What are the Effects of Translation Activities on Renaissance Philosophy?
The combination of Christianity and Greek thought, which constitutes the Western Scholastic thought, was deeply influenced not only in formal terms but also in essential aspects from Islamic thought.
The church theology of the Patristic Period is of Platonic structure. Augustine’s ideas prevailed until the 12th century. When the Arabic versions of Greek texts and the original works and interpretations of Islamic thinkers reached the West, the knowledge of the Greek thought world led to a great enrichment and the interest towards Plato changed direction towards Aristotle. However, there were differences between the texts of Aristotle and there were constant blurs in Arabic translations. Nevertheless, Arabic sources did not lose value because they remained true to the original Greek texts, and the Arabic literature, which was so extensive and valuable, provided the basis for the work and development of the West in the 13th century.
On this basis, first the monastery education was passed to universities, then Aristotle was discovered and finally the productive work of the Dominican and Franciscan monks emerged. Paris and Oxford universities specialize in theology and philosophy, while Italy; medicine and law. In the 13th century, almost all Islamic sources were acquired through Spain and North Africa. As a result, a combination of the works of the Patristic Period, the first translations of Boethius by Plato and Aristotle and Arabic works were created.
In the conceptualization and systematic structure of Islamic philosophy, especially the translations from Ancient Greek, Egyptian and Indian philosophies into Arabic have been influential.
The translated works have been examined through discussions in Islamic geography, and original ideas have been created by interpreting them. This made places like Baghdad and Tunisia the center of science and philosophy; astronomy, medicine and philosophy.
The spread of the Umayyad and Abbasid administrations to a wide geography with the thought of spreading the religion of Islam led to the development of science and philosophy in these geographies. In this development process that has been seen since the 12th century, the West; first, Islamic sciences, Ancient Greek, Indian and Egyptian works began to translate from Arabic into their own language. The first translation centers of the West; Toledo, Spain, Sicily and Salerno, Italy. The reason for the translation centers to begin here is that Islamic culture has long existed, especially in Toledo and Sicily. A group of interpreters, including Muslims, Jews and Christians; He translated works from medicine, astronomy, chemistry, philosophy and logic. In this period, Aristotle’s “Metaphysics”, Ibn Sina’s “al-Kanun fi’t Medicine” and Sahl b. Bishr’s works of science and philosophy such as Ris Astronomy Treatise al have been translated. In addition, the Holy Quran has been translated.
The translation movement is heavily 16-17. century until the end. Before encountering Islamic philosophy and translation books, the West received only the ideas of ancient Greek philosophy that supported the sacred teachings and excluded others. The interaction of the two cultures enabled almost all of the ancient Greek philosophy to be learned by the West, and was thus one of the reasons for the emergence of the Renaissance.
Considering the historical course of the 12th century translation movement, some important events are as follows.
• In the 12th century, Constantine of Africa brought his medical works from Tunisia to Latin in Salerno.
• Roman Emperor II in the 13th century. Frederick set up a university in Salerno in 1224 in order to learn Islamic sciences closely, and appointed translators there. This university was the source of the translation activities in Europe.
• In the 13th century, the translation movement spread to Germany and France, affecting all of Europe in the 14th century.
• The accumulation gained through translations has undergone a successful transformation and laid the groundwork for the Renaissance that will begin in Italy in the 15th century.
• From the 15th to the 17th century astronomers and mathematics scholars translated Latin works and their solutions to the problems they dealt with; Copernicus, Galilei, Newton and Leonardo D. Vinci lived in these centuries.
• Translated from Greek into Persian, the artifacts were transferred to Anatolia and Byzantium via Tabriz and Trabzon. After the conquest of Istanbul in the 15th century, the debates and problems that were transferred to the Ottoman Empire were evaluated in the context of synthesis. In addition, the famous mathematician and astronomer Nasreddin-i Tusî’s work on trigonometry, whose problems were solved by Islamic scholars, was translated for the first time in the Ottoman period.
• It is seen that the problems discussed in Islamic philosophy affect Western philosophers through philosophical issues such as belief, existence and knowledge through translations.
• The books, inventions, maps and instruments obtained in translation have been used and developed by European scientists. This has also contributed to the advancement of technique in science studies in Europe.