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Recently Published Books Editor's note: Aleph does not publish book reviews in the usual sense, but only short notices, which as a rule are merely informative and non-evaluative. The titles of books published in Hebrew are given in transliteration; where the book carries an English title as well, it is given in parentheses. Authors' names are given according to their common English spelling, usually as indicated by the publisher. All notes are by the Editor, unless otherwise indicated. We will be pleased to announce the appearance of new books in areas of interest to our readers. Authors and publishers are invited to send copies of their books to the Editorial Office. Antiquity Cristina Viano, ed., Aristoteles Chemicus. Il IV libro dei "Meteorologica" nella tradizione antica e medievale. Sankt Augustin [Germany]: Academia Verlag, 2002. 250 pp. Index of names. The importance of Aristode's Meteorologica for medievalJewish thinkers has been amply demonstrated in recent years, notably by A. Ravitzky and R. Fontaine. The present volume concentrates on Book IV, which —as the title makes clear—is construed as a chemical work (as it was by Ingemar During, Aristotle's Chemical Treatise Meteorologica Book IV [Goteborg, 1944]). The nine articles (seven in Italian and two in French) examine the work itself and its reception by Alexander of Aphrodisias, Olympiodorus, the Arabic alchemical and hermetic traditions, Avicenna, and a pseudo-Raymond Lully. David Flusser, Yahadut bayit seni. Qumerân we-appoqaliptiqah (Judaism of the Second Temple Period. Qumran and Apocalypticism), ed. Serge Ruzer. Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi and The Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2002. 287 pp. 375 David Flusser, Yahadut bayit seni. Hakameha we-sifrutah Qudaism of the Second Temple Period. Sages and Literature), ed. Serge Ruzer. Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi and The Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2002. 374 pp. Many of the essays in these two volumes on the Second Temple period by the late David Flusser (1917-2000), one of the great scholars of the Jerusalem School of Jewish studies, bear on the Dead Sea scrolls. Flusser was at home in Jewish literature no less than in Greek and Hellenistic thought; and one of his distinctive contributions is the identification of influences of the latter on the former. If an argument from absence has any validity, then the absence of any discussions of scientific subjects in these two volumes suggests that scientific matters were not of great interest to the Jewish Sages in the period under discussion. Flusser notes Josephus' familiarity with Stoic philosophy, but the issue is that of free will versus determinism, with no mention of Stoic science. The selection of the articles to be reprinted was apparently done in consultation with Flusser himself; their collection in one place is of great value. A complete bibliography of Prof. Flusser's writings would have been a valuable addition. Middle Ages Isaac Husik, A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy. Preface by Steven Harvey. Mineóla, N.Y.: Dover, 2002. Vi+466 pages. Index. Husik's History was first published in 1916; a slightly revised edition appeared in 1941. It has since become a classic, as S. Harvey rightly says in his Preface. There is no doubt that whatever progress research has made since Husik wrote his History, a book by a scholar of Husik's intellectual stature always contains worthy insights. To note a random example, Husik offers a brief digression on several "minor" post-Maimonidean thinkers such as ShemTov Ibn Falaqera, Moses Narboni, and Joseph Ibn Kaspi. He has a succinct explanation for why these thinkers never gained a large audience: "Great Talmudic knowledge, which was a necessary qualification for national recognition, these men seem not to have had" (p. 328). This is a sociological 376 insight that defines an entire research program! Husik then implicitly contrasts these thinkers with Gersonides, whom he correctly recognized as "thoroughly versed in the Talmud" (ibid.). Some of Husik's insights are due to the fact that medievalJewish philosophy was still something of a new field in his day. Thus, to remain with Gersonides, Husik is impressed by his highly technical vocabulary and comments that "one is surprised to see how in a brief century or so the Hebrew language...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3956
Print ISSN
1565-1525
Pages
pp. 375-410
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-26
Open Access
No
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