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A new standard for Avicenna studies.


IN THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, research into the life, times, and philosophy of Avicenna has witnessed a resurgence among scholars of medieval Islamic intellectual history. This resurgence can be traced in part to the 1988 publication of Dimitri Gutas's Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition (1) in which scholars were treated to an evaluation of work on Avicenna since the millennary celebrations of the 1950s, an assessment of the then current state of research, and a detailed map--in Gutas's own study of Avicenna's intellectual inheritance and innovation--of the methodology and goals that would be necessary for further progress. It is often assumed that a name that looms as large across the horizon of intellectual history as that of Avicenna has surely been accorded enough scholarly activity to render the ambitions of new generations of scholars irrelevant. In fact, it is significant that of the fourteen texts forming the Avicennan corpus from which Gutas drew his references to the Aristotelian tradition (chapt er one) not a single one was then or is now available in a properly critical edition. Indeed, of these fourteen texts and the twelve texts that Gutas designated "Major Philosophical Works" (with some common entries in the two sets), not one has even received the thorough study into the manuscripts, recensions, and textual history so fundamental to the task of critical editing. (2) It is a wonder that any good work at all is done on Avicenna, considering the sorry state of his corpus.

So much for the texts. The other area toward which all good philologists direct their talents is context, however conceived (historical, social, political, intellectual, etc.). Here the efforts of Yahya (formerly Jean) Michot stand almost unparalleled. The investigation of the historical context, broadly apprehended, in which Avicenna lived and worked is certainly fraught with some dangers. While it was once thought that scholars of Avicenna were blessed with not only the master's autobiography, but also a biography by his disciple a1-Juzjani, careful study of these texts highlights the importance of taking into account the rhetorical (or crassly put, the propagandistic) nature of medieval genres of writing. (3) Undoubtedly there is much fact to be winnowed out of these writings, but it would be short-sighted to embrace all their particulars unreflectively. The historical evidence for the life and times of Avicenna that falls outside the writings of the master and his disciples brings additional problems, ch ief among which is its very paucity, at least of those pieces of evidence that can truly be identified as contemporaneous and thus, presumably, to be accorded sufficient evidentiary weight. However, it is becoming more and more clear that the outer margins of the Avicennan corpus contain much in the way of incidental (i.e., conversational or narrative-based) information that may help resurrect areas of historicity for our understanding of his life and times. Such "incidentalia" have the added benefit of being less mindfully constructed than the "facts" of the very self-conscious autobiography and biography. Here, with the exception of the correspondence that makes up Avicenna's al-Mubahathat, we are wholly outside the corpus Gutas deemed major."

This reconstruction of previously unstudied aspects of Avicenna's intellectual career has been the province of Yahya Michot's research to date. In many ways, his latest study represents the culmination of nearly ten years of research. In 1991, he first signaled, in great detail, his discovery of the codex Bursa Huseyin Celebi 1194, copied in 675/1276-77 by [Abd.sup.[subset]] Allah b. Muhammad b. [Umar.sup.[subset]] al-Khatib, which contains some thirty of the smaller treatises of Avicenna. (4) Among them is an untitled letter from Avicenna to one Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]d (who, however, is not named in the letter itself) which was unknown to the major bibliographers of Avicenna's manuscripts up to that time (Michot referred to Ergin, (5) Anawati, (6) and Mahdavi (7)); Michot dubbed it Dernande de mediation. In the following year, Michot made a first attempt at summarizing (and partially translating) the Letter and discussing its historical context. (8) He noted that al-Bayhaqi, in his Tatimmat siwan al-hikma, provides a brief accou nt of one Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani with whom Avicenna engaged in a debate that degenerated into insult and accusation, as a result of which Avicenna wrote to the vizier Abti [Sa.sup.[subset]]d al-Hamadhani requesting that formal judgment be passed on Abu 'l-Qasim. (9) Apparently, Avicenna was close enough to Abu Sacd to have dedicated to him his al-Adhawiya ft 'l-[ma.sup.[subset]]ad sometime before the debate. (10)

In the same study, Michot first suggested an identification for this little-known Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani as the ghulam of the philosopher al-[Amiri.sup.[subset]] (d. 381/991) mentioned by al-Tawhidi as the author of a short work on logic sent to him sometime between 373-75/983-85. (11) Of even greater importance, Michot drew out the connection between Abu 'l-Qasim and Miskawayh that Avicenna makes in a letter to Bahmanyar in the Mubahathat, and he noted that the animosity Avicenna displays toward Abu 'l-Qasim in that letter (and in fact throughout the various texts of the Mubahathat) accords with the poor relations between the two evident in the Letter to the Vizier. Michot also went on to identify this Abu 'l-Qasim as the messenger who brought the questions on logic from the scholars of Shiraz to Avicenna; this, however, is less likely. Considering the social status of Abu '1-Qasim, both with regard to his age and his intellectual reputation, both apparent in Avicenna's own epithets of him (see Letter to the Vizi er, ed. Michot, 1), it is very difficult to believe that he would serve in such a capacity. (12)

In the same 1992 article, Michot also tentatively identified the recipient of the Letter to the Vizier as Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]d Muhammad b. [Isma.sup.[subset]]il b. al-Fadl, mentioned by Hilal b. al-Mahassin al-Sabi (d. 448/1056) in the extant remains of his History as vizier of the Buyid Majd al-Dawla in 392/1002. This Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]d later served Badr b. Hasanawayh, Kurdish amir in Hamadhan, for which service we have the date 393/1003 again from Hilal. (13) Finally, Michot localized and dated the Avicenna-Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani debate and the resulting Letter to the Vizier to Rayy in 405/1014--15. In the present work and as a result of further research in the Avicenna corpus, particularly the Letter to the Scholars of Baghdad, which also gives an oblique account of Avicenna's meeting with Abu 'l-Qasim, Michot revises his earlier conclusion and now, rightly it seems, maintains that the debate and the subsequent letter occurred in Hamadhan. (14)

That Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani was involved in the philosophical correspondence that constitutes the Mubahathat, albeit through the mediation of Avicenna's student Bahmanyar, was brought into further focus in Michot's 1997 translation of one of the letters in that collection. (15) In the introduction to his translation, Michot presented in full detail for the first time his theory concerning the chronology of the texts that bear on the Avicenna-Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani relationship. Much of his chronology theory is left implicit in his latest work, so a few words should be said about it, lest it become the object of scholarly consensus.

In contradiction to the conclusions of Dimitri Gutas, (16) who maintained a relatively late dating for the Mubahathat, Michot has argued for an earlier dating, at least of the letter al-Mubahatha al-thalitha (Mubahatha III). His argument rests on the facts that it contains references to Abu 'l-Qasim and that Avicenna's disparagement of Abu 'l-Qasim therein is similar to his tone in the Letter to the Vizier. Now, since, the Letter to the Vizier was most likely written in 405/1014--15 (and there is relatively goad evidence for this), so too, according to Michot, the Mubahathat, or at least Mubahatha III, was probably written around 406/1016. (17) This theory requires a huge leap of faith, not only because topicality should never be allowed, a priori, to determine chronology but also, more importantly, in many cases it is in direct conflict with other information we have about the dating of Avicenna's works. Thus, because the discussions in Mubahatha III, composed supposedly in 406/1016, address problems found only in Kitab al-Nafs of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]], and this work is referred to regularly in it, Michot would have us believe that that book of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]] was written prior to 406/1016. (18) Even more unlikely is Michot's argument that Avicenna's statement at the beginning of the Mubahatha III concerning a "promise" that he has fulfilled for Bahmanyar refers to his composition of the Isharat wa'l-tanbihat. (19) With this slim evidence, Michot believes that the Isharat itself must have been written just after Kitab al-Nafs. But because Avicenna actually refers to one section of the Logic of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]] in the Isharat, that part of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]] must have been written before the Isharat. (20) His chronology for these texts, then, is Kitab al-Nafs of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]]--Logic parts of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]]--al-Isharat--Mubahatha III. (21) Clearly, the faulty first premise of Michot's theory (i.e., since Abu 'l-Qasim plays a role in both the Letter to the Vizier and Mubahatha III, both texts must have been writt en around 406/1016) produced an alternate chronology for much of Avicenna's corpus that cannot be reconciled with the internal and external facts of that tradition.

This theory underlies much of Michot's introductory discussion in Ibn Sina, lettre au vizier Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]d. (22) And while it cannot be seriously entertained, the impetus behind Michot's research, that is, to discover in other hitherto unexamined texts more clues as to the intellectual relationship between Avicenna and Abu 'l-Qasim and its historical context, is to be commended. Thus, in fleshing out the details of that relationship in his introductory essay, Michot draws on a number of other little-known texts by the participants in the debate. In Avicenna's Letter to the Scholars of Baghdad (Risala ila [subset][ulama.sup.[contains]] Baghdad, edited by Ihsan Yarshater, not as Michot credits in Ibn Sina, 10* n. 1, M. T. Danishpazhuh!), (23) we are provided with an account of the meeting between a "man from Bukhara," i.e., Avicenna, and an advanced scholar (al-shaykh al-kabir), i.e., Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani, upon Avicenna's arrival in Hamadhan. The purpose of the letter is a request that the scholars of Baghdad judge between the views of Avicenna and Abu 'l-Qasim on logic, since according to Abu 'l-Qasim, he derives his opinions from them. It is on the basis of this letter that Michot is able to localize the debate recounted in the Letter to the Vizier to Hamadhan, shortly after Avicenna's arrival there in 405/1014-15. (24)

