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An Intertextual Argument between Two Translators in Pedro de Toledo’s Translation of the Guide of the Perplexed

Une controverse intertextuelle entre deux traducteurs dans la traduction du Guide des égarés par Pedro de Toledo
ויכוח בין‑טקסטואלי בין שני מתרגמים בתרגומו של פדרו מטולידו למורה נבוכים
José Antonio Fernández López
p. 79-106

Résumés

Plus de deux cents ans après la traduction du Guide en hébreu, l’Espagnol Pedro de Toledo traduira pour la première fois cette œuvre dans un langage moderne. L’importance de cette traduction ne repose pas seulement sur ce fait, en lui‑même remarquable, mais aussi sur l’ensemble des circonstances associées au manuscrit dans lequel le travail de Pedro de Toledo a été préservé. Ce codex, Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, ms. 10289, est le seul texte que l’on possède de cette traduction en espagnol. Ce manuscrit dans lequel la traduction est accompagnée de centaines de gloses marginales, témoigne de la crise sociale du judaïsme espagnol et de l’atmosphère culturelle dans l’Espagne de l’époque. Notre article tentera d’illustrer ces problèmes à partir d’une analyse de certains des passages les plus significatifs de la traduction de Pedro de Toledo et de ses notes, ainsi que des nombreuses gloses d’un lettré anonyme qui relut l’œuvre de Pedro de Toledo quelques décennies plus tard.

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Texte intégral

Introduction

1The Guide of the Perplexed occupies a unique and fascinating place in the history of universal literature. It is a philosophical, theological, mystical and exegetical work, while going beyond the traditional boundaries of text classification. Its purpose is to provide support for the Jewish man troubled by the dialectic between belief and knowledge, but it also articulates a thought‑provoking and passionate world view. Its spiritual, philosophical and historical importance is so extensive and diverse that it is impossible to define. This jewel of universal spiritual literature admirably seeks to understand man’s relationship with himself, with others and with God, even if these relationships, as Maimonides himself recognizes in the introduction to the book, constitute an intellectual labyrinth beset with contradictions.

2For this reason the work is not aimed at either dogmatic intellectuals or rational philosophers, nor is it targeted at a readership devoid of an intellectual background, but rather at those scholars who are bewildered by the apparent contradictions between religion and philosophy: “disturbed” and “perplexed” spirits, but not wayward ones, facing attractive philosophical texts that appear to question the cherished truths that were taught to them. At the heart of Maimonidean thought we find a disoriented man, paralyzed at a crossroads between faith and reason. The book is addressed to man in general and at the same time to one specific person, the unique, well‑loved, and “highly‑esteemed disciple” Rabi Yosef Ibn Aknin. A marked feature of “Senecan” thought is expressed in this relationship, conferring intentionality to the work: a practical philosophy that teaches man how to live intellectually. This loyal disciple encourages his Master to develop an idea that he has treasured since youth: writing a work that could disentangle the difficulties involved in understanding the Torah and the Prophets. In order for the task to be successful, good intentions would not be enough; a philosophical disposition and a systematic acquisition of the knowledge are both required.

3Since its appearance, numerous commentaries, translations, versions and controversies have accompanied the Guide of the Perplexed in its wanderings. This framework brings to light a suggestive dialectic between personal experience and the concept of human being. As soon as European Jews knew about the existence of the Moreh, they endeavoured to make it available in Hebrew. Samuel Ibn Tibbon, member of the illustrious Ibn Tibbon family from Lunel (France), shares with Maimonides his intention to translate it into Hebrew, ten years after the work had been completed. Being written in Arabic (Dalālat al‑ā’irīn), the Guide was incomprehensible for learned French Jews, who were mainly adept at the teachings of Maimonides. Ibn Tibbon’s translation work did not only allow one of the principal works of Jewish thought to be received by diasporic Jews who did not understand Arabic, but it also established the basis for Hebrew philosophical language for centuries to come.

4In his response to Ibn Tibbon’s request to translate the work (1199), Maimonides gave his approval, along with extensive advice and numerous suggestions on how to deal with such a task. Maimonides’ answer was not only of scholarly interest (he pointed out some “translation principles”) but contained also a great deal of wise and sensible advice. Maimonides himself alludes to Ibn Tibbon’s ability and intelligence:

  • 1 Moses Maimónides, 1988, pp. 114‑115. Also Stitskin (ed.), 1997, pp. 130‑134.

You have asked correctly […]. I recognize through your words that your heart descends into the greatest depths of meaning and it reveals its secrets to you—praising that—someone born among stutterers […] could have such skill in the Arabic language—which is just corrupted Hebrew—, and could understand all the grammatical nuances of the language and all its possible meanings.1

  • 2 Moses Maimónides, 1988, p. 115.

5The Cordovan thinker, before clarifying, on a one‑off basis, the doubts and difficulties set out by Ibn Tibbon’s letter, explains what we could define as the fundamental principles of translation. These principles are: clarity, which requires a full understanding and interpretation of the original text; and a faithful reproduction of its meaning, even if one must sacrifice faithfulness to the original syntax or a precise correspondence between terms.2

6Almost in the same period, the poet Yehuda Al‑Ḥarizi also converted the Guide into Hebrew at the request of the Jewish community of Marseille. He carried out his task with a style that aimed for a broad reproduction of its meaning rather than linguistic precision. He worried less about individual words and particles than about the refinement of his style. Partly for this reason, it played a central role in the first translation of the Guide into Spanish, the topic of this paper.

  • 3 Cf. Hebrew editions: Moshe Ben Maimon, 1958‑1960; 1957; 1972; 2002. English editions: Moses Maimon (...)

7Both translations of Maimonides’ original Arabic ended up surpassing the original, as Arabic gradually lost importance in Spain with the advance of the Reconquista. However, the works of Ibn Tibbon and Al‑Ḥarizi are not the only medieval translations into Hebrew of the Moreh.3 Yosef Ibn Falaquera, who lived during the 13th century, composed the Moreh ha‑Moreh (The Guide to the Guide), which is a commentary on the work incorporating translated fragments of it.

8More than 200 years after the translation of the Guide, the Spaniard Pedro de Toledo first translated this work into a modern language. The importance of this translation lies not only on this fact, relevant in itself, but also on the whole set of circumstances linked to the manuscript in which Pedro de Toledo’s work has been preserved. Currently, this manuscript, Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, ms. 10289, is the only text that we have of this Spanish translation. This manuscript in which the translation stands side by side with hundreds of comments in marginal annotations clearly shows the social crisis in Hispanic Judaism and the Spanish cultural atmosphere at the time. Our aim in this article is to illustrate these issues by analyzing some of the most meaningful passages in Pedro de Toledo’s translation and notes, as well as the numerous glosses by an anonymous scholar that reread Pedro de Toledo’s work decades later.

The Mostrador e enseñador de los turbados

A translation against its humanist background in the Castilian Renaissance

  • 4 Cf. Spanish reference edition, Moses Maimónides, 2005. And our critical edition: Fernández López ( (...)

