I am reading "Die Geheimnisse der oberen und der unteren Welt" and encountered following usage of erlangt durch which I am not sure how to construe. It would be highly appreciated if someone could advise on this.

  1. Ilm ar-ruqa: das Wissen über die natürlichen Dispositionen der Dinge und Geschehnisse, erlangt durch bestimmte Handlungen, wie etwa die Praktiken der Beschwörung, die zu Heilungzwecken und zum Schutz eingesetzt werden;

This is a part of a list of subareas of Arabic magic. In accordance with a dictionary, I understood

Ilm ar-ruqa: a knowledge of natural dispositions of things and events, acquired through certain acts such as performing incantation which are used to heal or for protection.

But in context it is questionable a knowledge acquired through some magical action whose explanation is not given in other part of the list consists the subarea of magic. As one subarea of magic, the knowledge acquired for such action or like seems more fitting, which, however is not even implied in the definition of durch in the dictionary.

Is my understanding that erlangt durch = acquired through here correct? Or is there any other way to construe this erlangt durch?


The question is "what did you erlangen?"

This quote defines, what Ilm ar-ruqa is. And Ilm ar-ruqa is supposed to be knowledge about something.

What kind of knowledge? The knowledge about "die natürlichen Dispositionen der Dinge und Geschehnisse".

How do you get the knowledge? In the way that you perform "bestimmte Handlungen" like "die Praktiken ..."

So erlangt durch refers to how you get the knowledge.

While you usually acquire items - and erlangen is a possible translation - you might insist that acquiring knowledge is called learning stuff.

So it is a more abstract form to describe that for Ilm ar-ruqa you need to practice operations/processes/workflows and when you learned them, you literally acquired Ilm ar-ruqa.

It is essential to perform some actions during the learning process. Reading scrolls and books is not listed yet maybe not excluded as well.

  • Thank you very much for swift answer. This helped a lot. Yes, as you guessed, there is also an item "3. 'Ilm al harass: das Wissen über die besonderen Eigenschaften der Dinge und Geschehnisse, erlangt durch 'Lesen', d. h. sympathische Magie;" So it was pure comparison of how to learn the said knowledge. Thank you very much for detailed explanation. – skgctkyjp Aug 14 '20 at 22:58

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