« ZurückWeiter »
other useful and beneficent constructions, proceeded from the same time, condemns the attempts of those who tried the public zeal of the sovereigu; and under the patronage to give demonstrative science where the mind was not of two liberal rulers, Jusuf and Jakub, science and philos- capable of more than rhetoric: they harm religion by their ophy flourished apace. It was Ibn-Tofail (Abubacer), the mere negations, destroying an old sensuous creed, but canphilosophic vizier of Jusuf, who introduced Averroes to not build up a higher and intellectual faith. hat prince, and Avenzoar (Ibn-Zohr), the greatest of In this spirit Averroes does not allow the fancied needs Moslem physicians, was his friend. Averroes, who was of theological reasoning to interfere with his study of Arisversed in the Malekite system of law, was made kadi of totle, whom he simply interprets as a truth-seeker. The Seville (1169), and in similar appointments the next points by which he told on Europe were all implicit in twenty-five years of his life were passed. We find him at Aristotle, but Averroes set in relief what the original had different periods in Seville, Cordova, and Marocco, prob- left obscure, and emphasized things which the Christian ably following the court of Jusuf Almansur, who took theologian passed by or misconceived. Thus Averroes pleasure in engaging him in discussions on the theories of had a double effect. He was the great interpreter of Arisphilosophy and their bearings on the faith of Islam. But totle to the later Schoolmen, worthy of a place, according science and free thought then, as now, in Islam, depended to Dante, beside the glorious sages of the heathen world. almost solely on the tastes of the wealthy and the favor of On the other hand, he came to represent those aspects of the monarch. The ignorant fanaticism' of the multitude Peripateticisin most alien to the spirit of Christendom; viewed speculative studies with deep dislike and distrust, and the deeply-religious Moslem gave his name to the and deemed any one a Zendik (infidel) who did not rest anti-sacerdotal party, to the materialists, skeptics, and content with the natural science of the Koran. These smoul- atheists, who defied or undermined the dominant beliefs dering hatreds burst into open flame about the year 1195. of the church. Whether, as one story ran, he had failed in conversation On three points Averroes, like other Moslem thinkers, and in his writings to pay the customary deference to the came specially into relation, real or supposed, with the reemir, or a court intrigue had changed the policy of the ligious creed,' viz., the creation of the world, the divine moment, at any rate Averroes was accused of heretical knowledge of particular things, and the future of the huopinions and pursuits, stripped of his honors, and banished | man soul. But the collision was rather with the labored to a place near Cordova, where his actions were closely ratiocinations by which the Asharite and Motazelite theowatched. Tales have been told of the insults he had to logians aimed at rationalizing dogma than with the docsuffer from a bigoted populace. At the same time efforts trine of religion in its simplicity. True philosophy is the were made to stamp out all liberal culture in Andalusia, so foster sister of religion, but is the critic of scholastic subtlefar as it went beyond the little medicine, arithmetic, and ties. In regard to the second charge, Averroes himself reastronomy required for practical life. But the storm soon marks that philosophy only protests against reducing the passed, when the transient passion of the people had been divine to the level of the created mind. But the real satisfied, and Averroes for a brief period survived his res grandeur of Averroes is seen in his resolute prosecution of toration to honor. He died in the year before his patron the stand-point of science in matters of this world, and in Almansur, with whom (in 1199) the political power of the his recognition that religion is not a branch of knowledge Moslems came to an end, as did the culture of liberal to be reduced to propositions and systems of dogma, but a science with Averroes. The philosopher left several sons, personal and inward power, an individual truth which some of whom became jurists like Averroes's grandfather. stands distinct from, but not contradictory to, the univerOne of them has left an essay, expounding his father's salities of scientific law. In his science he followed the theory of the intellect. The personal character of Averroes Greeks, and to the Schoolmen he and his compatriots is known to us only in a general way, and as we can gather rightly seemed philosophers of the ancient world. He it from his writings. His clear, exhaustive, and dignified maintained alike the claim of demonstrative science with style of treatment evidences the rectitude and nobility of its generalities for the few who could live in that ethereal the man. In the histories of his own nation he has little world, and the claim of religion for all,—the common life place; the renown which spread in his lifetime to the East of each soul as an individual and personal consciousness. ceased with his death, and he left no school. Yet from a But theology, or the mixture of the two, he regarded as a note in a manuscript, we know that he had intelligent source of evil to both-fostering the vain belief in a hosreaders in Spain more than a century afterwards. His tility of philosophers to religion, and meanwhile corrupthistoric fame came from the Christian Schoolmen, whom ing religion by a pseudo-science. A stand-point like this he almost initiated into the system of Aristotle, and who, was the very antithesis of scholasticism; it was the anticibut vaguely discerning the expositors who preceded, ad- pation of an adequate view which modern speculation has mired in his commentaries the accumulated results of two seldom exhibited. centuries of labors.
