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Arabic Studies in the Warburg Institute

Author(s): J.B. Trapp
Source: Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), Vol. 8, No. 2 (1981), pp. 126-129
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
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He was able to demonstrate how the imagery of these frescoes depended upon the ~adition of Greek astronomy mediated by the Arabs. It acted as an adjunct to the newly-founded University of Hamburg.000 books and offprints. At Warburg's death it was already a semi-public institution. four librarians and three photographic curators. One of the Bibliothek Warburg's early publications was an edition of the Arabic text of the werk by Pseudo-Magriti known as Picatrix. was not only mentioned by Rabelais. The Institute was incorporated in the University in 1944. In his investigations of the routes by which the civilization of Greece travelled.B. often via Rome.shar (Albumasar) in particular. and so a help in his obsessive question 'Was bedeut das Nachleben der Antike?' Picatrix. but 126 .000 runs of periodicals (dead and alive in the ratio 1:9) and 250.000 photographs. For Warburg it was valuable and symptomatic as documenting the role of the legacy of Hellenistic science and philosophy to the West. plus auxiliary members. Some of his details were wrang. about 1. with a small staff. with its own programme of public lectures and publications. five teachers. to London. medical and magical belief was put tagether in Spain in the second half of the eleventh century. This curious comp~ndium of astrological. Helmut Ritter's remarkable lecture on the book was published in the first vclume of the Bibliothek Warburg's Vortr!ge (1921-2) and his edition of the Arabic text as volume 12 of its Studien in 1933: a Germantranslation from the Arabic by Martin Plessner was published as volume 33 cf the Studies of the Warburg Institute in 1962. Warburg's assistant and Director of Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg after its founder's death. brought the collections. with a library of about 50. and the Latin text in which the work achieved Eurcpean diffusion is now being prepared for publication by David Pingree as a later volume in the same series.Trapp The Warburg Institute of the University of London houses a scholarly working collection of some 200. Its staff comprises a director. Fritz Saxl. In ·1933. he found. but had still served Marsilio Ficino in fifteenth- century Florence as a source for his Hermetic-Platonic philosophy. at the beginning of the Nazi era.or The Aim of the Sage.000 volumes and photographs in proportion.Warburg (1866-1929) in Hamburg. Professor Pingree has also published notable discoveries about the vernacular versions and about later use of Picatrix in the Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes. The present Institute began as the private library of Professor Aby M. ARABIC STÜDIES IN THE WARaURG INSTITUTE J. to shape the culture of medieval and Renaissance Europe. and by Abu Ma. "Vlarburg was led to study the fifteenth-century fresco cycle known as the Schifanoia Months in Palazzo Schifanoia at Ferrara.

1965-68) 127 . was a more detailed investigation of this tradition. The first Arabist to become a member of the Institute's permanent staff (1965-72) was. Warburg also made other important studies of the role of Arab astronomy. Galenus -. in collaboration with Richard Walzer of Oxford.Compendium Legum Platonis. but Fritz Saxl. He has published in the Institute' s Journal: ''A twelfth- century defence of the fourth figure of the syllogism' (1965). and his article on 'The Indian Iconography of the Decans and Horas' in the Institute's Journal (1963) carried on this interest. could. his intellectual heir. astro1ogy and star-images in Europe. and his surveys of astrological and mythological illuminated manuscripts made use of much Arabic material. More recently. Be also directed a nurober of doctoral theses: Kamal Hamid Shaddad: 'Ibn Taymiyya's critique of ~xistotelian logic' Nabil Y. Saxl carried on Warburg's studies of Arabic star-imagery and its part in medieva1 c!vilization.his demonstration as a whole was brilliant. edited by Francesco Gabrieli (1952). edited by Franz Rosenthai and Richard Walzer (1943) Vol.the Latin and Arabic translations of the Dialogues of Plato by which those dialogues reached a later age. to work on Arabic optics and geometry. 'Thäbit Ibn Qurra on Euclid's parellels postulate' (1969).Compendium Timaei the Corpus Platonicum Medii Aevi-. He pub1ished a paper on the Zodiac at Qu~ayr 'Amra. An important initiative.shar. undertaken under the general editorship of Raymond Klibansky and published by the Warburg Institute. Warburg bimself could not read Arabic. A.De Platonis Philosophia. published in the Studien der Bibliothek Warburg (1936) . I. Wilhelm Gundel's Dekane und Dekanstornbilder. for some years. The following volumes of the Arabic series have been published: Vol. however.III: Alfarabius -. II. Another study arising out of this interest was R. also published by the Warburg Institute (1968). David Pingree's The Thousands of AbÜ Ma. Sabra conducted a seminar on Islamic philosophy and religion at the Institute. Alfarabius -.I. now of Harvard. 1928-9. 'Simplicius's proof of Euclid's parallels postulate' (19€8). Sabra had previously held the Institute's Senior Research Fellowship. especially in his identification of the figures of the decans. edited by Paul Kraus and Richard Walzer (1951) Vol. Furthermore.Hartmann's account of M~ammad's heavenly journey and its meaning for Islam in the Vortrßge der Bibliothek Warburg.Shehaby: 'The propositional logic of Avicenna' (Saxl Fund Research Fellow at the Institute.Sabra.

