Friday, September 15, 2023

Maria Mavroudi: Byzantine Translations from Arabic into Greek (Open Access)

Maria Mavroudi, "Byzantine Translations from Arabic into Greek: Old and New Historiography in Confluence and in Conflict," Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies 2.1-2 (2023): 215-288.


Scholarly demand to re-evaluate underappreciated cultures has grown since the 1980s. This generated a call to re-write the nineteenth-century narrative on the transmission of knowledge from the ancient Near East to the Graeco-Roman, Islamic, Western medieval, and early modern European world. The paper surveys the modern study of Byzantine translations from Arabic into Greek in order to propose a new narrative frame, no longer linear but attentive to continuous and bi-directional contact between medieval civilisations. The paper offers the contact between Byzantium and various parts of the Islamic world as an example. It discusses the presumed insularity of Byzantine literary culture and its relationship with ancient Greek literary heritage. Problems of dating, localising, and socially contextualising the translations (through information on their authors and patrons) are also examined.

The entire article can be read and downloaded in open access here.

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