Arzobispo Raimundo de Toledo Escuela de Traductores [1130-1187]


The three greatest translators whose activities are supported by Raimundo:

Iohannes Avendehut Hispanus. Hispanic Jew, translator and compiler-author (also called Iohannes Hyspalensis, Johannes Hispanicus, Johannes Toletanus, Avendeuth, Juan Hispano, etc.). It's not totally certain that Juan Hispano (Ibn Dawud) and Juan Hispalense are one and the same; several critics have insisted they are not. With Mose Sefardí (Petrus Alphonsus), and Rabi bar Hiyya of Barcelona, Juan Hispano is one of the three Hispanic Jews who salvage much of the Arabic scientific learning that was in danger of disappearing with the fall of the Taifa Kingdoms. One of the most important translators, his fields include astrology, philosophy, mathematics and medicine. In astrology he translates Masallah, al-Fargani, Aby `Ali al Haiyal, Abu Ma 1shar, al-Kindi, 'Umar ibn al-Farruhan, Ahmad ibn Yusuf ibn al-Daya, al-Battani, Tabit ibn Qurra, al-Qabisi, etc. In philosophy he gives Latin translations of Pseudoaristotle, Ibn Sina (Avicena), Qusta ben Luqa, Al-Farabi, Ibn Gabirol (Avicebron), al-Gazali, etc. As author his works have the virtue of being intelligent syntheses, combined with his own observations and interpretations (the latter, particularly in astrology). He collaborates closely in Toledo with Domingo Gundisalvo from 1130-1150, although he continues to translate up until his death in 1180.

Dominicus Gundissalinus (Domingo Gundisalvo, Archdeacon of Cuéllar). With Juan Hispano and their patron, the Archbishop, he is one of the founders of the Toledan School. His activity extends from 1130 to 1180. Unlike his friend, he limits he focusses exclusively on philosophy, translating Greek and Arabic works and the commentaries of the earlier Moslem thinkers in the peninsula. Less faithful to the original texts, he frequently eliminated passages and added his own commentary. Gundisalvo depended on Juan Hispano for the translations from Arabic until late in his career when he controlled Arabic sufficiently to translate for himself (ex. Avicenas Metaphysics (Al-sifa). As an author he, but not his Jewish co-worker, avoided neoplatonism and even attacked it.

Gherardus Cremonensis According to his disciples, he came to Toledo en 1167 in search of Ptolemy's Almagest. He didn't know Arabic when he arrived and until 1175 when he finished the translation of the Almagest, he relied on Jews and Mozarabs for both translation and teaching. Prolific translator: seventy one translations (listed by disciples in an appendix to his Tegni translation) of astronomical works (Greek and Arabic), physics, astrology, alchemy, medicine, logic and philosophy. See list of translations.

Other translators:

Alfred of Sareshel. (Alvred Alphitus, Walfred, Sarawel, Sarchel, Alphredus Philosophus, Alphredus Anglicus, etc.) English translator and philosopher who resided in Spain towards the end of the XIIth cen. Translated De plantis (Pseudo-Aristotle) and part of Ibn Sina's Sifa (the part on alchemy: Avicennae Mineralia).

Plato Tiburtinus. (Plato of Tivoli). Italian mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. Resided in Barcelona where he translated from Arabic and Hebrew into Latin, though his knowledge of these languages probably wasn't great. He was assisted by Abraham bar Hiyya (or Chijja). Translated either from 1116-1138 or 1134-45. Interested in Astrology. Contemporary of Juan Hispano. Both translated independently the De Nativitatibus.

Rudolf of Bruges. Flemish astronomer and translator (Arabic to Latin), second quarter of the XIIth century. Uncertain whether he did his work in Toledo or elsewhere, but possibly, as one of his translations on Maslama Ibn Ahmad al-Magriti's astrolabe is dedicated to his friend Juan de Sevilla.

Robert of Chester (of Ketton). Worked in northern Spain, on astrological treatises. Translated a treatise on alchemy in 1144, the Koran in 1143 and on al-Huwarizmi's Algegra in 1145. Resided in Spain (Archdeacon of Pamplona in 1143) from around 1140 to 1147.

Although the translating activity in Toledo is less brilliant and less intensive in the decades following Archbishop Raimundo's death, it continues on into the next century, overlapping with Alfonso's School of Translators. At least one translator is known to have worked in both schools. The three most important figures from this transitional period are Michael Scot, Marcos de Toledo and Hernán Alemán (Hermann the German, Herman. The transitional period also witnesses the first translations from Arabic into the vernacular.

Michael Scot. Only certain date: 1217. In Toledo he translated Aristotle's work on homocentric spheres, De verificatione motuum coelestium, later used by Roger Bacon. Aristotle's Historia animalium, 19 books, dated Oct 21, 1220, but believed to have been don in Toledo with the help of a translator. His is the first Latin translation of this work (used by Alberto Magno and others until the XIVth cent. De Coelo et Mundo (Aristotle) with Averroes' commentary. He is probably the translator of Aristotle's De Anima with Averroes' commentaries. The ms. is followed by other Aristotelian works, De generatione et corrputione, Meteora parva naturalia, De substantia orbis and others of determined authorship. A (fragmentary) treatise on Divitione Philosophiae, based on al-Farabi, earlier adapted by Gundisalvo. The strongly averroist Quaestiones Nicolai Peripatetici was attributed to him by Alberto Magno.

Marcos de Toledo. Spanish physician and Canon of Toledo, translator (into Latin) around 1191-1234. The Koran (al-Qur'an), dated 11209. Hippocrates' De aere aquis locis. Hunayn Ibn Ishaq's versions of four of Galen's treatises: De tactu pulsus, De utilitate pulsus, Se motu membrorum, De motibus liquidis. Hunayn Ibn Ishaq's Isagoge ad Tegni Galieni, a series of Moslem religious treatises, dated 1213 and a greek treatise on biology.

Hernán Alemán (of Carinthia, Hermannus Teutonicus or Germanicus). Worked in Toledo between 1240-1256. In the service of Manfred (Naples) from 1258-66, returned to Spain where he became a naturalized citizen of the kingdom of Castile. Bishop of Astorga 1266-72. Translated from Arabic to Latin with help of muderar translators. Did a Spanish translation of the Psalterio from the Hebrew text. And translated Aristotle's Aethica Nichomachea, 1240. Finished Averroes' Commentario Medio y Poetica to Aristotle's Rhetorica in 1256.

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