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Dr Uwe Vagelpohl

profile.jpgSenior Research Fellow

Email: u dot vagelpohl at warwick dot ac dot uk

Faculty of Arts Building
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Dr Uwe Vagelpohl studied philosophy, Arabic and Islamic Studies in Bamberg, Cairo and Berlin before completing his Ph. D. in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. He worked as a translator and held research positions at the University of California at Berkeley (2004-5), Hampshire College (2005-8) and now the University of Warwick (since 2008). His teaching assignments at Hampshire College included courses on the history of Islam and the emergence and reception history of the Qur’ān.

Research interests

Translation as a medium of cultural communication and transformation in late antiquity and the Middle Ages is at the center of Dr Vagelpohl's research. Translations from Greek into Arabic had an immeasurable impact on all aspects of medieval and modern Islamic civilization; they are emblematic for the wide-ranging cultural and scientific exchanges between East and West in the early Middle Ages. Apart from the linguistic issues involved, Dr Vagelpohl is also keenly interested in the complex interactions between Muslim scholars and their religious beliefs and the antique philosophical and scientific heritage throughout the Middle Ages.

At Warwick, he contributed from 2008 to 2012 to the first stage of the Warwick Epidemics, the edition of the Arabic version of the first two books of Galen's Commentary on the Hippocratic Epidemics funded by the Wellcome Trust and supervised by Simon Swain and Peter E Pormann. Under the supervision of Simon Swain, he worked from 2012 to 2019 on the second stage of the Warwick Epidemics, also funded by the Wellcome Trust, an edition and translation of Book 6 of the same commentary. Since the fall of 2019, he and Simon Swain are jointly directing a Wellcome-funded team project on medieval Arabic summaries of Galen's writings, Streamlining Galen.

Recent publications

  • Galeni in Hippocratis Epidemiarum librum I commentariorum I-III versio arabica. Corpus Medicorum Graecorum. Supplementum Orientale V,1. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014.
  • (with Simon Swain) Galeni in Hippocratis Epidemiarum librum II commentariorum I-VI versio arabica. 2 vols. Corpus Medicorum Graecorum. Supplementum Orientale V,2. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016.
  • 'Reading and Commenting on Aristotle's Rhetoric in Arabic'. In Deen Schildgen, Brenda and Hexter, Ralph (eds.), Reading the Past Across Space and Time. Receptions and World Literature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 165–184.
  • 'The user-friendly Galen. Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq and the adaptation of Greek medicine for a new audience'. In Bouras-Vallianatos, Petros and Xenofontos, Sophia (eds.), Greek Medical Literature and its Readers. From Hippocrates to Islam and Byzantium. London: Routledge, 2018, 113–130.
  • (with Ignacio Sánchez) 'Why Do we Translate? Arabic Sources on Translation'. In Gutas, Dimitri (ed.), Why Translate Science? Documents from Antiquity to the 16th Century in the Historical West (Bactria to the Atlantic). Brill: Leiden and Boston, 2022, 254–376.
  • Galeni in Hippocratis Epidemiarum librum VI commentariorum I–VIII versio arabica. 3 vols. Corpus Medicorum Graecorum. Supplementum Orientale V,3. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2022.

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  • M.A. (Free University, Berlin)
  • Ph. D. (Cantab.)