Hunain ibn Ishaq, on the works of Galen

I was musing a little while ago about a small work by Hunain ibn Ishaq, the most important of the translators of the classics into Arabic in the 10th century.  The work was published by G. Bergstrasser with a German translation.  It lists the works of the ancient Medical writer Galen known to him, together with details of where he found manuscripts and how he went about translation. 

I was thinking that we do could with this text online.  Indeed this weekend I ordered a copy of Bergstrasser by ILL, with the thought of commissioning a translation.

Later that day I heard from Dr. John C. Lamoreaux, of the Department of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University.  It turns out that he is in the process of producing an edition with English translation, for academic publication!  This is excellent news, and should blow the field wide open.  After all, people with knowledge of Greek rarely know Arabic.

Of course this book won’t be online because of the usual problem; that academics who want to retain their jobs must publish research, and must do so via prestigious academic publishers.  These in turn would understandably like to actually sell at least a few of the miserably short print runs — they hardly make money anyway.  But the upshot is that this research remains offline, whatever the wishes of author and publisher.

However Dr. L. has very kindly slipped me a draft copy of the book, and with his permission I hope to review it here.