Founded in Translation: From Greek to Syriac and Arabic, by Peter Adamson

Peter Adamson, Professor of Philosophy at the LMU in Munich and at King’s College London, is the author several books, including The Arabic Plotinus (2002) and Great Medieval Thinkers: al-Kindi (2007) and Philosophy in the Islamic World (2016), and hosts the History of Philosophy podcast (

Founded in Translation: From Greek to Syriac and Arabic
Greek philosophy and science make their way into the Islamic world via Syriac and Arabic translations and interpretations.

Further Reading

P. Adamson, The Arabic Plotinus: a Philosophical Study of the “Theology of Aristotle” (London: 2002).

C. D’Ancona, Recherches sur le Liber de Causis (Paris: 1995).

G. Endress and R. Kruk (eds), The Ancient Tradition in Christian and Islamic Hellenism (Leiden: 1997).

D. Gutas, Greek Thought, Arabic Culture: the Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in Baghdad and Early Society (2nd-4th / 8th-10th centuries) (London: 1998).

D. Gutas, Greek Philosophers in the Arabic Tradition (Aldershot: 2000).

D. King, The Earliest Translation of Aristotle’s Categories in Syriac (Leiden: 2010).

F. Rosenthal, The Classical Heritage in Islam, trans. E. Marmorstein and J. Marmorstein (London: 1975).

R. Walzer, Greek into Arabic: Essays on Islamic Philosophy (Oxford: 1962).

J.W. Watt, “From Sergius to Matta: Commentary and Translation in Syriac Aristotelian and Monastic Tradition,” in J.W. Watt and J. Lössl (eds), Interpreting the Bible and Aristotle in Late Antiquity (Aldershot: 2011), 239-58.

Stanford Encyclopedia: Greek Sources in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy

In Our Time: Translation Movement (interview with Peter, Peter Pormann, Amira Bennison)

Philosopher’s Zone: Greek Meets Arabic (Peter interviewed by the late Alan Saunders)

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