Translations and Textual Transmission

1 - Everything is Full of Gods: Thales

Posted on 21 December 2010

In this episode, Peter Adamson of King's College London introduces the podcast as a whole, and the thought of the early Greek philosophers called the Presocratics. He also discusses the first Presocratic philosopher, Thales of Miletus.  

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77 - Caesarian Section: Philosophy in the Roman Empire

Posted on 22 April 2012

Peter introduces philosophy in late antiquity, when Aristotelianism and Platonism made a comeback, and pagan philosophy developed alongside Judaism and Christianity.

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82 - Lost and Found: Aristotelianism after Aristotle

Posted on 27 May 2012

Peter looks at the history of Aristotelianism up the time of the Roman Empire and the beginning of commentaries on Aristotle's works.

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99 - Richard Sorabji on the Commentators

Posted on 21 October 2012

Sir Richard Sorabji, founder of the Ancient Commentators Project, joins Peter to discuss the history of ancient commentary on Aristotle.

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118 - Fate, Hope and Clarity: Boethius

Posted on 3 March 2013

Boethius ushers in the medieval age with expert works on Aristotle, subtle treatises on theology, and the Consolation of Philosophy, written while he awaited execution.

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122 - Founded in Translation: From Greek to Syriac and Arabic

Posted on 31 March 2013

Greek philosophy and science make their way into the Islamic world via Syriac and Arabic translations and interpretations.

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135 - Undercover Brothers: Philosophy in the Būyid Age

Posted on 30 June 2013

Miskawayh, al-‘Āmirī, al-Tawḥīdī, the Brethren of Purity and Ismā'īlī missionaries bring together philosophy with Persian culture, literature and Islam.

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150 - Charles Burnett and Dag N. Hasse on Arabic-Latin Translations

Posted on 17 November 2013

A special 150th double interview episode on the transmission of philosophy from Arabic into Latin.

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184 - Robert Wisnovsky on Commentary Culture

Posted on 13 July 2014

Robert Wisnovsky joins Peter to discuss the enormous body of unstudied philosophical commentaries in the later Eastern Islamic world.

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185 - Follow the Leader: Philosophy under the Safavids

Posted on 20 July 2014

Philosophy in Safavid Iran, and a look back at earlier philosophy among Shiites.

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197. Charles in Charge: The Carolingian Renaissance

Posted on 9 November 2014

Alcuin leads a resurgence of interest in philosophy and the liberal arts at the court of Charlemagne.

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201. Stephen Gersh on Medieval Platonism

Posted on 6 December 2014

Stephen Gersh (who was Peter's doctoral advisor!) joins him to discuss the sources and influence of Platonism in the Middle Ages.

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202. Philosophers Anonymous: the Roots of Scholasticism

Posted on 13 December 2014

Little-known authors prepare the way for scholasticism with glosses on logic, metaphysical debate, and a poem about a cat.

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222. Rediscovery Channel: Translations into Latin

Posted on 2 May 2015

Greek and Arabic sources are rendered into Latin in a translation movement that will revolutionize medieval philosophy.

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18. A Tangled Web: the Age of the Sutra

Posted on 13 May 2016

Rival philosophical schools proliferate and subdivide in our second major historical period, the “age of the sūtra.”

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43. We Beg to Differ: the Buddhists and Jains

Posted on 28 May 2017

An introduction to philosophical developments in Buddhism and Jainism up to the time of Dignāga in the sixth century AD.

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281. Monica Green on Medieval Medicine

Posted on 2 July 2017

An interview with Monica Green reveals parallels between medicine and philosophy in the middle ages.

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59. Looking East: Indian Influence on Greek Thought

Posted on 4 February 2018

Did Indian ideas play a role in shaping ancient Greek philosophy?

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60. The Buddha and I: Indian Influence on Islamic and European Thought

Posted on 18 February 2018

The impact of ancient Indian thought upon the Muslim scholar al-Bīrūnī and upon European thinkers like Hume, Hegel, and Schopenhauer.