The connection between Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani, Avicenna's intellectual adversary, with the scholars of Baghdad, who must have included the likes of Yahya b. [Adi.sup.[subset]], Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani, Abu [Ali.sup.subset]] b. al-Samh, and Abu 'l-Faraj b. al-Tayyib (Ibn Sina, 21*), is an important addition to our evidence concerning Avicenna's conceptualization of his "eastern" philosophy, rightly understood by Pines, Gutas and others, as an opposition to the overtly literal-minded commentators of Aristotle in Baghdad. Michot correctly interprets the evidence for further contextualizing the entire "eastern" aspect of Avicenna's philosophy (88*ff.) as the product of a historically identifiable intellectual rivalry; this should put an end once and for all to the mythologizing tendencies exercised on Avicenna's philosophy in connection with the "eastern" question first indulged in by the Ishraqi school of post-medieval Iran and unfortunately carried over into critical modern scholarship. (25)

Michot carries forward the creation of an Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani "dossier" by suggesting that he is the author of an unedited work on astrology entitled al-Risala fi usul al-ahkam, extant in MS Bodleian Marsh 663 (copied in 640/1242), to which Avicenna may have directed his criticism in al-Risala fi ibtal ahkam al-nujum, which he apparently wrote for his student Ibn Zayla. The ascription of the Risala fi usul al-ahkam to our Abu 'l-Qasim is certainly worth investigating further, particularly in relation to statements we can ascribe to him in the Mubahathat that advocate the corporeality of the Agent Intellect. Michot provides manuscript facsimiles of the first lines of both treatises and translates the relevant passages, 22*-27*. Al-Biruni's reference to an Abu 'l-Qasim al-falsafi in his Tafhim, cited by Michot, 23* n. 2, on the doctrine of friendship and animosity between the planets is particularly tantalizing in this regard.

While the disputes related to Abu 'l-Qasim in the Mubahathat have largely to do with Avicenna's theory of the soul, logic is clearly the underlying issue in the complaints against Abu 'l-Qasim that Avicenna raises in the Letter to the Vizier and, in its metaphysical application (with regard to Aristotle's Categories), in the Letter to the Scholars of Baghdad. The tension between the employment of the dialectical syllogism in the medieval Islamic debate setting, and its misuse by Abu 'l-Qasim as a method of philosophical investigation, set against Avicenna's insistence on the demonstrative syllogism as the sole guarantor of philosophical verification, lies at the heart of their disputes. In elucidating Avicenna's reaction to Abu l-Qasim, Michot has identified and translated passages in Kitab al-Jadal and al-Madkhal of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]] (respectively, 42*-47* and 69*-72*) in which Avicenna may obliquely be taking aim at Abti 'I-Qasim, At the very least, it is clear that Avicenna regularly reiterates his commitment to t he correct deployment of logic not only for particular philosophical questions, but more significantly as the means to ultimate eternal happiness ([sa.sup.[subset]] ada).

Michot has also drawn upon the so-called [Ahd.sup.[subset]] of Avicenna to further buttress his argument for the centrality of logic to Avicenna's conception of human destiny. The [Ahd.sup.[subset]], which Michot charmingly calls "a gentleman's agreement" (81*), has had an obscure place in the Avicennan bibliography, not only with regard to the purpose of its composition, but also as a result of the very complicated transmission process it has suffered. Michot's treatment of this background is almost flawless (79*ff.); for an expanded discussion of the different recensions, see here below. He has correctly identified what appears to be the original recension, published in Badawi's Aristu [inda.sup.[subset]] 'l-[arab.sup.[subset]] in 1947, and briefly traces the evolution of the text (what he calls its destinee curieuse) in later hands.

Michot locates the importance of the original version of the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] in the employment of the dual pronouns and conjugations; in his view, we have here an agreement between two individuals, one Avicenna, the other perhaps Bahamanyar, although it must be said that this is simply a conjecture. Michot believes (87*) that the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] may have been a "sorte d'accord d'armistice" between Avicenna and Bahmanyar after their dispute over Abu 'I-Qasim's participation in the philosophical discussions that make up the Mubahathat, a dispute that reached its denouement in Mubahatha III. The pact into which they enter emphasizes the appropriate methodology of philosophical investigation and praxis: the employment of (Aristotelian) logic as the only means to philosophical truth and, ultimately, eternal happiness. Michot describes its aim as a program of the philosophical life focused on a purification of the soul and the actualization of the intellect (82*).

Michot is probably correct to link the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] to the context of the Letter to the Vizier and the Letter to the Scholars of Baghdad. While Michot's interpretation of the text as an armistice may be a bit fanciful, it is worth considering whether or not the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] can be seen as somehow comprising the conditions required of readers of the Isharat enunciated by Avicenna in another letter to Bahmanyar (Mubahatha I, ed. Bidarfar, par. 2). But we should not overlook the possibility that here in the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] Avicenna was simply experimenting with another genre of writing in which he might re-articulate some of the central views of his epistemology. There is no question that Avicenna did engage in such literary experimentation. His al-Hidaya and al-Isharat are both written in a concise literary style that differs markedly from his other expositions (I have in mind particularly the [Shifa.sup.[contains]]). We might imagine that Avicenna, having reached a certain systematization of his philosophical ideas, located a new means of intellectual dev elopment in the experimentation with its exposition. Such literary experimentation was also put to other goals. Al-Juzjani tells us that Ibn Sina consciously composed letters in the style of the great epistolographers al-[Sabi.sup.[contains]], Ibn al [Amid.sup.[subset]], and the Sahib Ibn [Abbad.sup.[subset]] as part of his ruse to humiliate publicly the philologist Ibn Jabban. (26) The [ahd.sup.[subset]] or pact held an important place in the repertoire of medieval Islamic bureaucracy, the genres of which Avicenna shows every indication of having mastered. The whole question of Avicenna's literary experimentation remains to be fully investigated, but if it is to be profitable, it must first be stripped of the terms employed in the endless debate about an "esoteric" Avicenna. The psychoanalytic history presented by Michot on this question does not represent a significant advance; in fact, phrases like "la bipolarite des ecritures philosophiques d'Avicenne" (103*) border on recidivistic, as does Michot's suggestion for a psychoanalysis of the alimentary metaphors in Avic enna's works (110* n. 3 (27)). In the interpretation of medieval texts the easiest, and perhaps least responsible, solution to what modern authors might deem inconsistent is the suggestion of psychological bifurcation in the author. Michot has demonstrated his ability to draw upon historical context in the interpretation of Avicenna's works, and while this might be considered prosaic by some, it is in fact the methodology that holds the most promise for the future study of Avicenna.

Whether or not the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] can be directly connected to the rivalry between Avicenna and Abti 'I-Qasim, Michot has done a service in bringing it to the attention of scholars and deserves even more credit as the first scholar to attempt a systematic translation (in appendix 2, 116ff.). For his translation, he used the original recension (for this terminology, see below), i.e., that found in MS Cairo

Hikma 6M and edited with partial success by Badawi in Aristu, as his base text, along with a few of the many other published versions available. While there is no doubt that Michot's efforts here represent an important addition to the translated Avicenna corpus, it would not be entirely unfair to suggest that such a translation should have been delayed until a full evaluation of the manuscripts and recensions could be made. In many of his choices in the reading of the variants, Michot's translation will have to be considered provisional for this very reason.

However, when Michot is right, he is often remarkably so: at least three of his corrections to Badawi's text follow the readings actually found in the manuscript (Cairo, Dar al-Kutub, Hikma 6M). The first is p. 122 a. 6: [yata.sup.[subset]]addayaha MS and Michot: [yata.sup.[subset]]addayahuma Badawi. In the other two cases, he correctly follows his other exemplars, and thereby returns Badawi's hypercorrections to the original manuscript readings, viz., p. 123 n. 5: [azim.sup.[subset]] MS and Michot: al-[azim.sup.[subset]] Badawi, and 124.3: al-ladhhat MS and Michot: al-dhat Badawi. This is all the more commendable since Michot did not have access to Hikma 6M for his translation. (28) I offer here two minor suggestions for the future definitive edition and translation:

1. p. 121: Michot's translation "Ils ne permettront a aucune idee... sans l'effacer [Michot has corrected the manuscript reading masakhahu to masahahu]" should read "They will not abandon any [base] thought... before transforming it," i.e., keep the manuscript reading, since there appears to be a succession of incremental reactions to such base thoughts: transforming, overriding, eradicating, annihilating. (29)

2. p. 122: In the text, the active participle muqaddirna (translated by Michot as "premisse") may profitably be corrected to the verbal noun taqdima, "advancing." This correction appears to be required if the succession of verbal nouns after the illa (taqdima, tatriya, tahdid) in this sentence is to remain consistent. Note also that Michot's translation of the final exceptive clause in this sentence misses the mark. We should translate "or [without] determining that a deep-seated disposition will become [li-tasir (?) Badawi: a devenir Michot: li-masir correct Reisman] uppermost in the substance of the soul," instead of "ou une definition [appelee] a devenir une disposition enracinee, principale, dans la substance de l'ame."