9The modern Spanish translations of Maimonides’ masterpiece present a series of variations in the title: the Guía de los perplejos (“Guide of the Perplexed”), Guía de los descarriados (“Guide of the Misdirected”), Guía de los extraviados (“Guide of the Misled”), Guía de los vacilantes (“Guide of the Hesitant”), Guía de los que dudan (“Guide of the Doubters”), and Guía de los perdidos (“Guide of the Lost”).4

10The library book tag of our manuscript reads: El More en castellano traducido por el Maestro Pedro de Toledo (“The More in Castilian translated by the Master Pedro de Toledo”), a text that has the alternative title Mostrador e enseñador de los turbados (“Guide and Teacher for the Troubled”). Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, ms. 10289 is a volume measuring 408×290 millimetres, and consisting of 141 folios, in two columns of 42‑45 lines per page, with titles and capitals in red, handwriting from the first half of the 15th century, and a mudéjar binding. Both f. 1, containing the prologue by Pedro de Toledo on both sides of the folio; and f. 2, with the prologue by Maimonides, are illuminated with gold leaf and other colours (blue and red), applied to ornamental and vegetable motifs. The manuscript was copied by the scribe Alfonso Pérez de Cáceres. His work reflects a transitional scriptorial style, dependent on new humanistic forms.

11This 15th century translation of Maimonides’ Guide into Castilian Spanish is the oldest version in a vulgar language of the Moreh nevukhim. In the research field of Jewish sources for Hispanic thought, this translation by Pedro de Toledo represents an achievement of enormous value and significance for this period. It took the translator nearly two decades to complete this arduous task (the translation of the first and second books was concluded in 1419, while the third was completed in 1432).

  • 5 Cf. Girón Negrón, forthcoming.

12The translation was commissioned by Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, the brother‑in‑law of Íñigo López de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana. The translator was, therefore, living in the same period as Enrique de Villena, Alonso de Cartagena and Alfonso de la Torre, who were protagonists at a time when fundamental Hispanic cultural ideas and values had emerged, and during which the practice of translation was fairly commonplace.5 In the very materiality of the original text—namely in the manuscript and in later marginal notes—we find the main actors involved in this work, at the dawn of Modernity: cristianos viejos (“old Christians”), converts and Jews, all living in a period of deep transformations. From this perspective, Pedro de Toledo would have played a crucial role within this intellectual challenge, reflecting in an exemplary way the strength of the new humanism of that time, by being ready to accept and make available a work such as the Guide.

13The bulk of the translations carried out in the first half of the 15th century is related, to a greater or lesser degree, to the court of Iñigo López de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana. His role in the development of Spanish Renaissance humanism is unanimously regarded as paramount, as demonstrated both in the setting up of his library in Guadalajara and by the group of intellectuals that worked for him. Authors like Enrique de Villena, Pedro González de Mendoza, Martín de Lucena, Alfonso de Madrigal, Alfonso Martínez de Toledo, in Spain, and Leonardo Bruni and Pier Candido Decembrio, in Italy, were among the outstanding translators that worked in Santillana’s court. Last but not least is the Bishop of Burgos (and son of conversos) Alonso de Cartagena (1385‑1456), translator of Seneca’s major works and Marcus Tullius Cicero’s Rhetoric, also influential at time.

  • 6 Cf. Schiff, 1905, pp. LXXXIII‑XCI; Faulhaber, 1987; Antelo Iglesias, 1991, pp. 285‑350; Rubio Tova (...)

14The works that make up Don Iñigo López de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana’s library are a testament to a flourishing period: a remarkable array of translations and original works commissioned by him. Their scope is awe‑inspiring: translations of the Iliad, Phaedo, the Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Seneca’s tragedies, The Divine Comedy, and works by Cicero, Thucydides, Livy, Saint Augustine and Maimonides, among many others. Their number and quality are proof of the undeniable merit of this monument to classic and medieval culture.6

Pedro de Toledo, “trasladador”

  • 7 Cf. Bonilla Y San Martín, 1911, p. 302.
  • 8 Cf. Schiff, 1905, pp. 443‑44; id., 1897; Millás Vallicrosa, 1943, pp. 300‑301; Castro, 1948, p. 50 (...)

15The limited information available about the translator’s life has led to a never­ending series of equivocations, above all because of Pedro de Toledo’s many homonyms. The data about his ancestry, origin and personal circumstances, is difficult to interpret. Scholars who have encountered his work in the last century agree fairly closely about some basic aspects: our author probably had Jewish origins,7 and was a Jewish convert or a Jewish convert’s son. This conclusion has been drawn from the connection he shows to the text and the Hebrew language, as well as from his vision of Judaism, as it emerges in his notes and comments, and, above all, from the humility and carefulness with which he copes with the task of translating.8

  • 9 BarLewaw, 1966, p. 59; Schiff, 1905, p. 444.
  • 10 Cf. Lazar (ed.), 1987, pp. 4‑5. For the printed text without critical apparatus, cf. Moses Maimóni (...)
  • 11 Cf. Gómez Moreno, 2001, p. 69.

16However, there is a general consensus in considering Pedro de Toledo son of the convert Juan del Castillo,9 who probably converted to Christianity in 1391. The latter also seems identifiable with Juan el Viejo de Toledo/Johan del Castillo, the author of the Tractatus contra iudaeos (1416), a work written as a result of the Disputation of Tortosa.10 In assessing Pedro de Toledo’s consideration of the Moreh, it is worth considering that his father may well have been the author of a work abounding in Rabbinic quotations, as he attempted to show that Christianity was the true faith “using the Torah, the Talmud and even the Sefer yetsirah.”11

17In any case, the person who can provide reliable information about Pedro de Toledo is the man himself: this is found in the prologues and epilogues of his translation, transmitted in the manuscript Madrid, B. N., ms. 10289, and in the actual text of the Guide. There can be no doubt that Pedro de Toledo, translator of the Moreh, produced his work for señor Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, son of the Master of the Order of Santiago Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa and brother‑in‑law of Íñigo López de Mendoza, the Marquis of Santillana.

  • 12 Pedro de Toledo’s Prologue, f. 1a : “I, master Pedro de Toledo, master Johan del Castillo’s son, w (...)

Yo maestre Pedro de Toledo fijo de maestre Johan del Castillo fue rrogado e mandado por mj señor Gomez Suares de Figueroa, fijo del muy alto Cauallero don Lorenço Suares de Figueroa, maestre que fue dela muy onrrada e alta orden dela Caualleria de Santiago, que rromançe el muy altisimo libro del More que fizo el muy famoso sabio maestre Moysen de Egipto el Cordovj, fijo del grande juez rrabi Maymon de Cordoua, enla muy alta sçiençia e sapiençia dela philosofia e meta fisica, e delas profeçias e Ley santa de Moysen.12

18Pedro de Toledo is aware of the difficulties of his task, given the intellectual relevance of the work and of his author. He acknowledges the significance of the Guide and its contribution to philosophy. The title given to the translation, Mostrador e enseñador de los turbados, appropriately expresses it.

  • 13 F1a: “This is understood because many Jewish sages, deeply learned in philosophy, had many doubt (...)

Esto se entiende por los muy profundos Judios sabios en filosofia, que aujan dubda en sus coraçones, e fuertes turbaçiones de muchas cosas de la Santa Escriptura, que pareçian eser contra naturaleza e rrazon.13

  • 14 “To please and serve you, I wanted to devote myself to the task of translating it from Hebrew to t (...)

19As a good servant, he turns the wishes of his Master into his own objective, and he begins to undertake the task he has been entrusted with: “por le fazer plazer e eseruiçio, plogome de voluptad ponerme al trabajo para lo trasladar de abrayco a rromançe”,14 a translation from Hebrew into the Romance language.

  • 15 “Of the four translations that have been undertaken until today.”
  • 16 “Better in science”; “Good and perfect in language but very simple in science.”

