Art And Culture

Seminar on 'Polymath of Millennia'

Seminar on 'Polymath of Millennia'Seminar on 'Polymath of Millennia'

'Polymath of Millennia,' a seminar to pay tribute to Persian scientist and philosopher Avicenna (980-1037) will be held on August 20 at Tehran's Ibn-Sina Cultural Center.

It will be attended by celebrated masters of philosophy and Islamic 'hikmah' (wisdom) including philosopher Gholamhossein Ebrahimi Dinani, 81, researcher, cataloger, codicologist and mathematician Seyyed Abdollah Anvar, 91, and three-time winner of Book of the Year award in Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Mostafa Mohaqeq Damad.

Other participants are researcher in philosophy and mysticism Inshaollah Rahmati, researcher in Islamic philosophy Najafqoli Habibi, lecturer Ghiasoddin Taha Mohammadi, and Hamedan Province Governor General Mohammad Nasser Nikbakht.

The participants will deliver lectures on the works by Avicenna that have survived, which include 150 works on philosophy and 40 on medicine. Besides, Avicenna's corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics and poetry.

His most famous works are The Book of Healing, a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia.

  Bertolacci's Critical Edition

"The event will present a report on Bertolacci's work on the metaphysics of the Book of Healing (Kitab al-Shifa)," YJC quoted Tavakol Daraee, head of public relations and international affairs of Bu Ali Sina Scientific and Cultural Foundation in Hamedan, as saying.

Amos Bertolacci, Ph.D in Near Eastern Language and Civilization, Yale University who also has a Doctorate in Philosophy from University of Florence, is compiling a critical edition of 'Ilahiyyat,' a theosophical chapter of Avicenna's Book of Healing.  

Earlier in 2006, he had released The Reception of Aristotle's Metaphysics in Avicenna's Kitab al-Shifa.

This particular part of Avicenna's Book of Healing, known in Latin Middle Ages as 'Liber de Philosophia Prima sive Scientia Divina,' is about the rationally established discipline that allows human reason to achieve an understanding of the inner structure of the world.

Bertolacci's 2006 book provides the first systematic comparison of Ilahiyyat with Aristotle's Metaphysics and a comprehensive account of the latter's transmission in Greek and Arabic philosophy before Avicenna.

  Anvar's 70-Year Contribution

"Part of the seminar will be devoted to honoring the nonagenarian Seyyed Abdollah Anvar for his 70-year-long scientific contribution," Daraee said. He referred to the background of Anvar's activities, including his valuable researches, critical editions and commentaries on Avicenna's works.

"He has also edited many jurisprudential and literary books. He has devoted his precious life to promotion of Islamic culture and Iranian civilization."

A week-long exhibition of Avicenna's cultural and scientific influences across the world will open to coincide with the seminar. Titled 'Avicenna in World Views' it features a series of stamps from Europe, Asia and Africa, depicting Avicenna in various ways.

Pictures of the Canon of Medicine and other manuscripts from Middle-Age Europe will also feature in the exhibition.