However, Michot's laudable ambition to draw on previously unexamined texts begins to feel gratuitous as his introductory essay draws to a conclusion. In fact, considering the present state of our almost wholly negligible understanding of these areas of the Avicennan corpus, it may simply be dangerous without the necessary background investigations. Thus, there seems little real intention behind yet another provisional translation of part of the Risala fi 'l-qadar (104*-111*) beyond a superficial comparison of the roles of the vizier Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]d and the Hayy b. Yaqzan of the Risala ft 'l-qadar (114*). Even more objectionable is Michot's treatment of two entries in the so-called Avicenna-Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id b. Abi 'l-Khayr Correspondence. This correspondence requires a thorough textual and contextual study that simply could not have been accommodated in the present work. My preliminary investigations into the correspondence indicates that it consists of some authentic Avicennan letters to Bahmanyar and Ibn Zay la related in different ways to the philosophical correspondence that now makes up the Mubaha that, some fragments of longer Avicennan works, and outright forgeries that emerged from the hagiographical tradition connected to Abu Sacid b. Abi 'l-Khayr begun in the seventh/thirteenth century and happily propagated in the Ishraqi tradition up to the present time. Michot notes (58*) that he was first led to investigate this series of letters in an attempt to verify whether or not the Abti [Sa.sup.[subset]]id of the correspondence could in some way be identified as the vizier Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]d. He provides a general, if incomplete, conspectus (n. 4, spanning 58*-63*) that is valuable as a first in a European language but one wholly uninformed by the similar studies undertaken by M. T. Danishpazhuh in 1952 and the now quite large literature on Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id. (30)

Michot's translation of the so-called Husul Cilm wahikma (120*-129*), a letter Avicenna probably wrote to Ibn Zayla but which was appropriated for the Avicenna--Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id Correspondence, should not have been undertaken in the present state of the texts. This fact has made the efforts Michot has exerted in what passes as a critical apparatus to the translation haphazard and decidedly uneven. Since Michot had no confidence in his base text, (31) he had no properly scientific means to determine the value of the variants he selected from the other exemplars he used, none of which, again, inspire any confidence. (32) These factors are problematic enough, but when we read that the reason for including the translation in the present study is that it was "certainly" composed in Isfahan (120*), we have to wonder why such an unsatisfactory endeavor was undertaken in the first place. For further details on the textual transmission of this work, see below.

In another entry in the Avicenna-Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id Correspondence, the so-called Risala ft 'l-[qada.sup.[contains]] (Du decret [divin]) Michot detects an oblique attack on Abu '1Qasim (see 64*-66*, especially the last page, concerning the term mutashahhit) and this appears to be sufficient for him to actually present an editlo princeps and translation of the letter in appendix 1. Because of the complexity of the problems related to this putative letter, this is a highly regrettable decision. Briefly stated, it seems that this letter is actually a passage from Avicenna's Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]] which was given an epistolary frame that linked it to the Avicenna-Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id Correspondence. The introduction of this forged epistolary frame indicates that this "letter" is intended to follow another entry in the correspondence, the Risala fi sirr al-qadar, the attribution of which to Avicenna still remains open to speculation, despite George Hourani's attempt to explain away the disordered argumentation of the author by recourse to Straussian hermeneutics. (33) While a trustworthy image of Avicenna's Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]] was already blurred in the years following his death, (34) a fact noted by the anonymous scribe who was able to copy only the more "marvelous" passages, (35) we can be relatively confident that the passage reworked for the forged correspondence rightly belongs to Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]]. This connection to Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]] highlights two important points: we have good evidence for arguing against the authenticity of a correspondence between Avicenna and Abti Sacid b. Abi 'l-Khayr; and Michot, who was not aware of the connection, should have more carefully researched the texts he decided to include in the present study.

As a contribution to the future study of this text, I present here variants from Y(arshater)'s text of Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]], following M(ichot)'s line numbers (sequential across pp. 105-8). These variants should not be considered corrections to Michot's texts; they are instead simply a record of the variants from another exemplar. Moreover, it is impossible to determine in every case what represents the actual readings of the manuscripts used by Yarshater and what are Yarshater's own unsignaled conjectural emendations. However, there is enough information here to allow us to comment on Michot's editorial choices:

10. al-zaman M: al-dahr Y. 11-12. [azza.sup.[subset]]--[khaza.sup.[contains]inuhu om. Y. 15. al-milal M: al-tamassuk Y [parallel] tahassubihi: [parallel] tajassusihi [parallel] wa-tafahhusihi om. Y. 16. timmyhatihi M: kammiyatihi Y [parallel] huwa om. Y. 17 wa-innama M: innama Y [parallel] [ta.sup.[subset]]ala om. Y [parallel] yastabiddu M: yasrabiddu huwa [ta.sup.[subset]]ala add. Y. 18. wa-man khassahu bihi min khalaqihi M: wa-illa man ikhtassahu min khalqihi bihi Y [parallel] al-mutashahhituna M: al-munshahituna Y. 20. walam [ta.sup.[subset]]du wa-lam tafuz wa-lam tarith ka-mithl M: wa-lam tufid wa-lam tastafid wa-lam turabba li-mithi Y. 21. li-'l-qadar M: bi-'l-qadar Y. 24. mabadi'iha M: manajimiha Y. 25. maratibihd Hati tarqa M: maba diha [lam tazul ila taraqq Y. 27. hayya'aha M: sannaha Y. 30. ma yubghidu M: naqada Y. 31. yubali M: bala Y. 32. li-[yu.sup.[subset]]lama (?) M: li-[ta.sup.[subset]]lama Y. 32-33. tajri [ala.sup.[subset]] M: tujari bi- Y. 33-34. [tu.sup.[subset]]ayir bi-ma [ayiri.sup.[subset]] 'l-[a.sup.[subset]]lam M: tughayar bi-maghayiri 'l-ahlam Y [parallel] wa-lam tatathaqqaf M: allati lam tuthaqqaf Y. 35. al-[muta.sup.[subset]]arafa bayna M: al-[muta.sup.[subset]]araqa (?) mm Y. 37. min M: ma Y.

These variants allow for a preliminary judgment on the relative value of at least some of the exemplars. Excluding possible unnoted emendations by Yarshater, a comparison of these variants with the manuscripts used by Michot suggests that the passage from the manuscripts of Lisun al-[arab.sup.[subset]] most closely resembles Michot's MSS Q (Cairo [Tal.sup.[subset]]at 197), N(uruosmaniye 4894), A(yasofya 4849), and S (Ayasofya 4853). These manuscripts then are most likely closer to the original text adapted by the creator of the Avicenna-Abh [Sa.sup.[subset]]id correspondence and thus further from (and so less trustworthy than) the passage in Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]]. Michot used MS Mishkat 339, a relatively late exemplar (36) that probably represents the culmination of the (corrupted) textual tradition of the forged letter, as his base text.

These flaws in Michot's introductory study to the Letter to the Vizier must be taken as an object lesson for Avicenna studies. It is imperative that scholars invested in the elucidation of Avicenna's life and philosophy undertake the textual studies that are so fundamental to the production of a reliable critical corpus before endeavoring to identify and interpret the salient elements of that tradition. The collective research on Avicenna does not need yet more preliminary editions, unverified translations and tentative studies, all of which (with some notable exceptions) have been the unfortunate hallmark of the modern scholarship. That said, it must be reiterated that the ambition evident in Michot's study of the historical context of the Letter to the Vizier and the very commendable pioneering spirit evident in his desire to draw on the lesser known texts of the Avicennan tradition cannot and should not be dismissed. Michot has consistently demonstrated a willingness to tread terrain other scholars have s kirted. While it is lamentable that parts of that terrain will have to be re-mapped, Michot has made a valuable and original contribution that can only serve to spur on future efforts.


Michot's extensive study of the context of the Letter to the Vizier might appear to overwhelm the significance of his edition and translation of the text itself. This would be an incorrect evaluation, since it is in this aspect that his serious contribution to Avicenna studies is to be located. A collation of the Letter in its single exemplar and in the often difficult, largely unpointed hand of the scribe (facsimile of the relevant folios provided by Michot, 143-60) makes apparent the erudition Michot brings to its decipherment. While the introductory essay emphasized the dispute between Avicenna and Abu 'l-Qasim on points of logic, those issues really form the background (and the subject of Avicenna's digressions), to the specific differences of the debate itself. From Michot's artful division of the Letter, it is clear that those differences concerned three questions of Aristotelian physics: the finiteness of bodies; infinity; and the dimensions and continuity of bodies. Since Michot generously provides a facsimile of the Letter to the Vizier, it behooves scholars to collate his text with the manuscript. Here I note the results of my own collation, along with some suggestions about critical editing in general and Michot's editorial choices in particular. Abbreviations: B(ursa manuscript); M(ichot).

A. Unattested Corrections and Omissions

6.4. baynaha M: minha B.

7.3. fihi M; fiha B.

9.5. fa-yakunu M: fa-takunu B.

14.11. li-[qu.sup.[contains]]imayn M: li-[qa.sup.[contains]]imatayn B.

47.10. dhu omit M.

B. Suggestions for Further Improvement

15.1. [ta.sup.[subset]]assara reading by M: [ta.sup.[subset]]suru reading by Reisman.

21.10. bi-sahw hyper-correction by M: li-sahw B. The manuscript reading should be kept. Translation: "in a claim that he put next on account of a negligence in the proof."

22.11. haddan inna conjectural reading M: khala anna conjectural reading Reisman. Translation: "except that." For khala anna, see W. Wright, A Grammar of the Arabic Language (Cambridge, 1955) ii, 342B.

41.10. [an.sup.[subset]] B: fi correct M. Keep reading of B.

43.3. Qatighuriyas B, M: <fi> Qatighuriyas added by Reisman.

47.1. a-yuzighu l-kathir reading by M: al-zaygha '1-kathtr a reading by Reisman. Translation: "May the most eminent Shaykh... reflect on this great departure from the rules of logic."

