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Secretum Secretorum

Number

lt.003

Title

Secretum secretorum

De Regimine Dominorum

De secretis secretorum

Kitāb Sirr al-asrār

Name of the Portuguese translation

 

Segredo dos Segredos (pt.003)

Author

Pseudo-Aristoteles

Language

Latin

Characterization

In medieval times, there was an upsurge of interest in Aristotelian writings and the character of Alexander the Great. It is in this context that appears a work attributed falsely to Aristotle that recalls, in the epistolary form, the connection between the philosopher and his pupil during his military campaign in Persia: supposedly Aristotle would have made an extensive letter to Alexander the Great where he collected a lot of important information and advice to a statesman (particularly in terms of its political conduct and moral) and informations about astrology, physiognomy, medicine, etc.

This treaty has an obscure origin, in that we do not know well the source of the original text, although it is thought that this would be an Arab original called Kitāb Sirr al-asrār. What is known for sure is that, from the Latin translations that were made, is that the text was widely distributed throughout Europe (Lorée, 2012: 7-8). The Portuguese text probably derives from a Latin translation of the original.

Date

Probably 800 d.C.

Place

Unknown.

Extant testimonies

There are many manuscripts with the Latin text of this work (Williams, 2003: 367 ff.). However, on the whole, there are two variants of the original text (see Williams, 2003 and 1997: 365-366; Sá 1960: xix-xxiii):

- An oriental text in Arabic, which is the source of several translations across Europe, including the English translation carried out by Roger Bacon. This text will have arisen from the complete translation into Latin carried out in the thirteenth century by a cleric named Philip of Tripoli;

- A western text, smaller, which is the source of the Spanish translation. This text is a partial Latin translation made by John of Seville in the twelfth century A.D.

There are several differences between the two basic texts, wherein the oriental text appears to have known various additions (that are not on Western text).

Studies

References:

BIZZARRI, Hugo O. (1996), Difusión y abandono del Secretum secretorum en la tradición sapiencial castellana de los siglor XIII y XIV, Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge 63, 95-137.

BRIDGES, M., GAULLIER-BOUGASSAS, C. e TILLIETTE, J.-Y. (dir.) (2013) Réceptions européennes du Secret des Secrets (XIIIe – XVIe siècles), Turhnout: Brepols, coll. Alexander redivivus.

BURNETT, Charles S. F. (1988), The Eadwine Psalter and the Western Tradition of the Onomancy in Pseudo-Aristotle's Secret of Secrets, Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge 57, 143-167.

CARLIER, Pierre (1980), Étude sur la prétendue lettre d’Aristote à Alexandre transmise par plusieurs manuscrits arabes, Ktema 5, 277-288.

CECIONI, Giorgio (1889), Il Secretum secretorum attribuito ad Aristotile e le sue redazione volgari, Il Propugnatore 2, 72-102.

FARAL, Edmond (1914), Une Source latine de l’Histoire d’Alexandre. La Lettre sur les Merveilles de l’Inde, Romania 43, 199-215 e 353-370.

FORSTER, E. S. (1928), The pseudo-aristotelian Problems, their Nature and Composition, Classical Quaterly 22, London, 163-165.

FÖRSTER, Richard (1888), De Aristotelis quae feruntur Secretis Secretorum, Kiel: ex officina Schmidtii & Klaunigii.

FÖRSTER, Richard (1889), Handschriften und Ausgaben des pseudo-aristotelischen Secretum Secretorum. In Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen Bd. 6, 1-22, 57-75.

GELBER, Hester Goodenough (1988), The Eadwine Psalter and the western Tradition of the Onomancy in Pseudo-Aristotle’s Secret of Secrets, Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge 55, 143-167.

GRIGNASCHI, M. (1976), 'L'Origine et les metamorphoses du "Sirr al-asrar"', Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge 43, 7-112.

GRIGNASCHI, M. (1980), 'La Diffusion du "Secretum Secretorum" (Sirr al-asrar) dans l'Europe occidentale', Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge 47, 7-70.

GRIGNASCHI, M. (1982), Formation et Interprétation du Sirr al-‘asrâr. In RYAN, W. F. e SCHMITT, Charles B. (eds.) (1982) Pseudo-Aristotle, the Secret of Secrets. Sources and Influences, Londres: Warburg Institute Surveys, 9, 3-33.

