throughout his dominions, and had those forgotten ages which preceded restored to splendour many academies the rise of the scholastic philosophy, which had fallen into decay; he en- nothing could be more deplorable couraged the resort of the most cele than the thick darkness which overbrated scholars to his court, and that spread the face of Europe." But phithese learned men might derive their losophy and literature, in their exile philosophical opinions from the purest from the west, found a retreat at the sources, he now determined to pro- Mahomedan courts of Bagelat and Corcure correct and genuine translations dova. To Arabia and to Spain, where of Aristotle, the father of philoso- the precious sparks of science were phy.

still preserved, was Frederic, the great The great difficulty was to find literary patron of the thirteenth scholars who were ready and able to century, obliged to turn his eyes, become labourers in this great under- when he thought of reviving the taking For its accomplishment, to sehool of Aristotle, and it will be neuse an expressive legal phrase, there cessary for a few moments to consider was no copia peritorum. The only the condition of the scientific world man in Europe who had alrearly trans- of Arahia, that we may be able to dislated a part of Aristotle was Afichael cover the extent of the obligation Scott, and we need not wonder that which is due by Europe to the scheme

soon find him at the imperial of the Emperor, and to the efforts of court, promoted to the office of As- Michael Scott. trologer to Frederic, and occupying We know that the arms of the Arathe first place amongst the scholars bian Califs had triumphed over the to whom he entrusted his new de- liberties of Greece, in the beginning sign.

of the seventh century, when as yet One great difficulty presented itself, unvisited by any love of literature or a difficulty which, as far as accuracy passion for philosophy, the Comis to be regarded as the first requisite manders of the Faithful permitted in a translation, ought to have ap to their followers only two subjects peared insuperable. A Greek author of study,--the sword and the Kowas to be translated, and the translators ran. At this period the fate of were ignorant of the Greek language, letters and philosophy was truly which was then almost wholly extinct disastrous. They had been banished in the west of Europe. Recourse was, with violence from their ancient and therefore, to be had to the Arabic ver- chartered seats amongst the Chrissions of Aristotle, which hail been tians, and they were expelled by remade by the Mahometan philosophers ligion and by state policy from the of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, dominions of the Califs. Even the and from these was to be completed, use of the Greek language was abounder the eye of the Emperor, this lished by a royal decree of Walid, the new Latin translation, intended to predecessor of Almansor, † and from enlighten and improve the philosophic the period of the seventh century till world of the thirteenth century. the days of Alraschid, no book writ

A singular history might be writ- ten in Greek was to be found throughten, (and how large a portion in the out the wide extent of the Arabian moral history of our species would it empire. But the very measure which embrace !) of the fate and fortunes had been intended to extinguish beof the philosophy of the Stagirite, of came the cause of the revival of the the many barbarous doctrines it has Grecian philosophy. inculcated, and more barbarous lan In consequence of this public proguages in which it has spoken through scription of their original language, the long period of the middle ages, the works of a few Greek authors were till we arrive at the brilliant æra of translated into Syriac or Arabic, and afits revival in the Peripatetic school of ter this moral eclipse which overspread Italy. The attempt of Frederic forms the world of science and philosophy a middle and prominent æra in the during the seventh and eight centuannals of the Aristotelian philosophy, ries, a more auspicious dawning beand, indeed, in the history of human gan to be perceived upon the accesknowledge. From the seventh to the twelfth century, letters were in the • Brucker, Vol. III. p. 700. lowest state of decline, and during f Brucker, Vol. III. p. 22. .