on Arabic and Latin astrological texts. now Lecturer in Islamic Philosophy at Oxford. as well as in Islamic art. Her recent book Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (with Michael Cook.ancient. of the Optics of Ibn al-Haytham will be published by the Institute. The present Senior Research Fellow. he has published notes on AbÜ Matshar and Picatrix in the Journal. Special emphasis is placed on interchange between civilizations -.Phil dissertation on 'The Arabic and Persian studies of Giovan Battista Raimondi (c. Together they are editing the excerpts. Professor Sabra's English translation. A colloquium held at the Institute in 1980 on the pseudo- Aristotelian Secret of Secrets drew contributions on the Arabic Kitäb as-Sirr from ~~oud Manzalaoui and Mario Grignaschi as well as on the Latin. Two books to have been written largely on the Institute'sresources in art-history are Hugo Buchthal's and the late Otto Kurz's Hand List of Illurninated Oriental Christian Manuscripts (1942) and Professor Kurz's European Clocks and Watches in the Near East (1975) . This. Eastern and Western. was Senior Research Fellow of the Institute. a translation by Hugo of Santalla of an Arabic work incorporating much of 'Andarzaghar'. works chiefly on the eleventh. in Arabic.-Th. He has in the press an edition.F. Later. with Professor Pingree. and he is now working. especially during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. as they still are. of a lost Persian astrological work attributed to Andarzaghar. 1536-1614). Dr c.with translation. held the same appointment. modern. will be published by the Institute. Most recently. Russian and Hebrew versions. Hebrew and Arabic active in Northern Spain. 1980) was partly the result of this. His recent Muhammad ibn Muhammaa al-Firibi [Commentarium in Aristoteiem] (1981) is the fruit of work done during the tenure of the Fellowship.Zimmermann.and twelfth-century translators from and into Latin. English.s. From 1971 to 1974 Dr Friedrich W. He is also preparing for publication by the Institute a survey of the medieval Latin translations of al-Kindi (on the lines of M. by the holdings of a Library and Photographie Collection which is strengest on the oriental side in the history of Islamic philosophy and science. particularly medicine and astrology- astronomy. Abdalla Bassan Zaroug: 'The concept of possibility in some Arabic commentaries on Aristotle's De interpretatione'. Robert Jones has completed an M.of Hermann of Carinthia's De essentiis. with commentary.Burnett. now Lecturer in Islamic History at Oxford. and the Latin Liber Aristotelis de 255 Indorum voluminibus summam continens. French. d'Alverny's Avicenna Latinus). too. Patricia Crone. many of the books coming 128 . The foregoing studies have been supported. There is also good documentation of the European image of and contact with the Turks.

October. 1981. especially those published in Germany. 129 .from the library of the late Paul Wittek. The Library also possesses a large number of books relating to Arabic studies. which arenot easily available elsewhere in this country.