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The Arabic Origin of the Summa and Geber Latin Works: A Refuation of Berthelot, Ruska and Newman on the Basis of Arabic Sources

The Arabic Origin of the Summa and Geber Latin Works: A Refuation of Berthelot, Ruska and Newman on the Basis of Arabic Sources

By Ahmad Y. al-Hassan

Journal for the History of Arabic Science, Vol. 15 (2009)

Abstract: This paper presents a reassessment of the Geber Problem on the basis of research into the extant Arabic works of Jābir ibn Ḥayyān and other Arabic works that incorporated his ideas. Part I discusses the hypotheses of Marcelin Berthelot which heralded the problem and texts from the Summa and Arabic sources are compared, and thus the Arabic identity of the Summa is confirmed.

Part II refutes the assumptions of Julius Ruska about a Latin author for part of the Liber Geberis De Investigatione Perfectionis Magisterii of the Riccardiana manuscript, and for the Summa. It follows that all the assumptions of William Newman that were built on Ruska’s speculations, about a previously unknown compiler called Paul of Taranto as the author of the Summa are baseless.

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