sion of the house of the Abassides. the various arts and sciences. EmisAlmansor, the second Calif of this 'saries were then dispatched to Syria, race, was himself a theologian and an Armenia, and Egypt, negotiations astronomer; high rewards were pro- were opened with the princes in whose mised by him to those learned inen dominions the envied volumes were * who should translate into Arabic the to be found, the treasures of the Calif writings of the Greeks upon philoso- were willingly expended in the purphy, astronomy, or the mathematics, chase of immense bales of science and and old Homer, dlestined ever to be the philosophy, and the camels of the delast forgotten in the wreck and the first sert groaned in their way to Bagdat to be remembered in the revival of let- beneath the unwonted weight of Aristers, again raised his head and sung the totle, Galen, and Hippocrates. story of Troy in a Syrian translation. + It is a remarkable circumstance, that The Arabian philosophers appear to it was amongst the Christian Arabs,* have been still too ignorant of the of whom a body composed of converts Greek tongue to accomplish the wishes from the different tribes had separated of the Calif, hut his Christian sub- themselves from the followers of the jects of Syria were familiar with this prophet, and seized some strong fornoble language, and they immediately tresses near Hiram, that there now began to translate the Greek writers, arose the two greatest revivers of · not into the Arabic, but into the Sy- Greek literature, John Mesue of riac. These efforts of Almansor were Damascus, and Honainus ben Isaac. ardently seconded by his successor, Mesue, who was physician to the the well known Haroi:n Alraschid, Emperor, was commanded to superwhose munificent patronage was espe- intend and direct the labours of that cially extended to poetry, and who, association of learned inen, to whom in the words of an Arabic historian, I the translation of the Greek authors • Dever walked abroad without a hun was committed ;t but it is to Honain dred wise men in his train. But the ben Isaac, whose knowledge of the ardour and universality of Arabian lar.zuage, and acquaintance with the genius, and all the enthusiastic gene- philosophy of Greece, is universally rosity of Arabian patronage, were not allowed to have been profound, that seen in their full glory till the Cali- Arabia then acknowledged, and Eufate of Alm non, son of Alraschid, rope still owes, the decpest obligations. and the Augustus of the East. On Honainus was a Christian Arab phythe accession of this prince, a few sician, a poet and an orator, He deGreek authors had been already trans- livered prelections upon the Greek lated into the Syriac, the vernacular language, composed poems both in language of his capital of Bagdat, but Greek and in Arabic, and was a most these were little studied by the Ara- voluminous writer on medical subbians, and the Calif having called a jects. But encouraged by the ardour solemn assembly of the wisest doctors and munificence of Almainon, he soon in his dominions, commanded them devoted himself wholly to translation; to recite the names of the most cele- under his instructions a band of emibrated Greek, Persian, Chaldean, and nent disciples arose, who emulated Egyptian writers on philosophy and the example of their master, and from

this school issued those translations Brucker, Vol. III. p. 20.

of the Greek philosophers and mathe+ Theophilus quidam Christiarius A. maticians, which have assisted the larabs, ex secta Maronitica homo elegantiori bours, and called forth the admiration, literatura imbutus, duos Homeri libros de of our most eminent modern scholars. excidio urbis llii e lingua Græca in Syria- To Honainus, therefore, with peculiar

Abulfaraius Dynast. IX. propriety, was committed the task of p. 118, quoted in Brucker, Vol. IIl. p. 23. See also on the subject of these Syriac versions of the Greek writers, Renaudot * Brucker, Vol. III. p. 28. de version. Arab. Fabricii Bib. Græca, † Brucker, Vol. III. p. 35. Such moTom. I. p. 814. Also Fabricii Bibliotheca dern Oriental scholars as Casiri and ReGræca, Tom. XII. p. 246.

pandot have been forward to acknowledge $ Elmacin, Hist. Saracenica, B. ii. c. 6. the deep acquaintance of Honainus with

the Greek literature, Fabricii Biblioth. § Casiri, Vol. I. p. 239. Brucker, Vol. Græca, Lib. Il. c. id. p. 861. Casiri, Vol. lll. p. 34.

I. p. 240.

cain verterat.

P. 120.

inaking the first Arabic translation of Arabian copies he kept with superAristotle, and if we are to believe an stitious care. These early and geneEastern biographer, we are indebted rous efforts of philosophy, which befor this great undertaking to an ex- gan in the eighth and ninth centuries traordinary nocturnal vision,' in under Almansor, Alrashid, and Alwhich the Stagirite himself appeared mamon, were seconded by the patronunder the form of a venerable old age, and often by the example, of a man, and revealed his great and for- long line of Mussulman Princes, and gotten name to the Commander of the the schools of Bagdat, Cufa, and BasFaithful. This version of the father sora, continued to flourish, and science of the Peripatetic school, by the un- and literature to distinguish themwearied diligence of Honainus, and selves amongst the Arabians by many the co-operation of many learned men splendid exertions, till the seminaries who assisted him, was soon brought of learning were swept from their to a conclusion, t an event which, in foundations, and the Eastern muses its effects upon the future history of driven into hopeless banishment, by philosophy, was deeply felt, and the invasion of Tamerlane in the fourwhich, when we regard it with all its teenth century.t train of fatal and of favourable conse When the Arabians were making quences, it is difficult to say whether this remarkable progress in the East, we ought to condole with, or to con- the rest of Europe was comparatively gratulate mankind. To Honainus we dark and ignorant, but that revolualso owe a translation of the works of tion which gave to the empire of AraPlato, Galen, and Hippocrates. $ The bia a Sultan of the house of the Am example of the Calif himself, who was bassades, produced soon in a very passionately addicted to the study of distant quarter the inost important et the Aristotelian philosophy, and also fects, and from the collisions of civil deeply versed in the science of mathe- faction a spark was struck which rematics and astrononıy, had a very ge- kindled the fame of science and phi. neral effect upon the character of his losophy in the West. subjects, and of his successors;"! Abdalrahman, a prince of the house sa rich and flourishing harvest of sci- of the Ommiades, having, in the wreck ence and erudition, to use the words of his family, escaped to Spain, disof the great historian, of philosophy, played the standard of rebellion, and, was seen waving in every corner of by his bravery and his talents, at the Saracen dominion," and no mosque length succeeded in establishing in was founded, no temple dedicated to that country an independent domithe Prophet, which could not boast of nion. The Califate of Cordova beits accompanying school, where the came, under the two successors of Abprinciples of science and philosophy dulrahman, in power and in magnifiwere promulgated to crowds of wila cence, a rival of that of Bagdat, and ling and enthusiastic disciples. But those causes which had already creatAlmanion, although almost in eve- ed so ardent a passion for learning in ry respect a liberal and enlightened the doininions of the parent state, apPrince, was, in one great feature of peared to have produced a similar and his character, an Arab at heart. He almost simultaneous effect within the early cherished an idea of the exclu- distant territories of the revolted prosive superiority of his own language vince. In the cultivation of the va to every other in the world, and it is rious branches of human knowledge, deeply to be regretted that he was led in the foundation of schools, the enby this foolish prejudice to destroy, dowment of colleges, and the munifie as soon as they were translated, the cent patronage of letters, and in afinvaluable Greek originals of those fording, by iheir own example, the very works, whose shadows in their highest encouragement to the poet,

