Averroes, Or Averrhoes (A Corruption Of Ibn Roshd), an Arabian philosopher, born in Cordova about 1120, died in Morocco, Dec. 12,1198. Educated by eminent masters, he became, like his father, distinguished for his varied knowledge, and succeeded him in the office of mufti or chief judge in Andalusia, and subsequently held the same position in Morocco. He stood high in the esteem of successive rulers, especially of Al-Mansour; but the latter, yielding to those who could not reconcile the philosophy of Averroes with his professed devotion to the Koran, and perhaps also impelled by personal animosity, banished him for several years, but finally restored him to his office. He wrote on astronomy, particularly on the spots of the sun, and on many other scientific subjects; but he is chiefly celebrated as a commentator upon Aristotle and Plato. He grasped the ideas of the Greek philosophers, though he had no knowledge of the Greek language. The first complete edition of his works was published in Latin at Venice in 11 vols. (1552-'60), the commentaries filling 8 volumes, and 3 volumes containing his refutation of Algazzali's work against Greek philosophy, his great medical work, Kidliyat or improperly Colliget (of which several editions have been published), and miscellaneous treatises.
As a philosopher he tended toward pantheism and materialism. His professed disciples were called Averroists. Leo X. issued a bull against his doctrines after they had been denounced by the university of Paris. Renan, in his Aterrhoes et VAverrho-isme (Paris, 1852), gives a full notice of his life and works, and characterizes him as the chief representative in the middle ages of the Peripatetic philosophy and of freedom of thought, and as exempt from all purely dogmatic and religious bias. Among other recent works relating to his doctrines is Muller's Philosophic und Theologie ton Averrhoes (Munich, 1859).