20This declaration of intent gives way to interesting questions about the actual scope of the translator’s intellectual competence in the field, which can only be answered hypothetically. For the moment, let us stick with what he himself states. For him, this is an arduous and complicated task because there is no unanimity concerning the different Hebrew translations known, “de quatro que fasta oy son.”15 In using these Hebrew translations, great importance will undoubtedly be given to the works of Ibn Tibbon and Al‑Ḥarizi; the former being “mejor en la sçiençia,” the latter “buena e conplida en lenguaje e muy sinple en la sçiençia” but more deficient than the first one.16 However, he states that both translations are full of syntactic and linguistic limitations, full of interpretative errors due to the inadequate work of the scribes. Does this judgement imply that he used the original Arabic text? I believe that the translator himself does not leave any room for doubt, although he doesn’t admit it openly:

  • 17 “But my Lord and all those who read and see my translation should know that the noble master Moses (...)

Pero sepa el mj señor e todo aquel que por esta mj trasladaçion leyere e viere, quela entençion del noble maestre Moysen non fallesçera de todo su libro de comjenço fasta la fin cosa alguna, ayudandome el verdadero Dios, como quier quelos libros onde conçierto e traslado son traslados de traslados, ende conprehenden forçadamente errores muchos, asi por las diuersidades de los trasladadores en diuersas errores como enlas diuersas errores de los diuersos escrivanos.17

  • 18 Moses Maimónides, 2005, p. 34. At the beginning of the 20th century, also Mario Schiff, like Munk, (...)
  • 19 Lazar, 1987, p. 5; Moses Maimónides, 1989, p. IX. In his opinion, since there are no critical edit (...)
  • 20 BarLewaw, 1966, pp. 62‑63.

21Why “traslados de traslados” (“translations of translations”)? Why an indirect translation from Hebrew and not from the original Judeo‑Arabic? Until now, scholarly speculation has focused on the limitations of Pedro de Toledo’s translation rather than his true talents as an interpreter of Maimonides’ text. David Gonzalo Maeso, author of the best Spanish translation of the Guide from the original Judeo‑Arabic, considers that—following Salomon Munk in the middle of the 19th century—Pedro de Toledo’s version of the Guide was taken from the Hebrew of Al‑Ḥarizi.18 Going further, Moshe Lazar affirms that Pedro de Toledo carried out a simultaneous—and chaotic—reading of the two cited translations (especially Al‑Ḥarizi’s one) and, “possibly” of the original Judeo‑Arabic and two fragmentary translations, which the Spanish translator himself appears to refer to.19 Finally, Yitzhak Bar‑Lewaw maintains that Pedro de Toledo performed his task without a thorough understanding of Arabic and with a limited knowledge of Hebrew.20

  • 21 Cf. Sangrador, 1985.
  • 22 About this matter, cf. Di Segni, 2016.

22We will formulate, in accordance with the opinion of Bar‑Lewaw, a third hypothesis. We believe that Pedro de Toledo had a limited knowledge of Arabic: he had studied philosophy and used the translations of classical texts of Greek philosophy, he was also versed in important matters and authors of scholastic Arabic, as his notes and glosses show, but used the Latin versions circulating around the peninsula from the 12th century onwards.21 In addition, as an analysis of his translation shows, he had considerable difficulties with the scientific Hebrew of Ibn Tibbon. He possesses a general knowledge of the Jewish tradition, but this is clearly not a field that he masters; in fact, quite the opposite seems to be the case. Given such limitations, why would he use an Arabic manuscript written in Hebrew characters as a reference? Would it not make more sense, given his skills and his standard scholastic education, to use a manuscript of the Latin version of the Guide to carry out his romanceado (“translation into vernacular”)? Since Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas knew and quoted the Moreh, it is known that at least one Latin version existed (Dux neutrorum), probably already in circulation from the 13th century onwards. The Latin translator based his version on the Hebrew version of Al‑Ḥarizi, which clearly aligns him with Pedro de Toledo.22

23Many of these questions would require bio‑bibliographic data not available. All we can do is to interpret the manuscript. Let us therefore return to the translator’s prologue.

Pedro de Toledo’s translation method

  • 23 “By someone who discredits our work and pretends to be wise and enlightened.”

24For Pedro de Toledo, the way of overcoming the endless difficulties with works such as the Moreh seems to revolve around his own translation techniques. The essential part of his strategy consists in choosing the Hebrew version that could be best adapted to each passage, and in adopting the de verbo ad verbum technique for the passages that he could not understand. Supposing that the result might be criticized in the future (as it was the case indeed) by “algunt maldezidor que se faze sabjo letrado,”23 the translator apologizes to his Master, telling him something along the lines of “you can check it all, if you wish to,” a request that in all honesty was formulated with little intellectual rigor:

  • 24 “Order to read the chapter in Hebrew [...] And, on reading each chapter of my translation, your Lo (...)

Sea de mandar leer el capitulo del abrayco [...] E la vuestra merçet, acatando e mirando cada capitulo de esta mj trasladaçion, ende verá la vuestra señoria la lealtad del buen leal eservjdor que ala vuestra merçet plaze e ama todos tienpos eservjr.24

25Because of his competence in philosophy, Pedro de Toledo succeeded with acceptable translations for some of the most intricate passages, with occasional references to the Latin translation of classical sources. For example, quotations by Aristotle and his medieval followers are satisfactorily clarified in several passages of the work. Thus, in a passage in which Maimonides merges the doctrine of the Tetragrammaton with the Aristotelian concept of the active intellect, the translator inserts the following:

  • 25 F30b. Cf. Aristotle, Περὶ Ψυχῆς. The Tafsīr or literal commentary is one of the three treatises (...)

Non se puede entender esto bien si non conlo que diz enel Libro del ánima e Cartas de Aben Rruyz.25

26Philosophical knowledge, but not philological rigor in translation. The doubts arising from the Hebrew that “he translates” lead him to further extend the general tone of his comments:

  • 26 F. 21b; 23b. “A better translation: in the intrinsic knowledge, as is the case of the intrinsic se (...)

Trasladacçion mejor: en los conoçimjentos jntrinsicos, segunt aconteçe en los conoçimientos sensuales jntrinsicos; Nota: que eneste exenplo nombro las dos que dize Aristotiles en los “predicamjentos”, que son aujtuaçion e manera, enel primer genus delas cuatro qualidades; e el abito es fuerte de estar enla manera ligera de quitar.26

  • 27 Cf. Rubio Tovar, 1997, p. 223. Cf. also Cañizares, 2004; Russell, 1985, pp. 37‑41; Hernández Gonzá (...)

27A certain shroud of uncertainty seems to envelop these words. Respecting the text referred to does not imply necessarily an admiration for the original work. It could also indicate a badly feigned lack of understanding of the words’ meaning and of syntactic constructions, as well as of the institutions and the Jewish world that these represented. This lack of knowledge is one of the reasons that led him to a literal translation, as it is exemplified by the study of translations of that period.27 Consequently, the personal and methodological information found in the translator’s epilogues to each part of the Moreh is most revealing. These epilogues bring to the forefront his efforts, his considerations concerning the universal value of Maimonides’ work, and a series of warnings about errors that might be found in his translation. He quotes Alexander of Afrodisia:

  • 28 F. 90b. Epilogue to part II, infra. “That the unreasonable criticisms are caused by jealousy and e (...)

Que los contradezires non rrazonables se fazen por çelos e enbidias, e yntençiones e malquerençias, e es señorio e tener se en mucho e loando se por via de vanagloria.28

28We must not rule out, of course, that these errors could have been due to more “personal” limitations:

  • 29 “And so I, owing to my little understanding, and, even more, to my scarce wisdom and dimmed intell (...)

