= Paper =
In the absence of integral and litteral Arabic translations of Plato’s dialogues, the transmission of Platonism in the Muslim world was an indirect one, passing through different channels such as medical works, doxographies and gnomologies. The complexity and relative obscurity of this ‘voie diffuse’, in which according to Pierre Thillet oral transmission played an important role, led to all kinds of hazardous speculations about the existence of a Platonic Academy among the “Sabaens” in Ḥarrān, which was supposed to be still in activity in the Xth century. This article proposes a critical analysis of one of the most quoted “evidences” for this theory: al-Mas‘ūdī’s report about a Platonic inscription he claims to have seen on the door-knocker of the maǧma‘ of the Sabaeans in Ḥarrān. Rather than proving the existence of a “Platonic Academy” there, al-Mas‘ūdī offers us an eloquent illustration of the way Platonism was transmitted in the Muslim world.