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Aristotle’s Meteorology and Its Reception in the Arab World

ARISTOTLE'S METEOROLOGY AND ITS RECEPTION IN THE ARAB WORLD
  • Book Title:
 Aristotles Meteorology And Its Reception In The Arab World
  • Book Author:
Abū l-Ḵayr Ḥasan Ibn Suwār Ibn Al-Ḵammār, Ibn Bājja, Paul Lettinck
  • Total Pages
518
  • Size of Book:
19.5 Mb
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ARISTOTLE’S METEOROLOGY AND ITS RECEPTION IN THE ARAB WORLD – Book Sample

INTRODUCTION – ARISTOTLE’S METEOROLOGY AND ITS RECEPTION IN THE ARAB WORLD

1. Meteorological treatises in the Arab world

Meteorological phenomena have aroused the interest of Arabic-speaking people because they were part of their daily life. The reflec­tion of this ‘practical’ interest is found in the works of poets, gram­marians, and lexicographers.

Various aspects of this Arabic meteoro­logical tradition, such as astrometeorology prognostication and the views on seasons, winds, clouds, precipitation, and weather signs have been investigated by Sersen in the first part of his dissertation on Arab meteorology.

He also discussed superstitious beliefs connected with certain natural phenomena that were reported in cosmographical literature, such as miraculous springs and beliefs inspired by whirlwinds and waterspouts.

Besides this practical tradition, there also existed a theoretical one that considered meteorological phenomena within the framework of a theory intending to explain them. This tradition links up with Greek philosophy, especially that of Aristotle.

The discipline dealing with meteorological phenomena from this point of view is known as the ‘science of the upper phenomena’ (‘ilm al-ii[iir al-‘ulwiyya) and appears under this name in the enumerations of sciences, such as al-‘ulum by al-Farabi (t 950), Mafiiti}:z al-‘ulum by al-Khwarizmi (ti. 980) and the Rasfiil of the Ik_wan 􀁾-Safa’ (end 10th century).1 The literature concerned consists of paraphrases of and commentaries on Aristotle’s Meteorology and other treatises on meteorology inspired by Aristotle, written by philosophers such as al-Kindi (t ±873), Ibn Sina (t 1037), ibn Bajja (t 1138) and Ibn Rusd (t 1198).

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