Epistles of the Brethren of Purity

The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity is published by Oxford University Press in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. This bilingual series consists of a multi-authored Arabic critical edition and annotated English translation of the Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’ (ca. tenth-century Iraq).

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  • The Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa‘il Ikhwan al-Safa (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to...