Faraj ben Salim

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Charles of Anjou giving an Arabic manuscript to Faraj for translation, from a medieval illumination.

Faraj ben Sālim (Arabic: فرج بن سالم), also known as Farragut of Girgenti, Moses Farachi of Dirgent,[1] Ferrarius, or Franchinus, was a Sicilian-Jewish physician and translator who flourished in the second half of the thirteenth century. He was engaged by Charles I of Naples as translator of medical works from Arabic into Latin. In this capacity he rendered a great service to medicine by making in 1279 a Latin translation of al-Razi's medical encyclopedia, Al-Hawi (later printed in 1486, under the title Continens, with a glossary by the translator). The translation is followed, between the same covers, by De expositionibus vocabulorum seu synonimorum simplicis medicinæ, which Steinschneider supposes to form a part of the Continens. As a token of his esteem for the translator, Charles of Anjou ordered that on the original copy of the manuscript of the Continens (MS. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, No. 6912) the portrait of Faraj should be drawn beside his own by friar Giovanni of Monte Cassino, the greatest illuminator of his time.

Faraj also translated De medicinis expertis, attributed to Galen and included in the printings of his works by the Giuntas (Venice, 1565: x. 103-109)[2] and René Chartier (Paris, 1679: x. 561-570);[3] and Tacuini Ægritudinum (Tables of Disease, Arabic: Taqwim al-Abdan) by Ibn Jazla, published at Strasburg in 1532.[4] Steinschneider believes that to Faraj should also be ascribed the Latin translation of Masarjawaih's treatise on surgery (MS. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, No. 7131), said to have been made by a certain Ferrarius.

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