32 Facts About Avempace


Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn as-Sa'igh at-Tujibi ibn Bajja, best known by his Latinised name Avempace, was an Arab Andalusian polymath, whose writings include works regarding astronomy, physics, and music, as well as philosophy, medicine, botany, and poetry.


Avempace had a vast knowledge of medicine, mathematics, and astronomy.


Avempace was, in his time, not only a prominent figure of philosophy but of music and poetry.


Avempace wrote one of the first commentaries on Aristotle in the Western world.


Avempace's works impacted contemporary medieval thought, and later influenced Galileo and his work.


Avempace was born in Zaragoza, in what is today Aragon, Spain, around 1085 and died in Fes then under the Almoravid dynasty, in 1138.


Avempace enjoyed music and wine with the governor and composed panegyrics and muwashshahat to publicly praise Ibn Tifilwit, who rewarded him by nominating him as his vizier.


Ibn Tifilwit was killed during a quest against the Christians in 1116, ending his short reign and inspiring Avempace to compose mournful elegies in his honor.


Avempace had a talent for singing and composition in music.


Avempace worked, for some twenty years, as the vizier of Yusuf Ibn Tashfin.


Under Ibn Tashfin, the Sultan of the Almoravid empire, Avempace was imprisoned twice.


Ibn Bajja, known as Avempace, was an important Islamic philosopher, among his many other trades.


Avempace alluded to the idea that the perfect man does not just require physical health, but spiritual health too.


Avempace goes into more detail about the soul, which he describes of having both an acquired intellect, as well as an active intellect.


Avempace considers experience as the second essential part of medicine.


Avempace defines the body as an artificial collection of matter, which acts as an instrument for the soul to work through.


Avempace is said to have been influenced by Platonic and Aristotelian views on the subject.


Avempace, known as "Ibn al-Sa'igh" by Jewish tradition, is rarely recognized for his philosophical and astronomical works that influenced and were employed by many Medieval Jewish philosophers during and after his short life.


Maimonides admired Avempace for his achievements, stating that "[Ibn Bajja] was a great and wise philosopher, and all of his works are right and correct".


Specifically incorporating Avempace's philosophies regarding the existence of a single intellect after death, the union of man with the Active Intellect, the division of man into three classes of increasing consciousness, and the proposal of the prophet as an ideal solitary man.


Avempace rejects that feeling ultimate pleasure comes from witnessing the divine world internally.


Avempace attributed this to being a very busy man and having his hands in a variety of a fields.


However, Avempace cannot have observed a Venus transit, as there were no Venus transits in his lifetime.


Avempace was given the privileged to add a commentary to Ibn al-Sayyid's work on geometry and Euclid's Elements.


Avempace starts with a good kinematic definition of motion and construes it as a force.


In relation to the example of the stone falling through the mediums air and water, Avempace brings up an example of dust particles to explain his ideas on natural movements.


Avempace believes that a magnet is more complicated than one might think.


Avempace was a critic of Ptolemy and he worked on creating a new theory of velocity to replace the one theorized by Aristotle.


Avempace is known to have made contributions to the field of botany in addition to philosophy and the physical sciences.


Avempace's work, titled Kitab al-nabat is a commentary influenced by the work De Plantis.


Avempace writes about the reproductive nature of plants and their supposed genders based on his observations of palm and fig trees.


Avempace's book Kitab al-Tajribatayn 'ala Adwiyah Ibn Wafid is an attempt to classify plants from a pharmacological perspective.