Arabic Sciences and Philosophy

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L'ALGÈBRE ARABE DANS LES TEXTES HÉBRAÏQUES (II). DANS L'ITALIE DES XVe ET XVIe SIÈCLES, SOURCES ARABES ET SOURCES VERNACULAIRES 1


TONY  LÉVY  a1
a1 Centre d'histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales, 7 rue Guy Môquet, B.P. no 8, 94801 Villejuif Cedex, France

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Abstract

Until the end of the 14th century, the sources of Hebrew mathematical writings were almost exclusively in Arabic. This was particularly true of texts that contained elements of algebra or algebraic developments. The testimonies we present and analyze here are due to Jewish authors living in Italy, primarily in the 15th century, who made use of the most varied sources, in addition to Arabic: in Castilian, in Italian, and perhaps in Latin. These testimonies constitute both an indication, and a product, of the circulation of Arab algebraic traditions in Renaissance Italy. Simon Mo[tdotu ]o[tdotu ]’s book on The Calculation of Algebra stems from the Italian tradition of ‘‘treatises on the abacus’’. Mordekhay Finzi of Mantua is the author of a Hebrew version of the great work on algebra by Abu Kamil (9th century), as well as of a version, distinct from the preceding, of the Arabic scholar’s introductory exposition. Beginning in 1473, Finzi also translated from Italian to Hebrew the important treatise on algebra by Maestro Dardi of Pisa (1344). We also indicate some 16th century continuations of Hebrew mathematical production, which contain algebraic developments.

(Published Online February 12 2007)



Footnotes

1 Dans un précédent article, nous avons présenté un tableau des tout premiers textes algébriques composés en hébreu, entre les XIIe et XIVe siècles: “L'algèbre arabe dans les textes hébraïques (I). Un ouvrage inédit d'Isaac ben Salomon al-Ahdab (XIVe siècle)”, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 13 (2003): 269–301. Nous avons exposé plusieurs résultats de notre recherche dans le cadre du séminaire “Histoire de l'algèbre”, organisé par le Centre d'histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales (CNRS), à Villejuif, au cours des années 2003–2005.



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