Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

The Sicilian Questions

In History on January 15, 2005 at 10:03 pm

I am searching for the actual text to the philosophic questionnaire Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, King of Sicily and Jerusalem, sent out in1240 which was answered by Ibn Sabin of Ceuta, originally of Murcia.

It concerns the immortality of the soul, the eternity of matter and other issues, apparently of Aristotelian origin.

I can find only references to the contents of Frederick’s questionnaire, not the exact questions.

I can find nothing Ibn Sabin’s responses.

Both Frederick’s questions and Ibn Sabin’s answers, of course, may not be extant. They may exist only in Arabic.

Any help on this would be appreciated.

  1. Did you ever locate the Sicilian Questions? I found a possible link but it was in Italian…

  2. No, I haven’t. Can you drop in the link?

  3. I just googled “sicilian questions” and this is the link that pops up
    beneath yours-


  4. Fantastic. Thanks. (It is in English, though, not Italian.) I’m going to read it today. Sometimes I ♥ the internet.

  5. There is a French translation from about 1854 and Anna Akasoy has published a critical edition of the arabic text with a German translation. Akasoy has also published a few articles dealing with Ibn Sab’in responses. Vincent Cornell has published an article on Ibn Sab’in and is currently working on a book to be published of Oxford Uni Press. There is some other references though they are scarce.

  6. My German is no longer good enough to tackle academic subjects, I don’t think. But Cornell’s book seems like something to look forward to. Thanks, BG.

  7. More on Ibn Sab’in at

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