, a very eminent Arabian philosopher of the tenth century, was born at Farab, now Othrar, in Asia. Minor, from which he took the name by which he is generally known. His real name was Mohammed. He was of Turkish origin, but quitted his country to acquire a more perfect knowledge of the Arabic, and of the works of the Greek philosophers. He studied principally at Bagdat, under a celebrated Aristotelian professor, named Abou Bachar Mattey; and then went to Harran, where John, a Christian physician, taught logic. In a short time, he surpassed all his fellow-scholars; and after a visit to Egypt, settled at Damas, where the prince of that city, Seif-edDaulah, took him into his patronage, although it was with difficulty that he could persuade him to accept his favours. Alfarabi had no attachment but to study, and knew nothing of the manners of a court. When he presented himself, for the first time, before the prince, the latter, wishing to amuse himself at the expence of the philosopher, made known his intention to his guards in a foreign language, but was much surprised when Alfarabi told him that he knew what he said, and could, if necessary, speak to him in seventy other languages. The conversation then turning on the sciences in general, Alfarabi delivered his opinions with such learning and eloquence, that the men of letters present were completely put to silence, and began to write down what he said. He excelled likewise in music, and ingratiated himseif so with the prince, that he gave him a handsome pension, and Alfarabi remained with him until his death in the year 950. He wrote many treatises on different parts of the Aristotelian philosophy, which were read and admired, not only among the Arabians, but also among the | Jews, who began about this time to adopt the Aristoteliaft mode of philosophizing. Many of his books were translated from Arabic into Hebrew, and it is by these versions principally that the Europeans have been made acquainted with his merit. His treatise “De Intelligentiis” was published in the works of Avicenna, Venice, 1495; another, “Dfc Causis,” is in Aristotle’s works, with the commentaries of Averroes; and his “Opuscula varia” were printed at Paris in 1638. One of his writings, which brought him much reputation, was a kind of encyclopaedia, in which he gives a short account and definition of all branches of science and art. The manuscript of this is in the Escurial. 1


Casiri Bibl. Arab. Hisp.—Biog. Universelle.—Brucker.