Theory and History of Ontology ( Raul Corazzon | e-mail:

Bibliography on the Ancient Catalogue of Aristotle's Works

The Philosophy of Aristotle

Studies in English: A-Gra

  1. Barnes, Jonathan. 1997. "Roman Aristotle." In Philosophia Togata II. Plato and Aristotle at Rome , edited by Barnes, Jonathan and Griffin, Miriam, 1-69. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    Reprinted in: Gregory Nagy (ed.), Greek Literature in the Roman Period and in Late Antiquity, New York, Routledge, 2001 pp. 119-187; revised edition in J. Barnes, Mantissa: Essays in Ancient Philosophy IV , Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2015, pp. 407-478.

    "When Theophrastus died, his library, which included the library of Aristotle, was carried off to the Troad. His successors found nothing much to read; the Lyceum sank into a decline; and Peripatetic ideas had little influence on the course of Hellenistic philosophy. It was only with the rediscovery of the library that Aristotelianism revived — and it revived in Italy. For the library went from the Troad to Athens — and thence, as part of Sulla’s war-booty, to Rome. There Andronicus of Rhodes produced the ‘Roman edition’ of the corpus Aristotelicum. It was the first complete and systematic version of Aristotle’s works, the first publication in their full form of the technical treatises, the first genuinely critical edition of the text. Andronicus’ Roman edition caused a sensation. It revitalized the languishing Peripatetics. It set off an explosion of Aristotelian studies. It laid the foundation for all subsequent editions of Aristotle’s works, including our modern texts. When we read Aristotle we should pour a libation to Andronicus — and to Sulla.

    That story is the main subject of the following pages. It is familiar enough; and although my argument will be long and laborious, I have nothing new to say, and my general conclusions are dispiritingly sceptical. But recent scholarship on the topic has taken to the bottle of phantasy and stumbled drunkenly from one dogmatism to the next. Another look at the pertinent texts may be forgiven — and in any event the story is a peach.

    My concern (let me stress at the start) is the way in which Aristotle’s texts reached Rome — and us. I am not concerned with the general influence of Peripatetic ideas on the Roman intelligentsia — that is a vast and a complex question; nor am I concerned with the specific influence of Aristotle’s ideas on the Roman intelligentsia — that is a different question, less vast and more complex. Indeed, I deal neither with the history of ideas nor with the history of philosophy: my subject is an episode in the history of books and the book-trade. " (J. Barnes, Mantissa , p. 407)

  2. Benoit, William L. 1981. "A Guide to Line Numbers in the Aristotelian Corpus." Rhetoric Society Quarterly no. 1:42-44.

    "Those who work with several of Aristotle's works at once, as is often necessary, are frequently confronted with the minor difficulty of determining which work contains the passage indicated by the line numbers from Bekker's edition of Aristotle's Opera (Berlin, 1870). This is especially true when using the index of Hermann Bonitz Index Aristotelicus, Graz, 1955 or of Troy Organ An Index to Aristotle in English Translation, Princeton, NJ, 1949. As a tool for the Aristotelian scholar, then, this guide may be of some modest assistance. In an attempt to make the work as helpful as possible, both English and the Greek titles are included, as well as the names of the Oxford and Loeb Translators and the Oxford volume number for each work (these being the two most complete sets)." (p. 42)

  3. Blum, Rudolf. 1991. Kallimachos. The Alexandrian Library and the Origins of Bibliography . Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

    Translated by Hans H. Wellisch from the German: Kallimachos und die Literaturvezeichung bei den Griechen. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Biobibliographie - Frankfurt am Main, Buchhändler-Vereinigung, 1977.

    "This work deals with the beginnings of bibliography. Kallimachos of Kyrene, a Hellenistic scholar and a famous poet, created about 260 B.C. a fundamental list of Greek authors with biographical and bibliographical data, the first national author bibliography, based on the holdings of the Alexandrian library. But what he, his predecessors, and successors achieved in the field of bibliography, that staging area for the history of literature, is almost unknown outside the circle of experts. In addition, there are some important related issues which are still in need of clarification.

    The investigations which I have undertaken for this purpose pertain to questions in the history of ancient scholarship and librarianship. But I endeavored to write in such a manner that not only students of Classical Antiquity will be able to follow me. Therefore, I inserted explanations of issues pertaining to Antiquity wherever I deemed them to be appropriate. Greek quotations are rendered in translation. Greek titles of books, typical Greek expressions, and shorter sayings of Greek scholars are always transliterated. Some passages in the footnotes are also given in the original Greek.

