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To provide text-critical editions of:

  1. Michael Scotus’s Arabic-Latin translation (approx. 1215) of Aristotle’s nineteen volumes ‘De animalibus’ (On Animals) (editio princeps);
  2. Michael Scotus’s Arabic-Latin translation (approx. 1230) of Avicenna’s nineteen volumes ‘Libri de animalibus’ (Books on Animals) (approx. 1030).


Project Team

  • Dr A.M.I. van Oppenraay
  • in conjunction with Aristoteles Latinus Leuven, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Universität zu Köln (Thomas-Institute).

General Description
The dissemination and assimilation of ancient philosophical and scientific texts via Arabic and Arabic-Latin translations had great influence on the development of Western intellectual life in the Middle Ages. In the history of this transfer of knowledge, one of the most influential translators was Michael Scotus (early 13th century) who, in addition to translating Aristotle’s work, also translated work from the Arabian scholars Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā, 980-1037) and Averroës (Ibn Rušd, 1126-1198), who interpreted and passed on Aristotle’s ideas in their own ways. Ultimately, it was Scotus’s translation of Averroës’s comments on Aristotle’s natural philosophical works, combined with Aristotle’s tractates themselves, which enabled the breakthrough of Aristotelism in the West.

Typical of Scotus’s style is his ingenious way of avoiding the needlessly elaborate wording—at least according to Western standards—of the Arabic source, which supplements the clarity and readability of the text. Often, Scotus’s version is a recomposition of the content of the translated tractate.

Not fixed; the scientific part of the Aristotle project is estimated to be rounded off in 2017, after which the text has to be prepared for printing.

Project Committee

  • Prof. Dr H.A.G. Braakhuis
  • Prof. Dr R. Kruk
  • Prof. Dr J. Mansfeld

Dr A.M.I. van Oppenraay • +31 (0)70-3315838 •


Founded by: Hendrik Joan Drossaart Lulofs

General editors: Hans Daiber, Remke Kruk