E asi yo, por mj poco entender, quanto mas mj poco saber e alcançar, por la neçesidat delos neçesarios trabajos mundanales.29

29Pedro de Toledo translates “segunt la costumbre,” namely according to the techniques of his time. He is an interpreter of the work, who does not “exactly” assume the author’s point of view. But that is not all. From time to time, when he does not find a satisfactory term, he transcribes the original word within the vernacular text:

  • 30 F. 134b: III, 49; f. 127b: III, 46. “And to dissuade from fornication it was forbidden to have the (...)

E para dispulsar delas fornicaçiones vedose echar el mamzer con fija de Yrrael; E dixo lo dela anjmalia e delas aues, por que non trayga corban de anjmalia, njn trayga aue de selamjm.30

  • 31 Cf. I, 72: f. 44b.
  • 32 Cf. I, 69: f. 34b.

30In other cases, a completely unknown term is just transcribed. Thus,
ספר חרוטים (from aru, “cone”) is in the text “Libro de los harutim” that in Hebrew designates the Treatise of the Conic Sections, a work by Apollonius of Perga (262‑190 a. c).31 Another example is: “cavalgador en arabod” (from ערבות, aravot, “clouds”).32 In another passage, Pedro admits directly in a gloss that unintelligibility enters into the translation:

  • 33 I, 67, וינפש (wa‑yinnafash), “He rested” (Ex. 31, 17); נפש (nefesh), “soul”. F. 32b: “Note that ne (...)

Nota que “ánima” es llamada nefes, e “folgo” es dicho vaynafas, que es çerca de nefes. E aqui se dexo vn poco de gramática abrayca que es ynposible rromançar, quanto mas eser en amas trasladaçiones estos dezires que son mas mentira que verdat, njn su verdat cunple saber a vuestro eserviçio.33

  • 34 “And perhaps as the Christians think that He is three, and it is not so, we think that He is one, (...)

31In fact, it is on theological matters that the translator truly makes an effort not to make any mistakes. For instance, when he translates a passage in which Maimonides criticizes the proof of God’s unity by the Mutakallimun, the original text states that: “E quiça, commo piensan los Xristianos que son tres, e non es asi, que asi pensamos nos que es vno, e non es asi.”34

32Pedro de Toledo, in order to be on the safe side and dispel any doubts about his faith in the Trinity, clarifies the matter in a gloss; at the same time, he shows his preference for Al‑Ḥarizi’s translation:

  • 35 I, 74: f. 48b. “Note from Al‑Ḥarizi: where it says that ‘the Christians’, and somebody may say tha (...)

Nota del Harizi: onde diz quelos Xristianos, e quiça dira alguno que es çommo pensaron los Xristianos tres, e nos non pensamos asi si non que es vno, e non es asi la cosa segunt nuestro entendimjento, e esto es claro, e çetera.35

33Nevertheless, sometimes, faced with a technical matter, he compares both translations and comes to a conclusion:

  • 36 I, 71: f. 38b. “Note from Aven Tabon: and stable bodies in the elements and what they make up.”

Nota de Auen Tabon: e cuerpos estables enlos elementos e lo que dellos es conpuesto.36

34And in an even more obvious way:

  • 37 II, 20: f. 66a. “[…] e esta grant cuenta es en el çielo (Pedro de Toledo); “[…] en tanto que esa e (...)

Auen Tabon diz: “e esta fuerte cosa es un çielo”, onde diz “grant cuenta”.37

35And finally, on other occasions, he doubts the accuracy of both translations and suggests an alternative text that is usually unintelligible:

  • 38 I, 57: f. 27a. “Since this chapter is not good in either translation, I put it as it is, without t (...)

Por quanto este capitulo non es bueno en amas trasladaçiones, puse lo tal qual es, sin aderesçamjento de vocablos.38

An intertextual argument

A manuscript illuminated with two kinds of glosses

  • 39 For an extensive study of the question, see Fernández López, 2011.
  • 40 According to Moshe Lazar, the notes are undoubtedly “written in a mid‑fifteenth century cursive ha (...)

36Among the singularities of this work, written at the twilight of a world of codices, manuscripts, copyists and scribes, its function as a hermeneutic battlefield has to be mentioned.39 Indeed, Pedro de Toledo’s translation is presented as an endless work of interpretations: a battle is unleashed from the very transcription of the translated text, its physical location being in the material body of the book. Two kinds of glosses are present. The first kind consists of notes by the translator, copied with the text by Alfonso Pérez de Cáceres. These are terminological clarifications, which sometimes reflect the difficulties encountered in the translation. They are brief and infrequent. The second type of annotations contain linguistic and philosophical observations, and, occasionally, critical opinions characterised by an unusual forcefulness and irony. These notes are written by a hand other than that of the scribe, an unknown character who writes them probably some decades after the completion of the translation.40 They are both interlinear and on‑the‑margins notes, but they disappear after f. 20v. The anonymous annotator is an exhaustive and precise reviewer. He has detailed knowledge of all the procedures for making reference marks and insertions: obelus, claudator, semi‑claudator, and several signs and references in the margins, which are common in annotated manuscripts.

37Pedro de Toledo, through the work of his scribe Alfonso Pérez de Cáceres, and the anonymous scholar are confronted in the notes: two types of distinct handwriting, two different hands that take notes in the margin and between the lines, and that “come face to face,” diachronically, in the task of untangling Maimonidean thought. The glosses of the anonymous contributor are so frequent that they almost provide an alternative translation, as well as a critical apparatus of great hermeneutic value. But what really converts them into something extremely valuable is that they transform the textual whole into a passionate and bloodless settling of scores, a war between an intellectual, almost certainly a Jew, with rigorous knowledge of Maimonides’ work, of the Jewish tradition and probably of Greek philosophy (as his glosses in chapters 30 and 31 of the manuscript, for example, seem to justify), and a translator of converso origin, Pedro de Toledo, who is not completely familiar with the inherited Jewish tradition.

38The translator’s glosses, written—as already mentioned—by the same hand as the text, attempt to pour a small amount of light on terminological aspects, voices and difficult passages. However, in other cases they refer to the actual limitations of the translation, being the vehicle for expressing the “complaints” made by Pedro de Toledo about the difficulties of his arduous task. Written almost always in the margin, these notes by the translator progressively disappear over the length of the text, above all in the transition from the first to the second part, reappearing, though not excessively, in the section dedicated by Maimonides to the clarification of ritual precepts, in the third part of the Moreh. Through these notes, the translator seems to reveal a certain amount of dissatisfaction, a doubtful and anxious look at what he has done, and on the process of translation. A permanent feeling of indecisiveness gravitates around the translator. He is rarely content with his work, expressing his feelings and perceptions with complete sincerity, although with a pronounced and quite grovelling tendency to place the responsibility of possible errors on others or onto material difficulties outside of his control. For instance:

  • 41 F. 11a, 12b. “The rendering of this chapter is not to my liking, because of the error I found in m (...)

Non me pareçe que este capitulo vaya amj voluntat, por la error que falle en mj libro, mas fize lo que pude; por la error demj libro non es este capitulo muy aderesçado, e non pude mas.41

39When facing difficulties, he repeatedly opts for the de verbo ad verbum methodology, that according to him saves the work from mistakes:

  • 42 F. 71a. “Because this chapter is complex and needs hard study, I write the rest word by word so as (...)

Por que este capitulo es sotil e ha menester fuerte estudio, escriuo todo lo demas vocablo por vocablo por non errar.42

40Sometimes the translator expresses himself with undisguised friendliness. In comments loaded with emotional sincerity, he presents, as an apology, some explanations that almost express a feeling of desperation. He confesses to his Master Gómez Suárez:

  • 43 F. 23a. “My Lord, I could not do it, for both translations are of such a kind that there is no poi (...)