    Bibliographic works of the Romans and those of Christians in Antiquity have been omitted because I am treating these, together with those of the Middle Ages and the early modern period, in another work.(*)" (Preface , IX)

    (*) Rudolf Blum. Die Literaturverzeichnung im Altertum und Mittelalter. Versuch einer Geschichte der Biobibliographie von den Anfängen bis zum Beginn der Neuzeit (Frankfurt a.M.: Buchhändler-Vereinigung, 1983)

    On Aristotle see Chapter 2: Forerunners: Aristotle, His Predecessors and Pupils , pp. 14-94 (in particular 2.6 The Library of Aristotle pp. 52-94) and Chapter 5: Later lists of Greek Writers and Their Works , pp. 182-225 (in particular 5.4 The List of Aristotle's Writings by Andronikos of Rhodos , pp. 194-195 and 5.6 The Work of Diogenes Laertios on the Lives and Opinions of Famous Philosophers , pp. 199-201).

  4. Bodéüs, Richard. 1993. The Political Dimensions of Aristotle's Ethics . Albany: State University of New York Press.

    Translation by Jan Edward Garett of: Le Philosophe et la cité , Paris, Publications de la Faculté de Philosophie de l'Université de Liège, 1982.

    See Chapter I. In Search of Aristotle's Project pp. 9-46.

    "Conceived at first for the sake of the citizens of the Greek city of the fourth century B.C., the part of Aristotle's teaching traditionally associated with human philosophy sought somehow to be useful. How can one make sense of this aim historically, this desire to contribute concretely to the perfection of human becoming? This is the question which has guided my research from the beginning.

    It has led me to scrutinize the unity of purpose which clearly governs the elaboration of the two Ethics and of the Politics . This issue is not sufficiently clarified if one limits oneself to saying that the two series of texts are written from the same theoretical perspective, a perspective appropriate for explaining human affairs, and that the one series describes mies of an ethical code for individuals, the other series principles for the organization of communities.

    On this point it is necessary to challenge a very long tradition of misunderstandings.

    To make this clear is my task in the first chapter. This chapter also brings to light support for the belief that the works of Aristotle with which we are concerned were the object of a political teaching which the philosopher aimed primarily at the “lawgiver" ( νομοθέτης). Aristotle designates by this term not the well-known magistrate of Athenian institutions (19) but, like the French word législateur , with its collective sense, the individuals to whom political communities entrust the ultimate task of defining coercive norms relating to the good and who potentially include all the adult citizens in the city which corresponds "to the wishes" of the philosopher." (p. 3)

    (19) Cf. Demosthenes, Olynth . III, 10, “Although they are not mentioned by Aristotle in the Constitution of Athens , their existence is not in doubt." (P. Lavedan, Dictionnnaire illustré de la mythologie et des antiquités grecques et romaines , Paris: Hachette, 1964, s.v.).

  5. Bollansée, Jan. 1999. Hermippos of Smyrna and His Biographical Writings: A Reappraisal . Leuven: Peeters.

    See Appendix 1. Translations of selected Testimonia and the biographical fragments pp. 189-226, and 3. Hermippos and the authorship of Diogenes Laertios' Catalogue of Aristotle's writings (5.22-27) , pp. 233-243.

    Abbreviations: F = Fragment, T = Testimonia.

    "A problem that cannot be left undiscussed in the present study is Hermippos’ presumed authorship of the catalogue of Aristotle’s writings as found in Diogenes Laertios, even though strictly speaking we have no nominatim F or even an indirect testimony connecting the Callimachean with that catalogue, let alone that the ancient sources speak of such a list ever having been composed by Hermippos in the first place. However, since we have sound proof that he drew up (or at least transmitted) a similar pinax for Theophrastos (1), it is a reasonable assumption that the Callimachean may also have edited (or published) one for Aristode (as well as for others: cf. F 9, 44, 89). To be sure, this is still a far cry from asserting that Diogenes’ list goes back to the Callimachean. As it is, along with the provenance of the other catalogues of leading Peripatetics preserved in Diogenes’ Book 5 (Theophrastos: 5,42-50; Straton: 5,59-60; Demetrios of Phaleron: 5,80-81; Herakleides of Pontos: 5,86-88), the origin of the Laertian pinax of Aristotle is one of the most oft-discussed points with regard to the history of the transmission of the early Peripatetic corpus of writings. In spite of the great number of participants in the debate, definitive results of this quest are still wanting." (Appendix 3: Hermippos and the Authorship of Diogenes Laertios' Catalogue of Aristotle's Writings (5,22-27) , p. 233)

    (1) See the discussion of T 20 and F 37 above, p. 164-177.

  6. ———. 2001. "Animadversiones in Diogenem Laertium." Rheinisches Museum no. 144:64-106.

    § b) Diog. Laert. 5.2-3: On Aristotle and the Foundation of the Peripatos , pp. 72-99.