The latent nominalism of Aristotle only came gradually For Aristotle the reverence of Averroes was unbounded, to be emphasized through the prominence which Chrisand to expound him was his chosen task. The uncritical tianity gave to the individual life, and, apart from passing receptivity of his age, the defects of the Arabic versions, notices as in Abelard, first found clear enunciation in the the emphatic theism of his creed, and the rationalizing school of Duns Scotus. The Arabians, on the contrary, mysticism of some Oriental thought, may have sometimes emphasized the idealist aspect which had been adopted led him astray, and given prominence to the less obvious and promoted by the Neo-Platonist commentators. Hence, features of Aristotelianism. But in his conception of the to Averroes the eternity of the world finds its true expresrelation between philosophy and religion, Averroes had a sion in the eternity of God. The ceaseless movement of light which the Latins were without. The science, falsely growth and change, which presents matter in form after so called, of the several theological schools, their groundless form as a contiņual search after a finality which in time distinctions and sophistical demonstrations, he regarded as and movement is not, and cannot be reached, represents the great source of heresy and skepticism. The allegorical only the aspect the world shows to the physicist and to interpretations and metaphysics which had been imported the senses. In the eye of reason the full fruition of this into religion had taken men's minds away from the plain desired finality is already and always attained; the actualsense of the Koran, and destroyed the force of those appeals ization, invisible to the senses, is achieved now and ever, which had been spoken to the hearts and understandings and is thus beyond the element of time. This transcendent of our common humanity, not to the wisdom of the “people or abstract being is that which the world of nature is alof demonstration.” God had declared a truth meet for all ways seeking. He is thought or intellect, the actuality, of men, which needed no intellectual superiority to under which movement is but the fragmentary attainment in sucstand, in a tongue which each human soul could apprehend cessive instants of time. Such a mind is not in the theologaccording to its powers and feelings. Accordingly, the ical sense a creator, yet the onward movement is not the expositors of religious metaphysics, Algazali included, are same as what some modern thinkers seem to mean by dethe enemies of true religion, because they make it a mere velopment. For the perfect and absolute, the consummamatter of syllogism. Averroes maintains that a return tiou of movement is not generated at any point in the promust be made to the words and teaching of the prophet; cess; it is an ideal end, which guides the operations of nathat science must not expend itself in dogmatizing on the ture, and does not wait upon them for its achievement. metaphysical consequences of fragments of doctrine for God is the unchanging essence of the movement, and popular acceptance, but must proceed to reflect upon and therefore its eternal cause. examine the existing things of the world. Averroes, at A special application of this relation between the prior perfect, and the imperfect, which it influences, is found in | Dominican school, come to be regarded as the arch-enemy the doctrine of the connection of the abstract (transcendent) of the truth. When Frederick II. consulted a Moslem intellect with man. This transcendent mind is sometimes free-thinker on the mysteries of the faith, when the phrase cornected with the moon, according to the theory of Aris- or legend of the “Three Impostors" presented in its most totle, who assigned an imperishable matter to the sphere offensive form the scientific survey of the three laws of beyond the sublunary, and in general looked upon the Moses, Christ, and Mahomet, and when the characteristic celestial orbs as living and intelligent. Such an intellect
, doctrines of Averroes were misunderstood, it soon followed damed active or productive, as being the author of the that his name became the badge of the scoffer and the development of reason in man, is the permanent, eternal skeptic. What had begun with the subtle disputes of the thought, which is the truth of the cosmic and physical universities of Paris, went on to the materialist teachers in movement. It is in man that the physical or sensible the medical schools and the skeptical men of the world in passes most evidently into the metaphysical and rational. the cities of Northern Italy. The patricians of Venice and Humanity is the chosen vessel in which the light of the the lecturers of Padua made Averroism synonymous with intellect is revealed ; and so long as mankind lasts there doubt and criticism in theology, and with sarcasm against must always be some individuals destined to receive this the hierarchy. Petrarch, vexed by the arrogance and overlight
. "There must of necessity always be some phil- refinements of their argumentation, and by the barbarism osopher in the race of man.” What seems from the mate of their words, refuses to believe that any good thing can rial point of view to be the acquisition of learning, study, come out of Arabia, and speaks of Averroes as a mad dog and a moral life, is from the higher point of view the man- barking against the church. In works of contemporary ifestation of the transcendent intellect in the individual. art Averroes is at one time the comrade of Mahomet and The preparation of the heart and faculties gives rise to a Antichrist; at another he lies with Arius and Sabellius, series of grades between the original predisposition and vanquished by the lance of St. Thomas. the full acquisition of actual intellect. These grades in It was in the universities of North Italy that Averroism the main resemble those given by Avicenda. But beyond finally settled, and there for three centuries it continued as these, Averroes claims as the highest bliss of the soul a a stronghold of Scholasticism to resist the efforts of revived union in this life with the actual intellect. The intellect, antiquity and of advancing science. Padua became the therefore, is one and continuous in all individuals, whó seat of Averroist Aristotelianism ; and, when Padua was differ only in the degree which their illumination has at- conquered by Venice in 1405, the printers of the repụblic tained. Such was the Averroist doctrine of the unity of spread abroad the teaching of the professors in the univerintellect-the eternal and universal nature of true intel- sity. As early as 1300, at Padua, Petrus Aponensis, a notalectual life. By his interpreters it was transformed into ble expositor of medical theories, had betrayed a heterodoxy a theory of one soul common to all mankind, and when in faith ; and John of Jandun, one of the pamphleteers thus corrupted conflicted not unreasonably with the doc- on the side of Lewis of Bavaria, was a keen follower of trines of a future life, common to Islam and Christendom. Averroes, whom he styles a "perfect and most glorious
