American Univesity of Beirut

Greek and Roman History in Medieval al-Andalus The Case of the Kitāb Hurūšiyūš

​​Marco Di Branco
Marie Curie Project” OROARAB. Project ID: 797655

Abstract: The very important topic of the transmission of the Greco-Roman knowledge to the medieval Islamic world has an interesting appendix concerning historiography. If the Arabic translations of the Greek philosophical and scientific texts are often aimed at the applied and theoretical science, the historical summaries taken from Greek and Syriac sources are placed immediately in the service of the Islamic historiography, which incorporates them whithin it. It is evident that this translation activities could involve only the Greek and Syriac works which were in line with the Islamic vision of the history. However, there is an exceptional case that deserves special attention: the Arabic version of a Latin historical work, the Historiae adversus paganos by Paulus Orosius (IV/V century C.E.), which was translated in al-Andalus in 10th century and which constitutes for the Arabic medieval world an unique and fundamental access door to the history of the Greco-Roman world.​

Bio: Marco Di Branco is an historian serving as a research fellow at the Università di Roma “La Sapienza”. He is the author of many articles and books whose content spans from Late antiquity to Byzantine and Arabic history. He is author of many books and articles, whose content spans from Late antiquity to Byzantine and Islamic history and archaeology. His current research projects concern Ibn Khaldun's vision of Greek and Roman history, the history and archaeology of the Islamic settlement at the Garigliano River (IX-X century CE), the Arabic translation of the Historiae adversus paganos by the Latin historian Paulus Orosius. He was a member of the research team of the ERC project “Greek into Arabic” and was involved in a project on the Muslim presence in Southern Italy in the Middle Ages financed by the Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom. Currently, he is Marie Curie fellow (Beirut/Rome) with a project concerning the Arabic translation of the Historiae adversus paganos by Paulus Orosius (X century CE).​

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