Philological and doctrinal studies

The Eastern Reception of Avicennian Metaphysics

During the multifaceted identity of the Safavid era, a large number of commentaries and translations from Arabic to Persian contributed to the diffusion of philosophical works belonging to the complex Islamic intellectual scenario, whose apogee was the School of Isfahan. Peripatetic philosophy, the išrāqī current, the sufi tradition, gnosis (ʿirfān) and kalām enriched the scientific heritage, and to a varying extent influenced both the reading of texts and the doctrinal and lexical choices of the period. The Persian translations, with commentaries, of Metaphysics (Ilāhiyyāt (Science of] Divine Things) one of the most important philosophical summa by Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna), and of al-Kitāb al-Šifāʾ (Book of the Healing/Cure) were written during these centuries. These manuscripts provide important evidence for the analysis of the reception of Avicenna’s works in the Persian and Islamic world and are examples of the renewed interest in al-Šifāʾ during the Safavid Renaissance. A study of the Persian sources of this tradition is a desideratum. The analysis of the testimonia of the translations of Šifāʾ revealed the requirement for a journey going back in time to discover in greater depth the lexicon on which the scholars of the School of Ishafan (e.g. Mīr Dāmād and Mullā Ṣadrā) drew most, namely post-Avicennian philosophy, in particular the Suhrawardian one.

Contributor: Ivana Panzeca.