Jerome — was a Roman theologian, historian and writer, and a translator from Greek and Hebrew to Latin. Jerome is regarded as one of the greatest translators in history for having rendered the Bible into Latin. The Holy Translators ? Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the early 4th century.
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After losing its independence in , the country was divided between the Byzantine Empire and Persia. The Byzantine territory favoured Greek and prohibited Syriac while the Persian territory favoured Syriac and prohibited Greek. Mesrop Mashtots invented in the letter Armenian alphabet with two more letters added in the 12th century to strengthen national unity despite political woes. The translation of the Bible into Armenian was completed in , with Mesrop Mashtots and Isaac of Armenia as its main translators.
Mesrop Mashtots founded numerous schools teaching the new Armenian alphabet and using Armenian translations as educational material.
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Movses Khorenatsi became the Father of Armenian history as the first historian to write a history of Armenia in Armenian in or Yeghishe wrote a major book on the Armenian conflict against the Sassanid Persians, now considered a masterpiece of classical Armenian literature. A Feast of the Holy Translators is celebrated each year in October. He is mostly remembered for translating Buddhist texts, a monumental task carried out during his later life. His smooth translation style focused on conveying the meaning as opposed to precise literal rendering.
His translations have often remained more popular than later, more literal translations. Amoghavajra was a Buddhist monk, and a translator of Buddhist texts from Indian to Chinese. When all foreign monks were expelled from China in , he traveled to gather Buddhist texts in Sri Lanka, Indochina and India.
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He returned to China in with around manuscripts. Amoghavajra translated 77 texts, according to his own account, but many more translations were ascribed to him in the Chinese canons. He became one of the most politically powerful Buddhist monks in Chinese history. Three days of mourning were officially declared after he died, and he posthumously received various titles. The spread of Buddhism led to large-scale translation efforts spanning more than a thousand years throughout Asia.
Major works were sometimes translated in a rather short time. The Tanguts for example took mere decades to translate works that had taken the Chinese centuries to translate. The entire Chinese Buddhist canon was translated into the Tangut language over a span of fifty years, and published around in about 3, fascicles. Contemporary sources described the Emperor and his mother personally contributing to the translation, alongside sages of various nationalities. Translators offered Arabic editions of all major Greek philosophical and scientific works after the Arabs conquered the Greek Empire.
Hunayn ibn Ishaq was a Nestorian Christian physician and scientist, and a translator from Greek to Arabic. He was fluent in four languages Arabic, Syriac, Greek and Persian. Hunayn wrote 36 treatises, with 21 treaties on medical subjects, including ophthalmology.
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He became the chief translator of the Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement. The movement started in the House of Wisdom, a major intellectual center in Baghdad, to translate Greek works into Arabic, and make them available to scholars throughout the Islamic world.
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He also translated the Old Testament into Syriac and Arabic. He often translated Greek works into Syriac before translating them into Arabic, which was common at that time, with the help of his son Ishaq ibn Hunayn and his nephew Hubaysh. Unlike some fellow translators, Hunayn ibn Ishaq opposed translating texts word for word. He often rewrote a piece instead of merely translating it, in order to convey knowledge more accurately.
He also corrected some pieces later on to include new elements after reading new works about a given subject. His method was widely followed by later translators, and helped gather in one century nearly all the knowledge learned from Greek medicine to include it into Islamic medicine. Born in Baalbek now in Lebanon , he traveled in the Byzantine Empire, and gathered major Greek works of his time before settling in Baghdad as a scholar and translator. He translated, revised or supervised the translation from Greek into Arabic of major works in astronomy, mathematics, mechanics and natural science, for example works by mathematicians Diophantus and Hero of Alexandria, by mathematicians and astronomers Theodosius of Bithynia, Autolycus of Pitane and Aristarchus of Samos, by biologist and philosopher Theophrastus, by physician and philosopher Galen of Pergamon, and by philologist and philosopher John Philoponus.
