The Secret of Secrets: The East Slavic Version

W. F. Ryan and Moshe Taube
13 December 2019
241 × 171 × 31 mm
544 pp
Paperback: 978-1-908590-73-2

The Secret of Secrets: The East Slavic Version Introduction, Text, Annotated Translation, and Slavic Index

The original Arabic Secret of Secrets was probably compiled from multiple sources, and dates from about the tenth century. It purports to be the advice of Aristotle to his pupil Alexander the Great on all the knowledge - political, ethical, military, medical, and occult - needed by a great king. It was translated into Latin, Hebrew, and many European languages. It has been described as one of the most popular books of the Middle Ages. The Hebrew version was translated into a variety of East Slavic, probably in Kiev before 1483. This idiosyncratic version contains major interpolations: a physiognomy by Razes and treatises on poison, sex, and asthma by Maimonides. It is known to have been in the libraries of at least two tsars and two patriarchs in the 16th and 17th centuries. This annotated edition contains a historical introduction, the text, manuscript variants, an analytical glossary, and an English translation.

Table of Contents




I.   The Secret of Secrets from Arabic to Hebrew to Slavic
II.   The Content of the Secret of Secrets
III.   The Hebrew Version and its Slavic Translation
IV.   The Translators of the Arabic, Hebrew, and Slavic Versions
V.   The Interpolations in the Slavic Tajnaja tajnyh
VI.   Affinities of the Tajnaja tajnyh to Other Works
VII.   The Later History and Impact of the Tajnaja tajnyh
VIII.   Manuscripts of the Tajnaja tajnyh
IX.   Known Hebrew Manuscripts of the Sod ha sodot
X.   Cited Arabic Manuscripts of the Sirr al asrar
XI.   Editorial notes on the Slavic Text, Variants, and English Translation

Pseudo-Aristotle, Tajnaja tajnyh (Secret of Secrets): The East Slavic Text and English Translation

List of Works Cited

Slavic Index to the Tajnaja tajnyh

General Index