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Theodorus of Asine in the Arabo-Latin tradition

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  • Goya
    Friends, A question directed primarily at the Arabists among us, but anyone is, of course, welcome to comment. Albert the Great often mentions the views of a
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 24, 2008
      Friends,

      A question directed primarily at the Arabists among us, but anyone is, of
      course, welcome to comment.

      Albert the Great often mentions the views of a certain Theodorus, whom
      Anzulewicz identifies, without hesitation, as Theodorus of Asine, the
      student of Porphyry. He is mentioned in the De homine along with Avicenna
      as postulating the necessity of a *dator formarum*, and cf. ep. the De
      animalibus, 16, 1, 4 : speaking of the doctrine that the semen possesses
      an act called soul (anima) "Haec autem verba sumpsit Avicenna ab eo
      philosopho quem Theodorum Arabes et Graeci vocant".

      Any ideas as to how Albert and/or Avicenna may have known about Theodorus?
      It is true that Nemesius, whom Albert could read in a Latin translation,
      makes one reference to Theodorus' treatise "That the soul is all forms",
      but this seems insuffcient. Anzulewicz (Die platonische Tradition bei
      Albertus Magnus, in The Platonic tradition in the middle ages : a
      doxographic approach, Berlin : De Gruyter, 2002), claims that "medical
      works of Galen and the Arabs" will have been the sources, but it can
      hardly have been Galen, who died at least a century before Theodorus'
      activity.

      With many thanks in advance, Mike.





      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76
      Paris-Villejuif
      France
    • Tzvi Langermann
      Late antique sources, including post-Galenic developments, did enter into the medical and philosophical literatures through a number of channels, especially
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 25, 2008
        Late antique sources, including post-Galenic developments, did enter into
        the medical and philosophical literatures through a number of channels,
        especially the so-called "Alexandrian summaries" of the 16 or so books
        forming what I call the "core curriculum" for medical students. I have
        something on this in the Astromedicine volume, edited by Charles Burnett et
        al., due out anytime now, I suppose.
        However, I have no information on Theodorus. The formative function of sperm
        was widely discussed, mainly in the context of the debate between Aristotle
        and Galen concerning the role of the female "sperm". I looked at Avicenna's
        discussion in his Qanun and found nothing about Theodorus; but Avicenna
        refers to an extensive discussion elsewhere, which I cannot track down at
        present. I hope to be able to look into this some more.


        Y. Tzvi Langermann
        Department of Arabic
        Bar Ilan University
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Goya" <goya@...>
        To: <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 7:30 PM
        Subject: [neoplatonism] Theodorus of Asine in the Arabo-Latin tradition


        >
        > Friends,
        >
        > A question directed primarily at the Arabists among us, but anyone is, of
        > course, welcome to comment.
        >
        > Albert the Great often mentions the views of a certain Theodorus, whom
        > Anzulewicz identifies, without hesitation, as Theodorus of Asine, the
        > student of Porphyry. He is mentioned in the De homine along with Avicenna
        > as postulating the necessity of a *dator formarum*, and cf. ep. the De
        > animalibus, 16, 1, 4 : speaking of the doctrine that the semen possesses
        > an act called soul (anima) "Haec autem verba sumpsit Avicenna ab eo
        > philosopho quem Theodorum Arabes et Graeci vocant".
        >
        > Any ideas as to how Albert and/or Avicenna may have known about Theodorus?
        > It is true that Nemesius, whom Albert could read in a Latin translation,
        > makes one reference to Theodorus' treatise "That the soul is all forms",
        > but this seems insuffcient. Anzulewicz (Die platonische Tradition bei
        > Albertus Magnus, in The Platonic tradition in the middle ages : a
        > doxographic approach, Berlin : De Gruyter, 2002), claims that "medical
        > works of Galen and the Arabs" will have been the sources, but it can
        > hardly have been Galen, who died at least a century before Theodorus'
        > activity.
        >
        > With many thanks in advance, Mike.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Michael Chase
        > CNRS UPR 76
        > Paris-Villejuif
        > France
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
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