Well Begun is Only Half Done: Tracing Aristotle’s Political Ideas in Medieval Arabic, Syriac, Byzantine, and Jewish Sources

Medieval Confluences Series, Vol. 1

Well Begun is Only Half Done: Tracing Aristotle’s Political Ideas in Medieval Arabic, Syriac, Byzantine, and Jewish Sources

Edited by Vasileios Syros (University of Helsinki )
2011 | 226 + xiv pp. | 978-0-86698-436-2 | Hardcover 6 x 9 in
MRTS 388 | $58 | £44 |

This collection of essays represents the first sustained effort to explore the trajectories of Aristotle’s political ideas in the medieval Arabic, Syriac, Byzantine, and Jewish traditions. It brings to the fore an extensive corpus of hitherto neglected or understudied sources on Aristotle’s political, moral, and rhetorical theory and assesses their importance for the evolution of political thought in medieval Islam and Judaism and the Syriac, and Byzantine contexts. It also revisits the influence of Aristotle’s political thought on seminal representatives of Arabic (al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīnā, Ibn Bājja, Ibn Rushd), Syriac (Bar Hebraeus), Jewish (Moses Maimonides, Ḥasdai Crescas, Isaac Abravanel), and Byzantine (Themistios, Theodoros Metochites) political writing. The volume breaks new ground by challenging the longstanding scholarly assumption that medieval Islamic and Jewish political thought was predominantly influenced by Plato’s philosophy and opens up new perspectives on the reception of classical political thought in the medieval world.