C. Comments on Editorial Style and Practice

Michot has refined his editorial technique over the course of many years of research. On the whole, it is a style that does not sacrifice clarity in the interest of succinctness. And since Arabic-Islamic studies has yet to standardize any of its editorial conventions, Michot's choices are as good as, and in most cases better, than others. I have only a few minor suggestions. Scribal contractions should be expanded (thus, for instance, 6.2, 24.1, 3. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Editorial additions should not be included in the text unless absolutely necessary and then only in pointed brackets < >. For example, the phrase at 10.9-10: illa [ba.sup.[subset]]da an [ya.sup.[subset]]qila mutanahiyan, added by Michot is a desirable explanatory addition, but it should not have been inserted into the text. Rather, it could have been added in the translation between square brackets or in a footnote to the translation. Other such additions to the text include: alladhi, at 25.12; hal, at 42.2; la, at 53.7; lam yakun hadha 'l -ittisalu mawjudan at 53.10. Seclusions of words should be kept in the text between square brackets [ ], with a note indicating the identity of the editor. For example, the reading at 25.2 might better be rendered in the text [ar.sup.[contains]]usin [wajaba] with a note "[wajaba] [azalahu.sup.[subset]] Michot" or some similar choice in the apparatus. So too 39.7: "[muhal] [azalahu.sup.[subset]] Michot." Next, Michot's use of the em-dash to signify omission in the exemplar is not as clear as other possibilities; consider the note at 17.1 "--: [alayhi.sup.[subset]] B," which actually means that the manuscript reads [alayhi.sup.[subset]] [alayhi.sup.[subset]]. Finally, there are only a few typographical errors: 3.2. [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 3.10. in > an; 23.8. b.y.yy.n > yubayyin; 24.7. inna > anna.

Michot's translation of the text is generally of a high quality, if somewhat literal at times, particularly with regard to technical terminology (for instance, ishtirak is translated "utiliser de maniere equivoque," and "equivocite" [see index, 79], when "homonymy" is really what is meant). The commentary is somewhat sparse, although Michot has identified nearly all of the classical references made by Avicenna; I note in passing that the translator of Aristotle's Metaphysics is commonly known as Ustat or Ustath, and not Astat. There is undoubtedly a great deal more information to be mined from the text, particularly with regard to Avicenna's presentation of certain philosophical concepts through comparison with what he says in his other works, but the text and Michot's useful translation are now available for such detailed studies.

Of inestimable value are the extremely detailed indices of Arabic terms for the Letter to the Vizier and the Risalat al-[qada.sup.[contains]], along with the technical terminology of his entire introductory essay and translations. Such indices have become a highly valuable and much appreciated staple of Michot's work. I am certainly not alone in hoping that all of the indices of his published works will soon form the basis for an ongoing published lexicon of Avicenna's terminology.


It is becoming more and more clear that the major desideratum of Avicenna studies is the codicological and philological study of the transmission of his works. The uses, and misuses, to which the corpus was subjected in the history of Islamic philosophy after Avicenna have had a major impact on their present-day state (and interpretation), and until these are understood and plotted properly, the myths about Avicenna will continue to hamper investigations. Michot chose to include translations of at least three brief works by Avicenna in his discussion of the context in which Avicenna wrote his Letter to the Vizier. I have addressed some of the problems with his treatment of the so-called Risalat al-[qada.sup.[contains]] above. Here I present theories concerning the textual transmission of the two other texts, the so-called Husul [ilm.sup.[subset]] wa-hikma and the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] in order to establish a framework in which critical editions and translations can be carried out.

A. The Recensions of the Husul [ilm.sup.[subset]] wa-hikma

Michot is probably correct in arguing that this letter was written to Avicenna's student Ibn Zayla and not, as Mahdavi (M4w) maintained, to Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id b. Abi 'l-Khayr; (37) however, it must be noted that no attempt to authenticate the letter as Avicennan has yet been undertaken. The very important exemplar Berlin Landberg 368 identifies the recipient as Abu Mansur al-Husayn b. Muhammad b. [Umar.sup.[subset]] b. Zayla, and a later scribal introduction in another family of the same recension states that Avicenna wrote the letter to Ibn Zayla "when he [i.e., Ibn Zayla] intended to go into seclusion" (see below, First Recension). (38) The presence of this work in one of the two hagiographies of Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id is no indication of an authentic connection to him. Fritz Meier (Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id-i Abu l-Hayr, 28) has established that the letter appears in a later supplement to the manuscripts of Jamal al-Din

Abu Rawh Lutf Allah's Halat u sukhanan-i Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id-i Abu 'l-Khayr Mayhani (edited by Iraj Afshar, Tehran 1341Sh./1963, 113-16). We might imagine that this addition to the hagiography came after the creation of the correspondence as a whole, or at least after the appropriation of the Husul.

The following manuscripts (arranged here chronologically) are only those that I have personally examined, but they are sufficient for a preliminary assessment of the textual tradition. (39)

Hamidiye 1448 (ninth/fifteenth c.), (40) two copies:

a. 484r-485v, with scribal note stating that it is alternately addressed to Ibn Zayla and Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id; text has fulan;

b. 591v-592v, addressed to Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id in title; text has fulan.

Ahmet III 3447 (866/1462), (41) two copies:

a. 188v-190v, addressed to Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id in title; text has fulan;

b. 273v-275r, addressed to Ibn Zayla.

Berlin Landberg 368 (880/1475-76), 109r-110r, addressed to Ibn Zayla. (42)

Cambridge, Browne X.1 (1057/1647-48), 57r-58v, addressed to Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id, with forged introduction. (43)

Nuruosmaniye 4894 (eleventh/seventeenth c.), three copies: (44)

(a.) 246v-247r, incipit identifies Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id as recipient;

(b.) 307r-v, title identifies Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id as recipient;

Ragip Pasa 1461 (earliest ownership note is 1139/1726-27, but the codex appears to be much older), 93r-94r addressed to Ibn Zayla.

(c.) 326v-327v, title identifies Ibn Zayla as recipient.

Cairo, Dar al-Kutub, [Majami.sup.[subset]] Taymur 200 (c. twelfth/eighteenth c.?), 223v-224v. (45)

Mishkat 861 (1283/1866-67), if. 1v-2v. (46)

Mishkat 1079 (c. 1047/1637-38), (47) 13-16.

Published versions:

(a.) In [Baha.sup.[contains]] al-Din al-[Amili.sup.[subset]]'s al-Kashkul (Bulaq 1288/1871, 355-57), where it is introduced as a letter from Avicenna to Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id; the text itself has fulan.

(b.) In the introduction to the edition of Avicenna's al-Najat by Mustafa Efendi al-Makawi and Muhyi al-Din Sabri al-Kurdi (Cairo, 1331/1912-13, 11-15). This copy most likely derives from the Bulaq publication of the Kashkul.

(c.) In H. Z. Ulken's Ibn Sina Risaleleri 2: Les Opuscules d'Ibn Sina, Istanbul Universitesi Edebiyat Fakultesi Yayinlarindan; 552 (Istanbul: Ibrahim Horoz Basimevi, 1953), 37-39.

Remarks on the Recensions

In Table 1, I list only the more important exemplars of the first and second recensions of the Husul, further subdivided into three families of manuscripts for the first recension. Note also the abridgement, which appears to exist in only one known exemplar.

(i.) The Three Families of the First Recension

The manuscripts of this recension are divided into three families, based upon substantive variants at key stages in their respective texts. Less significant, but certainly in keeping with the recension history, is the addition of an introductory scribal passage in the third family explaining that the letter is said to have been addressed to both Ibn Zayla and Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id:

Risala li-'l-hakim Abi [Ali.sup.[subset]] al-Husayn Ibn Sina ila Ibn Zayla jawaban [an.sup.[subset]] kitabihi lladhi kataba ilayhi hina [azama.sup.[subset]] [ala.sup.[subset]] 'l-[uzlati.sup.[subset]], wa-qila ila 'l-shaykhi Qutbi 'l-[Awliya.sup.[contains]] Abi [Sa.sup.[subset]]id ibn Abi 'l-Khayr qaddasa llahu ruhahu 'l-[aziz.sup.[subset]].



First Family

... wa'l-darbi ft sabilihi wa'l-akhdhi fi samti 'l-taqabbuli wa'l-tawliyati shatra '1-taqarrubi ila llahi wa'l-tawajjuhi [tilqq.sup.[contains]a wajhihi...

Second and Third Families

... wa'1-darbi ft sabilihi wa'l-tawliyati shatra 'I-ta qarrubi ila llahi wa'l-tawajjuhi [tilqa.sup.[contains]a wajhihi wa'l-akhdhi fi samti 'l-taqayyul bihi...


First and Second Families

* wa-[sa.sup.[contains]] altuha an yuwaffiqahu li-ukhrahu fi ulahu wayuthabbita qadamahu [ala.sup.[subset]] ma [tawatta.sup.[contains]] ahu wa-la yulaqqiyahu ila ma ilaylzi [takhatta.sup.[contains]] ahu wa-yazrdaha ila hiddyatihi iyyahu hidayatan wa-ila dirdyatihi llati atahu diruyatan. innahu h-idi 'l-muyassiru wa-huwa '1-mudabbiru 'I-muqaddiru...

Third Family

... wa-[sa.sup.[contains]] altuhu an yuwaffiqahu li-ukhrahzu ft ulahu wa-an yuthabbita qadamhu [ala.sup.[subset]] ma [tawatta.sup.[contains]] ahu wa-la yulaq-qiyahu ila ma ilayhi [takhatta.sup.[contains]]ahu wa-an yazidahu ila hidayatihz iyyahu hiddyatan wa-ila dirayatihzi llati atahu dirayatan. innahil waliyu dhalika wa'l-qadiru [alayhi.sup.[subset]]...


