The Question of Syriac Influence upon Early Arabic Translations of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates

  • Samuel Barry

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis takes up the question of the part played by Syriac sources in the composition of early Arabic translations of the Hippocratic Aphorisms. In it, I compare the four major extant Syriac and Arabic translations of the Aphorisms with continual reference to the content of Syriac lexicons composed by the translator Ḥunayn ibn Ishaq and his students and successors. Through detailed treatments of both the definitions and translations of scores of individual Greek terms found in these sources, as well as through analysis of the translations of the Aphorisms, I weigh the relative importance of Greek and Syriac scholarship for Ḥunayn's translation praxis. In doing so, I specify the value of the Syriac lexicons for the study of Greek-to-Arabic translation while clarifying several outstanding issues in the broader history of Syriac and Arabic medicine.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPeter Pormann (Supervisor) & John Healey (Supervisor)


  • Medical translation, Syriac medicine, Arabic medicine, Islamic medicine, Hippocrates, Galen, Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Sergius of Reš Ayna, Hasan bar Bahlul

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