The original manuscript of the Arabic Improvement of the Moral Qualities was examined by Wise in order to prepare this edition. The text includes a copy of the original Arabic, a translation into English, and an essay on the place of Solomon ibn Gabirol in the development of Jewish ethics.
6 x 9
The Improvement of the Moral Qualities is an ethical treatise written in Arabic, dating from the eleventh century. Wise’s edition was printed with a copy of the Arabic text, and also includes a translation into English as well as an essay on the place of the original author, Solomon ibn Gabirol, in the development of Jewish ethics. The original of the manuscript, which exists in a unique copy, is housed in the Bodleian Library of Oxford. The manuscript has also been translated into Hebrew, and Wise also includes, as an appendix, the preface of the Hebrew translation. A brief comparison of some of the proverbs with parallels in Judaic-Arabic works is appended as well. This production has become a standard edition of this important medieval manuscript.
Stephen Samuel Wise (1874-1949) earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University. After pursuing rabbinic studies he served at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York City, then Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon. Known as an activist and holder of public office, he was awarded an L.H.D. from Bates College.