Dominicus Gundissalinus

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Dominicus Gundissalinus also known as Domingo Gundisalvo (flourished ca. 1150) may have been a converted Jew and was the archdeacon of Segovia, Spain and a scholastic philosopher. He was one of the most active members of the Toledo School of Translators and its first official director.

Among his important translations were those of Jewish philosopher ibn Gabirol's Fons Vitæ (Meqor Hahayim), which was mistakenly thought for several centuries to be the work of a Christian scholastic named Avicebron or Avecebrol. Gundissalinus also translated works of the major Muslim philosophers Avicenna and al-Ghazâlî.

Unlike most other translators, Gundissalinus also wrote independent philosophical works, that are believed to date from the second half of the 12th century, probably during the era of Archbishop John (1151–1166). His most well-known work is De Divisione Philosophiae (Of Divisions of Philosophy), in which he argued for a development of the traditional Quadrivium. He also wrote about theological topics like the creation of the world and the immortality of the soul. In addition to Gundissalinus' translation of Meqor Hahayim, the Aristotelian ideas of ibn Gabirol were also communicated to the Latin West through Gundissalinus' own writings On the Soul, On the Immortality of the Soul, On Unity, and The Procession of the World.

The classification of the Artes Mechanicae as applied geometry was introduced to Western Europe by Gundissalinus under the influence of his readings in Arabic scholarship. This view of Artes Mechanicae was later adopted by Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas.

See also

References

  • Popkin, R. H. (1999). The Columbia History of Western Philosophy. New York: MJF Books. ISBN 0231101287. 

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