Averroes, rejected by his Moslem countrymen, found a physicist.” Urbanus of Bologna, Paul of Venice (d, bearing among the Jews, to whom Maimonides had shown 1428), and Cajetanus de Thienis (1387-1465), established the free paths of Greek speculation. In the cities of Lan- by their lectures and their discussions the authority of guedoc and Provence, to which they had been driven by Averroes; and a long list of manuscripts rests in the Spanish fanaticism, the Jews no longer used the learned libraries of Lombardy to witness the diligence of these Arabic, and translations of the works of Averroes became writers and their successors. Even a lady of Venice, Casnecessary. His writings became the text book of Levi ben sandra Fedele, in 1480, gained her laurels in defence of Gerson at Perpignan, and of Moses of Narbonne. Mean- Averroist theses. while, before 1250, Averroes became accessible to the Latin With Pomponatius, in 1495, a brilliant epoch began for Schoolmen by means of versions, accredited by the names the school of Padua. Questions of permanent and present of Michael Scot and others. William of Auvergne is the interest took the place of outworn scholastic problems. first Schoolman who criticises the doctrines of Averroes, The disputants ranged themselves under the rival commennot, however, by name. Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas tators, Alexander and Averroes; and the immortality of devote special treatises to an examination of the Averroist the soul became the battle-ground of the two parties. theory of the unity of intellect, which they labor to con- Pomponatius defended the Alexandrist doctrine of the fute in order to establish the orthodoxy of Aristotle. utter mortality of the soul, whilst Augustinus Niphus, the But as early as Ægidius Romanus (1247-1316), Averroes Averroist, was entrusted by Leo X. with the task of defendhad been stamped as the patron of indifference to theo- ing the Catholic doctrine. The parties seemed to have logical dogmas, and credited with the emancipation which changed when Averroism thus took the side of the church; was equally due to wider experience and the lessons of the but the change was probably due to compulsion. Niphus Crusades. There had never been an absence of protest had edited the works of Averroes (1495-7.); but his exagainst the hierarchical doctrine. Berengar had struggled pressions gave offence to the dominant theologians, and he in that interest, and with Abelard, in the 12th century, had to save himself by distinguishing his personal faith the revolt against authority in belief grew loud. The from his editorial capacity. Achillini, the persistent phildialogue between a Christian, a Jew, and a philosopher osophical adversary of Pomponatius both at Padua and suggested a comparative estimate of religions, and placed subsequently at Bologna, attempted, along with other modthe natural religion of the moral law above all positive erate but not brilliant Averroists, to accommodate their revelations. Nihilists and naturalists, who deified logic philosophical theory with the requirements of Catholicism. and science at the expense of faith, were not unknown at It was this comparatively mlld Averroism, reduced to the Paris in the days of John of Salisbury. In such a critical merely explanatory activity of a commentator, which congeneration the words of Averroism found willing ears, tinued to be the official dogma at Padua during the 16th and pupils who outran their teacher. Paris became the century. Its typical representative is Marc-Antonio Zimara centre of a skeptical society, which the decrees of bishops (d. 1552), the author of a reconciliation between the tenets and councils, and the enthusiasm of the orthodox doctors of Averroes and those of Aristotle. and knight-errants of Catholicism, were powerless to ex- Meanwhile, in 1497, Aristotle was for the first time tinguish. At Oxford Averroes told more as the great expounded in Greek at Padua. Plato had long been the commentator. In the days of Roger Bacon he had become favorite study at Florence; and Humanists, like Erasmus, an authority. Bacon, placing him beside Aristotle and Ludovicus Vives, and Nizolius, enamored of the popular Avicenna, recommends the study of Arabic as the only way philosophy of Cicero and Quintilian, poured out the vials of getting the knowledge which bad versions made almost of their contempt on scholastic barbarism with its "imhopeless; and the student of the present day might echo pious and thrice-accursed Averroes.” The editors of Averhis remark. In Duns Scotus, Averroes and Aristotle are roes complain that the popular taste had forsaken them for the unequalled masters of the science of proof; and he the Greek. Nevertheless, while Fallopius, Vesalius, and pronounces distinctly the separation between Catholic and Galileo were claiming attention to their discoveries, the philosophical truth, which became the watch word of Aver- Professors Zabarella, Piccolomini, Pendasio, and Cremonini roism. "By the 14th century Averroism was the common continued the traditions of Averroism, not without changes leaven of philosophy; John Baconthorpe is the chief of and additions. Cremonini, the last of them, died in 1631, Averroists, and Walter Burley has similar tendencies. after lecturing twelve years at Ferrara, and forty at Padua.
