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Esad of Ioannina translated philosophical works from Latin and Greek, into Arabic and Turkish, and the extent of his massive production is still to be fully ascertained. Most of the translations that came down to us belong to the Arabic manuscript tradition, and contain rich layers of marginalia, notes, and additional translations from commentaries to the original texts, a case in point being Porphyry's Isagoge (c. 269) or Introduction to Aristotle's Categories. Many others of Esad of Ioannina's versions are mentioned or referred to in several manuscripts but are currently lost, such as his Turkish translation of the book of logic Kitāb Maṭāli' al-anwār (1024) from the Persian philosopher Siraj al-Din Urmavi.
As the result of the expansion in the Aegean sea and the incorporation of Greek enclaves under Ottoman rule, in 1721 Esad of Ioannina was commissioned -- together with other scholars of the Translation Council he was a member of -- with a new translation of Aristotle's works into Arabic, and focussed his efforts on Logics, Physics and Metaphysics. This undertaking was carried on with the assistance of various Phanariots and scholars from the Christian community in Istanbul, and attempted an integration of the Medieval Islamic Aristotelian tradition and modern Greek learning. Representing a clear break from Avicenna's reading of Aristotle, Esad of Ioannina understood Physics as a system of natural philosophy, siding with Averroes and embracing the Paduan version of Aristotelianism as transmitted through the commentaries of Joannes Cottunius (see translation works).
secondary bibliography references
Mahmut Kaya, 'Some Findings on Translations Made in the Eighteenth Century from Greek and Es'ad Efendi's Translation of the Physica', in Transfer of Modern Science & Technology to the Muslim World, ed. by Ekmeleddin Isanoglu, IRCICA, 1992, 385-92.
Mehmet Sait Özervali, 'Yanyal Esad Efendi's Works on Philosophical Texts as Part of the Ottoman Translation Movement in the Eighteenth Century', in Europe and Turkey in the 18th Century, ed. by Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, Bonn University Press, 2011, 457-72.
B. Harun Küçük, 'Natural Philosophy and Politics in the Eighteenth Century: Esad of Ioannina and Greek Aristotelianism at the Ottoman Court', Journal of Ottoman Studies, 41, 2013, 125-58.
- Giovanni Lista