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Document Details :
Title: Influences directes et indirectes de l'Encyclopédie des Ikhwān al-Ṣafā' dans l'Occident chrétien
Author(s): CORDONNIER, Rémy
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 125 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2012
The discovery and subsequent research on the relatively faithful Latin translation of three of the fifty-two epistles of the Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’ epistolary encyclopedia have raised the issue of the influence of this major opus of late medieval Islamic lore in the Latin West. But, if this difficult question has often been asked, few answers have been put forward. A number of clues seem to argue for minimizing the direct impact of this work in favor of an indirect influence, second, third or even fourth hand. The present article therefore intends to examine the question in more detail. In a first instance, we will consider the three Latin 'translations' currently known and assess the evidence for the presence of Rasā’il Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’ in Zaragoza in the twelfth century. We will then discuss the modalities of transmission of such a scientific, philosophical and religious compilation, the use of which implies a specific mode of consultation as well as a particular readership. Finally, we will identify future research paths likely to shed more light on the subject.