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Al-Kindi

Duration:
43 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 28 June 2012

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of the Arab philosopher al-Kindi. Born in the early ninth century, al-Kindi was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy and supervised the translation of many works by Aristotle and others into Arabic. The author of more than 250 works, he wrote on many different subjects, from optics to mathematics, music and astrology. He was the first significant thinker to argue that philosophy and Islam had much to offer each other and need not be kept apart. Today al-Kindi is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic world.

With:

Hugh Kennedy
Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London

James Montgomery
Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic Elect at the University of Cambridge

Amira Bennison
Senior Lecturer in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

  • FURTHER READING

    P. Adamson, ‘The Arabic Plotinus: A Philosophical Study of the Theology of Aristotle’ (Duckworth, 2002)

    P. Adamson, ‘Al-Kindi’ (Oxford University Press, 2007)

    Jim Al-Khalili, ‘The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance’ (Penguin, 2011)

    Dimitri Gutas, ‘Greek Thought, Arabic Culture’ (Routledge, 1998)

    P. Henry and H. R. Schwyzer (eds), ‘Plotini Opera’, vol. 2 (Paris and Brussels, 1959) - contains G. Lewis’s English translation of the Theology of Aristotle

    Alfred Ivry (trans.), ‘Al-Kindi’s Metaphysics: A Translation of the Treatise on First Philosophy’ (State University of New York Press, 1974)

    Hugh Kennedy, ‘The Courts of the Caliphs’ (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004)

    Peter Pormann, Syed Nomanul Haq, Peter Adamson (trans.), ‘The Philosophical Works of al-Kindi’ (OUP Pakistan, 2012)

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