Señor, non puede al fazer, que amas trasladaçiones enesto son tales que non an seso njn rrazon rromançadas, e rresçebid lo que mejor puedo, que non puedo mas.43

41This regret softens on some of the many occasions when Pedro de Toledo expresses satisfaction with his work, in an almost childish way:

  • 44 F. 33b. “I finished this chapter the best I could: accurate and good.”

Este capitulo va acabadamente, justo e bueno, que mas non puede ser.44

The anonymous anti‑translator. A diachronic controversy

  • 45 Cf. BarLewaw, 1966, p. 61: “He seems to be Jewish. Although, we should note that this is no more (...)

42The anonymous glosses contain linguistic, philosophical and theological clarifications together with critical opinions expressed with unusual forcefulness and irony. These characteristics make the work of the annotator exceptional. The skills of this anonymous and wise commentator, who dealt with the clarification of the Talmudic texts, and his mastery of Hebrew and Judeo‑Arabic make us think that he probably was a Jew close to the circle of the Marquis of Santillana.45 His more than one thousand five hundred notes transform the original handwritten text into an object of scrupulous and rigorous correction; the entries by the translator, written by the scribe’s hand, are in Book I: 94, in Book II: 20, in Book III: 72. The entries by the annotator are 1563. The total number of notes in the manuscript is 1749. But another mystery surrounds ms. 10289, since these notes disappear after f. 20v. Until this point, the annotator plays the function of an alternative translator to such an extent that he could be referred to as an anti‑translator.

  • 46 Cf. Bar‑Lewaw, 1966, p. 61: “Nos parece que odia al traductor como un judío a un nuevo cristiano.”

43The anonymous annotator, in Bar‑Lewaw’s words, hates the translator like a Jew hates a new Christian,46 but with an intellectual rigor that Pedro de Toledo does not show in certain fields, he fills the text with hundreds of notes. Pedro’s general knowledge, linguistic skills and translation choices are all drastically questioned therein. For instance, while considering an hermeneutic strategy of the translator in his prologue, the annotator forcefully questions whether the former is able to carry out the task. The translator states that:

  • 47 “And since the translations are diverse and from different translators, good and average and none (...)

E por quanto los traslados son diuersos e de diuersos letrados, buenos e comunales e njngunos (1), e los escriuanos otrosy todos por eser non letrados (2) erraron yerros manifiestos […] quanto mas que amos trasladadores erraron (3) en muchas cosas, e el uno mas que el otro sin conparaçion, porque es sabido eser bueno e conplido en lenguaje e muy sinple en la sçiençia, e nonbrase Harizi; e el mejor en la sçiençia, nonbrase Aven Tabbon. Mas fío en el Dios alto… (4).47

44The anonymous annotator responds with the following notes, halfway between intellectual criticism and ironic censorship:

  • 48 F. 1a. However, scribe’s errors were so common that even Maimonides himself commented to Ibn Tibbo (...)

(1) Non se que quiere dezir aqui ningunos; si sera error descriuano?; (2) Non son todos los escriuanos non letrados, nin todos erraron, njn mucho menos los trasladadores commo dize, segunt paresçera luego adelante, que el autor mismo vio la trasladaçion de Aben Tabbon, e la ovo por buena, avn que este trasladador diga que todos erraron, commo lo dize luego aqui adelante: que amos trasladadores erraron; mal sy penso descargar de si e cargar sobrellos; (3) Saluo su graçia, que el mismo conponedor rraby Moysen de Egipto vio la trasladaçion de Aben Tabbon e la auctorizo. Verdad es quela del Harizi es errada, e la suya mas; (4) Fiar en Dios buena cosa es, mas non se quito por todo esto que non es su trasladaçion errada, e non de poco; mas, commo dixo el sabio Salamon: por muchedunbre de palabras non se quita el yerro.48

45Pedro de Toledo’s prologue is gradually accompanied by more and more glosses by the anonymous commentator. The annotator gives no respite to the translator, producing a sort of anti‑prologue, which sometimes serves as a critical summary at the beginning of the work. The annotator asks the readers of this 15th century manuscript: How can Toledo justify his difficulties with the translation as the result of deficiencies in the original Hebrew text (something that could have originated in Al‑Ḥarizi’s translation), when there is an “official” translation by Ibn Tibbon, authorized by Maimonides himself? The translator’s hermeneutic‑methodological choice is inconsistent, since it is based on a combination of a tentative‑contextual translation and a literal and technical one. Both these strategies are intended to overcome the difficulties encountered in the text. Nonetheless, the annotator seems to ask: How can anyone assume the right of choosing the best translation of a specific passage, when this person is not even fluent in the language (or languages) of the original? After the Prologue, no choices made by the translator satisfy the anonymous scholar. His glosses range from pointing out subtle linguistic nuances to correcting entire paragraphs; from clarifications of biblical passages, quoted in an incomplete or inexact way, to profound exegetical explanations. Let us focus on the latter.

  • 49 I, 7. F. 8b.
  • 50 “It gave birth and grew”; “Another translation says: ‘was born and raised’.”
  • 51 Cf. Is. 55, 10: “והולידה והצמיחה”. “But the truthful translation is, “and it makes it beget and gr (...)

46For instance, when Maimonides clarifies the meaning of ילד (yalad) in Is55, 10 on irrigating the land: “of fertilizing and germinating”,49 the passage is poorly translated as “pario e crecio.” A clarifying note is added by Pedro de Toledo stating that: “otro romançe diz ‘nasçio e creçio’.”50 The annotator corrects this by indicating that: “mas el rromançio verdadero es: ‘e fázela engendrar e fázela creçer que esta es la lluvia a la tyerra’, e el ebrayco es veholida vehiçmiha.”51

  • 52 “Note that means “without chair,” before the world came to be, and “with chair,” after the world c (...)
  • 53 “It doesn’t seem like that, look at the bottom margin.”

47The translator’s clarifications give sometimes occasion for new comments by the annotator, corrections deriving from the original text intended to establish the correct order and meaning of the translation. In order to reveal the deficiency of the translation, the best method is to resort to the idea that Maimonides wishes to express. For instance, when Pedro de Toledo inserts his explanation of כסא (kisse) in the following note: “nota que quiere dezir ‘sin silla’, ante que mundo era, e ‘con silla’, desque fue mundo”,52 the annotator indicates that: “non pareçe eser asy, mira en el margin de yusu.53 At the bottom of the page, the term is expressed in all of its meanings, as Maimonides relates it to the Shekhinah:

  • 54 I, 10. F. 9b. “He gave us some of the prophetic wisdom. He called the coming of the Prophecy upon (...)

Allego algun poco de sapiençia de profeçia sobre algunos denos, llamo la posança dela profeçia sobre el profeta o posada del su onor, que es llamada Sehina en ebrayco, llamolo decender a aquel su posar en logar e llamo el quitamyento de la manera de la tal profeçia del tal varon, el quitamyento de la dicha Sehina del tal logar, llamolo sobir e qualquier deçender o sobir, que los fallares apropriados al Criador, çyertamente la entençion en ellos es esta rrazon, e cata bien, e çetera.54

  • 55 “Our compilation of the Talmud, which is called Second Law.”
  • 56 . “Note that there are two laws: the Talmud and the Scriptures.”

