Übersetzung und Mehrsprachigkeit im 12. Jahrhundert: Hermann von Karinthia

  • Gerhard Katschnig Freiberuflicher Lektor und Kulturwissenschafter


The period from the eighth to the twelfth century witnessed an unprecedented level of translation activity that changed the cultural and linguistic map. The flowering of knowledge in the fields of philosophy, astronomy, mathematics and astrology that started in the Islamic world later provided the impetus for the development of all branches of science in the Latin West. Hermann of Karinthia belonged to the first generation of European translators and is credited for the translation from Arabic into Latin of at least fifteen works—including Abū Maʿšar‘s Introductorium in Astronomiam, Ptolemy’s Planisphaerium and his contribution to the first translation of the Qur’an under the guidance of Peter the Venerable. By examining Hermann’s translations, this essay offers a contextualised reading of his works to see how revolutionary translation was rooted in the cultural-historical concerns of the twelfth century.