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  • Gerrit Bos (a1) and Y. Tzvi Langermann (a2)

Galen's On the Elements according to Hippocrates is an important source for physical doctrines circulating in late antiquity. The variety of atomistic doctrines that Galen brings into the discussion, as well as his arguments aimed at refuting them, were closely studied by the early kalām atomists. Of particular interest are the summaries of this text, which seem to have been written many centuries after Galen; some of them are products of early Islamicate culture. In this paper, we present an edition, translation, and study of a hitherto unknown summary, extent in a unique manuscript where it is attributed to Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq. Like the other summaries, it presents a doxography of physical doctrines, not always repeating precisely what Galen says, but rather reflecting the discourse of its period.


L'ouvrage galénique Sur les Éléments selon Hippocrate est une importante source d'information concernant les théories physiques de l'antiquité tardive. Les diverses doctrines atomistes discutées par Galien ainsi que les arguments employés par lui pour les réfuter ont été étudiés de près par les premiers Mutakallimūn. Les abrégés de cet ouvrage, qui semblent avoir été écrits plusieurs siècles après Galien, et dont certains remontent aux débuts de la culture islamique, présentent un intérêt particulier. Dans cet article, nous donnons une édition, une traduction et une étude d'un abrégé inconnu jusqu'ici, conservé dans un unique manuscrit, qui l'attribue à Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq. Comme les autres abrégés, il s'agit en fait d'une doxographie de théories physiques qui ne reproduit pas toujours précisément ce que Galien a dit, mais qui reflète le discours de l'époque où elle a été rédigée.

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John Rist , “Monism: Plotinus and some predecessors”, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 69 (1965): 329–44

Y. Tzvi Langermann , “Islamic atomism and the Galenic tradition”, History of Science, 47 (2009): 277–95

Rüdiger Arnzen , “On the contents, sources and composition of two Arabic Pseudo-Platonica: Multaqaṭāt Aflāṭūn al-ilāhī and Fiqar ultuqiṭat wa-jumiʿat ʿan Aflāṭūn”, Oriens, 37 (2009): 752

Hans B. Gottschalk , “Boethus’ psychology and the Neoplatonists”, Phronesis, 31.3 (1986): 243–57

, (, ), p. 36 Anthony Speca Hypothetical Syllogistic and Stoic Logic Leiden2001

Harry A. Wolfson , “Arabic and Hebrew terms for matter and element with especial reference to Saadia”, The Jewish Quarterly Review, 38 (1947): 4761, p. 56

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Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0957-4239
  • EISSN: 1474-0524
  • URL: /core/journals/arabic-sciences-and-philosophy
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