Twelfth-Century Toledo and Strategies of the Literalist Trojan Horse
The scientific translating associated with twelfth-century Toledo remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Attention to its political dimension suggests that it should not be attached to the state-subsidized work carried out under Alfonso X after 1250 but is better explained in terms of Cluniac sponsorship of the first Latin translation of the Qur'an in 1142. This approach reveals grounds for potential conflict between the foreign scientific translators and the Toledo cathedral. Such conflict would nevertheless have been smoothed over by certain translation principles serving both scientific and religious interests. The foremost of these principles were literalism, secondary elaboration, the use of teamwork, the inferiorization of non-Latinist intermediaries, justification of conquest and the accordance of authority to non-Christian texts. Thanks to this shared regime, the Church helped scientific translations to enter Latin. But the translations brought with them a questioning spirit that would contest and eventually undermine Church authority.
Published online: 01 January 1994
Alverny, Marie-Thérèse d’
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Cited by 4 other publications
Hermans, Johan & José Lambert
van Rooyen, Marlie & Luc van Doorslaer
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