Lecture: “Arabica Veritas: Europeans’ Search for ‘Truth’ in Arabic Scientific and Philosophical Literature of the Middle Ages”
Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute, University of London)
Why did the Latin world seek out Arabic texts for translation between the eleventh and the thirteenth centuries? In the religious context it is clear that Muslim literature was translated in order to understand and refute Islam. But in science and philosophy the search was for ‘the truth’ which could be found amongst the Arabs. This lecture explores what was meant by the ‘Arabica veritas’ (or ‘Arabum veritas’), and why this truth was regarded as being important. Can someone else’s ‘truth’ provide security in the face of the inherent uncertainty of sublunary matters?
Reception to follow