Meanwhile Averroism had, in the eye of the great | The legend which tells that he laid aside his telescope rather than see Jupiter's moons, which Galileo had dis- | ing Cham-de-la-Roche, 4350 feet above the level of the sea. covered, is a parable of the fall of scholastic Averroism, About half the area is under cultivation, nearly one-fourth Medievalism, with its misconstruction of Averroes, perished is heath, one-tenth woods and forests, and rather more than because it would not see that the interpretation of the past an eighth part meadow land. Vineyards occupy about onecalls for the ripest knowledge of all discoveries in the twelfth part of the cultivated land. The department has present.
mines of copper, lead, silver, iron, zinc, alum, and antiThe literary works of Averroes include treatises on jurispru- mony, and extensive coal-fields of great value. Rather dence, grammar, astronomy, medicine, and philosophy. In
more than three-fourths of the inhabitants are engaged in 1859, a work of Averroes was for the first time published in agricultural pursuits of one kind or another,-mainly in Arabic by the Bavarian Academy, and a German translation the rearing of cattle, sheep, and swine; and there are manappeared in 1875 by the editor, J. Müller. It is a treatise en- ufactures of paper, woollen and cotton goods, silk, and titled Philosophy and Theology, and, with the exception of a leather, to which water-power is skilfully applied. AveyGerman version of the essay on the conjunction of the intellect ron exports chestnuts, almonds, hemp, wool, wax, the famous with man, is the first translation which enables the non-Semitic Roquefort cheese, timber, and cattle. Among the numerscholar to form any adequate idea of Averroes. The Latin translations of most of his works are barbarous and obscure. tioned Jean de la Valette, the defender of Malta, Raynal,
ous men of mark belonging to the department may be menA great part of his writings, particularly on jurisprudence and Bonald, and Louis Blanc. The capital is Rodez, and the mena to philosophy, criticisms on Avicenna and Alfarabius, arrondissements are Rodez, Espalion, Milhau, Saint-Affriremain in manuscript in the Escorial and other libraries. The que, and Villefranche. Population in 1872, 402,474. For Latin editions of his medical works include the Colliget (i. e., investigations into the races represented in the department Kulliyyat, or summary), a résumé of medical science, and a see Bulletins de la Soc. d'Anthrop. vol. iv. commentary on Avicenna's poem on medicine; but Averroes, AVEZZANO, a town of Italy, in Abruzzo Ulteriore II., in medical renown, always stood far inferior to Avicenna. The containing a castle, which was built in 1499 by Virgilio Latin editions of his philosophical works comprise the Com- Orsini, afterwards belonged to the family of the Colonnas, mentaries on Aristotle, the Destructio Destructionis (against Al- and is now in the possession of the Barberinis. Population gazali), the De Substantia Orbis, and a double treatise De Ani- about 5900. Long. 13° 32' E., lat. 41° 58' N. mæ Beatitudine. The Commentaries of Averroes fall under three heads :—the larger commentarios, in which a paragraph
AVICEBRON. The writer referred to by the Scholas is quoted at large, and its clauses expounded one by one; the tics of the 13th century under this name was supposed by medium commentaries, which cite only the first words of a sec
them to be an Arabian philosopher, and was accordingly tion; and the paraphrases or analyses, treatises on the subjects classed along with Avempace, Abubacer, and others. Reof the Aristotelian books. The larger commentary was an in- cent researches have shown that this is an error, and that . novation of Averroes; for Avicenna, copied by Albertus Mag. this author, about whom so little was known, is identical nus, gave under the rubrics furnished by Aristotle works in which, with Salomcn ben Gebirol, a Jewish writer, several of though the materials were borrowed,
the grouping was his own. whose religious poems are still celebrated among the Jews. The great commentaries exist only for the posterior Analytics, Few details are known regarding the life of Gebirol. He Physics, De Colo, De Anima, and Metaphysics. On the History was born at Malaga, and received his education at Saraof Animals no commentary at all exists, and Plato's Republic is substituted for the then inaccessible Politics. The Latin edi- gossa, where, in 1045, he wrote a small treatise on morals, tions of these works between 1480 and 1580 number about 100. which has been several times reprinted. His death is said The first appeared at Padua, 1472; about fifty were published to have taken place in 1070 at Valencia. Among the Jews at Venice, the best known being that by the Juntas (1552–5), he is known only through his poems, and, with a few unimin ten volumes folio.