    "If, as seems likely in the light of the foregoing, this means that Diogenes had one primary source for the passage, that au- thority might very well be identified as Hermippos, who is quoted at the very beginning. It would seem that his account of the foundation and organization of the Peripatos by Aristotle was worked out in much more detail and that the Laertian (and/or his intermediary) practically condensed it to the point of incomprehensibility. All this will be made clear and modified in the following exposition" (p. 74)

  7. Bos, Abraham P. 1987. "The Relation Between Aristotle's Lost Writings and the Surviving Corpus Aristotelicum ." Philosophia Reformata no. 52:24-40.

    Reprinted as Chapter X in A. Bos, Cosmic and Meta-Cosmic Theology in Aristotle's Lost Dialogues , Leiden: Brill, 1989, pp. 97-112.

    "Something else is relevant at this point. Historians of philosophy concerned to trace Aristotle’s influence are faced by the remarkable fact that in the first centuries following Aristotle’s death his school shows a clear and continual decline in both quality and productivity. Not until the first century BC is it possible to speak of a ‘renaissance’. Only then does the Peripatetic school awaken ‘aus ihrer langen Lethargie’.(43) No satisfactory explanation for this highly remarkable state of affairs has yet been suggested. We must begin by realizing that the decline of the Peripatos took place during the period in which the dialogues, composed, ordered, and produced in a highly polished form by Aristotle himself, were in circulation, while the writings of the Corpus were not available as they are to us.

    The revival of interest in Aristotle’s philosophy, on the other hand, is strictly connected with the discovery of the unpublished treatises in the first century BC. Here too we should prefer a philosophical explanation. We suggest that Aristotle’s philosophy, in the period when he was known on the basis of his published work only, fell into disrepute because the notion of ‘genuine, serious scholarly philosophy’ underwent a change at the hands of the professional philosophers, who no longer accepted an appeal to any experience other than common human experience. And to this shift in the idea of ‘scientific philosophy’ Aristotle’s own activities within the school no doubt pointed the way." (pp. 110-111 of the reprint)

    (43) Cf. P. Moraux, Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen , l, xiv.

  8. ———. 1989. "Exoterikoi Logo i and Enkyklioi Logoi in the Corpus Aristotelicum and the Origin of the Idea of the Enkyklios Paideia ." Journal of the History of Ideas no. 50:179-198.

    Reprinted as Chapter XI in: A. P. Bos, Cosmic and Meta-Cosmic Theology in Aristotle's Lost Dialogues , Leiden: Brill, 1989, pp. 113-152.

    "We would now like to show how various elements from the tradition can be combined in an entirely new hypothesis.

    (a) Since the explanations of the term 'exoteric' do not appear until after Andronicus' edition, it is legitimate to assume that they were attempts to solve the problem of the references in the Corpus with no more information than is now available to us.

    (b) On the basis of the subjects dealt with in the exoterikoi logoi, as we will discuss below, which included Plato's doctrine of Ideas and the debate over the Idea of the Good, we seem justified in considering that 'exoteric' was understood by Aristotle as: 'pertaining to the realities lying outside Physis .

    (c) That is to say that in these works Aristotle discussed the subjects which, according to his own philosophy of science, were not susceptible to treatment in a discursive, conclusive argumentation. For argumentation or proof is possible only on the basis of acceptance of the starting-points (archai )." (p. 129 of the reprint)


    "We would like to advance the hypothesis, therefore, that the notion of the enkyklios paideia is a product of philosophical reflection on kinds of knowledge in relation to kinds of objects of knowledge, as laid down in the lost writings of Aristotle. The introduction of this notion may well have been linked there to the distinction which Aristotle did make in any case, i.e. between enkyklioi logoi and exoterikoi logoi , if we assume that enkyklios and exoterikos in this combination refer not to the target group of these logoi but to their content. In this view, the enkyklioi logoi comprised all sciences concerning the natural reality 'surrounding' us and whatever is derived from it through abstraction. And the exoterikoi logoi dealt with the matters related to ta exo and with those themes which Plato reserved for dialectic and Aristotle for an 'earlier, higher, and more logical science than physics', a science which deals with the archai, the principia, and which cannot therefore be deductive and demonstrative.(162) This distinction was no doubt geared to a difference in the level of difficulty, seen from the viewpoint of man who stands at the beginning of the road to knowledge. Aristotle will have regarded the study of experiential reality in all its aspects as a necessary preliminary training for insight into metaphysical reality. The elements discussed above are best integrated, therefore, if we assume that in his lost writings Aristotle described the process of man's striving for knowledge in metaphors of 'liberation', 'purification', 'initiation', 'ascent', and 'enlightenment', following and transforming what Plato had said about this process in his dialogues the Phaedo , the Phaedrus, and the Republic .