First Family

... kana amra wa-aghdha

Second and Third Families kana aghdha wa-amra


First and Second Families

wa-lan takhlusa 'l-nafsu [ani.sup.[subset]] '1-daran ma 'Itafatat 1la qila wa-qula

Third family



First and Third Families

... wa-munaqashati wa-jiduli wa-'[nfa.sup.[subset]]alat bi-halin mina 'I-azwaIi li-maqulin aw [fa.sup.[subset]]alin

Second Family


It should be immediately obvious from the preceding data that either some form of contamination has taken place among the three families or a missing link in the stemma must be posited, since it is otherwise difficult to explain the overlap in variants which the second family shares alternately with the first and third families. Setting aside the question of contamination for now, it may be observed that the first family is clearly the more trustworthy, if only because its reading in example I is the correct one. Using the Berlin manuscript as the base text, then, it is possible to argue that its readings in all examples probably approximate most closely those of Avicenna's own copy (excepting scribal error). Explaining the descent of the second and third families is somewhat more difficult. Both their shared reading in example 1 and their shared reading in example 3 tell us that they are related, but not the nature of that relationship. To explain their respective omissions in examples 4 and 5 we must suppo se at least one intermediary between the first family for both of them, since we cannot assume lines of descent [second family> third family] or [third family > second family] on the basis of these mutually exclusive omissions. Furthermore, we must assume that this posited intermediary contained the reading of the first family in example 2, the error exhibited in the second and third families in example 1, and the common variant in example 3, (49) The variant reading of the third family in example 2 we might imagine to be characteristic of that family only. (50) The respective omissions in examples 4 and 5 are also to be limited to their respective families. Thus, we have a provisional stemma of the manuscript families of the first recension as follows:

So much for families of manuscripts. The next step is the elimination of exemplars. The Berlin manuscript, as the base text, is to be kept. However, its date of coping, estimated by W. Ahlwardt to be around 880/1475-76, is a little later than the earliest of the exemplars in the second and third families, sc. Ahmet III 3447, dated by F. E. Karatay to 866/1462. Since the above exercise has suggested that those families derive from the first family, we might posit an earlier exemplar from which the Berlin manuscript descends. In the case of the second and third families, the respective dates of M55 Ahmet III 3447 (dated 866/1462) and Nur. 4894 (dated circa eleventh/seventeenth century) suggest that the latter can be eliminated. MS Hamidiye 1448 has not, to my knowledge, been dated, but the script suggests that it is rather late, perhaps as late as or later than Nut. 4894. This is the extent of research to date on these manuscripts of the Husul; once the task of editing the text is underway, further refinements will no doubt emerge.

ii. The Abridgement of the First Recension

Separative variant:

wa-[sa.sup.[contains]]altuhu an yuwaffiqahu li-ukhrahu fi ulahu. Innahu 'l-hadi 'l-muyassiru wa-huwa 'l-mudabbiru 'l-muqaddiru.

This curious abridgement, entitled Maktub ila... Abi [Sa.sup.[subset]]id, and which I find only in Nuruosmaniye 4894 (ff. 246v-247r) agrees with the first and second families in the reading of example 2 above (once the omission is taken into account), agrees with the second and third families in the reading of example 1, and contains the text shared by the first and third families in example 5. All of this suggests that it was made from the posited intermediary between the first family and the second and third families (a in the above stemma).

iii, The Second Recension with Epistolary Introduction: Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id's Question to Ibn Sina

Much work remains to be done on the textual history of the letters that collectively constitute what is now called the Avicenna-Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id b. Abi 'l-Khayr Correspondence, but research to date leads to the definite conclusion that it is a product of a later Sufi or Ishraqi tradition that sought to make of Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id an intellectual that he most likely was not, through an epistolary association with Avicenna that most certainly did not occur. (51) The Husul is one such letter by Avicenna that was adopted and modified by the anonymous creator(s) of this series of correspondence. In one stage of this adoption, the Husul alone was simply given some form of a title that included Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id as the addressee (see the manuscripts listed above). In the more developed version of this modification, we find not only the text of the Husul but also an additional introduction in which Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id, while asserting his own achievements on the path of piety, asks Avicenna to enumerate the grounds of his own success on the path (!). (52)

The earliest date to which I have been able to assign the inclusion of this version of the Husul in the forged correspondence is that of the composition of [Baha.sup.[contains]] al-Din al-[Amili.sup.[contains]]'s (d. 1030/1621) al-Kashkul, i.e., 1002/1593. (53) None of the three manuscripts of this version that I have examined (Cambridge Browne X. 1; Mishkat 861; and Mishkat 1079) predates the Kashkul, but it is unlikely, if not impossible, that al-[Amili.sup.[subset]] himself was responsible for the introduction.

The text of the manuscripts of the Husul in this recension exhibits all of the characteristics of the posited intermediary between the first family and the second and third families of the first recension, viz., the reading of the first and second families in example 2 above, the readings of the second and third families in examples I and 3, but the presence of the respective passages missing in the second and third families in examples 4 and 5. This fact may allow us to conjecture that the forged introduction was added to the Husul at some point before the dating of the earliest exemplar of another descendant of that posited intermediary, i.e., Ahmet III 3447, dated 866/1462.

It may be noted in passing that the exemplar in the codex Cairo Dar al-Kutub [Majami.sup.[subset]] Taymur 200 (if. 223r-224v), which Michot drew upon for his translation and which also has the forged introduction, appears to be a contaminated witness that mixes the readings of the first and second families of the first recension, as well as exhibiting its own scribal errors. Thus, it agrees with the readings of both families in example 1 above, contains the text alternately missing in examples 4 and 5, and would appear to mix the readings of both families in example 2 at the end, displaying the following: innahu 'l-qadiru 'l-muyassiru wa'l-mudabbiru 'l-muqaddiru.

Finally, it omits wa-amra in example 3. It is difficult to determine its place in the textual transmission, but this is at any rate irrelevant, since it would not survive the elimination process. (54)

An interesting observation is that the manuscripts of this recension differ in some important respects from the text found in al-[Amili.sup.[subset]]'s al-Kashkul. These differences are largely ones of omission in al-[Amili.sup.[subset]]'s version, and we might suppose they are either the result of al-[Amili.sup.[subset]]'s effort at some brevity in his otherwise large collection of Arabic literature, or reflect an editorial process that al-[Amili.sup.[subset]] felt should be applied to the version he had before him. (55)

iv. The Appropriation of Part of the Husul for the Wasiya

Michot (79*-88*) correctly notes that the Husul bears comparison with a version of Avicenna's [Ahd.sup.[subset]] that circulated under the title Wasiya, addressed to Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id (see 80*), most readily available in the publication Mantiq alMashriqiyin (Cairo, 1910), lz-lt. (56) See the discussion below on the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] for a detailed collation of these passages.

B. The Recensions and Printed Versions of the [Ahd.sup.[subset]]

The textual study of Avicenna's [Ahd.sup.[subset]] is, in a broad sense, less complicated than that necessary for the Hustil, if only because we have Badwai's relatively serviceable edition which, in turn, was based on the very important MS Cairo Dar al-Kutub Hikma 6M. (57) Here I have divided the various accessible manuscripts and publications into four groups. Of those groups only the first, comprising the original recension, is of any importance. The remaining groups are listed only so that readers of Avicenna's works may be aware of their inherent problems. A re-edition of the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] would certainly be desirable, if only to identify and remove any of Badawi's hypercorrections that may have been overlooked by Michot in his translation. Only those manuscripts accessible for this study have been listed below; (58) all of the known publications, however, are represented.

i. Original Recension, Cast in the Dual. Incipit after basmala:

hadha ma [ahada.sup.[subset]] llahu bilu fulanun wa-falanun ba[da.sup.[subset]] ma [arafa.sup.[subset]] rabbahuma wa-ilahahuma wa-wahiba l-[aqli.sup.[subset]] wa'l quwwati lahuma...

a. Manuscripts

1. Cairo, Dar al-Kutub Hikma 6M, 11lv-l12v entitled Nuskhat [ahdin.sup.[subset]] [ahida.sup.[subset]] li-nafsihi;

2. Hamidiye 1448, if. 48r-v, same title;

3. Istanbul University AY 1458, if. 48r-v, same title.

b. Publications

1. [Abd.sup.[subset]] al-Rahman Badawl, Aristu [inda.sup.[subset]] l-[Arab.sup.[subset]], rob, 247-49, on the basis of Cairo Hikma 6M.

ii. Truncated (59) Recension, Cast in Singular

In addition to transforming the grammar and syntax of the original into the singular from the dual, this recension recasts the opening statement and omits the following lines of Badawi: 247.1-7, 9-17 (the second omission is replaced with the phrase wa-tahsila kamaliha min jihati l-[ilmi.sup.[subset]] wa'l-hikma (60) [with scribal variation]), along with the scattered clauses (particularly wa-la [yata.sup.[subset]]atayanihi [amdan.sup.[subset]] aw sahwan at Badawi 248.2-3). Incipit after basniala: Qala ft [ahdin.sup.[subset]] [ahada.sup.[subset]] [ta.sup.[subset]]ala li-nafsihi [ba.sup.[subset]]da an ashara fihi ila nafsihi [annahu.sup.[subset]]ahada llaha bi-tazkiyati nafshi bi-miqdari ma wahaba lahu in quwwatiha li-yukhrijoha mina 'l-quwwati ila l-[fi.sup.[subset]] l....

a. Manuscripts

1. Koprulu 1589 (753/1353), f. 286v. in margin. (61)

2. Ahmet III 3447, ff. 149v-150r. This exemplar has the missing text of Badawi 247.9-17 in the margin as a correction (sahha) but has the phrase wa-tahsla kama-liha min jihati 'l-[ilmi.sup.[subset]] wa 'l-hikma which replaces that text in this version in the matn; this leads one to believe that the marginal "correction" is in fact a variant from another exemplar (i.e., a nuskha note).