portant exceptions, no Jewish writer refers to his philosoSee Renan, Averroes et l'Averroisme ; Munk, Mélanges, 418– phical speculations. The Christian Schoolmen, about the 458; Müller's German translation, Philosophie und Theologie, middle of the 12th century, became acquainted with GunMünchen, 1875; Stöckl, Phil. d. Mittelalters, ii. 67–124; Aver- disalvi's Latin translation of a work called Fons Vitce or roes (Vater und Sohn), Drei Abhandl. über d. Conjunction d. Sapientiæ, which exercised a powerful influence on their separaten Intellecte mit d. Menschen, translated into German metaphysical discussions. The author was called by them from the Arabic Version of Sam. ibo-Tibbon, by Dr. J. Hercz, Avicebron, or Avicembron, or Avencebrol, and nothing Berlin, 1869.
was known regarding him till M. Munk_discovered a HeAVERSA, a town of Italy, province of Terra di Lavoro, brew abridgment, by Ibn Falaquéra, of Rabbi S. ben Gesituated in a beautiful plain covered with orange-groves birol's treatise on the source of life. He readily identi. and vineyards, about midway between Naples and Capua. fied this with the work of the unknown Avicebron, and It is the seat of a wealthy bishopric, and its foundling hos- the discovery of two Latin MSS. of the Fons has placed pital and lunatic asylum, the latter founded by Murat, are the identification beyond doubt. The extracts of Falaquéra very celebrated. Aversa owed its origin to the Normans, give a fair idea of the work, and enable us to understand and dates from 1030, the people of the ancient city of the peculiar influence it exercised. The objects of metaAtella being transported thither. Population, 21,176. physics according to it are three in number, the knowledge
AVESNÉS, a town of France, in the department of of matter and form, of the divine will or creative word, Nord, situated in a fertile district on the Greater Helpe. and of the supreme unity of God. God, as infinite, cannot It is generally well built, and is fortified on Vauban's sys- be known by intelligence which is finite, for all knowledge tem. Its principal building is the cathedral, surmounted involves comprehension, or requires that the known be conby a tower 330 feet high, which is raised on four columns, tained in the knowing. God works through the divine and has a fine chime. It is the seat of a sub-prefect, and will, which is intermediate between the supreme unity and has a tribunal of primary jurisdiction, an agricultural so- the world. All things in the world possess both matter ciety, and a communal college. The principal manufac- and form; all the various species of matter are but variatures are hosiery, coarse serge, and soap; there are also tions of one universal matter; and similarly all forms are breweries, tanneries, salt-refineries, and brick and marble contained in one universal form. This unity of matter works. A great part of the town was destroyed by the ex- applies to the soul and mind as well as to material things, plosion of a powder-magazine during the siege by the Prus- and it is against this proposition that the orthodox Schoolsians in July, 1815, but was soon afterwards rebuilt. Pop- men, as Albertus and Thomas, principally argue. The ulation, 3737.
matter and form in the universe is disposed in successive AVEYRON, a department in the S. of France, bounded stages, and rising above the lowest grade or corporal matter on the N. by Cantal, E. by Lozère, S. by Hérault and Tarn, there are certain intermediate substances uniting it with and W. by Tarn et-Garonne and Lot, containing an area the divine will, without which there is no motion. These of 3429 square miles. It corresponds to a large portion intermediate substances, taken in order, are—the universal of the ancient district of Rouergue in Guienne, which for- intellect, the rational soul, the vital soul, the vegetative merly gave its name to a family of counts. Its earliest soul, and nature, or the principle of motion in material inhabitants known to us were the Rutheni, whose capital things. Activity is transmitted from the divine will through was Segodunum, identified with the modern Rodez. The these stages, each of which causes the one next below itself department is rich in prehistoric antiquities, such as the to pass from potentiality into actuality. The materials of dolmens at Taurines, Laumières, Grailhe, &c. (see paper Avicebron's philosophy are due mainly to the Alexan. by M. E. Cartailhac in Norwich vol. of Internai. Cong. of drian speculations concealed in the pseudo-Aristotelian Prehist
. Arch., 1868). A large portion of Aveyron is occu- Theology: The position of the divine will, somewhat enigpied by offshoots of the Cevennes, the highest summit be- I matical in a philosophical point of view, is probably a concession to Jewish orthodoxy. For a full account of all | Avicenna wandered from place to place through the districts that is known regarding Avicebron's life and philosophy, of Nishapur and Merv to the borders of Khorasan, seeking with translation of Falaquéra’s extracts, see Munk's Mé an opening for his talents. In the restless change which langes de Phil. Juive et Arabe, pp. 1-306; for his poems threw the several cities of Iran from hand to hand among kee Sachs's Die Religiöse Poesie der Juden in Spanien, and those feudal emirs of the Buide family, who disputed the Geiger's S. ben Gabirol und seine Dichtungen.
