭmān al-Dimašqi (d. 900). He shows also that the two other treatises (D.9 and D.16) are, in contradistinction to the first, adapted versions of passages belonging in the De Aeternitate mundi contra Proclum of John Philoponus: respectively IV, 4–6 and IX, 11. Philoponus’ book was known to have been translated, into Arabic. But, except for some short fragments in al-Bīrūnī (d. 1048), it seems that it is the first time that important adapted extracts of it are put in light. Some points are made about the historical position of the epitomator of these passages. In Appendix II, another treatise ascribed to Alexander (D.27g) appears – provisionally – as a composite text, mixing elements coming from Philoponus and others from neoplatonic texts in Arabic. In Appendix III is analysed the use of D.16 by Miskawayh (d. 1030), and the use of D.27g by ‘Abdallaṭīf al-Baġdādī (d. 1231).

Dans cet article, l'auteur fait état de nouvelles données à propos de trois traités attribués a Alexandre d'Aphrodise en arabe et dont on pensait qu'ils n'avaient pas de correspondant grec. II montre que le premier (D.8a) est une version adaptée – selon les normes du “cercle d'al-Kindi’ – de Quaestio I 21, à côte de la traduction plus tardive et plus exacte de cette même Quaestio due à Abù ‘Uṭmān al-Dimašqī (m. 900). II montre que les deux autres traités (D.9 et D.16), en revanche, ne sont pas d'Alexandre d'Aphrodise, mais qu'il s'agit de versions adaptées – toujours selon les normes du “cercle d'al-Kindi” – de passages du De Aeternitate mundi contra Proclum de Jean Philopon, empruntés respectivement à IV, 4–6 et IX, 11. On savait que cet ouvrage fut traduit en arabe. Mais, hormis quelques courts fragments dans al-Bīrūnī (m. 1048), c'est, semble-t-il, la première fois que l'on en met au jour des extraits adaptés de cette importance. Des jalons sont posés en vue de répondre à la question de la situation historique de l'epitomateur. Dans l'Appendice II, un autre traité attribué à Alexandre (D.27g) apparaît – provisoirement – comme un texte composite mêlant des éléments issus de Philopon et d'autres issus des textes néoplatoniciens en arabe. Enfin dans l'Appendice III, sont situées la manière dont Miskawayh (m. 1030) utilise D.16, et celle dont ‘Abdallaṭīf al-Baġdādī (m. 1231) utilise D.27g.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1994

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