3. Nuruosmaniye 4894, if. 495r-v. Many, if not all, of the treatises in this codex appear to have been copied from Ahmet III 3447; this is the case with the [Ahd.sup.[subset]]. In Nur. 4894, the marginal note found in Ahmet III 3447 which adds the text of Badawi 247.9-17 was inserted into the matn before the phrase wa-tahsila kamaliha min jihati 'l-[ilmi.sup.[subset]] wa'l-hikma which was intended to replace that text in this version.

b. Publications

1. In [Majmu.sup.[subset]]at al-[Rasd.sup.[contains]]il, edited by Muhyi al-Din Sabri al-Kurdi (Cairo: [Matba.sup.[subset]]at Kurdistan al[Ilmiya.sup.[subset]], 1328/1910), 205-9.

2. Edited with Persian translation by Muhammad salih [Ha.sup.[contains]]iri Mazandarani in Hikmat-i Bu [Ali.sup.[subset]] Sina (Tehran: s. n.), 1: 8-10.

c. Interrupted Version of the Truncated Recension

This version was originally the truncated recension cast in the singular; this fact is evident from the omissions of Badawi 247.9-17 and the clause at Badawi 248. 2-3, both of which it shares with the truncated recension. However, when it was published, it was mixed with Avicenna's Risala [fi.sup.[subset]]ilm al-akhlaq. This disorder is most likely to be attributed to the misplacement of folia in the manuscript used for the earliest publication ([Tis.sup.[subset]][rasa.sup.[contains] il fi 'l-hikma wa 'l-[tabi.sup.[subset]]iyat wa-fi akhiriha qissat Salaman wa-Absal, Constantinople, 1298/1881). (62) None-theless, once the interruption is taken into account, this version contains all of the text of the truncated recension, and so differs from the next version.

iii. Damaged Version of the Truncated Recension

This version begins in the same fashion as the truncated version, in both its consecutive and interrupted states, but is distinguished from them by the additional absence of the text corresponding to Badawi 247.8- 248.3. This large lacuna can only be explained by the loss of a folio in the manuscript used for publication and, at any rate, makes the text senseless. Incipit after basmala:

qala... [ft.sup.[subset]]ahadin [ahada.sup.[subset]] llaha fihi annahu [ahada.sup.[subset]] llaha bitazkiyati nafsiht bi-micqdari ma wahaba lahu mm quwwatiha li-yukhrijaha anna bi-hahwatin [sic]...

a. Manuscripts

1. Mishkat 1149 (c. tenth/sixteenth c.), 46r. (63)

b. Published Exemplars

1. In the top and left margins of Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi's Sharh al-hidaya al-athiriya (Lithograph Tehran, 1313, 1895-96), 336-38;

2. In [Abd.sup.[subset]] al-Amir Shams al-Din's al-Madhhab al-tarbawi [inda.sup.[subset]] Ibn Sina min khilal falsafatihi 'l-[ilmiya.sup.[subset]] (Beirut: al-Sharika al-[Alamiya.sup.[subset]] li-'l-Kutub, 1988), 419-20, with further editorial corruption. (64)

iv. The Recension Created for the Avicenna-Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id Correspondence: The Wasiya

As with a number of Avicenna's private letters, the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] was taken over by the inventor(s) of the Avicenna--Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id b. Abi 'l-Khayr Correspondence. Michot points out (80*) that the so-called Wasiya addressed to Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id is actually a concatenation of the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] and the Husul [ilm.sup.[subset]] wa-hikma. Passages from the Husul make up the first part of this Wasiya, and passages from the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] the second half. To complicate matters, the Husal, which appears to have been written to Avicenna's student Ibn Zayla also formed on its own a part of the Avicenna--Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id b. Abi 'l-Khayr Correspondence in a variety of recensions and with a fabricated introduction (see above). It is almost certain that the recension of the Husul that was combined with the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] to create the so-called Wasiya was its second recension, in the manuscript, not the printed, version. (65) Which version of the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] was used for this concatenation is difficult to determine, but it certainly was not the original recension, since the text of the Wasiya does not exhibit the dual in grammar and syntax. Table 2 provides a collation of pages and lines of the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] from Badawi's 1947 edition (in Aristu [inda.sup.[subset]] 'l-[arab.sup.[subset]]), the Husul from the introduction to al-Makawi and Sabri al-Kurdi's Cairo 1331 edition of the Najat, and the Wasiya from the introduction to al-Mantiq al-mashriqiyin.

v. A Final Anomaly: A Modern Contaminated Witness

For some reason Hasan [Asi.sup.[subset]] chose to revisit the earlier collection [Tis.sup.[subset]] [rasa.sup.[contains]]il, first published in Constantinople in 1881, to compare the texts therein to more recent and, in some cases, better editions, (66) along with one late manuscript (Nuruosmaniye 4894), and to republish the whole with his unidentified editorial choices. Perhaps the most generous word to be said for this dubious venture is that [Asi.sup.[subset]] disentangled the [Ahd.sup.[subset]] from Risala fi [ilm.sup.[subset]] al-akhlaq (see the Interrupted Version of the Truncated Recension above). For his revision of the [Ahd.sup.[subset]], he apparently consulted Badawi's 1947 edition of the original recension and Nuruosmaniye 4894 in addition to the text as found in the 1881 publication of [Tis.sup.[subset]] [rasa.sup.[contains]]il. The result is a contaminated witness that combines both the original and the truncated recensions. [Asi.sup.[subset]] chose to retain the grammar and syntax of the truncated recension but added the text it omits by drawing on Badawi's text, which he reformulated in the singular to be consistent with the truncated recension. The result should be avoided.
Table 1

Recensions of Husul [ilm.sup.[subset]] wa-hikma

First Recension First Recension First Recension Agridgement

First Family Second Family Third Family

Berlin Lbg. 368 Ahmet III 3447 (2) Ahmet III (1) Nur. 4894 (1)
 Nur. 4894 (3) Nur. 4894 (2)
 Ham. 1448 (2) Ham. 1448 (1)

 Ulken, Opuscules 2

First Recension Second Recension: Abu
 [Sa.sup.[subset]]id Correspondence
First Family

Berlin Lbg. 368 Cam. Browne X.1
 Mishkat 861
 Mishkat 1079

 Al-Kashkul, Bulaq 1288/1871
 Intro. to al-Najat 1331/1912

Table 2

Collation of [Ahd.sup.[subset]], Husul, and Wastya

 Badawi Najat Intro. MM

Husul 11.8-14.3
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 247.2-17
Husul 14.3-15.4 lz.15-lh.3
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 247.17-21 lh.13-17
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 248.10-11 lh.17-18
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 248.14-15 lh.19
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 248.18-19 lh.20
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 248.21 lh.20-21
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 249.1 lh.21
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 249.4-5 lh.21-22
[Ahd.sup.[subset]] 249.5 lh.23-lt.3

(1.) Dimitri Gutas, Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition: Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988).

(2.) I have attempted such a study of the Mubahathat in my The Making of the Avicennan Tradition: The Transmission, Contents, and Structure of Ibn Sina's al-Mubahatat (The Discussions) (Leiden: Brill, 2002).

(3.) See Gutas's analysis of the Autobiography in Avicenna, 149ff., and now Michot's tantalizing remarks on al-Juzjani's Biography, which he describes as a "hagiographie plutot que biographie," in lbn Sina, 53 * ff.; see also The Making of the Avicennan Tradition, 135ff.

(4.) As Jean Michot, "Un important recueil avicennien du VIIe/XIIIe S.: la Majmu[subset]a Huseyin Celebi 1194 de Brousse," Bulletin de philosophic medievale 33 (1991): 121-29. There (p. 122) he noted that the title page of the codex states that it contains forty-five treatises by Ibn Sina; we must imagine either a faulty count (consider the treatment of [subset]Uyun al-hikma as two treatises, perhaps by the original cataloguer of the manuscript, or the loss of the other treatises.

(5.) Osman Ergin, Ibn Sina bibliografyasi (Istanbul: Istanbul Universitesi, 1956).

(6.) George C. Anawati, Mu[contains]allafat Ibn Sina/Essai de bibliographic Avicennienne (Cairo: Dar al-Ma[subset]arif, 1950).

(7.) Yahya Mahdavi, Fihrist-i nuskha-ha-yi musannafat-i Ibn Sina (Tehran: Intisharat-i Danishgah-yi Tihran, 1333Sh./1954).

(8.) As Jean R. Michot, "Une nouvelle aeuvre de jeune Avicenne, note complementaire a propos du ms. Huseyin Celebi 1194 de Brousse," Bulletin de philosophic medievale 34 (1992): 138-54.

(9.) Avicenna actually uses terminology associated with the legal fatwa; see, e.g., Michot's edition, Ibn Sina, 9.12.

(10.) Michot has consistently appeared unaware that al-Bayhaqi's information is based solely on the introductions to the Letter to tile Vizier and the Adhawiya and thus does not constitute external evidence. In other words, al-Bayhaqi knew nothing more about Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani than what he was able to glean from the Avicenna corpus itself (compare his choice of language to describe the respective accusations of Avicenna and Abu 'l-Qasim, e.g., qillat al-[subset]inayati bi-sina[subset]ati 'l-mantiq and al-ghalat wa'l-mughalata (Tatimmat siwan al-hikma, ed. M. Shafi[subset], Lahore, 1351/1932, 33.1-2), both of which appear in the introduction to Avicenna's Letter to tile Vizier (ed. Michot, 2.3-4).

(11.) For this identification, Michot largely relied on the study by Wadad al-Qadi, "Kitab Siwan al-Hikma; Structure, Composition, Authorship and Sources," Der Islam 58 (1981): 87-124, who first suggested that this Abu 'l-Qasim may have been the author of the Siwan al-hikma. While I agree with Michot that this Abu 'l-Qasim is probably the same as Avicenna's debating opponent, I note Joel Kramer's hesitancy (which Michot has not remarked upon) in ascribing the Siwan al-hikma to him; see Kraemer, Philosophy in the Renaissance of Islam: Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani and his circle (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1986), 119ff.

