ON THE ARABIC TRANSLATIONS OF ARISTOTLE'S METAPHYSICS 1
The starting-point and, at the same time, the foundation of recent scholarship on the Arabic translations of Aristotle's Metaphysics are Maurice Bouyges' excellent critical edition of the work in which the extant translations of the Metaphysics are preserved – i.e. Averroes' Tafsir (the so-called “Long Commentary”) of the Metaphysics – and his comprehensive account of the Arabic translations and translators of the Metaphysics in the introductory volume. Relying on the texts made available by Bouyges and the impressive amount of philological information conveyed in his edition, subsequent scholars have been able to select and focus on more specific topics, providing, for example, a closer inspection of the Arabic translations of the single books of the Metaphysics (books A, α, and Λ in particular), or a detailed comparison of some of these translations with the original text of the Metaphysics. A new trend of research in recent times has been the study of these versions as part of the wider context of the Graeco-Arabic translation movement.(Published Online August 5 2005)
1 I wish to thank Prof. Dimitri Gutas (Yale University), Prof. Gerhard Endress (Ruhr-Universität, Bochum), Dr. Ahmad Hasnawi (C.N.R.S.) and Dr. Cristina D'Ancona (University of Pisa) for their insightful comments on a first draft of this article. My gratitude goes also to Prof. David C. Reisman (University of Illinois at Chicago) for his helpful observations. I am indebted also to Alexander Treiger (Yale University) for his careful reading of a preliminary version. I am solely responsible for the remaining flaws.