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#21 - Medieval Arabs had manuscripts of many ancient Greek

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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen-CE. The correct answer choice is (A)

The conclusion to this stimulus is the assertion that medieval Arab poets were, unlike the Arab philosophers at the time, not very interested in Homer, who is commonly referenced in Aristotle's Poetics. This conclusion is based on the fact that unlike many Greek texts, Homer was not translated into Arabic at the time. So, the authors causal argument is as follows: Lack of interest in Homer → No ancient Arabic translations of Homer

The stimulus is followed by a strengthen question. In order to strengthen this argument, we might look for the answer choice which eliminates other possible causes, or for the answer which in some other way bolsters the claim that apathy led to the lack of any translated version.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, since it rules out another possible cause. If the ancient Arabs hadn't had access to Homer, that would provide a different explanation for the lack of any translation. This answer choice provides that they did have access, increasing the likelihood that the lack of Homer in translated form was based on apathy.

Answer choice (B): Any similarity between Arab works and those of Homer is irrelevant to the question of whether there was ancient Arab interest in Homer's works specifically, so this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (C): Like answer choice (B) above, this choice is completely irrelevant to the question of what caused the lack of medieval Arabic Homeric translations.

Answer choice (D): Any interest by modern Arab poets has no effect on the discussion from the stimulus, which involves only medieval Arabs and the works that they translated.

Answer choice (E): An overlapping interest in drama does not strengthen or weaken the causal argument in the stimulus, and the presence of dramatic works and performances among medieval Arabs tells us nothing regarding the medieval Arabs' feelings about Homer.
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Q stem: Medieval arabs had manuscripts of many ancient greek texts..

I can and cannot see how A can be the answer.

If A is the answer that means there was no demand evne though Arab Translator had access to a greek text of it; hence, A would strengthen

But the second stimulus sattes that "because a poet intersted in the Poetics would have certainly have wanted to read Homer, to which epics Aristotle frequnelty refers".
Well then according to this stimulus, if arab poets wanted to read Homer there must have been demand, so in this case, how can answer choice be correct, for if the arab translateors possessed copies + there was demand by arab poets, then we should have had it translated well before the modern times.
Clay Cooper
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Hi psik,

Thanks for your question. This stimulus is a bit daunting!

I think you have just gotten turned around in your understanding of the conclusion. The conclusion is, specifically, that medieval Arab poets did NOT have any interest in Aristotle's works; we know this because if they had been interested, they'd have demanded to read Homer and thus the translators would have translated the Greek copies of Homer into Arabic.

The reason answer choice A strengthens the argument is that it establishes that these medieval translators definitely had access to the original Greek versions of Homer's epics, and thus there would have been nothing to prevent them from translating these epics into Arabic had the Arab poets wanted to read them.