    Aristotle saw man in his everyday existence as a 'natural' being, a being belonging to and enclosed by Physis , and endowed with a 'natural' rational faculty. As such, man is occupied by, bound to, and oriented toward the 'surrounding' reality of ordinary, everyday experience. But as such, man is also in many respects 'unfree'(163) and 'is as susceptible to those things which are by nature most evident as the eyes of bats to daylight'.(164) The road to liberation indicated by Aristotle is a road involving various stages." (pp. 150-151 of the reprint).

    (162) a. Arist, Top . 1.2.

    (163) Arist, Metaph . Α 2 982b29.

    (164) Arist, Metaph . α 1 993b9.

  9. Chroust, Anton-Hermann. 1962. "The Miraculous Disappearance and Recovery of the Corpus Aristotelicum ." Classica et Mediaevalia no. 23:50-67.

  10. ———. 1964. "A Brief Account of the traditional Vitae Aristotelis ." Revue d'Études Grecques no. 77:50-69.

    Reprinted in A.-H. Chroust, Aristotle: New Light on His Life and on Some of His Lost Works , London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973, Vol. I, pp. 1-15, with the title: A Brief Account of the (Lost) Vita Aristotelis of Hermippus and of the (Lost) Vita Aristotelis of Ptolemy el-Garib.

    Abstract: "The Vita Aristotelis of Diogenes Laertius to a large extent relies on Hermippus whose original account might be reconstructed with the help of Diogenes Laertius. Hermippus' is a strange though in the main encomiastic melange of fact and fiction, praise and slander. With the exception of the Vita Hesychii (Vita Menagii), all the other Vitae — the Vita Marciana, the Vita Vulgata (Vita Pseudo-Ammoniana) , the Vita Latina, the two Syriac Vitae and the four Arabic Vitae — ultimately go back to, or are derivates of a Vita (or an epitome of a Vita) of Ptolemy (el-Garib), a member of Porphyry's or Jamblichus' school of Neo-Platonists. The Vita of Ptolemy, the essential contents of which can fairly well be reconstructed with the help of its several derivates, is strongly encomiastic. It is based on what seems to be an adequate mastery of the biographical materials available around 300-400 A. D., but its uncritical admiration for Aristotle greatly reduces its historical value."

  11. ———. 1965. "The Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus." Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientarum Hungaricae no. 133:369-377.

    Reprinted in A.-H. Chroust, Aristotle: New Light on His Life and on Some of His Lost Works , London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973, Vol. I, pp. 16-24.

    "In his Vita Aristotelis (or Chronologia Vitae Aristotelis ), which because of its brevity and alleged unimportance has been sadly neglected, Dionysius of Halicarnassus writes:

    ‘Aristotle was the son of Nicomachus, who traced his ancestry and his profession to Machaon, the son of Asclepius. His mother, Phaestis, descended from one of the colonists who led the [Greek] settlers from Chalcis to Stagira. Aristotle was bom in the 99th Olympiad, when Diotrephes was archon in Athens [384-83 B.C.]. Hence, he was three years older than Demosthenes. During the archonship of Polyzelus [367-66 B.C.], and after his father had died, he went to Athens, being then eighteen years of age. Having been introduced to the company of Plato, he spent a period of twenty years with the latter. On the death of Plato, during the archonship of Theophilus [348-47 B.C.], he went to Hermias, the tyrant of Atarneus. After spending three years with Hermias, during the archonship of Eubulus [345-44 B.C.], he repaired to Mytilene. From there he went to the court of Philip [of Macedonia] during the archonship of Pythodorus [343-42 B.C.], and spent eight years there as the tutor of Alexander. After the death of Philip [in 336 B.C.], during the archonship of Evaenetus [335-34 B.C.], he returned to Athens, where he taught in the Lyceum for a space of twelve years. In the thirteenth year [of his second stay in Athens], after the death of Alexander [in 323 B.C.] and during the archonship of Cephisodorus [323-22 B.C.], he retreated to Chalcis where he fell ill and died at the age of sixty-three.' (1)" (p. 16 of the reprint)

    (1) Dionysius of Halicarnassus, I Epistola ad Ammaeum 5. See also F. Jacoby, Frag. Hist. Grace . 244, F. 38.

    "The brief and not very informative Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, it must be borne in mind, is primarily a ‘chronology’ rather than a detailed biography of Aristotle, compiled to disprove the allegation that Demosthenes owed his rhetorical prowess to Aristotle’s Rhetoric . Hence, like Apollodorus in his Chronicle (DL V, 9-10), Dionysius was of the opinion that he could restrict himself to citing some of the essential dates in the life of Aristotle. Aside from this rather scanty bit of information, the Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius contains practically nothing that might shed additional light on the life and work of the Stagirite. The only novel piece of information furnished by Dionysius is the report that Aristotle’s mother Phaestis was a descendant from the original colonists who led the Chalcidian settlers from Chalcis on the island of Euboea to Stagira. Of great importance and much assistance to us is also his effort to date, though in all likelihood not always accurately, certain key events in the life of Aristotle by referring to the respective archonships during which these events took place.