GRIGNASCHI, Mario (1965-66), Les Rasã’il’Aristãtãlisa ‘ilã-l-Iskandar de Sãlim Abü-l-‘Alã’ et l’activité culturelle à l’époque omayyade, Bulletin d’études orientales de Damas 19, 7-83.

GRIGNASCHI, Mario (1976), La As-Siyasatul-‘ammiyah et l’influence iranienne sur la pensée politique islamique, Monumentum H.S. Nyberg III, Acta Iranica 6, Leiden, 33-287.

HAMILTON, George L. (1910), The Sources of the Secret des Secrets of Jofroi de Waterford, Romanic Review I.

HENRY Albert (1986), Un Texte oenologique de Jofroi de Waterford et de Servais Copale, Romania 107, 1-37.

HERMENEAU, Willy (1922), Französische Bearbeitungen des Secretum Secretorum und ihr Verhältnis zu der lateinischen Übersetzung des Philippus Tripolitanus, Göttingen.

HUNT, Tony (2000), A New Fragment of Jofroi de Waterford’s Segré de Segrez, Romania 118, 289-314.

LORÉE, Denis (1998), Le statut du Secret des Secrets dans la diffusion encyclopédique du moyen âge. In Encyclopédies médiévales: Discours et savoirs, Cahiers Diderot n° 10, PUR, 155-171.

LORÉE, Denis (2008), Corps de l’Homme, Corps de l’État dans le Secret des Secrets. In HÜE, Denis (ed.) Corps et Encyclopédies. Actes du Colloque de Cerisy-la-salle, 10 a 14 de setembro de 2008.

LORÉE, Denis (2011), Qu’apprend-on aux rois ? L’exemple de la physiognomonie dans le Secret des Secrets. Colloque «Au-delà des miroirs: la littérature politique dans la France de Charles VI et Charles VII», Université Paul Verlaine-Metz, UFR Sciences Humaines et Arts, setembro de 2011.

LORÉE, Denis (2012). Édition commentée du Secret des Secrets du Pseudo-Aristote. Thèse. Rennes: Université de Rennes 2, CELAM.

LORÉE, Denis (2013), Lire le Secret des Secrets à l’Aube de la Renaissance, Réceptions européennes du Secret des Secrets (XIIIe – XVIe siècles). In , BRIDGES, M., GAULLIER-BOUGASSAS, C. e TILLIETTE, J.-Y. (dir.) Réceptions européennes du Secret des Secrets (XIIIe – XVIe siècles), Turhnout, Brepols, coll. Alexander redivivus. No prelo.

MANZALAOUI, Mahmoud (1954), The Secreta Secretorum in English Thought and Literature from the fourteenth to the seventeenth Century with a Preliminary Surveys of the Origins of the Secreta, Ph. D. Diss., Oxford: Oxford University.

MANZALAOUI, Mahmoud (1961), The Secreta secretorum: The Mediaeval European Version of Kitab Sirr-al-Asrar, Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts (University of Alexandria) 15, 83-107.

MANZALAOUI, Mahmoud (1965), The Pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrar and Three Oxford Thinkers of the Middle Ages. In Makdisi, G., Arabic and Islamic Studies in Honor of Hamilton Gibb, Leiden: Brill, 480-500.

MANZALAOUI, Mahmoud (1974), 'The Pseudo-Aristotelian Kitāb Sirr al-asrār: Facts and Problems', Oriens 23-24, 146-257.

MANZALAOUI, Mahmoud (1982), Philip of Tripoli and His Textual Methods, Pseudo-Aristotle, the Secret of Secrets, Sources and Influences. In RYAN, W. F. e SCHMITT, Charles B. (eds.) (1982) Pseudo-Aristotle, the Secret of Secrets. Sources and Influences, Londres: Warburg Institute Surveys, 9, 55-72.

MEYER, Paul (1886), Manuscrits français de Cambridge, Romania 15, 161-191 e 236-357.

MEYER, Paul (1903), Les Manuscrits français de Cambridge, Romania 32, 75-120.

MONFRIN, Jacques (1947), Le Secret des Secrets: Recherches sur les Traductions françaises suivies du Texte de Jofroi de Waterford et de Servais Copale, dans École Nationale des Chartes. Positions des Thèses soutenues par les élèves de la Promotion de 1947, Paris.

