On Magic: An Arabic critical edition and English translation of Epistle 52, Part 1

Hardcover | December 24, 2011

EditorGodefroid de Callatay, Bruno Halflants

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The Ikhwan al-Safa (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'ilIkhwan al-Safa (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology,metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables. The Rasa'il constitutes a paradigmatic legacy in the canonization of philosophy and the sciences in mediaeval Islamic civilization, as well as having shown a permeating influence in Western culture.This is the fifth volume in a series presenting the very first critical edition of the Rasa'il in its original Arabic, complete with the first fully annotated English translation. Epistle 52: On Magic is the last in the corpus, and presents the short version of the 'Epistle on Magic, Incantations,and the Evil Eye'. Within its pages the authors of the epistle argue for the legitimacy of magic and the other occult sciences, and seek confirmation of their views in authorities as diverse as Plato, the Qur'an, the Torah, the astrologer Abu Ma'shar, and the mysterious sect of paganstar-worshippers known as the Sabians of Harran. As in all other volumes of the series, this volume provides the first critical edition of the Arabic text, together with an English translation and a substantial range of notes. An extensive introduction highlights the unique relevance of thistreatise within the framework of the Brethren's encyclopaedia itself, and to the history of science in general.

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The Ikhwan al-Safa (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'ilIkhwan al-Safa (Epistles of the Brethren of ...

Godefroid de Callatay is Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the University of Louvain, Belgium. He has specialised in the history of Arabic sciences and philosophy and is the author of numerous articles and books on the Brethren of Purity, including his French translations of Epistles 7, 28,...

other books by Godefroid de Callatay

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:December 24, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199638950

ISBN - 13:9780199638956

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Nader El-Bizri (General Editor)IntroductionTechnical IntroductionEpistle 52, Part 1: The Quiddity of MagicAppendicesBibliographyIndexRisala 52, Part 1 (Arabic Text and Variants)