Published Book Chapters

The Liberal Arts: Inheritances and Conceptual Frameworks.  

With G.E.M. Gasper, S. Sønnesyn, N. Lewis, and J. Cunningham. In G.E.M. Gasper, C. Panti, T.C.B. McLeish, H. Smithson (eds.), Knowing and Speaking: Robert Grosseteste’s De artibus liberalibus ‘On the Liberal Arts’ and De generatione sonorum ‘On the Generation of Sounds’. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, 36–50.

The Use of the Stars: Alchemy, Plants, and Medicine.

With G.E.M. Gasper, S. Sønnesyn, A. Lawrence-Mathers, and N. El-Bizri. In G.E.M. Gasper, C. Panti, T.C.B. McLeish, H. Smithson (eds.), Knowing and Speaking: Robert Grosseteste’s De artibus liberalibus ‘On the Liberal Arts’ and De generatione sonorum ‘On the Generation of Sounds’. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, 166–195.

Nature, Souls, and Numbers: Remarks on a Medieval Gloss on Gundissalinus’s De processione mundi.

In M.J. Soto-Bruna (ed.), Causality and Resemblance. Medieval Approaches to the Explanation of Nature. Hildesheim – Zürich – New York: OLMS, 75-87.

Gundissalinus’s De processione mundi expounds a detailed description of the institution of the universe based on a fascinating range of Latin and Arabic sources. Realising a synthesis between Avicenna’s and Avicebron’s metaphysical positions, the universe depicted by Gundissalinus is grounded upon a delicate and yet intrinsically coherent web of interpretations of divergent philosophical perspectives. A rather problematic point of De processione mundi is the use Gundissalinus makes of the ratio numerorum. In particular, his use of numerical series—twice in the text—to demonstrate the completeness of the created universe appears to entail striking contradictions with what Gundissalinus claims in his treatise. My contribution addresses this “consistency problem” pointing out that the meaning of the two numerological series can be clarified through a curious gloss on the text attested by the entire manuscript tradition of De processione mundi.

The Toledan Translation Movement and Gundissalinus: Some Remarks on His Activity and Presence in Castile.

In Y. Beale-Rivaya and J. Busic (eds.), A Companion to Medieval Toledo. Reconsidering the Canons. Leiden – Boston: Brill, 263-280.

The origins of the Toledan translation movement can be traced back to the translation activities developed in Southern Italy and Northern Spain since the end of the eleventh century. In Italy, the translations were realized from Greek into Latin; whereas in Catalonia and the Ebro valley, translators as Plato of Tivoli, Robert of Ketton, and Hermann of Carinthia translated Arabic writings. Following different linguistic tracks, these first translations shared a common interest on scientific works, and particularly astronomy. The activity of these first translators was also directly connected to the main scientific milieux of the time, namely Salerno and Chartres, where the translated texts were read and used.

L’acqua che si trasforma in pietra. Gundissalinus e Avicenna sulla generazione dei metalli.

In C. Panti and N. Polloni (eds), Vedere nell’ombra. Studi su natura, spiritualità e scienze operative offerti a Michela Pereira. Firenze: SISMEL, 103-119. 

What are the sources of a curious example of generation mentioned by Gundissalinus, by which water becomes a stone? This contribution explores the theoretical aims of the example presented in De processione mundi, assessing the Avicennian doctrinal framework in which it is placed by Gundissalinus. The origin of the example itself, though, appears to be far more complicated. After examining possible Latin sources and the alchemical implications suggested by the example, the study focuses on a different hypothesis: that Gundissalinus had access to the Arabic version of Avicenna’s De generatione and corruptione

Toledan Ontologies: Gundissalinus, Ibn Daud, and the Problems of Gabirolian Hylomorphism.

In A. Fidora and N. Polloni (eds.), Appropriation, Interpretation and Criticism: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges Between the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Intellectual Traditions, FIDEM, Barcelona – Roma, 2016, 19-49.

