Ibn Abī Al-Salt°

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IBN ABĪ AL-SALT ° (Umayya Ibn ʿAbd al- ʿAzīz ; 1068–1134), Muslim musician and student of the exact sciences. He was born in Andalusia and died in Mahdiyya (Tunisia). His writings were influential among the Jews of Spain as shown both by quotations and by complete Hebrew versions of his works, some of which have been preserved in Hebrew only. Apart from his medical activities, he was an expert in theoretical and practical music. Both of his interests are reflected in his writings: his medical "Simplicia," translated by Judah (Maestro Bongodas Nathan ben Solomon; 14th cent.), and the extensive chapter on music from his lost encyclopedia Sefer ha-Haspakah (Kitāb al-Kāfi?), by two anonymous translators (Ms. Paris, Heb. 1037, fol. 1b–20b). The Arabic original was quoted by Profiat *Duran in his Ma'aseh Efod (ed. Fried-laender-Kohn, p. 37), and the chapter on optics in Ms. Munich Heb. 290 (margins of fol. 44b and 45b). The extensive treatise on music of ibn abī al-Ṣalt has come down to us in a Hebrew translation, but not in the original. This Hebrew translation represents an abridged compilation from two works of the famous Arab philosopher and theorist of music al-Fārābī: the chapter on music in iḥṣā' al-'ulūm (= Classification of the Sciences), which became known in medieval Europe through its several Hebrew and Latin translations, and large excerpts from part II of Kitāb al-mūsīqī al-kabīr (The Great Book of Music). H. Avenary has published this version, which is one of the most extensive preserved in Hebrew.


H. Suter, Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber und ihre Werke (1900), 115, no. 27; Adler, in: Yuval, 1 (1968), 2–3, 9, contains an extensive bibliography; A. Shiloah, ibid., 2 (1970). add. bibliography: A. Shiloah, in: Teshurot la-Avishur (2004), 341–47; H. Avenary, The Hebrew Version …, in: Yuval, 3 (1974), 7–82; M. Comes, "Umayya ibn 'Abd al-'Azīz," in EIS2, 10 (2000), 836–37 (incl. bibl.).

[Hanoch Avenary /

Amnon Shiloah (2nd ed.)]