(12.) See William E. Gohlman, The Life of Ibn Sina (Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 1974), 77ff., for details on this correspondence. Avicenna's responses to the Questions on Logic from the scholars of Shiraz, known alternately as al-Ajwiba [subset]an al-masa.[contains]il al-[subset]ishriniya, [subset]Ishrun mas[contains]ala fi 'l-mantiq, and al-Masa[contains] il al-gharibiya, have been edited by M. T. Danish-pazhuh as "Al-Masa[contains]il al-ghariba al-[subset]ishriniya," in Collected Texts and Papers on Logic and Language, ed. M. Mohaghegh and T. Izutsu (Tehran, 1974), 81--103. For additional details concerning the identity of the Abu 'l-Qasim mentioned by al-Juzjani in the Biography as the messenger for this correspondence, see The Making of the Avicennan Tradition, 166ff. Another messenger also known as Abu 'l-Qasim, and this time serving as the intermediary in the Avicenna-Biruni debate, can also he discounted; see The Making of the Avicennan Tradition, 177 n. 42.

(13.) This information is based on W. Madelung's essay "Abu '1-Kayr b. al-Kammar" in EIr, 1: 330--31 and reiterated again by Michot in the present work, [28.sup.*]-[31.sup.*].

(14.) As a result of this revision, Michot no longer believes that Avicenna makes reference to Abu '1-Qasim in the introduction to the Adhawiya since, according to the revised chronology, that work was written in Rayy before Avicenna had even met Abu 'l-Qasim (Ibn Sind, [32.sup.*], with translation of the relevant paragraphs from the Adhawiya, [33.sup.*]-[34.sup.*]).

(15.) As J. Michot, "La reponse d'Avicenne a Bahmanyar et al-Kirmani: Presentation, traduction critique et lexique arabe-francais de la Mubahatha III," Le Museon 110.1--2 (1997): 143--221. Michot deserves high praise for this article, the first integrated translation with commentary of any of the letters of the Mubahathat.

(16.) "Le reponse," 141 ff. Ibid., 158.

(18.) Cf. the chronology of the parts of the Shifa[contains] by Dimitri Gutas in Avicenna, 104-5.

(19.) Avicenna says (Kitab al-Mubahathat, ed. M. Bidarfar, Qum: Matba[subset]at-i Amir, 1992, par. 47): "What he (i.e., Bahmanyar) thanked me for was a promise I made to that friend." In The Making of the Avicennan Tradition, 216ff., I maintain that what Avicenna refers to here is the letter Mubahatha III itself.

(20.) For details, see "La reponse," 159 an. 67, 69.

(21.) This chronology also forced Michot to argue that Mubuhatha I, which in all recensions of the Mubahathat, precedes Mubahatha III, was written after the latter because it contains a reference to the Isharat.

(22.) Michot refers obliquely in Ibn Sina to some aspects of his chronology argument; for instance, 119* n. 1, where we find his argument for the composition of the Isharat in Hamadhan (i.e., around 406/1016).

(23.) Edited by I. Yarshater as "Risalat [ba.sup.[subset]]d al-afadil ila [subset][ulama.sup.[contains]] madinat al-salam fi maqulat al-Shaykh al-[Ra.sup.[contains]]is," in Panj risala (Tehran: Anjuman-i Athar-i Milli, 1332Sh./1953), 73-90.

(24.) It is to be noted that credit goes to I. Yarshater for first identifying the "advanced scholar" in the Letter as Abu 'l-Qasim al-Kirmani, for locating a lemma of the Letter in Mulla Sadra's Asfar, and a related passage in the Ilahiyat of the [Shifa.sup.[contains]]; see the introduction to his edition, 69-71. Michot, Ibn Sina, 14*-15*, duly translates the passages from the Asfar and the [Shifa.sup.[contains]].

(25.) That said, Michot has added yet another element to the geographical metaphors with his comparison of the intellectual atmospheres of Hamadhan (see 35*-36*) and Isfahan (see 97*-99*).

(26.) See Gohlman, Life, 68/69 for further details.

(27.) Could it not be just a literary analysis?

(28.) As Michot informed me in a private communication (May 19, 2001).

(29.) Alternately, if any correction to the text may be made, the second reaction, masakhahu ("overriding it") might profitably be corrected to masahuhu ("erasing it"), thus preserving the alliteration of the string of verbs beginning with mim.

(30.) Danishpazhuh first listed some of the manuscripts of the letters, with a brief study in Fihrist-i Kitabkhanah-yi [Ihda.sup.[contains]i-yi Aqu-yi Sayyid Muhammad Mishkat bih Kitabkhanh-yi Danishgah-yi Tihran (Tehran: Danishgah-yi Tihran, 1332Sh./ 1952), 3: 1, 170ff. (hereafter Mishkat Cat.); see also his more detailed study of the letter dubbed al-Qiyas in the same volume, 21ff. In the same year he published a further account in "Pasukh-i Khvajah-yi [Ra.sup.[contains]is-I Abu [Ali.sup.[subset]] Sina bih pursah-i Abi [Sa.sup.[subset]]id-I Abi 'I-Khayr dar barah-yi rah-yi din darast, ba guzarash-ha yi [Sa.sup.[subset]]d al-Din Kazaruni va danishmandi gum-nam va [Ayn.sup.[subset]] al-Qudat Hamadani," Danish 3 (13352Sh./1952): 1-6; and an editio princeps of al-Qiyas in "Pasukh-i Sina bi-shaykh Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id-i Abi'l-Khayr, az athar-i Ibn Sina," Farhang-i Iran Zamin 1.2 (1332Sh./1952): 189-204. On Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id, readers are directed to Fritz Meier's magisterial Abu [Sa.sup.[subset]]id-i Abu l-Hayr wirklichkeit and Legende, Acta Iranica 11 (Teheran-Liege: Bibliotheque Pahlavi; Lei den: E. J. Brill, 1976). I hope to publish a complete account of the Correspondence shortly.

(31.) The horrendous "edition" in H. Z. Ulken's Ibn Sina Risaleleri, 2: Les Opuscules d'Ibn Sina (Istanbul: Ibrahim Horoz Basimevi, 1953), 37-39.

(32.) note here that Michot's sigla H, which appears regularly in his notes, is left unexplained, even in n. 4, 120*, where he lists the texts and sigla that he employs. Michot has informed me (Sept. 13, 2002) that this is a typographical error for "N." Note also that the em-dash used in the apparatus is not preceded by the colon separating variants, but it appears to mean that the variant is not found in a given exemplar.

(33.) G. Hourani, "Ibn Sina's Essay on the Secret of Destiny," BSOAS 29 (1966): 25-48.

(34.) See al-Juzjani's remarks in Life, 72/73. The surviving fragments of Avicenna's Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]] have been edited by I. Yarshater in Panj risala, 1-31.

(35.) For these remarks, see the introduction to Lisan al-[arab.sup.[subset]], ed. Yarshater, 1.

(36.) Copied between 1076-86/1665-75 according to Danishpazhuh's description of the codex in the Mishkat Cat., 3:1, 173.

(37.) Mahdavi presented (no. 4w in his Fihrist, 8) a single line of the text as evidence for his argument that the recipient of the letter was Abu Sa[subset]id, without explaining why the line was significant in this regard.

(38.) This gloss may be a conjecture on the part of an unknown scholar who read Avicenna's Risala fi ibtal ahkam al-nujum, also addressed to Ibn Zayla, where we learn that Avicenna's express intention in writing the treatise was that it might serve Ibn Zayla as a sort of reference book that he could consult "during [his] times of retreat (awqat al-khalawat)"; see Ulken, Opuscules, 2: 51.4 and Michot, Ibn Sind, 26* where he has quietly, and rightly, corrected Ulken's reading al-h.l.wat, presumably on the basis of MS Leiden Warner Or. 1020.