fragments of the caliphate, the interests of letters and AVICENNA (in Arabic, Abû Ali el-Hosein Ibn-Abdal science were not likely to be regarded. Shems al-Maali lah Ibn-SixA) was born about the year 980 A.D. at Afshena, Kabūs, the generous ruler of Deilem, himself a poet and a one of the many hamlets in the district of Bokhara. His scholar, with whom he had expected to find an asylum, was mother was a native of the place; his father, a Persian about that date (1013) starved to death by his own revolted from Balkh, filled the post of tax-collector in the neigh- soldiery. Avicenna himself was at this season stricken boring town of Harmaitin, under Nah ibn Mansfr, the down by a severe illness. Finally, at Jorján, near the Samanide emir of Bokhara. On the birth of Avicenna's Caspian, he met with a friend, who bought near his own younger brother the family migrated to the capital, then house a dwelling in which Avicenna lectured on logic and one of the chief cities of the Moslem world, and famous astronomy. For this patron several of his treatises were for a culture which was older than its conquest by the written ; and the commencement of his Canon of Medicine Saracens. Avicenna was put in charge of a tutor, and his also dates from his stay in Hyrcania. precocity soon made him the marvel of his neighbors, -as He subsequently settled at Rai, in the vicinity of the
boy of ten who knew by rote the Koran and much modern Teheran, where a son of the last emir, Medj Arabic poetry besides. From a greengrocer he learnt Addaula, was nominal ruler, under the regency of his arithmetic; and higher branches were begun under one of mother. At Rai about thirty of his shorter works are said those wandering scholars, who gained a livelihood by cures to have been composed. But the constant feuds which for the sick and lessons for the young. Under him raged between the regent and her second son, Shems Avicenna read the Isagoge of Porphyry, and the first prop- Addaula, compelled the scholar to quit the place, and after ositions of Euclid. But the pupil soon found his teacher a brief sojourn at Kaswin, he passed southwards to Hamato be but a charlatan, and betook himself, aided by com- dân, where that prince had established himself. At first mentaries, to master logic, geometry, and the Almagest. he entered into the service of a high-born lady; but ere Before he was sixteen he not merely knew medical theory, long the emir, hearing of his arrival, called him in as but by gratuitous attendance on the sick had, according to medical attendant, and sent him back with presents to his his own account, discovered new methods of treatment. dwelling. Avicenna was even raised to the office of vizier ; For the next year and a half he worked at the higher but the turbulent soldiery, composed of Koords and Turks, philosophy, in which he encountered greater obstacles. In mutinied against their nominal sovereign, and demanded such moments of baffled inquiry he would leave his books, that the new vizier should be put to death. Shems perform the requisite ablutions, then hie to the mosque, Addaula consented that he should be banished from the and continue in prayer till light broke on his difficulties. country. Avicenna, however, remained hidden for forty Deep into the night he would continue his studies, stimu- days in a sheikh's house, till a fresh attack of illness inlating his senses by occasional cups of wine, and even in duced the emir to restore him to his post. Even during his dreams problems would pursue him and work out their this perturbed time he prosecuted his studies and teaching. solution. Forty times, it is said, he read through the Every evening extracts from his great works, the Canon metaphysics of Aristotle, till the words were imprinted on and the Sanatio, were dictated and explained to his pupils ; his memory; but their meaning was hopelessly obscure, among whom, when the lesson was over, he spent the rest until one day they found illumination from the little com- of the night in festive enjoyment with a band of singers inentary by Alfarabius, which he bought at a bookstall for and players. On the death of the emir Avicenna ceased the small sum of three drachmæ. So great was his joy at to be vizier, and hid himself in the house of an apothecary, the discovery, thus made by help of a work from which he where, with intense assiduity, he continued the composihad expected only mystery, that he hastened to return tion of his works. Meanwhile, he had written to Abu thanks to God, and bestowed an alms upon the poor. Jaafar, the prefect of Ispahan, offering his services ; but Thus, by the end of his seventeenth year, he had gone the the new emir of Hamadan getting to hear of this correround of the learning of his time; his apprenticeship of spondence, and discovering the place of Avicenna's concealstudy was concluded, and he went forth a master to find a ment, incarcerated him in a fortress. War meanwhile market for his accomplishments.
