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Title: Traces of a Vernacular Language in the Latin Translation of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed
Author(s): DI SEGNI, Diana
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 83    Issue: 1   Date: 2016   
Pages: 21-48
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.83.1.3154583

Abstract :
During the second half of the thirteenth century, a Latin translation of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed started to circulate under the title Dux neutrorum. In this paper, some evidence resulting from an inquiry into the Dux neutrorum’s manuscript tradition is presented. A careful examination of the testimonies highlighted the occurrence of some non-Latin linguistic elements. These seem to be the remnants of a vernacular language, which erroneously entered into the final version of the Latin text. These linguistic elements shed light on the method followed by the Latin translator, fitting the Dux neutrorum into the well-known tradition of translating a quattro mani. Moreover, forasmuch as this translation method presupposes a specific context of interreligious exchange and collaboration, the new data presented in this paper give some hints on the historical and cultural background in which our translation was composed. Finally, the analysis of the linguistic elements’ morphology produces some evidence concerning the geographical origin of the text.

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