Professor Lidia Bettini, Università di Firenze, alumna PISAI, has published : Il libro dei cammelli errabondi e di quelli che li radunano. Abū Ḥayyān al-Tawḥīdī, Abū ʿAlī Miskawayh, ed. & translated by Lidia Bettini, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari 2017.
This book presents the first unabridged translation of Kitāb al-hawāmil wa-al-šawāmil – a work containing 175 questions asked by Abū Ḥayyān al-Tawḥīdī and the related answers given by Abū ʿAlī Miskawayh – into a European language. It was composed at the end of the tenth century.
The questions – which broach philological, literary, ethical, philosophical and scientific themes, together with those related to custom – possess the eclectic nature and literary style of the adab, whereas the answers lie within the technical domain of the falsafa, in its double dimension of ethics and logics. The dialogue takes place between peers: then, given the relative brevity of the answers and the wide variety of the themes, the peculiar nature of the work is the network of intertextual relations and references, which are quite often only allusive, to the heritage that was common to the intellectuals of the time, i.e. Artistotle’s, Plotinus’, Galen’s or Plato’s revised thought, in a milieu in which cultivating medicine, mathematics, astronomy, music, and perhaps even alchemy, together – and, above all these sciences, philosophy – was normal. The considerable apparatus of footnotes tries, as much as possible, to provide the references, which were made anonymously or summarily by the two authors.