What are the Effects of the Translation Movement (Translation Activities) on Islam and Western Philosophy?

Another development paralleling the emergence of kalam and sufism is the commencement of the “transformation movement”. On the one hand, the natural interest and curiosity awakened in individuals against the newly encountered Helen, Iran, Indian and other foreign cultures as a result of the conquests, on the other hand, had to be well known in terms of reinforcing the political sovereignty with the idea that Islam was superior to them.

The shortest way to achieve this was to translate the books of these cultures into Arabic. The event mentioned in the sources as the first example of this activity, Khalid b. Yazid b. Muâviye (d. 704) translated some of the works of Greek medicine, astronomy and chemistry / alchemy from the Alexandria priests to Staphon and Maraianos. In fact, before this Umayyad caliph Marwan b. The referee (684-685) and then Ömer b. Abdülaziz (717-720) period, although it is known that various translations were made taking into account the needs of society and limited to medical books. When the second Abbasid caliph Mansur (754-775) period, on the one hand, we see that the translation activity is accelerated as a state policy and on the other hand the framework is expanded. In this development, Apart from religious sciences and literature, Mansûr’s special interest in intellect and experience-based sciences such as logic, philosophy, mathematics, geometry, astronomy and medicine should be an important factor. A special section called Hizânetü’l-hikme (Library of Philosophy) was created in the palace for many works translated during this period, including the first three books of Aristotle’s Organon. This important activity which could not be carried out properly during the caliph Mehdi (775-785) was continued during the caliphate of Harunurreshid (786-809). (Sarioglu, 2004: 1-2) A special section called Hizânetü’l-hikme (Library of Philosophy) was created in the palace for many works translated during this period, including the first three books of Aristotle’s Organon. This important activity which could not be carried out properly during the caliph Mehdi (775-785) was continued during the caliphate of Harunurreshid (786-809). (Sarioglu, 2004: 1-2) A special section called Hizânetü’l-hikme (Library of Philosophy) was created in the palace for many works translated during this period, including the first three books of Aristotle’s Organon. This important activity which could not be carried out properly during the caliph Mehdi (775-785) was continued during the caliphate of Harunurreshid (786-809). (Sarioglu, 2004: 1-2)

Hizânetü’l-hikme, which was constantly expanded due to the increasing number of productive works, did not fit into the works. It is stated in the sources that great expenditures have been made to provide books to this center and special committees have been sent to different scientific and cultural centers of that period, and correspondence has been made at the level of rulers.

Beytulhikme, which is not only a library, has a room for the authors, translators, clerks, bailiffs and bookbinders, as well as a reading room. Ibn Nadim, who personally saw this important institution, said that the number of those who translated into Syriac before Greek, then into Arabic or directly into Arabic, was forty-seven. Sixteen people were translating from Persian, three from Sanskrit, and one from Nabatî.

Expenditures and efforts made for all of these activities yielded fertile products in a short time; The philosophical accumulation of the ancient and Hellenistic period was transferred from Arabic and Greek to Syriac, and Kindi, the first philosopher of the Islamic world, was raised in this lineup. This important scientific and cultural center, which maintained its function as a resource for more than five hundred years, was burned down during the Mongol invasion in 1258 (Kaya, 1992: 88-89).

Civilizations, through their translation activities, have brought the thought products of various fields into their own languages. In addition to recognizing these thoughts, they interpreted them and developed original thoughts on them. 2-AD 15-century translations, cultures have known each other more closely, and the geography of thought has gradually expanded. Apart from the ancient Greek civilization, it established the centers of science and philosophy. The view of Western and Islamic geography to science and philosophy has been effective in establishing these centers.

In the 8th century, as a result of the effort to base the Christian faith on logic, the translation activities of Porphyrius works made from Greek to Latin are seen. In the 9th century, the Bible was translated into Slavic as a result of the missionary activities of the Roman Patriarch. They tried to spread Christianity through translation activities. According to the instructions of the Abbasid caliphs 9-12. Through the Syriac, Arabic, Farisi and Indian translators, many philosophical works were translated into Arabic between the 18th century. The artifacts brought from the places conquered during the reign of Harun Reşit were collected in a library named Beyt’ül Hikme in Baghdad. Especially in the translation activities initiated by Abbasid caliph Mensur in Beyt’ül Hikme, Aristotle’s “Organon” and Porphyrius’s “Isagoji” (Matık’s works) were translated, it has become an academy of science and philosophy. Plotinus’ theory of sudûr and Aristotle’s logic views have greatly influenced the philosophers of Islamic philosophy. The translations made the direction of Islamic philosophy and made the Islamic geography the center of philosophy. In the translation of the works of Aristotle and Plato, chapters which are prone to Christian beliefs and which are not contrary were chosen. It is seen that translations are studies on the philosophy of faith in order to provide a basis for Christian doctrines. In the translation of the works of Aristotle and Plato, chapters which are prone to Christian beliefs and which are not contrary were chosen. It is seen that translations are studies on the philosophy of faith in order to provide a basis for Christian doctrines. In the translation of the works of Aristotle and Plato, chapters which are prone to Christian beliefs and which are not contrary were chosen. It is seen that translations are studies on the philosophy of faith in order to provide a basis for Christian doctrines.

8-9. The translation activities in the Islamic geography between the 17th century were realized with translations from Greek, Indian and Persian (Iranian) civilizations. These translations were made in various schools established in Antakya, Urfa, Cundişapur, Harran (Visual 2.5), Nisibis (Nusaybin) and Baghdad. As a result of these translation activities, which are accepted as the basic sources of Islamic philosophy, Islamic thinkers met with Greek philosophy. According to the instructions of the Abbasid caliphs 9-12. Through the Syriac, Arabic, Farisi and Indian translators, many philosophical works were translated into Arabic between the 18th century. The artifacts brought from places conquered in Harun Reşit were collected in a library named Beyt’ül Hikme in Baghdad (Visual 2.6). Especially in the translation activities initiated by Abbasid caliph Mensur in Beyt’ül Hikme, the works of Aristotle’s “Organon” and Porphyrius’s ago Isagoji ık (works of Matik) were translated and turned into an academy of science and philosophy. Plotinus’s theory of sudûr and Aristotle’s logic views have greatly influenced the philosophers of Islamic philosophy. The translations made the direction of Islamic philosophy and made the Islamic geography the center of philosophy.

Prepared by:  Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source:  Ömer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade Giriş Introduction to Philosophy ”and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade Tarihi History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook

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