The Earliest Latin Maimonides, the “Reasons for the Commandments,” and the Perfection of the Soul
Lucy Pick

April 18, 2023, 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Centre Pierre Abélard, Sorbonne Université

17 Rue de la Sorbonne
Paris 75005

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Sorbonne Université

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In her talk, Lucy Pick will present some of her discoveries about the earliest Latin translation of Moses Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed, which is found in the Liber de parabolis et mandatis, a text from 1223–24 that prefaces a translation of Book III, 29–49 of the Guide on the reasons for the commandments, with an introductory explanation and demonstration of allegorical exegesis. This demonstration not only instructs its readers in the methods of exegesis, it also develops a picture that seems to derive from Avicenna of the human soul, riven by conflicting influences but capable of perfection. She will discuss this introduction and ask why this fascinating text, which she attributes to the joint work of Samuel ibn Tibbon (translator of the Guide from Arabic to Hebrew) and Michael Scot (known for his translations from Arabic into Latin), pairs such an argument with Maimonides’ discussion of the rational and historical reasons for the commandments.

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