1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fārābī

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FĀRĀBĪ [Abū Naṣr Muḥammad ibn Tarkhān ul-Fārābī] (ca. 870–950), Arabian philosopher, was born of Turkish stock at Fārāb in Turkestan, where also he spent his youth. Thence he journeyed to Bagdad, where he learned Arabic and gave himself to the study of mathematics, medicine and philosophy, especially the works of Aristotle. Later he went to the court of the Ḥamdānid Saif addaula, from whom he received a warm welcome and a small pension. Here he lived a quiet if not an ascetic life. He died in Damascus, whither he had gone with his patron. His works are very clear in style, though aphoristic rather than systematic in the treatment of subjects. Unfortunately the success of Avicenna seems to have led to the neglect of much of his work. In Europe his compendium of Aristotle's Rhetoric was published at Venice, 1484. Two of his smaller works appear in Alphafabii opera omnia. (Paris, 1638), and two are translated in F. A. Schmolders' Documcnta philosophise Arabian (Bonn, 1836). More recently Fr. Dieterici' has published at Leiden: AUarabi's philosaphische Abha-nzlluien (1890; German trans. 1892); Ali'arabi's Abhandlnng des Mnsterstaats (1895, German trans. with an essay “ Uber den Zusammenhang der arabischen und griechischen Philosophie, ” 1900); Die Slaatsleilung von Aqarabi in German, with an essay on “Das Wesen der arabischen Philosophie ” (1904).

For Farabi's life see McG. de Slane's translation of Ibn Khallikan (vol. 3, pp. 307 ff.); and for further information as to his works M. Steinschneicler's article in the Mémoires de l'Académie (St Petersburg, série 7, tom. 13, No. 4, 1869); and C. Brockelmann's Gerch. def arab. Lilleratur, vol. i. (Weimar, 1898), pp. 210-213.