(39.) The following supplemental list of manuscripts, in chronological order, is intended to update that of Mahdavi, although I am certain that yet more copies will be discovered. Ayasofya 4849 (657/1258-59), ff. 29-31, addressed to Ibn Zayla (see Anawati, Mu[contains]allafat, 116 for this date); Ambrosiana 310 (685/1286), 280v-281r (see O. Lofgren and R. Traini, Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana [Vicenza: N. Pazza, 1975], 1: 115); Esad Efendi 3688 (the date 737/1336--37 is provided by Anawati, Mu[contains]allafat, 312); Majlis I, 3070 (eighth/fourteenth c.) if. 344-49, with forged Abu Sa[subset]id introduction (see [subset]Abd al-Husayn Ha[contains]iri, Fihrist-i Kitabkanah-yi Majlis-i Shura-yi Milli, Tebran: Kitabkhanah, 1347Sh./1968, 10: 2, 616-17); British Museum Or. 6572 (ninth/fifteenth c.), 19v, in margin, addressed to Abu Sa[subset]id (see G. Ellis and E. Edwards, A Descriptive List of the Arabic Manuscripts Acquired by the Trustees of the British Museum since 1895 [Lond on, 1912], 11); Ahmet III 1584 (copied by [subset]Abd al-Rahman b. [subset]Ali b. al-Mu[contains]ayyad in 914/1508-9), f. 133 (see F. E. Karatay, Topkapi Sarayi Milzesi Kutuphanesi Arapca yazmalar katalogou [Istanbul: Milli Egi tim Bakanligi Yayinlari, 1966], 4: 380); Majlis I, 2937 (1011-12/1603-4; multiple hands; owners: [subset]Abd al-Qayyum Barjini Azdi and Sulayman Kabrala[contains]i Isma[subset]il), if. 108-11, addressed to Ibn Zayla (see Ha[contains]iri, Fihrist, 10: 2, 352); Mishkat 1257 (copied by [subset]Ali Naqi b. Hajji Muhammad Amin between 1085-97/1674-85), ff. 206v-207r (see M. T. Danishpazhuh, Mishkat Cat., 3: 5, 2678 (no. 38) and for the description of the codex, 2679); Maktabat Makka al-Mukarrama Majmu[subset]a 47 [subset]Arif hikma (1077/1666-67), ninth treatise (see M. T. Danishpazhuh, "Kitabkhanah-ha-yi [subset]Iraq va [subset]Arabistan-i Sa[subset]udi," in Nuskhah-ha-yi khatti, ed. M. T. Danishpazhuh and Iraj Afshar, Tihran: Kitabkhanah-yi Markazi va Danishgah-yi Tihran, 1346Sh./1967, 5: 579); Madrasah-yi Akhund 1187 (tenth-eleventh/sixteenth-seventeenth c.), if. 98-99, addressed to Ibn Zayla (see M. Rawshan, Fihrist-i nuskhah-ha-yi khatti-yi Kitabkhanah-ha-yi Rasht u Hamadan (Tehran: Intisharat-i Farhang-i Ira Zamin, 1353Sh./1974], 1468); Istanbul University 1458 (1246/1830-31), 54r-55v, addressed to Abu Sa[subset]id (Anawati, Mu[contains]allafut, 144, gives the date 1242); Milli Malik 6151 (1290-92/1873-75), ff. 533-35, with forged Abu Sa[subset]id introduction (see Iraj Afshar and M. T. Danishpazhuh, Fihrist-i kitab-ha-yi khatti-yi kitabkhanah-yi Milli Malik [Tehran: Kitabkhanah, 1371Sh./1992], 204); Mishkat 871 (copied by Muhammad [subset]Ali, c. 1301/1883-84), 154r-156r, addressed to Ibn Zayla (see Danishpazhuh, Mishkat Cat., 3: 1, 379); Paris 3423 (undated), ff. 1-2, where the title identifies Abu Sa[subset]id as recipient (see G. Vajda, Index general des manuscrits arabes musulmans de la Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris [Paris, 1953], 585, 598). The title R. fi 'l-khalwa in MS Emanet H azinesi 1730 (undated), f. 283r may mask another copy (see Fuat Sezgin, "Uc macmu[subset]at ar-rasa[contains]il," Turk Dili 7 [1956]: 236). Mahdavi also lists Nuruosmaniye 1458, fourth treatise in the codex, but according to Anawati, Mu[contains]allafat, 315, this is a copy of Avicenna's Letter to [subset]Ala[contains] al-Dawla. Note that my use of the abbreviation Majlis I for Kitabkhanah-yi Majlis-i Shura-yi Milli, known since the Revolution as Kitabkhanah-yi Majlis-i Shura-yi Islami (Shumarah-yi Yak) is intended to distinguish it from the new name of the old Kitabkhanah-yi Majlis-i Sana, now called Kitabkhanah-yi Majlis-i Shura-yi Islami (Shumarah-yi Du).

(40.) Conjectural date by Mahdavi, Fihrist, 347.

(41.) Date provided by F. E. Karatay, Topkapi Sarayi Muzesi, 3: 618-20.

(42.) Tentative date by W. Ahlwardt, Verzeichniss der arabischen Handschriften der koniglichen Bibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin: L. Schade, 1887-99), no. 5357. I thank Dr. Hartmut-Ortwin Feistel of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin for providing me with a microfilm of these folia.

(43.) See R. A. Nicholson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Oriental Mss. Belonging to the Late E. G. Browne (Cambridge, 1932), 277. I thank Ms. Ruth Long of the Photography Office, Cambridge University Library for providing me with a microfilm of the relevant folia.

(44.) See G. Anawati, "Le manuscrit Nour Osmaniyye 4894," MIDEO 3 (1956): 381-86. My own autopsy of the manuscript suggests the above date. I thank Dimitri Gutas for sharing his copy of this codex with me.

(45.) I am unaware of any study of this manuscript, but my review of the text of the Husul in the codex (I thank Y. Michot for generously forwarding a photocopy to me) indicates that it is copied in a relatively late ta[liq.sup.[subset]] hand.

(46.) Copied by Muhmmad b. Hajji Nad [Ali.sup.[subset]] for Hajji Muhammad Sharifkhan in Mashhad, according to Danishpazhuh, Mishkat Cat., 3: 1, 176-77.

(47.) Danishpazhuh notes (Mishkat Cat., 3: 1, 45) that the thirty-fourth treatise in this codex was copied by Muhammad Salih Karrami in 1045, but does not indicate a copy date for the other thirty-four treatises.

(48.) These examples do not take into account variants that can positively be attributed to scribal error.

(49.) For a possible descendant of this posited intermediary, see below under Second Recension.

(50.) With regard to this variant, it is perhaps significant, or at least puzzling, to note that the concluding phrase innahu waliyu dhahika wa'I-qudiru alayzi has a parallel later in the text of the third family alone where we find annahu walihi wa'I qadiru alayhi (e.g., Nur. 4894, 307v, line 10); the first and second families have only annahu walihi (e.g., Berlin, Lbg. 368, 109v, line 14).

(52.) The text of this introduction may be found in al-[contains]Amili's al-Kashkul, 355.

(51.) Fritz Meier, who discounted the legends of a meeting between Avicenna and Abu Sa[contains]id, but who suggested that the correspondence may be authentic, offered another theory (Abu Sa[contains]-id-i Abu l-Hayr, 26-29): that the hagiographers of Abu Sa[contains]id suppressed the correspondence since the fact that Abu Sa[contains]id would have to ask Avicenna anything suggested he lacked certain knowledge. This is a novel solution to the problem, but it is not based on a study of the actual texts that make up the correspondence.

(53.) See C. E. Bosworth's extensive study of this work, Baha[contains] al-Din al-[contains]Amili and His Literary Anthologies (Manchester: Univ. of Manchester, 1989), 29. Bosworth does not make reference to the copy of the Husul contained in the Kashkul. The publication of al-Kashkul used for this study is Bulaq 1288/1871 (Bosworth's sigla B). The Husul is found on pp. 355-57.

(54.) An alternate theory for its place in the stemma would be as a descendant of the posited intermediary between the first family and the second and third families, but we would have to infer an additional apograph to account for the contamination of its reading in example 2. It would be far too fortuitous for this contamination to be attributable to scribal error. Furthermore, this contamination likely took place after the addition of the forged introduction; this fact makes it all the more difficult to assume a direct line from the posited intermediary.

(55.) These omissions are not the same as those in the abridgement.

(56.) Correct Michot's reference to the pagination lb-It at 80* n. 3 and 120 * n. 3.

(57.) For a thorough codicological study of this codex which stresses a pedigree that may ultimately go back to Avicenna, see Dimitri Gutas, "Notes and Texts from Cairo Manuscripts, II: Texts from Avicenna's Library in a Copy by [subset]Abd-ar-Razzaq as-Signabi," Manuscripts of the Middle East 2 (1987): 8-17.

(58.) I note, for instance, that there are two copies of the [subset]Ahd in MS Bursa Huseyin Celebi 1194; see Michot, "Un important recucil," 127-28.

(59.) The term "truncated" applies to anything whose top or bottom has been cut off; here it is the top, or beginning of the text that has been removed.

(60.) Might this phrase have given rise to the (modern) title Husul [subset]ilm wa-hi kma, particularly when we consider the concatenation of the [subset]Ahd and the Husul in the creation of the Wasiya?

(61.) See R. Sesen, Fihris makhtutat Maktabat Kuprili/Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Koprulu Library (Istanbul: Research Center for Islamic History, 1986), 2: 271.

(62.) Sabri al-Kurdi may be referring to this situation in the note (tanbih) he appended to his publication of the [Subset]Ahd in Majmu[Subset]at al-rasa[Contains]il, 1328/1910, 208-9, in which he justifies the need to reprint the [Subset]Ahd. Note that the copy of Tis[Subset] rasa[Contains]il reprinted at Cairo by A. Hindiya in 1908, and containing the [Subset]Ahd (72-102), is simply a reprint of the Constantinople publication. Anawati has argued that the Constantinople 1881 collection as a whole is based on MS Koprulu 868 (Anawati, Mu[Contains]allafat, 325; and confirmed by M. Marmura, English introduction to his edition of Ithbat al-Nubuwwat, 1968, x). The Tis[Subset] has more recently been reprinted at Cairo: Dar al-[Subset]Arab li'l-Bustani, 1989. Neither of these reprints offer new texts. The revisiting of the Tis[Subset] by Hasan [Subset]Asi is discussed below.

(63.) See Danishpazhuh, Mishkat Cat., 3: 4, 2401.

(64.) Shams al-Din was aware of Badawi's publication of the original recension, but chose to ignore it and added insult to injury with his poor editorial choices; see Michot's just comments, 80 * n. 2.

(65.) The distinction is important since the Wasiya, to my knowledge, is found only in the publication Mantiq almashriqiyin; it is not clear whether there is a manuscript tradition behind it.

(66.) This is the case for M. Marmura's edition of Ithbat alnubuwwat (Beirut: Dar al-Nahar, 1968) and A.-M. Goichon's edition of al-Hudud (Livre des definitions [Cairo: L'Institut francais d'Archeologie Orientale du Caire, 1963]), both of which [subset]Asi butchers.

This is a review article of: Ibn Sina, lettre au vizir Abu Sa.[contains]d: Editio princeps d'apres le manuscrit de Bursa. By YAHYA MICHOT. Sagesses musulmanes 4. Beirut: Editions al-Bouraq, 2000.
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Title Annotation:Ibn Sina, lettre au vizir Abu Sa'd: Editio princeps d'apres le manuscrit de Bursa
Author:Reisman, David C.
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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