Anthony Pym


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Attempt at a chronology of Hispanic translation history


711 Beginnings of the Caliphat of Cordoba.

718 Battle of Covadonga, in Asturias. Traditionally seen as the beginning of the Reconquista.

813-833 Al-Khwarezmi works under the patronage of the caliph al-Mamum.

827 Translation of Ptolemy's Almagest into Arabic.

c.840 Agobard of Lyon has written De insolentia judaeorum, protesting against the coming and going of Jews between Islamic Hispania and the Frankish kingdom.

842 Arabs from Spain go up the Rhône to the region of Arles.

850/73 Death of al-Kindi (Ya'kûb ibn Ishâk ibn Sabbâh al-Kindî).

862/66 Costa ben Luca (Qustá ibn Luqá) translates Hero of Alexandria's Mechanica into Arabic.

864 Charles the Bald sends two ambassadors to the Caliph of Cordoba. They return to Compiègne 'cum multis donis...'.

870-1 In Rome, Anastasius translates into Latin the Greek proceedings of the 8th Ecumenical Council of Constantinople.

886 Death of Abu Ma'shar (Abu Ma'shar Ja'far ben Muhammad al-Balkhî) in Baghdad.

888 April 20 Founding of the monastery of Santa María in Ripoll, accorded some books 'secundum posibilitatem nostram'. By the mid eleventh century the monastery would have some 250 manuscripts.

901 Death of Thabit ben Corat (Thabit ben Kurra or Kurrat).

902-1091 Arabic rule in Sicily.

910 Founding of the Cluny monastery.

923/24 Death of Rhazes (Abu Bakr Muhummed ibn Zakariya ar-Razi) in Baghdad.

940 Arabs from Hispania are carrying out raids near the source of the Rhine and the Valais.

c.940 The monk Johannes Gorziensis, from the region of Metz, visits lower Italy, bringing back manuscripts including Aristotle's Categories and Porphyry's Isagogia.

947-951 The Byzantine emperor Constantine XII (905-959) sends the Cordoban caliph Abd al-Rahman III (912-976) a copy of Dioscorides' Materia medica (c.65 CE), translated from Greek into Latin by Nicholas, an eastern monk who went with the embassy. The Jewish physician Aby Yusef Haday ben Shaprut renders the Latin into Arabic.

948 Al-Mas'udi mentions that when he was in Egypt he came across a history of the Franks written in 940 by a bishop for the Spanish crown prince al-Hakam.

953 Otto I sends Johannes Gorziensis as an ambassador to Cordoba. Johannes is helped in his negotiations by a Jew named Hasdeu; he returns in 956.

955-56 The Mozarab Recemundo (Arib ibn Said or Rabi ben Zayd), bishop of Elvira, a scholar versed in Arabic astronomy and science, is in Germanic lands.

967 The Calendar of Córdoba is translated from Arabic into Latin. ("Under Islamic domination several Latin texts were translated into Arabic, including a book on agriculture by Columella, a history by Orosius, a 'Roman book' on astrology, and (apparently) Isidore's Etymologies" (Burnett 1992: 1037)

967-70 Gerbert d'Aurillac travels in Hispania and is said to have studied mathematics and astronomy in Vic or Ripoll (the Spanish March, now in Catalonia).

972 Muslims from Hispania are in the Dranse valley where they capture Mayeul, abbot of Cluny from 954 to 994, who is ransomed.

984 Gerbert writes to Lupilus Barchinonensi, in Barcelona, asking for his translation of a liber de astrologia from Arabic.

997 The Arabic writer al-Hamadhani, in Nishapur, composes his Maqamat, one of the first examples of what was to become the picaresque genre.

999 Gerbert becomes Pope Silvester II.

1031 Christians take the Caliphate of Cordoba.

1037 Death of the Persian philosopher Avicenna.

1052 Garcia IV of Navarra promises the Clunisiac monastery of Najara one tenth of his conquests from the Muslims.

1056 Battle of Hastings.

c.1060 Constantinus Afer (Africanus), from Carthage, arrives in Salerno and then Monte Cassino; translates pseudo-Galen and Hippocrates; adapts Ali ibn Abbas and Abu Jafar Ahmed; says he translates 'from several languages'.

1064 Death of Ibn Hazm of Cordoba, a scholar who defended the need or disputation and debate (jadal wa-munazarah). He had been ostracized and persecuted.

1064 William Duke of Aquitaine takes Barbastro, marking the beginning of the French crusades in Hispania.

1075 Pope Gregory VII condones the Hispanic Crusades: 'If you do not intend to pay the rights of Saint Peter once in the [conquered] realm, we prohibit your entry.'

c.1080 Simon Seth, a physician in Antioch, translates the Arabic/Sanskrit fable of Kalila and Dimna into Greek.

1085 Christians take Toledo.

1088 The Pope declares Toledo the principle See of the Spanish church.

1091 Normans take Sicily.

1092 An astrolabe, prime instrument of Arabic astronomy, is used in England.

1094 El Cid takes Valencia.

1095 Pope Urban II, a Cluniac, gives a sermon in Clermont launching the first Palestinian Crusade. The sermon is attended by Bernard de Sedirac, the Clunaic archbishop of Toledo.

1096 Massacre of Jews in Cologne.

On to the twefth century

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