the historian, and the philosopher, the

Califs of Spain were nowise inferior • Abi Oshaia, quoted in Brucker, Vol. to their brethren of Bagdat. It was III. p. 35. + Casiri, Vol. I. p. 304.

* See an Arabian writer, Genzi, quoted Casiri, Vol. I. pages 302, 238, 234. in Brucker, Vol. III. p. 38. Š Brucker, Hist. Phil. p. 38. Vol. Ill. + Brucker, Vol. 111. p. 42,

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here, that, during the thirteenth cen- termined, through the medium of tury, arose the celebrated Averroes, an these Arabic translations, to restore author, who, although ignorant of the the works of the Stagirite to the learn Greek language, had become so paso ed world of Europe. sionately fond of the philosophy of In obedience to the injunctions of Aristotle, as it appeared in the Ara- the Emperor, Michael Scott combic translations, that he devoted his menced his labours, nor did he conlife to the task of writing a commen- clude them till he had translated and tary upon his favourite philosopher,t commented on the greater part of the endeavoured with unwearied diligence works of the philosopher. He had to entwine his principles into the sys- already completed at Toledo a trans tem of Mahomedan jurisprudence and lation of Aristotle's History of Anitheology, and succeeded in making mals. The manner in which this the name and sect of the Averroists work commences is solemn and singufor some time almost as famous in Eu- lar. “In the name,” says he,“ of our rope as that of his great master. I Lord Jesus Christ, the omnipotent,

We have seen the enlightened state the compassionate, and the Holy God, of Arabia and Spain, while the rest of here begins that dissertation which the world was involved in compara- Aristotle composed upon the knowtive darkness and ignorance. One ledge of the natures of animals, both only thing seemed wanting. This of the land and the sea, translated by was some mode by which the more Master Michael Scott at Toledo." He distant and benighted regions of Eu- has prefixed to the work some leonine rope should profit by the dispersion verses, explaining, in barbarous Latiof these works, whose originals had nity, the order and arrangement of the been destroyed, or still lay buried in subject. Michael seems to have been the East, and for this purpose a set of an enthusiast in Natural History, for men sooni appeared, whose habits and we find, that, in addition to his laprofession peculiarly fitted them to bours upon the brute creation, he transport the scientific and literary wrote an abridgment of Avicenna's stores of the East into the west of Commentaries on Aristotle's History Europe. These were the Jews, a na- of Animals. f His work is preserved tion devoted by heaven to a life of in MS. at Oxford, and was printed wandering, acute and learned in the nearly two centuries after at Venice. languages of both hemispheres, and it was addressed personally to Fredefrom their general profession as phy- ric the Great, in language very difsicians, acceptable guests in most ferent from the common strain of acountries which they visited. They dulation employed by authors towards brought from Spain not only the princes. With them the royal name works of the Arabians who had settled is adopted as conferring a borrowed in that kingdom, but of the remoter lustre upon the work: with Michael, philosophers and literati of Bagdat, $ it is the book which is to shed a glory and not contented with being the upon the Emperor, " to become an mere carriers and retailers of philoso- honour to his headl, and a chain to his phy, they availed themselves of their neck,"gratia capiti tuo et torques knowledge of the Arabic, and pub- collo tuo." A man who writes in lished translations of some of the best Grecian authors from the Arabic text * See Anton. Wood, Hist. Oxon. p. 287. into the Hebrew. ||

Abdita naturæ quæ sunt mihi cognita jure Such was the state of Arabian liter. Hic liber ostendit-ubi sic parratio tendit ature in the twelfth and thirteenth Primo narrando, sed causas postea dando centuries, such the fate and fortunes Post partes pecorum distinguo membra of the Aristotelian philosophy amougst This work is preserved in MS. at Oxford,

virorum. the followers of the prophet at the and was printed nearly two centuries after time when Frederic the Second de

at Venice. Tanner Bibliotheca, p. 526.

