Translating at the Court

Translating at the Court: Bartholomew of Messina and Cultural Life at the Court of Manfred of Sicily

Edited by Pieter DE LEEMANS
Volume: 45
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 426
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14jxspz
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    Translating at the Court
    Book Description:

    The importance of Bartholomew's oeuvre and cultural life under the reign of Manfred. An important chapter in the rediscovery of Aristotle in the Middle Ages is the oeuvre of Bartholomew of Messina (Bartholomaeus de Messana), a translator at the court of Manfred, King of Sicily (1258–1266). However, the impact of both Bartholomew and Manfred on the cultural and intellectual life of their time remains understudied, especially in comparison to the attention received by the translator's contemporary, William of Moerbeke, and by the King's father, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. This volume contributes to the exploration of this field of research in a twofold way. It discusses the nature and importance of Bartholomew's oeuvre (and especially his translations of Aristotle). Moreover, by situating Bartholomew's activity in a broader context Translating at the Court pays special attention to cultural life under the reign of Manfred.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-165-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-IV)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. V-VI)
  3. NOTES ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. VII-X)
  4. BARTHOLOMEW OF MESSINA, TRANSLATOR AT THE COURT OF MANFRED, KING OF SICILY
    (pp. XI-XXX)
    Pieter DE LEEMANS

    The rediscovery of Aristotle in the Middle Ages is one of the most important events in the history of (late) medieval philosophy. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries saw Latin translations of major parts of the Corpus Aristotelicum both from the Greek and the Arabic. Through these translations, Aristotle, who until then had mainly been known – via Boethius’s translations – as a teacher of logic, became the authority in several other domains such as metaphysics, ethics, and natural philosophy. This rapid appropriation of Aristotelian thought was stimulated by the rise of Universities in the same period. The translatedCorpus Aristotelicumeventually formed...

  5. LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON? THE LIFE AND REIGN OF MANFRED, KING OF SICILY
    (pp. 1-30)
    Steven J. WILLIAMS

    In modern scholarship, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1194-1250) gets a lot of attention; his descendants, rather less. There are certainly good reasons why this is so. For one thing, historians are – initially, at least – more attracted to the larger caches of documents and larger-than-life characters. Second, Frederick’s reign was unusually long; his sons’ and grandson’s, tragically short. Third, Frederick’s 56-year life is dramatic, epic even, with great novelistic twists and turns, so the three brief dynastic episodes that follow (1250-1268) necessarily have the feel of epilogues. Fourth and finally, by all accounts Frederick was an extraordinary individual, but personal qualities...

  6. THE SAPIENTIA OF MANFRED AND THE STUDIUM OF NAPLES
    (pp. 31-48)
    FULVIO DELLE DONNE

    One of the most important sources – perhaps the absolutely most important source available to us – for reconstructing events in the life and reign of Manfred, the Swabian king of Sicily (1232-1266) is provided in theHistoria de rebus gestis Frederici II imperatoris eiusque filiorum Conradi et Manfredi Apuliae et Siciliae regum, attributed to the so-called Nicolaus de Jamsilla.¹

    The first part of this work gives a particularly detailed account of the succession of events within the Kingdom of Sicily between 1254 and 1256 and takes the form of a kind of report. Its principal aim was to justify Manfred’s actions...

  7. DUBITAUIT REX MANFRIDUS ... KING MANFRED AND THE DETERMINATIO MAGISTRALIS OF PETER OF IRELAND
    (pp. 49-64)
    MICHAEL W. DUNNE

    Ruedi Imbach, in a chapter devoted to philosophy at the courts of princes, speaks of an ‘imperialism of originality’ which he says begins from the principle that only original thoughts or arguments are to be considered by the history of philosophy.¹ Commenting that investigations looking for such originality in medieval philosophy have concentrated on the monasteries and on the Universities, he suggests that one should not makea prioristipulations as to what the norm of philosophy and philosophising should be or, indeed, where one should find it. He points out that entire sectors of medieval philosophy have been passed...

  8. DE HEBREA LINGUA TRANSTULIMUS IN LATINAM MANFRED OF SICILY AND THE PSEUDO-ARISTOTELIAN LIBER DE POMO
    (pp. 65-90)
    PARASKEVI KOTZIA

    As king of Sicily, Manfred (1232-1266) followed in his cultural policy the footsteps of his famous father, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1194-1250). During his brief reign (1258-1266), Manfred took care to ensure that the royal court of Palermo remained a multicultural centre of intense intellectual activity and learning, while personally promoting the translation of Greek and Arabic works into Latin which Frederick had initiated. This is also exemplified in his interest in the pseudo-Aristotelian workOn the Apple, as I will try to show in the present article. Peter of Ireland (Petrus de Ybernia) was active as a teacher and...