    Despite its brevity, the Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus appears to be based on extensive research and what seems to be a fairly accurate grasp of the most relevant facts and dates in the life of the Stagirite. It was motivated by the desire to check and disprove the claims of certain Peripatetics who exalted and exaggerated beyond reason and historical fact the importance and influence of Aristotle upon the history of rhetoric in general and on the rhetoric of Demosthenes in particular. In so doing, Dionysius, like so many apologists, occasionally overstates his case and becomes guilty of some minor inaccuracies. What he did not know, and probably could not know, is that certain parts of the Aristotelian Rhetoric—the (Urrhetorik9 according to W. Jaeger—may date back to the years 360-55 B.C., and that during the fifties of the fourth century B.C., Aristotle probably composed, two works on rhetoric as well as taught a course of lectures on rhetoric.49 Moreover, his manner of dating Aristotle’s arrival in Athens in the year 367 B.C., that is, his insistence that Aristotle went there during the archonship of Polyzelus (367-66 B.C.), when he was eighteen years old (in his eighteenth year), is open to debate.50 Most likely, Aristotle went to Athens during the latter part of Nausigenes’ archonship (368-67 B.C., or the first year of the 103rd Olympiad), that is, in the late spring of 367 B.C. (after Plato had departed for Syracuse), when he was seventeen years old (in his seventeenth year), rather than in the summer or early fall of 367. Dionysius also seems to imply that Aristotle died during the archonship of Cephisodorus (323-22 B.C.), that is, during the first half of the year 322, rather than during the early part of Philocles’ archonship (322-21 B.C.), that is, between July and October of 322 B.C." (pp. 23-24 of the reprint, a note omitted)

  12. ———. 1965. "A Brief Analysis of the Vita Aristotelis of Diogenes Laertius (DL V 1-16) " L'Antiquité Classique no. 34:97-129.

    Revised and expanded in A.-H. Chroust, Aristotle: New Light on His Life and on Some of His Lost Works , London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973, Vol. I, pp. 25-53.

    "Book V, sections 1-16, of Diogenes Laertius’ The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, also called The Lives of the Philosophers (Photius) or The Lives of the Sophists (Eusthatius),(1) contains a rather important, though at times confused (and confusing), account of the life of Aristotle.(2) In his Vita , which to a large extent relies rather heavily on a biography of Aristotle by Hermippus of Smyrna, Diogenes Laertius also employs a number of other divergent sources. Some of these sources are cited by name, others can be determined with a reasonable degree of certainty, while others cannot readily be identified. What is perhaps the most striking characteristic of Diogenes’ biography, however, is that he constantly alternates his use of two distinct types of sources or biographical tendencies: the decidedly sympathetic, favorable and even encomiastic tradition; and the clearly unsympathetic, unfavorable and even hostile trend.(3) In this, Diogenes Laertius and his Vita Aristotelis differs from the majority of the extant biographies of Aristotle. The following is a tentative analysis of Diogenes’ rather bewildering account in terms of these two types of sources or tendencies." (p. 25 of the reprint)

    (1) Diogenes Laertius, in the main, has remained an obscure author. There exists no certainty even about his correct name. Eustathius (Comment. in Iliadem M 153 , vol. ΙΠ, p. 103, ed. G. Stallbaum) calls him Laertes, while some authors (Stephanus of Byzantium and Photius, for instance) refer to him as Laertius Diogenes. The approximate date of his Vitae has been fixed provisionally in the first decade or decades of the third century A.D., that is, shortly after the year A.D. 200, although some scholars would prefer to place the Vitae closer to the year A.D. 300. The latest philosopher whom Diogenes cites in his work is Saturninus (DL IX. 116), an otherwise unknown disciple of Sextus Empiricus (floruit towards the end of the second century A.D.). If our assumption should be correct, namely, that Diogenes Laertius wrote shortly after 200 A.D., then he was the younger contemporary of Clement of Alexandria, Galen and Philostratus. See, in general, E. Schwartz, ‘Diogenes Laertius,’ in Pauly-Wissowa, Real-encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft , vol. V (Stuttgart, 1905), pp. 738-63.