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301. The Empire Strikes Back: Introduction to Byzantine Philosophy

Posted on 19 May 2018

We begin to look at the third tradition of medieval philosophy, in which the heritage of classical antiquity is preserved and debated by the Byzantines.

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302. On the Eastern Front: Philosophy in Syriac and Armenian

Posted on 3 June 2018

Eastern Christian philosophy outside of Constantinople, focusing on translation and exegesis in the languages of Syriac and Armenian.

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8. Solomon, Socrates, and Other Sages: Early Ethiopian Philosophy

Posted on 8 July 2018

Translations of religious and philosophical texts into Ge’ez, a national epic called the Kebra Nagast, and other developments in the story of philosophy in Ethiopia.

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306. Collectors’ Items: Photius and Byzantine Compilations

Posted on 29 July 2018

Photius, “the inventor of the book review,” and other Byzantine scholars who preserved ancient learning.

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10. Think for Yourself: Walda Heywat

Posted on 2 September 2018

Walda Heywat’s reaction to the thought of his teacher Zera Yacob, and the dispute over the authenticity of these two Ethiopian philosophers.

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12. From Here to Timbuktu: Subsaharan Islamic Philosophy

Posted on 30 September 2018

The spread of Islamic scholarship in subsaharan Africa, focusing on intellectuals of the Songhay empire around the Niger River in the 15th-17th centuries.

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14. Souleymane Bachir Diagne on Islam in Africa

Posted on 28 October 2018

Peter speaks to Souleymane Bachir Diagne about Islamic scholars in West Africa.

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16. Samuel Imbo on Okot p'Bitek and Oral Traditions

Posted on 24 November 2018

A conversation with Sam Imbo on approaching oral traditions as philosophy and the Ugandan thinker and poet Okot p'Bitek.

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314. Katerina Ierodiakonou on Byzantine Commentaries

Posted on 16 December 2018

Katerina Ierodiakonou discusses Byzantine commentators on Aristotle, including Michael of Ephesus.

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317. Made by Hand: Byzantine Manuscripts

Posted on 27 January 2019

Without handwritten copies produced by Byzantine scribes, we would know almost nothing about ancient philosophy. How and why were they made?

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318. Oliver Primavesi on Greek Manuscripts

Posted on 10 February 2019

Oliver Primavesi tells us how Greek manuscripts are used to establish the text of authors like Aristotle.

Prof Primavesi runs the Munich School of Ancient Philosophy together with Christof Rapp and Peter Adamson.

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319. Georgia on My Mind: Petritsi and the Proclus Revival

Posted on 24 February 2019

The Neoplatonist Proclus gets mixed reviews from Christians, as Nicholas of Methone refutes him but the Georgian philosopher Ioane Petritsi helps to revive his thought.

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320. People of the South: Byzantium and Islam

Posted on 10 March 2019

Intellectual exchange between Christians and Muslims, and the later flowering of Syriac literature including the philosopher Bar Hebraeus.

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321. Judith Herrin on Byzantium and Islam

Posted on 24 March 2019

Historian Judith Herrin joins us to talk about competition and mutual influence between Islam and Byzantium.

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322. Do the Math: Science in the Palaiologan Renaissance

Posted on 7 April 2019

Mathematics and the sciences in Byzantium, focusing on scholars of the Palaiologan period like Blemmydes and Metochites.

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324. United We Fall: Latin Philosophy in Byzantium

Posted on 5 May 2019

Thomas Aquinas finds avid readers among Byzantines at the twilight of empire, and is used by both sides of the Hesychast controversy.

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326. Istanbul (Not Constantinople): the Later Orthodox Tradition

Posted on 2 June 2019

When the Byzantine empire ended in 1453, philosophy in Greek did not end with it. In this episode we bring the story up to the 20th century.

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327. Michele Trizio on Byzantine and Latin Medieval Philosophy

Posted on 16 June 2019

The series on Byzantium concludes as guest Michele Trizio discusses the mutual influence of Byzantium and Latin Christendom.