  9. FRALA CORTE E L’UNIVERSITÀ: MANOSCRITTI MINIATI DI ETÀ MANFREDIANA
    (pp. 91-112)
    ALESSANDRA PERRICCIOLI SAGGESE

    Fra le tracce più consistenti della cultura dell’età di Manfredi, la miniatu ra ricopre senza dubbio un ruolo di primo piano per la qualità e l’eccezionalità delle opere pervenuteci, unanimemente considerate veri e propri apax nella produzione artistica medievale non solo dell’Italia meridionale. Dei codici noti, però, solo due sono direttamente ricollegabili allo stesso Manfredi, laBibbia,che da lui prende il nome, e ilDe arte venan di cum avibus, entrambi conservati nella Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Pal. lat. 1071 e Vat. lat. 36). Come è ben noto, il primo viene concordemente datato entro il 1258,¹ in quanto Manfredi, nella...

  10. JEWISH PHILOSOPHY AND TRANSLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHICAL TEXTS INTO HEBREW IN 13TH -CENTURY SOUTHERN ITALY, INCLUDING SICILY: SOME OBSERVATIONS
    (pp. 113-122)
    MAURO ZONTA

    The number and the impact of Jewish philosophers and Hebrew philosophical translators working in Sicily proper during the thirteenth century were really very few: as we shall see, only one philosophical text was certainly translated into Hebrew in that specific geographical area and in that historical period. Notwithstanding this, I think that there are some reasons to suggest speaking about ‘Southern Italy, including Sicily’ in examining this subject. First of all, some of the philosophers and/or translators working in that period, although they stayed in Naples at the Angevin court, were apparently from various places of Sicily (Palermo, Agrigento). Secondly,...

  11. BARTHÉLEMY DE MESSINE, TRADUCTEUR DU PS.-ARISTOTE, DE MUNDO: LA DIFFUSION DE NÉOLOGISMES MÉTAPHYSIQUES, ASTROLOGIQUES ET COSMOLOGIQUES (INFLUENTIA, INALTERABILIS) DU XIIE AU XIVE SIÈCLE
    (pp. 123-154)
    Giacinta SPINOSA

    La méthode de nos recherches lexicales concernant les versions gréco-latines d’Aristote consiste en une approche diachronique privilégiant les néologismes et, en particulier, ceux d’entre eux qui ont survécu dans les langues vernaculaires modernes. D’ordinaire, l’on peut observer le langage technique des traductions selon des perspectives différentes; soit comme témoin privilégié pour la reconstruction du texte source grec (dans le cas des traductions gréco-latines); soit comme état initial dans le développement d’une langue vernaculaire.¹ Toutefois, notre perspective est différente: la traduction est considérée surtout comme lieu d’innovation lexicale. Tout d’abord, cette innovation est due à l’évolution des systèmes langagiers, qui s’épanouissent...

  12. STEPHEN OF MESSINA AND THE TRANSLATION OF ASTROLOGICAL TEXTS FROM GREEK IN THE TIME OF MANFRED
    (pp. 155-164)
    CHARLES BURNETT

    The initial letters of the 100 aphorisms of a very popular astrological text of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance spell out a sentence:¹

    Here we have a reference to a translator called Stephen of Messina working for King Manfred (reigned 1258-66). In the reign of Manfred’s Angevin successor, Charles I, a charter of 1270 documents the donation of six ounces of gold to ‘master Stephen Takki of Messina, interpreter of books, notary and faithful servant of our court’,² who may be the same person.

    The text is usually referred to as theCentiloquium Hermetis.It exists in over eighty...

  13. TRUE COLOURS: THE MEDIEVAL LATIN TRANSLATIONS OF DE COLORIBUS
    (pp. 165-202)
    PIETER BEULLENS

    The purpose of this article is to reconsider the medieval Latin translations of the pseudo-Aristotelian treatise known asDe coloribus, which is included in the original editorial plan of theAristoteles Latinusseries. Several scholars have examined the texts and have come to diverse conclusions regarding their authorship.

    Lacombe broke the ground – as so often with theAristoteles Latinus. His initial survey for the catalogue volumes recorded 80 manuscripts of the Latin text. He observed that all but one contain the more common version, which he called thetranslatio vulgata. Lacombe also described another, incomplete translation preserved in one 13th-century...

  14. REVISION DER TRANSLATIO BARTHOLOMAEI ODER NEUÜBERSETZUNG? ZU DEM FRAGMENT VON DE COLORIBUS DES WILHELM VON MOERBEKE
    (pp. 203-248)
    Gudrun VUILLEMIN-DIEM

    Anlaß zu der folgenden Untersuchung ist der Aufsatz von Pieter Beullens ‘True Colours. The Medieval Latin Translations ofDe coloribus’ (im vorliegenden Band), und insbesondere die dort gestellte Frage: ist die fragmentarisch überlieferte Übersetzung Wilhelms von Moerbeke eine Revision der Übersetzung des Bartholomaeus von Messina oder ist es ein, unabhängig von dieser, direkt aus dem Griechischen übersetzter Text?