MONFRIN, Jacques (1964), Sur les Sources du Secret des Secrets de Jofroi de Waterford et de Servais Copale, Mélanges offerts à Maurice Delbouille, Gembloux 2, 509-530.

MONFRIN, Jacques (1982), La Place du Secret des Secrets dans la Littérature française medieval. In RYAN, W. F. e SCHMITT, Charles B. (eds.) (1982) Pseudo-Aristotle, the Secret of Secrets. Sources and Influences, Londres: Warburg Institute Surveys, 9, 73-113.

MOREL-FATIO, Alfred (1897), Version napolitaine d’un Texte catalan du Secretum secretorum, Romania 26, 74-82.

RYAN, W. F. e SCHMITT, Charles B. (eds.) (1982) Pseudo-Aristotle, the Secret of Secrets. Sources and Influences, Londres: Warburg Institute Surveys, 9.

STEELE, Robert (1894), Roger Bacon and the Secreta secretorum, Athenaeum 3486.

WILLIAMS, Steven J. (2003), The "Secret of Secrets": The Scholarly Career of a Pseudo-Aristotelian Text in the Latin Middle Ages. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (1994), Roger Bacon and his Edition of the pseudo-aristotelian Secretum Secretorum, Speculum 69, Medieval Academy of Amercica, Cambridge, 57-74.

Delisle Léopold. Observations sur l'origine de plusieurs manuscrits de la collection de Mr Barrois. In: Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes. 1866, tome 27, 193-264.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (1994), The early Circulation of the pseudo-aristotelian Secret of Secrets in the West; the papal and imperial Courts, Micrologus II, 127-144.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (1997) Roger Bacon and the Secret of Secrets. In HACKETT, Jeremiah (ed.) Roger Bacon and the Sciences: Commemorative Essays, Leiden/New York/Köln: Brill, 365-393.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (1997), Repenser l’intention et l’effet des décrets de 1231 du pape Grégoire IX sur l’étude des libri naturales d’Aristote à l’Université de Paris. In LAFLEUR, Claude (ed.) L’enseignement de la philosophie au XIIIe siècle : Autour du Guide de l’étudiant du ms. Ripoll 109, Turnhout: Brepols.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (2000), Philip of Tripoli’s Translation of the pseudo-aristotelian Secretum Secretorum viewed within the Context of intellectual Activity in the Crusader Levant. In DRAELANTS, Isabelle, TIHON, Anne, VAN DE ABEELE, Baudouin (eds.). Occident et Proche-Orient: Contacts scientifiques au Temps des Croisades, Actes du Colloque de Louvain-la-Neuve, 24 et 25 mars 1997. Louvain: Brepols, Réminiscences 5, 79-94.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (2003), The Scholarly Career of a pseudo-aristotelian Text in the latin Middle Ages, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (2003), The vernacular Tradition of the pseudo-aristotelian Secret of Secrets in the Middle Ages: Translations, Manuscripts, Readers. In BRAY, Nadia e STURLESE, Loris, Filosofia in Volgare nel Medioevo, Louvain-la-Neuve: FIIEM, Textes et Études du Moyen Âge 21, 451-482.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (2004), Giving Advice and taking it : the Reception by rulers of the pseudo-aristotelian Secretum Secretorum as a Speculum Principis, Micrologus X, 139-180.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (2004), Reflections on the pseudo-aristotelian Secretum Secretorum as an astrological Text, Micrologus XII, 407-434.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (2006), Esotericism, Marvels, and the Medieval Aristotle, Micrologus XIV, 171-191.

WILLIAMS, Steven James (2008), The Pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum secretorum as a Didactic Text. In RUYS, Juanita (ed.), What Nature Does Not Teach: Didactic Literature in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, Turnhout: Brepols, 41-57.

WURMS, Friedrich (1970), Studien zu den deutschen und den lateinischen Prosafassungen des pseudo-aristotelischen Secretum Secretorum. Dissertação, Hamburgo.

ZAMUNER, Ilaria (2005), La tradizione romanza del Secretum secretorum pseudo-aristotelico. Regesto delle versioni e dei manoscritti, Studi Medievali 46.1, 31-116.

 

Online manuscripts:

- http://www.europeana.eu/portal/search.html?query=secreta+secretorum

- http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k608817

- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/arabic/physiognomy2.html

- http://realbiblioteca.patrimonionacional.es/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=70249

- Online english translation: http://www.colourcountry.net/secretum/