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The "Commentary" That Saved the Text. The Hazardous Journey of Ibn al-Haytham's Arabic "Optics"

A. I. Sabra
Early Science and Medicine
Vol. 12, No. 2 (2007), pp. 117-133
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20617660
Page Count: 17
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The "Commentary" That Saved the Text. The Hazardous Journey of Ibn al-Haytham's Arabic "Optics"
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Abstract

The "Text" and the "Commentary" mentioned in the title of this essay are, respectively, the "Kitāb al-Manāẓir", or "Optics", of al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham, composed in the first half of the fifth/eleventh century, and the "Tanqīḥ al-Manāẓir li-dhawī l-abṣār wa l-baṣā'ir", written by Abū l-Ḥasan (or al-Ḥasan) Kamāl al-Dīn al-Fārisī in the second half of the seventh/thirteenth century. It is known that, so far, only the first five of the seven "maqālāt"/Books that make up the Arabic text of IH's "Optics" have been published, and that the "Tanqīḥ" was published in two volumes. I shall be concerned with certain episodes in the lives of these two works, my aim being to shed light on their transmission within the Islamic Arabic and Persian worlds.

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