    Von dem kleinen pseudo-aristotelischen Traktat sind zwei mittelalterliche griechisch-lateinische Versionen erhalten: dieTranslatio Bartholomaeiumfaßt den vollständigen Text und ist in etwa 80 Hss. überliefert, dieTranslatio Guillelmiist nur durch eine einzige Hs. aus dem 13. Jahrhundert, Firenze, Bibl. Laurenziana, S....

  15. LE VOCABULAIRE MÉDICAL DE BARTHÉLEMY DE MESSINE ET SA RÉCEPTION PAR PIETRO D’ABANO
    (pp. 249-284)
    ÉLISABETH DÉVIÈRE

    Ensemble de questions de philosophie naturelle, lesProblemata Physica(pseudo-)aristotéliciens¹ englobent plusieurs chapitres ayant trait à la médecine.² Au Moyen Âge, cette oeuvre suscita l’intérêt du médecin italien Pietro d’Abano qui, aux alentours de 1310, joignit uncommentaire³ à la traduction attribuée à Barthélemy de Messine (ca. 1260).⁴ Étant donné la position intellectuelle de Pietro d’Abano et lesexplications littérales contenues dans son commentaire, l’Expositio Problematumest susceptible de livrer des informations sur la terminologie médicale présente dans la traduction desProblèmes. En effet, comme l’affirme Francesco del Punta à propos de l’expositio litterae des commentaires médiévaux, ‘the process of the expositio...

  16. THE LATIN VERSIONS OF PSEUDO-ARISTOTLE’S DE SIGNIS
    (pp. 285-302)
    CHARLES BURNETT

    One of the translations explicitly attributed to Bartholomew of Messina in the famous collection of his works, ms. Padua, Biblioteca Antoniana, Scaff. XVII 370 (= P),¹ is a short text on weather signs, conventionally calledDe signis:

    This protocol confirms that the translation was made on the command of King Manfred (reigned 1258-66), whom we know from other sources to be particularly interested in recovering texts attributed to Aristotle.² It is on Bartholomew’s translation of theDe signisthat this article will focus.

    TheDe signisis arranged according to the different weather conditions thought to be signified by various...

  17. FACILIUS SIT NILI CAPUT INVENIRE: TOWARDS AN ATTRIBUTION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF THE ARISTOTELIAN TREATISE DE INUNDATIONE NILI
    (pp. 303-330)
    PIETER BEULLENS

    When in the 17th century Isaac Vossius formulated the problem concerning the swelling of the Nile, it had been the object of scholarly attention in the Western world for over two millennia. Rehm’s 20-column article ‘Nilschwelle’ inPaulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaftbears witness to the numerous treatments of the same question throughout Antiquity.² Arguably the most comprehensive and influential ancient study of the topic is provided by an Aristotelian treatise under the titleDe inundatione NiliorDe Nilo.It has the form of an Aristotelian problem, starting with the question to be solved. Then follows a list in...

  18. THE TRANSLATION OF DE PRINCIPIIS (THEOPHRASTUS) BY BARTHOLOMEW OF MESSINA
    (pp. 331-336)
    DIMITRI GUTAS

    One of the Latin translations by Bartholomew of Messina contained uniquely in the valuable manuscript XVII, 370 of the Biblioteca Antoniana in Padua is the short aporetic EssayOn First Principles (De principiis)by Theophrastus.¹ The translation is significant for the information it provides about the title and the text of the Essay, for the history of the transmission of this and other pseudo-Aristotelian but also Aristotelian treatises, and more generally for the transmission of Greek manuscripts in Norman Sicily and southern Italy. In the wake of my edition and study of this work by Theophrastus,² Bartholomew’s contribution to these...

  19. LA VERSION LATINE DES MAGNA MORALIA PAR BARTHÉLEMY DE MESSINE ET SON MODÈLE GREC: LE MS. WIEN, ÖNB, PHIL. GR. 315 (V)
    (pp. 337-382)
    VALÉRIE CORDONIER

    Parmi les traductions de Barthélemy de Messine les plus largement diffusées figurent, après lesPhysiognomoniques, leDe coloribuset les Problemata Physica, lesMagna moralia. Cette oeuvre, attribuée à Aristote dès l’Antiquité, 1 avait déjà été citée par les commentateurs byzantins à l’Éthique à Nicomaqueque Grosseteste avait rendus accessibles aux Latins en traduisant ce dernier ouvrage; mais pour que ces derniers s’y intéressent, il semble avoir fallu que paraisse la version de Barthélemy.² Or cette version, malgré son assez large diffusion, n’a pas connu le succès qu’aurait laissé attendre sa tradition latine plutôt riche: lesMagna moralia,pourtant...

  20. INDEX CODICUM MANU SCRIPTORUM
    (pp. 383-386)
  21. INDEX NOMINUM
    (pp. 387-394)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 395-396)