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328. Old News: Introduction to the Italian Renaissance

Posted on 30 June 2019

A first look at the themes and figures of philosophy in the Italian Renaissance.

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329. Greeks Bearing Gifts: Byzantine Scholars in Italy

Posted on 14 July 2019

Bessarion and George Trapenzuntius, rival scholars from the Greek east who helped inspire the Italian Renaissance.

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330. Republic of Letters: Italian Humanism

Posted on 28 July 2019

Coluccio Salutati and Leonardo Bruni combine eloquence with philosophy, taking as their model the refined language and republican ideals found in Cicero.

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331. Literary Criticism: Lorenzo Valla

Posted on 8 September 2019

Lorenzo Valla launches a furious attack on scholastic philosophy, favoring the resources of classical Latin.

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332. Jill Kraye on Humanism

Posted on 22 September 2019

Jill Kraye returns to the podcast to discuss the nature of humanism, its relation to scholasticism, and its legacy.

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334. Chance Encounters: Reviving Hellenistic Philosophy

Posted on 20 October 2019

The rediscovery of Epicurus, Lucretius, and Sextus Empiricus spreads challenging ideas about chance, atomism, and skepticism.

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339. I’d Like to Thank the Academy: Florentine Platonism

Posted on 29 December 2019

The blossoming of Renaissance Platonism under the Medici, who supported the scholarship of Poliziano, Ficino, and Pico della Mirandola.

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340. Footnotes to Plato: Marsilio Ficino

Posted on 12 January 2020

Marsilio Ficino’s revival of Platonism, with a focus on his proofs for the soul’s immortality in his magnum opus, the Platonic Theology.

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342. Denis Robichaud on Plato in the Renaissance

Posted on 9 February 2020

An interview with Denis Robichaud on how, and why, Plato was read in the Italian Renaissance.

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343. As Far as East from West: Jewish Philosophy in Renaissance Italy

Posted on 23 February 2020

Jewish philosophers in Renaissance Italy, focusing on Leone Ebreo’s Dialogues of Love, the Averroism of Elijah del Medigo, and Italian Kabbalah.

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355. Town and Gown: Italian Universities

Posted on 13 September 2020

The blurry line dividing humanism and scholastic university culture in the Italian Renaissance.

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356. I’d Like to Thank the Lyceum: Aristotle in Renaissance Italy

Posted on 27 September 2020

Aristotle’s works are edited, printed, and translated, leading to new assessments of his thought among both humanists and scholastics.

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357. David Lines on Aristotle's Ethics in the Renaissance

Posted on 11 October 2020

An interview with David Lines on the Renaissance reception of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

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360. Dag N. Hasse on Arabic Learning in the Renaissance

Posted on 22 November 2020

An interview with Dag Nikolaus Hasse on the Renaissance reception of Averroes, Avicenna, and other authors who wrote in Arabic.

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361. The Measure of All Things: Renaissance Mathematics and Art

Posted on 6 December 2020

The humanist study of Pythagoras, Archimedes and other ancient mathematicians goes hand in hand with the use of mathematics in painting and architecture.

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362. Just What the Doctor Ordered: Renaissance Medicine

Posted on 20 December 2020

Connections between philosophy and advances in medicine, including the anatomy of Vesalius.

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372. Strong, Silent Type: the Printing Press

Posted on 9 May 2021

The impact of the printing press on the history of philosophy, and its role in helping to trigger the Reformation.

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373. Lords of Language: Northern Humanism

Posted on 23 May 2021

Rudolph Agricola, Juan Luis Vives and other humanist scholars spread the study of classical antiquity across Europe and mock the technicalities of scholastic philosophy.

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376. Books That Last Forever: Erasmus

Posted on 4 July 2021

The “learned piety” of Desiderius Erasmus, the greatest figure of northern humanism.

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392. John Sellars on Lipsius and Early Modern Stoicism

Posted on 12 March 2022

John Sellars returns to the podcast to discuss Lipsius' work on Seneca and the early modern Neo-Stoic movement.

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