    (2) See P. Moraux, ‘La Composition de la Vie d’Aristote chez Diogène Laërce,’ Revue des Études Grecques , vol. 68 (1955), pp. 124-63; I. Düring, Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition (Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, vol. 63, no. 2, Göteborg, 1957, pp. 29-79, et passim; O. Gigon, ‘Interpretationen zu den Antiken Aristoteles-Viten,’ Museum Helveticum , vol. 15 (1958), pp. 147-93. I. Düring, op. cit ., pp. 25-6, aptly calls the Vita Aristotelis of Diogenes Laertius ‘a compilation of literary sources ranging over a period of about 500 years. It lacks stylistic unity. It is probable that the author went on making insertions and adding marginal notes until he partly spoiled his original arrangement. It is probable, too, that some of these additions were rather carelessly inserted in the text... This makes Diogenes’ work appear more disorderly, not to say sloppier, than it really is. It is habitual to sneer at Diogenes as an insipid and stupid author... The texts which he excerpted were of course not without textual errors, and we must expect that he inherited many of these ancient errors.... The assumption that he was stupid is mainly based on the epigrams with which he adorned his work: they beat the record in bathos and bad taste. But this manifestation of insipidity does not give us the right to dismiss him once and for all as an ignorant ass... [H]e has undoubtedly collected for us a material without which our knowledge of the history of ancient philosophy would be much poorer; he has traced and used some excellent sources; and he has put his material in a tolerably good order.

    (3) Whenever and wherever the situation demands it, some of the sympathetic sources or biographies turn at times into outright, though fanciful, apologies, while some of the unsympathetic or hostile sources or biographies, though by no means all of them, lapse into invective and slander. Naturally, there are also those sources which, on the whole, seem to be fairly ‘neutral’ and objective.

  13. ———. 1965. "A Brief Summary of the Syriac and Arabic Vitae Aristotelis ." Acta Orientalia no. 29:23-47.

    Revised version in A.-H. Chroust, Aristotle: New Light on His Life and on Some of His Lost Works , London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973, Vol. I, pp. 54-72.

    "It is commonly held that the two surviving Syriac and the four extant Arabic Vitae Aristotelis are ultimately based on the biographical tradition represented or inaugurated by Ptolemy (-el-Garib) and his (lost) Vita Aristotelis .(1) Probably in the course of the fifth or sixth century A.D., a Syriac translation was made of Ptolemy’s Vita or, more likely, of an epitome of this Vita . Of this original translation, only two rather scanty abridgements by some Syriac biographers survive, namely, I Vita Aristotelis Syriaca and II Vita Aristotelis Syriaca , which might also be called short résumés of an older and more comprehensive Syriac translation of Ptolemy’s original Greek Vita Aristotelis or of an epitome of this Vita .

    The Syriac translation of either Ptolemy’s Vita or that of an epitome of this Vita , together with some additional (probably Neo-Platonic) materials transmitted through several intermediary sources, ultimately became the foundation of the four Arabic Vitae Aristotelis . It has been surmised that towards the end of the ninth century A.D., Ishaq Ibn Hunayn translated into Arabic a Syriac rendition of Ptolemy’s Vita or, rather, of a Syriac translation of an epitome of this Vita . In any event, the Arabic biographers, without exception, ultimately derived their information and materials, through the intermediary of Syriac translators, from Ptolemy, although they seem to have included in their Vitae not only some elements that were probably added (or invented) by the Syriac translators (or by the Arabic biographers themselves), but also bits of information gleaned from some other (Neo-Platonic?) reports or accounts. There exists no evidence, however, that the later Arabic biographers made direct use of Greek or Syriac sources. It might be correct to maintain, therefore, that the Syriac and Arabic biographers, like the Neo-Platonic School of Ammonius, derived most of their information concerning the life of Aristotle from Ptolemy (-el-Garib) and his Vita Aristotelis .(2)

    The four major Arabic biographers of Aristotlee are: Al-Mubassir (or Al-Mubashir, subsequently cited as II VA ), who wrote during the latter part of the eleventh century;(3) Ibn Abi Usaibia (subsequently cited as IV VA ), who wrote during the latter part of the thirteenth century;(4) Ibn an-Nadim (subsequently cited as I VA ), who wrote near the end of the tenth century;(5) and Al-Qifti Gamaladdin (subsequently cited as III VA ), who wrote during the first half of the thirteenth century.(6) A cursory examination of the Arabic (and Syriac) Vitae Aristotelis might indicate that especially I VA, II VA and IV VA , which are based on a single main source, are quite similar in content. Closer analysis reveals, however, that there exist quite a few significant differences in the facts selected and discussed by the different Arabic biographers. It is also obvious that some of the later Arabic biographers simply copied from some earlier Arabic author. Thus, Usaibia, for instance, occasionally seems to quote from Mubashir without, however, acknowledging his source." (pp. 54-55 of the reprint)

    (1) See A.-H. Chroust, ‘A brief account of the traditional Vitae Aristotelis,’ Revue des Études Grecques , vol. 77, nos 364-5 (1964), pp. 50-69, especially, pp. 60-9, and Chapter I. The title of Ptolemy’s Vita Aristotelis probably was something like ‘On the Life of Aristotle, His Last Will and Testament, and a List of His Writings. ’ See Elias (olim David), Commentaria in Porphyrii Isagogen et in Aristotelis Categorias , CIAG , vol. XVIII, part 1 (ed. A. Busse, Berlin, 1900), p. 107, line 7, where we are told that Ptolemy wrote about Aristotle’s ‘list of writings, about his life, and about his last will and testament.’ I VA 19 (An-Nadim) reports that ‘Ptolemy-el-Garib ... is the author of a book “On the Life of Aristotle, His Death, and the Classification of his Writings.”’ See also IV VA (Usaibia), at the beginning.