continued between the rulers of Ispahan and Hamadan; in His first appointment was that of physician to the emir, 1024 the former captured Hamadan and its towns, and whon the fame of the youthful prodigy had reached, and expelled the Turkish mercenaries. When the storm had who owed him his recovery from a dangerous illness. passed Avicenna returned with the emir to Hamadan, and Avicenna's chief reward for this service was access to the carried on his literary labors; but at length, accompanied royal library, contained in several rooms, each with its by his brother, a favorite pupil, and two slaves, made his chiests of manuscripts in some branch of learning. The escape out of the city in the dress of a Sufite ascetic. Samanides were well-known patrons of scholarship and After a perilous journey they reached Ispahan, and received scholars, and stood conspicuous amid the fashion of the an honorable welcome from the prince. The remaining period, which made a library and a learned retinue an ten or twelve years of Avicenna's life were spent in the indispensable accompaniment of an emir, even in the days service of Abu Jaafar Ala Addaula, whom he accompanied of campaign. In such a library Avicenna could inspect as physician and general literary and scientific adviser, works of great rarity, and study the progress of science. even in his numerous campaigns. During these years he When the library was destroyed by fire not long thereafter, began to study literary matters and philology, instigated, it the enemies of Avicenna accused him of burning it, in is asserted, by criticisms on his style. But amidst ħis restorder for ever to conceal the sources of his knowledge. less study Avicenna never forgot his love of enjoyment. Meanwhile, he assisted his father in his financial labors, Unusual' bodily vigor enabled him to combine severe but still found tiine to write some of his earliest works for devotion to work with facile indulgence in sensual pleasures. two wealthy patrons, whose absolute property they became. His passion for wine and women was almost as well known Among them was the Collectio, one of those short synopses as his learning. With much gayety of heart, and great of knowledge which an author threw off for different powers of understanding, he showed at the same time the patrons.
spirit of an Aristippus more than that of an Aristotle at At the age of twenty-two Avicenna lost his father. The the courts of the wealthy. Versatile, light-hearted, boastful, Samanide dynasty, which for ten years had been hard and pleasure-loving, he contrasts with the nobler and more pressed between the Turkish Khan of Kashgar on the north intellectual character of Averroes. His bouts of pleasure and the rulers of Ghazni on the south, came to its end in gradually weakened his constitution ; a severe colic, which December, 1004. Avicenna seems to have declined the seized him on the march of the army against Hamadan, offers of Mahmud the Ghaznevide (who, like his compeers, was checked by remedies so violent that Avicenna could was rapidly gathering a brilliant cortege of savants, includ- scarcely stand. "On a similar occasion the disease returned; ing the astronomer Albiruni), and proceeded westwards to with difficulty he reached Hamadân, where, finding the the city of Urdjensh in the modern district of Khiva, disease gaining ground, he refused to keep up the regiwhere the vizier, regarded as a friend of scholars, gave men imposed, and resigned himself to his fate. On his him a small monthly stipend. But the pay was small, and leathbed remorse seized him; he bestowed his goods on the poor, restored unjust gains, freed his slaves, and every world—but post multiplicitatem, i.e., as they exist in and third day till his death listened to the reading of the for the intellect which has examined and compared. Logic Koran. 'He died in June, 1037, in his 58th year, and was does not come in contact with things, except as they are buried among the palm-trees by the Kiblah of Hamadân. subject to modification by intellectual forms. In other
It was mainly accident which determined that from the words, universality, individuality, and speciality are all 12th to the 17th century Avicenna should be the guide of equally modes of our comprehension or notion; their medical study in European universities, and eclipse the meaning consists in their setting forth the relations atnames of Rhazes, Ali, and Avenzoar. His work is not taching to any object of our conception. In the mind, essentially different from that of his predecessors Rhazes e.g., one form may be placed in reference to a multitude of and Ali; all present the doctrine of Galen, and through things, and as thus related will be universal. The form Galen the doctrine of Hippocrates, modified by the system animal, e.g., is an abstract intelligible, or metaphysical of Aristotle. But the Canon of Aricenna is distinguished idea. When an act of thought employs it as a schema to from the El-Hawi (Continens) or Summary of Rhazes by unify several species, it acquires its logical aspect (respectus) its greater method, due perhaps to the logical studies of the of generality; and the various living beings qualified to former, and entitling him to his surname of Prince of the have the name animal applied to them constitute the natural Physicians. The work has been variously appreciated in class or kind. Avicenna's view of the universal may be subsequent ages, some regarding it as a treasury of wisdom, compared with that of Abelard, which calls it “ that whose and others, like Avenzoar, holding it useful only as waste nature it is to be predicated of several," as if the generality paper. In modern times it has been more criticised than became explicit only in the act of predication, in the sermo read. The vice of the book is excessive classification of or proposition, and not in the abstract, unrelated form or bodily faculties, and over-subtlety in the discrimination of essence. The three modes of the universal before things, diseases. It includes five books; of which the first and in things, and after things, spring from Arabian infuence, second treat of physiology, pathology, and hygiene, the but depart somewhat from his stand-point. third and fourth deal with the methods of treating disease, The place of Avicenna amongst Moslem philosophers is and the fifth describes the composition and preparation of seen in the fact that Shahrastani takes him as the type of remedies. This last part contains some contingent of all, and that Algazali's attack against philosophy is in persunal observation. He is, like all his countrymen, ample reality almost entirely directed against Avicenna. His in the enumeration of symptoms, and is said to be inferior system is in the main a codification of Aristotle modified to Ali in practical medicine and surgery. He introduced by fundamental views of Neo-Platonist origin, and it tends into medical theory the four causes of the Peripatetic to be a compromise with theology. In order, for example, system. Of natural history and botany he pretends to no to maintain the necessity of creation, he taught that all special knowledge. Up to the year 1650, or thereabouts, things except God were admissible or possible in their own the Canon was still used as a text-book in the universities nature, but that certain of them were rendered necessary of Louvain and Montpellier.
