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The Orosius Arabicus and the Arab Vision of the Graeco-Roman World: Researches on the Mediterranean Responsiveness


"The very important topic of the transmission of the Greco-Roman knowledge to the medieval Islamic world has a very
interesting appendix concerning historiography. Indeed, scholars have questioned several times about the reasons for the
apparent Islamic lack of interest towards the western historical works, and formulated on this problem several assumptions.
For example, according to Franz Rosenthal, the Greek and Roman literature, impregnated as it was of polytheism, would
have been suspect in the eyes of Muslim theologians (the scientific texts, indeed, didn’t arouse objections), which would
have limited its diffusion and translation. According to Bernard Lewis, everything should instead be attributed to the absolute
lack of intellectual curiosity of the “Muslim man”, resulting from its profound conviction of “finality, completeness, and
essential self-sufficiency of his civilisation”.
In my book Storie Arabe di Greci e di Romani, released in 2009 (
codlibro=559), I tried to fill a gap in the field of studies on the forms of preservation of the Greek and Roman
historiographical tradition in the Islamic culture. Now, I would like to concentrate my attention on a very important Arabic
historical text, the Arabic translation of the Historiae adversus paganos by the Latin historiographer Paulus Orosius (5th
century AD), known as Kitāb Hurušiyuš and survived through a unique manuscript preserved in the ""Rare Book and
Manuscript Library"" of Columbia University (X, 893-712 H). This translation, made at the caliphal court of Cordoba in the
10th century AD, left a deep mark on Western Islamic historiography, coming to constitute for many Arab intellectuals a
unique and fundamental access door to the Graeco-Roman world and to the ancient history of Europa.
Therefore, my project is to prepare a complete English translation of the Kitāb Hurūšiyūš, accompanied by a broad
introduction, a philological and historical commentar"


Net EU contribution
€ 247 761,00
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
00185 Roma

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Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 247 761,00

Partners (1)


Partner organisations contribute to the implementation of the action, but do not sign the Grant Agreement.

American University of Beirut
Net EU contribution
€ 0,00
Other funding
€ 0,00