The marginalization of medieval Arabic contribution to knowledge spans the Crusades through to the 19th-century European imperial expansions. The focus of this presentation will be on illustrating the importance of incorporating medieval Arabic philosophical texts to our historical tradition. Arabic scholars adapted Aristotelian and Neo-Platonic knowledge to suit the ideological, religious, social, and political purposes of their time, hence producing original knowledge in the process. The presentation will focus on al-Farabi’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Rhetoric where he places rhetoric within the larger field of philosophy and redefines central terms such as enthymeme, persuasion, and even rhetoric itself.
The proposal is based on the study of the main treatises about physiognomy written during the Middle Ages, as Liber Phisiognomiae by Michael Scot or Kitabal-Firâsa by Al-Razi, which had an important influence on the medieval culture, in order to know and analyze the presence of women descriptions in them. The study will not pay only attention to female features, but it will study the differences in relation with the male ones too, understanding which were the physiognomic characteristics established for women and the different treatmen given to both genders.
The aim of the paper is to reveal the ways of regional description in medieval Islamic geography. This question is discussed on the East European material of the treatise of al-Idrisi (1154). The main attention is paid to the following issues: the role of routing information as a basic way of regional description and its place within the general climatic frame of world depiction; the specific features of medieval toponyms, which may include speculative authors’s constructions reflecting his own ideas about the geography of the region described; the interrelation of oral and written data in the description of the objects.