Arabic Sciences and Philosophy

Research Article

Astronomy and Astrology in the Works of Abraham ibn Ezra*

Bernard R. Goldsteina1

a1 Department of History and Philosophy of Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, RS/2604 CL, Pittsburgh PA 15260, U.S.A.

Abstract

Abraham ibn Ezra the Spaniard (d. 1167) was one of the foremost transmitters of Arabic science to the West. His astrological and astronomical works, written in Hebrew and later translated into Latin, were considered authoritative by many medieval Jewish and Christian scholars. Some of the works he translated from Arabic are no longer extant in their original form, and on occasion his treatises provide information about earlier sources that is otherwise poorly preserved, if at all. Ibn Ezra seems to be the earliest scholar to record one of the seven methods for setting up the astrological houses, and this method was subsequently used by Levi ben Gerson (d. 1344) in southern France.

Abstract

Abraham ibn Ezra d'Espagne (m. 1167) fut l'un des plus importants savants ayant contribué à la transmission de la science arabe à l'Occident. Ses ouvrages en astrologie et en astronomie, rédigés en hébreu puis traduits en latin, étaient considéréd comme faisant autorité par de nombreux savants juifs et Chrétiens. Parmi les ouvrages qu'il a traduits de l'arabe en hébreu, certains sont perdus dans leur langue originale et ses propres ouvrages renferment certaines informations concernant des sources anciennes mal ou pas du tout connues par ailleurs. Ibn Ezra semble être le premier a avoir consigne l'une des sept méthodes pour dresser les maisons astrologiques. Cette méthode avait par la suite été utilisée par Lévi ben Gershom (m. 1344) dans le Midi de la France.

Footnotes

* Acknowledgement: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Fifth International Symposium on the History of Arabic Science that took place in Granada, Spain, from 30 March to 4 April 1992.

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