MS. Oxon. in Coll. Omn. An. G. i. 9. * Brụcker, Vol. III. p. 105.

+ The MS. History of Animals, under + (asiri, Vol. I. p. 184.

the title of “ Aristoteles de Animalibus, Brucker, Vol. III. p. 97.

Libri xix. a Magistro Michaele Scoto apud & Henry's Hist. of Britain, Vol. VI. Tholetum translati,” is preserved. Oxon.

Coll. Mert. Q. i. 10. | Casiri, Vol. I. p. 181.

† Antony Wood, p. 287. The title of

P. 168.


sosingular and confidentamanner could not long with men ere the passions hardly have been in a dependent si- and the feelings of man return to that tuation. He must have enjoyed the bosom whence they had been entirely confidence and friendship of the Eme banished. He does not long remain peror. In addition to these transla- content with being merely a spec tions, the Magician wrote, at the re tator of the actions of others; he quest of his royal master, a book en- cannot stand unconcerned and see the titled “Liber Introductorius, sive Ju- beings to whose species he belongs, dicia Quæstionum," composed, as wandering around in endless maze, Antony Wood informs us, purposely some to undo, and some to be unfor fresh scholars, and such that were done.” On one side he perceives a raw in judgment. + It is a large vo- multitude eagerly striving to catch lume, and embraces the whole science what appear to them balls of gold, of astronomy and the sister art of as- but which he knows to be painted trology. His other works are very vo- bubbles that will burst in their grasp. luminous. They consist of commen- On another he beholds a vast assem taries upon the ten books of the Eth. blage employed in penetrating into ics, and nearly the whole of the phy- bowels of the earth, in search of the sics of Aristotle, in which he proba- hidden treasures of the mine ; they bly followed the Arabic version of see only the shining vein, which gives Averroes, who had commented upon promise of abundant wealth ; but he and translated the treatises on the sees the opening fissure in the rock same subject.

above them growing wider and wider (To be continued.)

still, and all the mighty mass about to be precipitated on their devoted headls. "Here he perceives a man toiling up a steep and hazardous path in

order to reach an eminence where a No. IV.

tempting prize is placed ; keeping his

eye steadily fixed on the object of his When

ven the peaceable anchoret leaves desire, the anxious pilgrim looks neihis secluded abocle, and ventures to ther to the right hand nor the left ; go forth into the busy haunts of men, he sees not him, who, having ascendhe proceeds at first with a slow and ed the rock by an easier way, is about cautious step, he avoids the crowd, to snatch away that good for which and pursues his noiseless way, un- he has exhausted all the energies of checked and unheeded. But he herds life. There he beholds some deluded

mortals following a wavering and unthe first book runneth thus : “ Incipit li- certain light, which having led them ber de Animalibus, Aristotelis, translatus to wander through difficult and thorny ab Arabico in Latinum per Magistrum paths, is at length conducting them Michaelem Scotum. Frederice Domine to the brink of a precipice. Can he Mundi Imperator suscipe devote hunc li: who thus contemplates at one glance brum Michaelis Scoti, iit sit gratia capiti actions and their consequences, con tuo et torques collo tuo." Antony commits an error in confounding Michael Scott

tinue to gaze, with a calm and stoical with Michael Ephesius, who also wrote a

regard, on these melancholy displays commentary on three of the books of Aris- of human ignorance? Can he remain totle, “ De Partibus Animalium,” pub- satisfied with enjoying his own exlished at Florence in 1548. These two emption from these evils ? No; urgphilosophers were quite different persons. ed by the desire of saying his fellow See Brucker, Vol. III. p. 543. An edi. men, he rushes amongst the crowd, tion of this was published at Venice, anno he warns, he exhorts, he entreats. 1493. Casiri, Vol. I. in his catalogue of Some of the astonished multitude Avicenna's works, mentions“ Liber de

gaze on him in stupid wonder ; while Animalibus." The “ Liber Introductorius" is pre- “ Hie thee hence, old madman, and

others, rudely assaulting hin, cry, served in MS. in Bib. Bod. inter Cod. Ju disturb us not with thy senseless babris, NE. Tom. X. 3. scriptus hortatu Imperatoris Frederici tembling." Repulsed in one quarter, he pore Papæ Innocentii IV. et continet to- endeavours to make himself heard in tam astronomiæ et astrologiæ scientiam." another ; but in vain : to the votaries Tanner Biblioth. p. 526.

of pleasure, of wealth, of ambition, * Hist. Oxon. p. 287.

and of science, he is alike unwelcome;

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