This contribution focuses on a particular branch of Gundissalinus’s production, namely ontology, and a peculiar feature of his reflection: the progressive problematization of his doctrine of hylomorphism. I will analyse the sources that influenced Gundissalinus’s mature discussion of ontological composition, underscoring the changes introduced by the Toledan philosopher to his previous doctrinal positions regarding the status of hylomorphic components and their cosmogonic causation. In order to do so, I will briefly examine the opposing theories elaborated by Ibn Gabirol and Ibn Sīnā, doctrines merged together by Gundissalinus in his final metaphysical reflection. Eventually, I will put forward a hypothesis about a possible medium of both Gundissalinus’s change of position and his doctrinal synthesis – i.e., Ibn Daud’s philosophical influence on Gundissalinus.

Aristotle in Toledo: Gundissalinus, the Arabs, and Gerard of Cremona’s Translations.

In Ch. Burnett and P. Mantas (eds.), ‘Ex Oriente Lux’. Translating Words, Scripts and Styles in the Medieval Mediterranean World (Arabica Veritas, IV), CNERU – The Warburg Institute, Córdoba, 2016, 147-185.

At least since the first decade of the thirteenth century, therefore, the Aristotelian texts translated by Gerard of Cremona were studied, used, and quoted in the Île-de-France and England. Nonetheless, these texts had been available since at least 1187, the year in which Gerard of Cremona died in Toledo, and probably beforehand. The period of time between the composition and completion of the translations and the first attested receptions of Aristotle in England and France indicates a chronological gap with respect to the use of these sources and texts. A possible contribution to help clarify this thorny question may be suggested, namely, to examine the influence of Aristotle’s texts translated by Gerard before their spread throughout the continent. That is to say, to consider their reception in the Castilian capital, Toledo, where, during the second half of the twelfth century, at least three philosophers, Abraham ibn Daud, Dominicus Gundissalinus, and Daniel of Morley, are known to have lived and worked.

‘Natura vero assimilatur quaternario’: numerologia e neoplatonismo nel De processione mundi di Dominicus Gundissalinus.

In J. L. Fuertes Herrenos – Á. Poncela González (eds.), De Natura. La naturaleza en la Edad Media, vol. 2, Húmus, Ribeirão, 2015, 679-688.

Nelle ultime pagine del De processione mundi, Dominicus Gundissalinus presenta due interessanti scansioni numerologiche dell’esistente a partire dai risultati dell’indagine sulla genesi del cosmo, affrontata nella trattazione anteriore. Già nelle pagine precedenti, il filosofo toledano manifesta una certa tendenza ad utilizzare la numerologia come strumento apodittico volto a suffragare l’argomentazione filosofica, sancendone così la validità in modo rigoroso. Un utilizzo, questo, che si esplicita in brani la cui paternità non è direttamente gundissaliniana, ma che sono risultanti da una combinazione delle tre fonti principali di Gundissalinus nella redazione del suo trattato: la Philosophia prima avicenniana, il De essentiis di Ermanno di Carinzia e il Fons vitae di Avicebron.

Accepted/Forthcoming Book Chapters

Gundisalvi, Dominicus.

In Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.

Dominicus Gundissalinus’s On Unity and the One.

In L.X. López Farjeat, K. Krause, and N. Oschman (eds.), Medieval Philosophy and the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian Traditions. Essays in Honor of Richard Taylor. Forthcoming (Spring 2020).

Early Roger Bacon on Matter.

In N. Polloni and Y. Kedar (eds.), Roger Bacon and Medieval Science and Philosophy. Studies in Honour of Jeremiah Hackett. Forthcoming.

Trustworthy Translator or Vicious Misintepreter? Gundissalinus, Ibn Gabirol, and the Doctrinal Consistency of the Fons vitae.

In N. Polloni, M. Benedetto, F. Dal Bo (eds.), Solomon Ibn Gabirol’s Philosophy and Its Impact in the Middle Ages, forthcoming.