French philosopher and writer, 1823-1892, author of Averroes et l'Averroisme, Vie de Jesus, Les Origines du Christianisme and numerous other works
Fishburn and Hughes: A French orientalist, famous for his sceptical writings on the history of Christianity. His doctoral thesis, Averroès et l'averroïsme, was published in 1852. The epigraph is a quotation from this essay. Renan asserted that Averroes, in his paraphrase of the Poetics of Aristotle, shows an extensive knowledge of Arab literature but 'the most complete ignorance' of Greek literature, since no representative Greek poetry had been translated into Arabic. According to Renan, Averroes's knowledge was confined to the work of philosophical and scientific writers, and he was incapable of appreciating Greek poetry. Developing the theme of cultural gaps, Renan showed that the Latin version of Averroes's Commentaries, the one most widely used in medieval Europe for the propagation of Aristotelianism, was itself 'barbaric', being a translation of a Hebrew translation of a commentary on an Arab translation of a Syrian translation of a Greek text. Renan states that Averroes's fame was confined mainly to the Jewish and Christian world, where he was acclaimed for introducing and elucidating the work of Aristotle; in the Arab world, however, he was suspected of unorthodoxy and known chiefly for his refutation of Ghazali. This view is disputed by Arab scholars. Regarding the history of ‘Averroës’, Renan discusses the number of changes undergone by Averroes's name from the original Arabic 'Ibn Roschd' and lists sixteen different transcriptions: Ibin Rosdin, Filius Rosedis, Ibn Rusid, Ben Raxid, Ibn Ruschad, Ben Resched, Aban Rassad, Aben Rois, Aben Rasd, Aben Rust, Averrosd, Averryz, Adveroys, Benroist, Averroyth, Avenroysta. Averroës’ Search
Parodi: Ernest Renán (1823−1892), historiador, filólogo, filósofo, arqueólogo y crítico francés, autor −entre muchas otras obras− de una Prière sur l'Acropole (Oración sobre la Acrópolis, 1865) incluida en sus Souvenirs d'Enfance et de Jeunesse (Recuerdos de infancia y de juventud, 1883), en la que evoca su descubrimiento de Grecia en un viaje de 1865.