Archive for the ‘Franz Rosenthal’ Tag

Al-Ṣafadī on the Two Methods of Translation   Leave a comment

In his Classical Heritage in Islam, Franz Rosenthal gives an English translation of what has become a well-known, if too simplistic, presentation of Graeco-Arabic translation technique by Al-Ṣafadī (1297-1363) in his Al-ġayṯ al-musaǧǧam (Cairo ed., 1888, vol. 1, 46.12-25), a commentary on Al-Ṭuġrāʾī’s (1061-1120/1) Lāmiyyat al-ʿaǧam. Since the Cairo edition is not always easily discoverable, and not always easily legible to every Arabic student that might wish to read it, I have re-typeset the passage together with Rosenthal’s ET, prefaced by a short introduction. See the PDF here: al-safadi_on_transl_method.

Franz Rosenthal on Hans Heinrich Schaeder   3 comments

Hinrich Biesterfeldt, ed. “Franz Rosenthal’s Half an Autobiography.” Die Welt des Islams 54 (2014): 34-105.

I’m now reading the hot-off-the-press memoir of Franz Rosenthal, edited by Hinrich Biesterfeldt. I highly recommend it for reasons of interest academic and historical. Here, as only a taste, are some remarks on his teacher Hans Heinrich Schaeder, with whom Rosenthal studied in Berlin.

My principal mentor and shaykh was Hans Heinrich Schaeder, then at the peak of his mental and physical powers, a conscientious and wonderfully inspiring teacher. His official field was Iranian, and I studied Middle Persian and Islamic Persian with him. Initially, he repaired the damage done me by an earlier course in Syriac that was taught by someone incompetent to teach the language. He showed me how to approach Muslim historical texts, how to reconstruct an Oriental religion, Manichaeism, from fragments transmitted in Arabic, and how to use the tools of scholarship properly. Above all, he was the living example of the need for, and the methods of looking at, the large historical picture without ever neglecting the details offered by the sources. He set the subject of my doctoral dissertation for which he prepared my way by his previous instruction in Aramaic. [p. 54]

I’m very happy that this document has appeared, and thanks are due to the editor and the publisher. As far as I’m concerned, one can never have too much personalia to read.

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