Caliphs and Dignitaries Sponsors of the Translation Movement
In this chapter we discuss the role played by some of the caliphs in promoting the translation movement through their sponsorship and auspices. Perhaps most important to us in this regard is the Caliph al-Ma’mūn, who made great efforts to revive this movement, whether through the encouragement of those responsible financially, or by providing books and manuscripts for them for the purpose of translating them, other than all other ways to help revitalise this movement. The role of dignitaries in the Abbasid state played a significant contribution in the continuation and development of the translation movement, such as the efforts of people other than the caliphs for the prosperity of this movement. Indeed, their efforts in this field are no less important than the efforts of the caliphs; they encouraged translation by giving money to translators. For example, Banū Mūsā, who gave this movement all what was needed, which was a powerful factor for its prosperity. The physician and translator Yūḥanā ibn Māsūwiyh, physician Bukhtishū‘ ibn Jibrā’ı̄l, and the physician Sulmawayh ibn Banān, and lastly, the minister Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd al-Malik al-Zayāt, all had an effective influence and played a prominent role in the boom process enjoyed by the translation movement during the third/ninth century in particular.