His other interests were statics, astrology, magic, medicine and philosophy. Translators brought Arab and Greek cultures to the Christian world by translating many works into Latin. Abraham bar Hiyya was a Jewish scientist and philosopher, and a translator from Arabic to Hebrew.
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Born in Barcelona, a town in the Iberian Peninsula that later became Spain , he was the first scholar to write all his works in Hebrew, and not in the Judaeo-Arabic language commonly used to write the Jewish scientific literature of that time. As such, he was a pioneer in the use of Hebrew for scientific purposes. Bar Hiyya also translated scientific literature from Arabic to Hebrew, before further translation of these works into Latin by Plato of Tivoli Plato Tiburtinus.
Adelard of Bath ? Born in Bath, a town in southwestern England, he studied astronomy and science in Tours, in central France, and taught in Laon, in northern France, before traveling in southern Italy and Sicily in He returned to England in with the intention of spreading the knowledge he had gained during his travels. He translated Arabic and Greek from Arabic editions works of astrology, astronomy, philosophy and mathematics. He was the first scholar to introduce the Arabic numeral system in Europe.
It became the main textbook in European mathematical schools in the 16th century. Plato Tiburtinus ? He lived in Barcelona, a town of the Iberian Peninsula, from to , and worked with Jewish mathematician Savasorda. His writings on astronomy were widely circulated, and later used by 13th-century astronomers Albertus Magnus and Fibonacci.
Herman of Carinthia ? Born in Istria, a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, he studied in two French cathedral schools, first in Chartres and then in Paris. He traveled in the Middle East in with fellow student and friend Robert of Ketton, and got acquainted with Arabic works in Constantinople now Istanbul , Palestine and Damascus. He returned to Europe in , and settled as a scholar in , first in Spain and then in southern France. At the request of Peter the Venerable, abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, France, who visited the Iberian Peninsula in , Herman of Carinthia translated religious texts on Islam from Arabic to Latin, with the help of other translators.
Some translations were not based on the Greek originals but on their Arabic editions. These translations popularized Arabic and Greek culture in Europe, and influenced the development of medieval European astronomy. John of Seville ?
John of Seville was a translator at the Toledo School of Translators during its early days, with Dominicus Gundissalinus and other scholars. The division of the Iberian Peninsula between Muslim and Christian rulers since the Reconquista the Christian campaign to regain the peninsula made it a natural base for translators from Arabic to Latin.
Toledo was one of the few places in medieval Europe where a Christian could be exposed to Arabic language and culture. Robert of Ketton ? He traveled in with fellow student and friend Herman of Carinthia, and visited Constantinople now Istanbul , Palestine and Damascus.
He settled in the Iberian Peninsula in His translation remained the standard Latin edition of the Quran until the 18th century. Robert of Ketton also translated scientific works into Latin, for example works by Arab scientists Al-Battani and Avicenna. Gerard of Cremona ? Toledo was a city of libraries with a vibrant intellectual life. He also read works that were only available in Arabic with no Greek or Latin edition yet. He wrote treatises on algebra, arithmetic and astrology.
He joined the Toledo School of Translators, a group of translators who made Arab and Greek knowledge available in Latin for European scholars. Throughout his life, he translated 87 works into Latin: works originally written in Arabic, Greek editions of Arabic works, and works originally written in Greek. Dominicus Gundissalinus ? Gundissalinus wrote several philosophical treatises. He spent twenty years in Toledo before retiring in Segovia, Castile now in Spain. Michael Scot ?
He settled in Toledo as a translator for the Toledo School of Translators. Samuel ibn Tibbon ? Born in Provence that later became part of France , he was taught rabbinic literature by his father, and medicine and Arabic by other teachers. He traveled in Barcelona, Toledo and Alexandria in before settling back in Provence.
Samuel ibn Tibbon added a glossary of foreign words used in the translation. His translation was praised for its accuracy and faithfulness to the original text. He lived in the Iberian Peninsula, and undertook long journeys in the Middle East. But his translation of the same work from Hebrew to Latin had some influence in the Christian world.