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Greek Thought, Arabic Culture: The Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early 'Abbasaid Society (2nd-4th/5th-10th c.) [Anglais] [Broché]

Dimitri Gutas

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From the middle of the eighth century to the tenth century, almost all non-literary and non-historical secular Greek books, including such diverse topics as astrology, alchemy, physics, botany and medicine, that were not available throughout the eastern Byzantine Empire and the Near East, were translated into Arabic.
Greek Thought, Arabic Culture explores the major social, political and ideological factors that occasioned the unprecedented translation movement from Greek into Arabic in Baghdad, the newly founded capital of the Arab dynasty of the 'Abbasids', during the first two centuries of their rule. Dimitri Gutas draws upon the preceding historical and philological scholarship in Greco-Arabic studies and the study of medieval translations of secular Greek works into Arabic and analyses the social and historical reasons for this phenomenon.
Dimitri Gutas provides a stimulating, erudite and well-documented survey of this key movement in the transmission of ancient Greek culture to the Middle Ages.

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Certain material conditions that prepared a background against which a translation movement could take place and flourish were established by two momentous historical events, the early Arab conquests through the Umayyad period and the 'Abbasid revolution that culminated in 134/750. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.8 étoiles sur 5  8 commentaires
48 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Profound and interesting academic introduction 7 décembre 2004
Par J. E. S. Leake - Publié sur
A superb review of the subject. I thought I knew a bit about the translation movement into Arabic through Syriac, but Gutas showed me I knew nothing almost. Very deeply researched, by an editor of Brill's Mediaeval Greek and Arabic lexicon. There can be few scholars with such a grasp of Greek-Arabic translation, or of Arabic translations of Greek works. He demolishes some old myths - the idea that Ma'mun's "Bait al-Hikma" in Baghdad was anything other than a library is shown to be baseless speculation, for example - and provides us with a view of the translators that I'd have thought impossible before. The analysis of what was translated was most interesting.

Who knows who "Jake", "Kevin" and the anonomous reader are! I see they - or he, as I suspect - have only done a single review apiece. If "they" are really disappointed by the work, it would be helpful if "they" did a fuller review of the book to let us what in "their" view the book's weaknesses are, supported by the text, if possible. I suspect however that it's Professor Gutas' public protests about the damage to Iraq's cultural heritage resulting from the war in Iraq that's "their" issue.

For more general reading on the adoption of parts of the Classical tradition by the Arabic-speaking world, I can recommend Franz Rosenthal's reader on the subject, "The Classical Heritage in Islam". His introduction is excellent and the texts well-chosen.

I thought the Gutas book interesting enough, by the way, to give a copy to my mediaevalist sister-in-law as a present.
38 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gutas a First-Rate Scholar 17 juillet 2004
Par Joseph Cumming - Publié sur
The reviews below under the headings "Jake" and "Duller" demand a response -- not because they are negative, but because they are false and misleading. "Jake" claims that "Gutas is not a Near Eastern Studies specialist, so he is not qualified as an author." The truth is that Gutas is chair of the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department of Yale University. "Duller" asserts that intelligent people know that Gutas is not a scholar. The truth is that Gutas is one of the foremost scholarly experts in the world on the medieval Graeco-Arabic translation movement. Readers may disagree with Gutas's conclusions, and non-specialists may find his subject matter obscure (though it has profound relevance to modern issues), but surely Gutas's scholarly credentials as an expert in this field are above dispute.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very impressive 24 novembre 2005
Par F. Damaj - Publié sur
Excellent book. A well written, well document reference on an era that remained disjointed in information, and vaguely referred to. Gutas collects the various pieces necessary to put things in order and clarify to most of us a history whose aftermath is known, but not the process. Very impressive. A highly recommended book.
16 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 response 18 octobre 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Dear Duller than a butter knife, it's a book for specialists in the field. Why did you buy it if you weren't a specialist in the field?
As for the second post, on page 13 Gutas writes, "arguably the most important factor for the spread of knowledge in general was the introduction of paper making technology into the islamic world..."
Gutas reads English, French, German, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, and a few other languages. While you may not like his work, I believe the charge that he isn't a scholar is a bit far-fetched.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An indispensable handbook for the medieval scholar 23 janvier 2010
Par Rousalka - Publié sur
Professor Dimitri Gutas has done all medieval scholars an inestimable favour. Nowhere in any other text is so much information available. It helps to have a good knowledge of Greek and Arabic, but even those not thoroughly versed in those languages can benefit from the historical perspective offered in this work. Especially of import is to know how the translation movement was initiated, its inspiration, the patronship, the immense progress in science effected by the information gathered from the ancient works.
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