    (2) For the Syriac and Arabic Vitae Aristotelis , see, in general, F. A. Müller, ‘Die griechischen Philosophen in der arabischen Überlieferung,’ Festschrift der Fränkischen Stiftungen fur Professor Bernhardy (Halle, 1873) ; F. A. Müller, ‘Das Arabische Verzeichnis der Aristotelischen Schriften,’ Morgenländische Forschungen: Festschrift für H. L. Fischer (Leipzig, 1875); M. Steinschneider, ‘Die arabischen Übersetzungen aus dem Griechischen,’ Centralblatt für Bibl.-Wesen , Beiheft no. Π, part 3 (Leipzig, 1890-1), and Beiheft no. IV, part 12 (Leipzig, 1893); J. Lippert, Studien auf dem Gebiete der Griechisch-Arabischen Übersetzungsliteratur (Braunschweig, 1894); A. Baumstark, ‘Lucubrationes Syrio-Graecae,’ Jahrbuch für Klassische Philologie , Supplement, vol. 21 (Leipzig, 1894), pp. 333-524; A. Baumstark, Syrisch-Arabische Biographien des Aristoteles (Leipzig, 1900); J. Lippert, Ibn al-Qiftis Tarih al-Hukama (Leipzig, 15)03). For additional and detailed information about the literature on our subject, see M. Guidi and R. Walzer, ‘Studi su al-Kindi I: un scritto introduttivo alio studio di Aristotele,’ Memorie della Reale Academia Nazionale dei Lincei . Classe di Scienze Morali, series VI, vol. VI, fasc. 5 (Rome, 1940), pp. 375-419; R. Walzer, ‘New light on the Arabic translations of Aristotle,’ Oriens , vol. VI (1953), pp. 91-142; I. Düring, Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition , Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, vol. LXIII, no. 2 (Göteborg, 1957), pp· 183-92, 193-246.

    (3) His full name is Abu-(e)l-Wafa al-Mubashir (or Mubassir) Ibn Fatik. He authored the Kitab Mukhtar al-Hikam wa-Mahasin al-Kihm (The Book of Selections of Wisdom and Wonderful Sayings ). For simplicity’s sake the accents on the Arabic words have been omitted. See also Chapter I, note 17.

    (4) He authored the Kitab uyun al-Anba fi Tabaqat al-Atibba ( The Book of Sources for Information Concerning the School of Physicians). Usaibia, who died in 1270, was a physician. See also Chapter I, note 19.

    (5) His full name is Ibn Abi Yaqub an-Nadim. He authored the Kitab al-Fihrist , which was written before the year 987. This work, like that of Al-Qifti (see note 6), is more in the nature of a ‘ biographical encyclopedia.’ See also Chapter I, note 16.

    (6) His full name is Al-Qifti Gamaladdin al-Qadi al-Akram. He authored the Tabaqat al-Hukama (The School of Wise Men ). He died in 1248. See note 5 and Chapter I, note 18. Neither the work of An-Nadim nor that of Al-Qifti will be used extensively.

  14. ———. 1970. "Estate Planning in Hellenic Antiquity: Aristotle's Last Will and Testament." Notre Dame Law Review no. 45:629-662.

    Reprinted in A.-H. Chroust, Aristotle: New Light on His Life and on Some of His Lost Works , London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973, Vol. I, pp. 183-220.

    "The text of Aristotle's last will and testament is preserved in the writings of Diogenes Laertius, (1) Ibn An-Nadim, (2) AI-Qifti Gamaladdin, and Ibn Abi Usaibi'a.(4) Without question, this instrument is wholly authentic. Although in the course of its transmission it may have been somewhat mutilated or abridged, it remains the most revealing, as well as the most extensive, source of information among the few surviving original documents related to the life of Aristotle. It is safe to assume that the ancient biographers of Aristotle derived or inferred much of their information and data from this will. Concomitantly, this document supplies the modem historian with details that in many instances have been obscured, altered, or simply omitted in the traditional (and preserved) biographies of Aristotle.

    The testaments of the early Peripatetic scholarchs, including Aristotle's, were carefully preserved and finally collated by Ariston of Ceos in his Collection [of the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs].(6)" (p. 183 of the reprint)

    (1) Diogenes Laertius, βίων [καί ·γνώμων] των ίν φίλοσοφίαιεΰδοκιμησάντων των els δέκα (On the Lives [and Opinions] of Eminent Philosophers in Ten [Books]), bk. 5, paras. 11-16 [hereinafter cited as Diogenes Laertius].

