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Publisher: Universität Hamburg, Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies
Journal: Aethiopica
Languages: German
Types: Article
Subjects: Ethiopian Studies, Kitāb al-Bustān; Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban; Gnomologia; Arabic; Greek; Ge'ez; Gǝʿǝz;, ddc:090, ddc:230, ddc:100, ddc:800, ddc:890
The Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban (The Book of the Wise Philosophers) is the only literary work in Gǝʿǝz which can be reckoned among philosophical literature in the strict sense of the word. It is a translation of a Christian Arabic gnomologium, entitled Kitāb al-Bustān, which dates from the 16th century CE. The present article discusses previous studies in the Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban and deals with the lines of tradition of  Arabic collections of sayings going back to Greek gnomologia. The Arabic original of the Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban was compiled about the end of the 10th century CE and contains besides sayings of Greek and Persian origin also doxographical material. The view concerning the central role of Ḥunain ibn Isḥāq’s Nawādir al-falāsifa in the tradition of sayings in the Kitāb al-Bustān, must be revised. An edition and a detailed comparison of the Kitāb al-Bustān with other Arabic and Greek gnomologia are still to be expected, and the question how the Christian gnomologium and thus the Ethiopic Mäṣḥafä fälasfa ṭäbiban are to be placed in the Hellenistic tradition of gnomologia, is still to be established.
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