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Aafke van Oppenraay

  • Dr Aafke van Oppenraay
  • Researcher
  • Department of History of Science and Scholarship
  • Specialisation: Critical text publications and translation-technical study of medieval texts
  • +31 (0)20-2246820


Aafke van Oppenraay studied Classical Language and Literature, with Arabic and Medieval Latin, at the University of Amsterdam, where she gained her PhD in 1998 with a thesis on the first book of Michael Scotus’s Arabic-Latin translation of Aristotle’s De generatione animalium. From 1976 to 1993 she worked for NWO as a scientific member of staff.

Since 1994 she has been working at Huygens ING, where she is responsible for text-critical editions of two Arabic-Latin translations by Michael Scotus: the Libri de animalibus by Aristotle, consisting of 19 volumes, and the Libri de animalibus by Avicenna, also consisting of 19 books. The translations of both works, which deal with general biology and veterinary studies, were produced by Scotus in Spain and Italy between 1215 and 1230. These projects were implemented under the auspices of the Union Académique Internationale (UAI). In addition to studying the translation technique of Michael Scotus, she is interested in the development of anatomic terminology in the Middle Ages.

Research and other projects:

Major publications:

  • A.M.I. van Oppenraay (ed.), Aristotle, De animalibus. Michael Scot’s Arabic-Latin Translation. Part three, books XV-XIX: Generation of Animals. With a Greek Index to De Generatione animalium by H.J. Drossaart Lulofs. Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus 5.3. Leiden – New York – Cologne 1992.
  • A.M.I. van Oppenraay (ed.), Aristotle, De animalibus. Michael Scot’s Arabic-Latin Translation. Part two, books XI-XIV: Parts of Animals. Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus 5.2. Leiden-Boston-Cologne 1998.
  • A.M.I. van Oppenraay, ‘The reception of Aristotle’s History of Animals in the marginalia of some Latin manuscripts of Michael Scot’s Arabic-Latin translation.’ In: The reception of Aristotle’s physical works in the Middle Ages. Essays in memory of Jozef Brams. Early Science and Medicine, 8/4 Special Issue. Leiden 2003, pp. 387-403.
  • A.M.I. van Oppenraay, The Letter before the Spirit: The Importance of Text Editions for the Study of the Reception of Aristotle. With the collaboration of Resianne Fontaine. Aristoteles Semitico-Latinus 22. Leiden-Boston 2012.


Research output in Pure

Activities in Pure