48We could speculate that what seems apparent in this intellectual confrontation is the rejection of anyone who feels personally united with a tradition that he understands and considers to be superior, against an especially objectionable type of intromission: a scholar and translator that should know the content of his task in depth but fails to do so. This lack of knowledge goes to the extreme of not being able to differentiate between the Mishnah and the Talmud and its comments, which evidently implies not knowing or confusing a large part of Maimonides’ work. In the following passage: “nuestra conpusiçion del Talmud, que es llamada ‘Segunda Ley’55 the translator notes: “nota que son dos leyes la del Talmud e la de escriptura”,56 while the anonymous annotator clarifies that:

  • 57 F. 3b. “This gloss makes no sense here, for it doesn’t say ‘second law’ here, neither in reference (...)

Non faze este notable aqui aproposito, que non dize aqui ‘segunda ley’, njn por la ley descriptura, njn por el Talmud, saluo por la conpilaçion suya del actor que aquella llama ‘segunda Ley’.57

49Here the annotator tries to clarify the ambiguity in the translation, as well as the relationship between commentary and what is commented upon; the “segunda Ley” (“second Law”) is nothing other than the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides’ commentary. The translator’s lack of knowledge in the field of Jewish tradition is no secret; he himself recognizes this. Nonetheless, this limitation often “irritates” the annotator, who does not let it go unnoticed.

  • 58 TB, Shabbat 30a.

50Being aware of the contradictions that a work such as the Guide of the Perplexed could confront any scholar with, Maimonides treats in the Prologue the question of contradictions. He considers the immense value of truth that exists in the Jewish tradition, in which apparently contradictory Rabbinic opinions live in harmony. In order to do this, he cites a passage from the treatise Shabbat.58 The possibility of confusing “contradiction” with “concealment,” referring to the revealed truth, generates a new dialectic in the form of a gloss. The translator notes that:

  • 59 “Note that they said in the Talmud, Solomon, doesn’t suffice you that your words cover your father (...)

Nota que dixieron en el Talmud: “Salamon non te abonda que tus palabras encubren alas palabras de tu padre, si non las tuas se encubren estas destas.”59

51To which the annotator responds with the following insertion:

  • 60 F. 5b. “Wherever we find the word cover in this prologue, it is an error of the translator, who mu (...)

Onde quiere que se fallare en este prologo este vocablo que dize encubyerta es error del trasladante, quelo auia de trasladar contradicçion, commo ya lo he puesto enel margin desta otra parte. Mas por el notable que esta en fin desta lamjna, onde dize “nota que dixieron enel Talmud,” e avn ally lo erro, que onde dize encubren avra de dezir contradizen, mas aquella contradicçion non es salvo al pareçer por querer encobrir la rrazon del pueblo como dize.60

52The intellectual authority of the annotator is unquestionable. He is an expert in Biblical exegesis and he does not overlook any significant omissions made to the meaning of the original text. Even if it is only a terminological clarification, he uses impeccable hermeneutics to account for a semantic decision. Maimonides’ commentary on 1 S. 6, 5: “Create images from the boils and rats that have destroyed the country and then you will once again know the glory of God”, is translated by Pedro de Toledo in the following way:

  • 61 I, 1. F. 6b, dedicated to צלם (tselem), “image.” “And thus, ‘In forms of your boils’, (1) where th (...)

E asi: “en formas de vuestras moroydas”, (1) quela voluntat era desechar el dapño de las almoroydas e non su figura. E si non puede eser que non sea la forma delas almoroydas formas por la figura e semejança, estonçe sera forma nonbre equiuoco o dubdoso, el qual se dize sobre la forma especial e maestrial, e senbrante delas figuras de los cuerpos naturales e sus formas.61

53Then, the annotator showcases his biblical competence:

  • 62 (1) “Tumors: In the first book of the Kings, chapter six, in the book of Prophet Samuel, it is sai (...)

(1) Moroydas: enel primero libro de los Reyes, capitulo sexto, que esto es en el Libro de Samuel, profeta, se dize: que quando los felisteos cautivaron el arca en que estavan las tablas dela ley e la levaron a su yerra, que en tanto quela tuvieron alla nunca les menguaron trabajos, espeçialmente dize que les acaeçieron morroydas, por lo qual ovyeron en acuerdo dela enbiar a los ebreos de quien lo avian tomado, e por conosçimyento de satisfaçion acordaron de fazer çiertas figuras de morroydas de oro porque sanasen delas morroydas que ellos tenjan en sus cuerpos e pusieronlas en vn arcaz, çerca de la Arca, e otras cosas mas, segund que alla se cuenta; agora dize el auctor que llamo a las figuras de las moroydas çelem, non por las figuras mas por lo que dellas sesperava, que era sanar delas morroidas, asi que çelem non diga por la exterior figura mas por cosa ynterior como dixo.62

54The comments and corrections occasionally pave the way for a real philological and exegetical settling of scores. For example, this can be analysed in the use of corrective glosses in I, 3, dedicated to the analysis of the terms תמונה (temunah), “form,” and תבנית (tavnit), “figure.” We have inserted the gloss and commentary in its original place, using square brackets.

Capítulo terçero [“capítulo terçero: temuna y tabnit, que son maneras de nonbres de figuras”]

  • 63 F. 7b. “Chapter three [ ‘Chapter three: temunah and tavnit, which are two different words for figu (...)

Paresçe al coraçon que “figura” (temuna) e tavnit [“piensase que el vocablo de temuna e el vocablo de tabnit”] en abrayco [“porque amos se rromançian figura, que sean vna cosa”] vna cosa, e non es asi, que tavnit es deriuado de “fraguar” (banah), [“binyan, que quiere dezir fraguamiento”] e la su manera es aderesçamiento [“el fraguamiento”] dela cosa e su conpusiçion, en su quadrar, [“quadrangularidad sy es quadrada”] e su çircular, [çircularidad] e su triangular, [triangularidad] e sus semejantes delas figuras, segunt diz: “al fraguamjento del Tabernaculo [“nota que tabnit se equivoca en fraguamiento e figura”; gl.: “enel Esodo, capitulo ‘del tabnit del Tabernaculo’, lo qual quiere dezir: a la figura, e derivado quier seer fraguamiento”] e a fraguamjento de todos sus esturmentos”; “Commo sus fraguamjentos que te fue mostrado enel monte”; “Fraguamjento de todo pasaro”; [Deutronomio, capitulo] “Fraguamjento de mano de omne”; “Fraguamjento del palaçio”. E por esto non troxo el lenguaje del abrayco [“estos vocablos de tabnit e cosas dependentes del nuestro Señor en ninguna”] enel Criador en ninguna manera.63

Conclusion

55The annotator exhibits self‑confidence and rigor, while the translator shows a lack of understanding or uncertainty. The annotator’s competent use of the original texts and his exhaustive knowledge of Hebrew and Judeo‑Arabic confers to the alternative translation an enormous value. If we dare to suggest a risky interpretation, the great number of annotations gives the impression that this anonymous scholar wants to vindicate himself for the sake of posterity, denouncing the huge mistake of not having been given the whole task of the translation from the beginning. In any case, the critical dialogue between the glosses and the text is both exciting because of the personal bias and enormously enriching in an intellectual sense.

  • 64 “And this is said about the mind, where life is.”
  • 65 “And is the primary reason of the living being.”

56The cases are countless. The page is a “battlefield,” although it is of course an intellectual and bloodless one, a “glossed battlefield.” This astonishing and stimulating intellectual battle unfolds in the first twenty pages of the medieval manuscript. In the final part of f. 20, at the beginning of an explanatory paragraph, the voice of the alternative anonymous annotator and translator disappears. Pedro de Toledo translates: “e se diz por el entendimjento, onde esta la vida.”64 This part is annotated by the anonymous person with: “tan bien, e es prinçipio dela vida del anjmal bivo.65 From here onwards, the work becomes the original monologue of Pedro de Toledo or, if one prefers, a surprising dialogue with himself and dealing with his intellectual limitations in the form of glosses.

