Friday, June 29, 2018

11th Century Benedictine participation in the Toledo School of Translators

King Alfonso X
"Toledo, with a large population of Arabic-speaking Christians (Mozarabs) had been an important center of learning and translation since as early as the end of the 10th century, when European scholars traveled to Spain to study subjects that were not readily available in the rest of Europe. (...)


The translating efforts at Toledo are often overemphasized into a “school of translation”, however the representation of Toledo translating activity creates a false sense that a formal school arose around the Archbishop Raymond. Only one translation, by John of Seville, can be definitively dedicated to the archbishop. It is more accurate to consider Toledo as a geographically bilingual environment where local interests were favorable to translation efforts, making it a practical and appealing location for translators to work. As a result, many translators became active in the area and Toledo became the focus of translating activity.

However translating efforts were not properly organized until Toledo was reconquered by the Christian forces in 1085. (Archbishop) Raymond of Toledo started the first translation efforts at the library of the Cathedral of Toledo, where he led a team of translators that included Mozarabic Toledans, Jewish scholars, Madrasah teachers and (Benedictine, TN) monks from the Order of Cluny. They worked in the translation of many works from Arabic into Castilian, from Castilian into Latin, or directly from Arabic into Latin or Greek, and also made available important texts from Arabic and Hebrew philosophers who the Archbishop deemed important for an understanding of Aristotle. As a result of their activities, the cathedral became a translations center known as the Escuela de Traductores de Toledo (Toledo School of Translators), which was on a scale and importance not matched in the history of western culture."


Source of text and illustration Wikipedia

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