by the act of the creative first agent,-in other words, The rank of Avicenna in the mediæval world as a philos- that the possible could be transformed into the necessary. opher was far beneath his fame as a physician. Still, the Avicenna's theory of the process of knowledge is an logic of Albertus Magnus and succeeding, doctors was interesting part of his doctrine. Man has a rational soal, largely indebted to him for its formulæ. In logic Avi: one face of which is turned towards the body, and, by the cenna starts from distinguishing between the isolated help of the higher aspect, acts as practical understanding; concept and the judgment or assertion; from which two the other face lies open to the reception and acquisition of primitive elements of knowledge there is artificially gener- the intelligible forms, and its aim is to become a reason, ated a complete and scientific knowledge by the two pro- able world, reproducing the forms of the universe and cesses of definition and syllogism. But the chief interest their intelligible order. In man there is only the susfor the history of logic belongs to his doctrine in so far as ceptibility to reason, which is sustained and helped by it bears upon the nature and function of abstract ideas. the light of the active intellect. Man may prepare himThe question had been suggested alike to East and West self for this influx by removing the obstacles which by Porphyry, and the Arabians were the first to approach prevent the union of the intellect with the human vessel the full statement of the problem. Alfarabius had pointed destined for its reception. The stages of this process to the out that the universal and individual are not distinguished acquisition of mind are generally enumerated by Avicenna from each other as understanding from the senses, but that as 'four; in this part he follows not Aristotle, but the both universal and individual are in one respect intellectual, Greek commentator. The first stage is that of the hylic just as in another connection they play a part in percep- or material intellect, a state of mere potentiality, like tion. He had distinguished the universal essence in its that of a child for writing, before he has ever put pen abstract nature, from the universal considered in relation to paper. The second stage is called in habitu; it is comto a number of singulars. These suggestions formed the pared to the case of a child that has learned the elements basis of Avicenna's doctrine. The essences or forms-the of writing, when the bare possibility is on the way to be intelligibilia which constitute the world of real knowledge developed, and is seen to be real. In this period of half--may be looked at in themselves (metaphysically), or as trained reason, it appears as happy conjecture, not yet embodied in the things of sense (physically), or as express- transformed into art or science proper. When the power ing the processes of thought (logically). The first of these of writing has been actualized, we have a parallel to three points of view deals with the form or idea as self- the intellectus in actu—the way of science and demonstracontained in the principles of its own being, apart from tion is entered. And when writing has been made a those connections and distinctions which it receives in real permanent accomplishment, or lasting property of the (sensuous) science, and through the act of intellect. Sec- subject, to be taken up at will, it corresponds to the intelondly, the form may be looked at as the similarity evolved lectus adeptus—the complete mastery of science. The whole by a process of comparison, as the work of mental reflec- process may be compared to the gradual illumination of tion, and in that way as essentially expressing a relation. à body naturally capable of receiving light. There are, When thus considered as the common features derived by however, grades of susceptibility to the active intellect, i.e. cxamination from singular instances, it becomes a universal in theological language, to communication with God and or common term strictly so called. It is intellect which his angels. Sometimes the receptivity is so vigorous in its first makes the abstract idea a true universal. (Intellectus affinity, that without teaching it rises at one step to the in formis agit universalitatem.) In the third place, the form vision of truth, by a certain "holy force" above ordinary or essence may be looked upon as embodied in outward measure. (In this way philosophy tried to account for things (in singularibus propriis), and thus it is the type the phenomenon of prophecy, one of the ruling ideas of more or less represented by the members of a natural kind. Islam.) But the active intellect is not merely influential It is the designation of these outward things which forms on human souls. It is the universal giver of forms in the the "first intention" of names; and it is only at a later world. stage, when thought comes to observe its own modes, that In several points Avicenna endeavored to give a rationale names, looked upon as predicables and universals, are of theological dogmas, particularly of prophetic rule, of taken in their “second intention.” Logic deals with such miracles, divine providence, and immortality. The per second intentions. It does not consider the forms ante manence of individual souls he supports by arguments multiplicitatem, i.e., as eternal ideas-nor in multipli- borrowed from those of Plato. The existence of a prophet citate, i.e., as immersed in the matter of the phenomenal' is shown to be a corollary from a belief in God as a moral