57A series of fascinating enigmas open up before us. Was the anonymous annotator unwilling or unable to continue? Who was he really? Was he someone from the studium of the Marquis of Santillana? This latter idea is backed up by two pieces of evidence. First, the features of the aforementioned anonymous glosses and their insertion in the text date them just a few decades after Pedro de Toledo’s translation; second, the fact that the manuscript belonged to the Marquis’ library in his Guadalajara Castle (both library and castle were inseparable properties by will), and which his son, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, first Duke of Infantado, inherited after his death, suggests that the anonymous scholar belonged to Mendoza’s court. Perhaps a Jewish intellectual hired by the Marquis to revise the text by Pedro de Toledo? Was he a rival? What benefit would it have been to have had a complete translation of the Guide of the Perplexed carried out by this unknown scholar? But at this point we lack the objective data to make any definitive statement, nor evidence that will allow us to connect the anonymous scholar to some of the known Jewish or converso scholars from the studium or the intellectual circle of Iñigo López de Mendoza. We believe that all these questions are worthy of consideration to better understand the first translation into a Romance language of the Moreh nevukhim. All the passages for which his glosses provide an alternative translation because of the limitations of the “official” translator do not belittle the work of Pedro de Toledo. In fact, the opposite is true. It is an alternative praxis that increases the overall value of ms. 10289, converting it into a sensational example of the translator’s very high intellectual level in a period of Hispanic cultural history that has been unfairly forgotten.

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Stitskin Leon D. (ed.), 1997, Letters of Maimonides, Yeshiva University Press, New York, 199 p.

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Notes

1 Moses Maimónides, 1988, pp. 114‑115. Also Stitskin (ed.), 1997, pp. 130‑134.

2 Moses Maimónides, 1988, p. 115.

3 Cf. Hebrew editions: Moshe Ben Maimon, 1958‑1960; 1957; 1972; 2002. English editions: Moses Maimonides, 1963; 2004 (1904).

4 Cf. Spanish reference edition, Moses Maimónides, 2005. And our critical edition: Fernández López (ed.), 2016.

5 Cf. Girón Negrón, forthcoming.

6 Cf. Schiff, 1905, pp. LXXXIII‑XCI; Faulhaber, 1987; Antelo Iglesias, 1991, pp. 285‑350; Rubio Tovar, 1995.

7 Cf. Bonilla Y San Martín, 1911, p. 302.

8 Cf. Schiff, 1905, pp. 443‑44; id., 1897; Millás Vallicrosa, 1943, pp. 300‑301; Castro, 1948, p. 502. Millás Vallicrosa believes that the translator is Jewish, while Américo Castro assumes that he is a Jewish convert; both opinions cannot be considered more than conjectures, as they do not come with any additional information.

9 BarLewaw, 1966, p. 59; Schiff, 1905, p. 444.

10 Cf. Lazar (ed.), 1987, pp. 4‑5. For the printed text without critical apparatus, cf. Moses Maimónides, 1989.

11 Cf. Gómez Moreno, 2001, p. 69.

12 Pedro de Toledo’s Prologue, f. 1a : “I, master Pedro de Toledo, master Johan del Castillo’s son, was asked and assigned by my Lord Gomez Suares de Figueroa, son of the very noble knight Lorenço Suares de Figueroa, master of the very honorable and high order of Cavalry of Santiago, to translate the very important book of the More written by the very famous sage master Moses of Egypt, the Cordovan, son of the great Judge Rabbi Maimon of Cordova, on the very high science and wisdom of the philosophy and metaphysics, and of the Prophecies and of the Holy Law of Moses.”

13 F1a: “This is understood because many Jewish sages, deeply learned in philosophy, had many doubts in their hearts and great confusions over many things in the Scriptures that seemed to be against reason.”

14 “To please and serve you, I wanted to devote myself to the task of translating it from Hebrew to the Romance language.”

15 “Of the four translations that have been undertaken until today.”

16 “Better in science”; “Good and perfect in language but very simple in science.”

17 “But my Lord and all those who read and see my translation should know that the noble master Moses’s intention will not flag in any way throughout his book, from the beginning to the end, may the true God help me, even though the books from where I translate are translations of translations, which necessarily have many errors, whether caused by the different translators or by the various scribes.”

18 Moses Maimónides, 2005, p. 34. At the beginning of the 20th century, also Mario Schiff, like Munk, defended the same opinion. According to him, Pedro de Toledo was not unaware of Arabic, since he profusely quotes the philosophers, which he considers as references (or that are considered as such by Maimonides himself), in their Arabic form, cf. Schiff, 1905, p. 444.

19 Lazar, 1987, p. 5; Moses Maimónides, 1989, p. IX. In his opinion, since there are no critical editions of the translations nor a genealogy of the manuscript tradition, it is difficult to reliably understand whether the translator follows with exactness or if he is influenced by a non‑surviving manuscript.

20 BarLewaw, 1966, pp. 62‑63.

21 Cf. Sangrador, 1985.

22 About this matter, cf. Di Segni, 2016.

23 “By someone who discredits our work and pretends to be wise and enlightened.”

24 “Order to read the chapter in Hebrew [...] And, on reading each chapter of my translation, your Lordship will see the loyalty of the good and loyal servant whose honor and pleasure is to serve your Worship at all times.”

25 F30b. Cf. Aristotle, Περὶ Ψυχῆς. The Tafsīr or literal commentary is one of the three treatises of the Psychology of Averroes (Aben Rruyz) and its culmination. I, 62. “This cannot be fully understood but with the Libro del anima and Letters by Averroes.”

26 F. 21b; 23b. “A better translation: in the intrinsic knowledge, as is the case of the intrinsic sensory knowledge; note: in this first example, he named those two that Aristotle mentions in the Predicamenta, which are “habits” and “disposition,” in the first specie of the four qualities.”

27 Cf. Rubio Tovar, 1997, p. 223. Cf. also Cañizares, 2004; Russell, 1985, pp. 37‑41; Hernández González (ed.), 1998.

28 F. 90b. Epilogue to part II, infra. “That the unreasonable criticisms are caused by jealousy and envy, mean intentions and dislike, and to regard oneself very important and to praise oneself with pride is nothing but bragging.”

29 “And so I, owing to my little understanding, and, even more, to my scarce wisdom and dimmed intelligence and because of my mandatory worldly works.”

30 F. 134b: III, 49; f. 127b: III, 46. “And to dissuade from fornication it was forbidden to have the mamzer with any daughter of Israel; and about the animals and the birds, he said to bring neither corban animal nor bird of selamjm.שלמים (shelamim); “propitiatory sacrifice”; ממזרים (mamzerim), “bastards”; קרבן (qorban), “sacrifice.”

31 Cf. I, 72: f. 44b.

32 Cf. I, 69: f. 34b.

33 I, 67, וינפש (wa‑yinnafash), “He rested” (Ex. 31, 17); נפש (nefesh), “soul”. F. 32b: “Note that nefes means “soul” and vainafas means “he reposed,” which is close to nefes. and here I skip some Hebrew grammar that is impossible to translate, especially as it is not necessary for your Lordship to know either translation of these sayings, which hold more deceit than truth.”

34 “And perhaps as the Christians think that He is three, and it is not so, we think that He is one, and it is not so.”

35 I, 74: f. 48b. “Note from Al‑Ḥarizi: where it says that ‘the Christians’, and somebody may say that as the Christians thought ‘three’, we disagree, we think it is ‘one’, and according to our understanding, this is not so, and this is clear.”

36 I, 71: f. 38b. “Note from Aven Tabon: and stable bodies in the elements and what they make up.”

37 II, 20: f. 66a. “[…] e esta grant cuenta es en el çielo (Pedro de Toledo); “[…] en tanto que esa enormidad de estrellas fijas se halla en una sola esfera” (David G. Maeso); « […] tandis que ce grand nombre est dans une seule sphère » (S. Munk); “[…] while there is only one sphere for the large number of fixed stars” (M. Friedlander). “Aven Tabon says: “‘and this great thing is a sky’, where it says, ‘great count’.”

38 I, 57: f. 27a. “Since this chapter is not good in either translation, I put it as it is, without term adjustment.”

39 For an extensive study of the question, see Fernández López, 2011.

40 According to Moshe Lazar, the notes are undoubtedly “written in a mid‑fifteenth century cursive handwriting”, cf. Moses Maimónides, 1989, p. XV. Mario Schiff considers them as contemporary: « mais elles appartiennent bien à la même époque », cf.  Schiff, 1905, p. 431

41 F. 11a, 12b. “The rendering of this chapter is not to my liking, because of the error I found in my book, but I did what I could; because of the mistake in my book, this chapter has not turned out too well, and I couldn’t do any better.”

42 F. 71a. “Because this chapter is complex and needs hard study, I write the rest word by word so as not to err.”

43 F. 23a. “My Lord, I could not do it, for both translations are of such a kind that there is no point in translating them, so receive the best that I could, for I can no more.”

44 F. 33b. “I finished this chapter the best I could: accurate and good.”

45 Cf. BarLewaw, 1966, p. 61: “He seems to be Jewish. Although, we should note that this is no more than a supposition, given that we do not have any news about this annotator who is full of wisdom and science.” Cf. also Schiff, 1905, p. 431: « Très versé dans le questions de langue et connaissant le texte arabe du More Nebochim. »

46 Cf. Bar‑Lewaw, 1966, p. 61: “Nos parece que odia al traductor como un judío a un nuevo cristiano.”

47 “And since the translations are diverse and from different translators, good and average and none (1), and the scribes—all being uneducated (2)—also made glaring errors [...] above all as both translators were wrong (3) in many things, and one incomparably more so than the other, because one is proficient in the language and very simple in science, and his name is Harizi; and the best in science is called Aven Tabbon. But I trust in the Almighty God ... (4).”

48 F. 1a. However, scribe’s errors were so common that even Maimonides himself commented to Ibn Tibbon that: “I saw the places in our extensive treatise that have caused you to have doubts, and those that have surprised you due to the scribe’s errors”, cf. Moses Maimónides, 1988, p. 114. “(1) I don’t know what none means here. Is it a scribe’s error? (2) Not every scribe is illiterate, nor all of them missed, let alone the translators, as he says. As we will see later, the author himself saw Aben Tabbon’s translation and deemed it good, even if this translator says that all erred, as he says later on, that both translators erred; it was wrong if he thought to clear his blame and put it on them; (3) Except for yourself; The very author Rabbi Moysen of Egypt saw Aben Tabbon’s translation and sanctioned it. It is true that Harizi’s translation is wrong, but his is even more so; (4) Trust in God is a good thing, but that does not make his translation less wrong, and not by little; However, as wise Solomon said, a multitude of words doesn’t erase the mistake.”

49 I, 7. F. 8b.

50 “It gave birth and grew”; “Another translation says: ‘was born and raised’.”

51 Cf. Is. 55, 10: “והולידה והצמיחה”. “But the truthful translation is, “and it makes it beget and grow, the rain to the Earth”, and in Hebrew it is we‑holidah we‑hitsmiah”.

52 “Note that means “without chair,” before the world came to be, and “with chair,” after the world came to be.”

53 “It doesn’t seem like that, look at the bottom margin.”

54 I, 10. F. 9b. “He gave us some of the prophetic wisdom. He called the coming of the Prophecy upon the Prophet or the grace of his honor “descending” onto that grace, called Shekhinah in Hebrew, and called the loss of prophecy, the loss of such Shekhinah, “going up,” so mind that any “descending” or “going up” applied to the Creator certainly stems from here, etc.”

55 “Our compilation of the Talmud, which is called Second Law.”

56 . “Note that there are two laws: the Talmud and the Scriptures.”

57 F. 3b. “This gloss makes no sense here, for it doesn’t say ‘second law’ here, neither in reference to the Scripture, nor to the Talmud, except for his compilation called ‘Second Law’.”

58 TB, Shabbat 30a.

59 “Note that they said in the Talmud, Solomon, doesn’t suffice you that your words cover your father’s words, and yours are covered with these?”

60 F. 5b. “Wherever we find the word cover in this prologue, it is an error of the translator, who must have translated it as contradiction, as I have put it on the margin of this other part. But regarding the gloss that is at the end of this page, where it says, ‘note that they said in the Talmud’, even there he was mistaken, because where it says cover it should say contradict, but that contradiction refers to the will to dim the people’s reason.”

61 I, 1. F. 6b, dedicated to צלם (tselem), “image.” “And thus, ‘In forms of your boils’, (1) where the intention was to discard the damage of the boils and not their figure. And if the form of the boils cannot be form by their figure and likeness, then ‘form’ will be an equivocal or doubtful name, which is said about the special form and generator of the figures of the natural bodies and of their forms.”

62 (1) “Tumors: In the first book of the Kings, chapter six, in the book of Prophet Samuel, it is said that when the Philistines appropriated the Ark in which were the Tables of the Law and took it to their land, while they had it there, things never ceased to happen, especially it says that they suffered from tumors, so they decided to send it to the Hebrews, those from whom they had taken it, and satisfied with this they decided to make figures of golden tumors to heal the tumors that they had in their bodies, and they put them in an ark, near the Ark, and some other things, according to what is told there; now the author says that he called the figures tselem, not for the figures themselves but for what was expected of them, which was to heal the tumors, so tselem should not be said in the outward meaning of figure, but in its inner meaning, as he said.”

63 F. 7b. “Chapter three [ ‘Chapter three: temunah and tavnit, which are two different words for figures’] It gives the impression that “figure” (temunah) and tavnit [‘consider the word temunah and the word tavnit’] in Hebrew [‘because they both are translated as figure, which is one thing’] are one thing, but this is not sot, because tavnit is derived from ‘to build’ (banah), [‘binyan, which means building’] and its way is to prepare [‘the pattern of’] the thing and its composition, in its quadrature, [‘quadrangularity if it is square’] and its circular, [‘circularity’] and its triangular [‘triangularity’] and its similar figures, according to what he says, ‘The pattern of the Tabernacle [‘Note that tavnit is equivocal in pattern and figure; gl.: in the Exodus, chapter of the ‘tavnit of the Tabernacle’, which means ‘at the figure’, and as a derivative it means forging’] and the pattern of all its instruments’; [‘These words of tavnit and things dependant on our Lord in any way’].”

64 “And this is said about the mind, where life is.”

65 “And is the primary reason of the living being.”

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José Antonio Fernández López, « An Intertextual Argument between Two Translators in Pedro de Toledo’s Translation of the Guide of the Perplexed », Yod, 22 | 2019, 79-106.

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José Antonio Fernández López, « An Intertextual Argument between Two Translators in Pedro de Toledo’s Translation of the Guide of the Perplexed », Yod [En ligne], 22 | 2019, mis en ligne le 20 septembre 2019, consulté le 14 décembre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/yod/3621 ; DOI : 10.4000/yod.3621

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José Antonio Fernández López

Universidad de Murcia

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