    (2) Ibn Abi Ya'qub An-Nadim Kitab al-Fihrist [hereinafter cited as I Vita Aristotelis Arabica].

    (3) Al-Qifti Gamaladdin al-Qadi al Akram, Tabaqat al-Hukama' (Schools of Wise Men) [hereinafter cited as III Vita Aristotelis Arabica].

    (4) Ibn Abi Usaibi’a, Kitab ‘Uyun al-Anba' fi Tabaqat al-Atibba’ (Book of Sources of Information about the Schools of Doctors) [hereinafter cited as IV Vita Aristotelis Arabica]. The text transmitted by An-Nadim is almost identical to that of Usaibi’a. It is fair to assume that Usaibi’a used the text of An-Nadim.

    (5) Diogenes Laertius, bk. 5, para. 64; see Strabo, "Στράβωνος γεωγραφικών (Geography), bk. 13, ch. 1, para. 54.

    (6) In the preserved will of Theophrastus we read: “And the whole library [of the school] I bequeath to Neleus.” Diogenes Laertius, bk. 5, para. 52; see Strabo, supra note 5, bk. 13, ch. 1, para. 54; Athenaeus, Αθηναίου Nανχρατίτου δειπνοσοφίστων (Deipnosophists), bk. 1, para. 3A [hereinafter cited as Athenaeus]. Theophrastus, it must be borne in mind, expected that Neleus of Scepsis would succeed him in the scholarchate of the Peripatus. When Neleus failed to be “elected” scholarch, he went back to Scepsis, in the Troad, taking with him the library containing the intramural compositions or treatises of Aristotle, Theophrastus, and other early Peripatetics. This incident also explains why the doctrinal treatises of Aristotle and others became lost for some time. See Chroust, The Miraculous Disappearance and Recovery of the Corpus Aristotelicum , 23 Classica et Mediaevalia 50 (1962). This also justifies doubts as to the authenticity of parts of the extant Corpus Aristotelicum .

  15. ———. 1973. Aristotle: New Light on His Life and on Some of His Lost Works . London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    Volume I. Some Novel Interpretations of the Man and His Life .

    Contents: Preface IX-XVI; Abbreviations XVII; Introduction XIX-XXVI; I A Brief Account of the (Lost) Vita Aristotelis of Hermippus and of the (Lost) Vita Aristotelis of Ptolemy (-el-Garib) 1; II The Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus 16; III An Analysis of the Vita Aristotelis of Diogenes Laertius (DL V. 1-16) 25; IV A Summary of the Syriac and Arabic Vitae Aristotelis 54; V The Genealogy and Family of Aristotle 73; VI Aristotle and Callisthenes of Olynthus 83; VII Aristotle Enters the Academy 92; VIII Aristotle’s Earliest ‘Course of Lectures on Rhetoric’ 105; IX Aristotle Leaves the Academy 117; X Was Aristotle Actually the Chief Preceptor of Alexander the Great? 125; XI Aristotle’s Return to Athens in the Year 335-34 B.C. 133; XII Aristotle’s Flight from Athens in the Year 323 B.C. 145; XIII Aristotle, Athens and the Foreign Policy of Macedonia 155; XIV The Myth of Aristotle’s Suicide 177; XV Aristotle’s Last Will and Testament 183; XVI Aristotle’s Religious Convictions 221; XVII Aristotle’s ‘Self-Portrayal’ 232; Conclusion 249; Notes 257; Index of Ancient Authors and Sources 417; Index of Modern Authors 435.

    Volume II. Observations on Some of Aristotle’s Lost Works .

    Abbreviations IX; Introduction XI; I The Probable Dates of Some of Aristotle’s Lost Works 1; II A Note on Some of the Minor Lost Works of Aristotle 15; III Aristotle’s First Literary Effort: The Gryllus — A Work on the Nature of Rhetoric 29; IV Eudemus or On the Soul : An Aristotelian Dialogue on the Immortality of the Soul 43; V The Psychology in Aristotle’s Eudemus or On the Soul 55; VI Aristotle’s On Justice 71; VII A Brief Account of the Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Protrepticus 86; VIII An Emendation to Fragment 13 (Walzer, Ross) of Aristotle’s Protrepticus 105; IX What Prompted Aristotle to Address the Protrepticus to Themison of Cyprus? 119; X The Term ‘Philosopher’ and the Panegyric Analogy in Aristotle’s Protrepticus 126; XI Aristotle’s Politicus 134; XII The Probable Date of Aristotle’s On Philosophy 145; XIII A Cosmological (Teleological) Proof for the Existence of God in Aristotle’s On Philosophy 159; XIV The Concept of God in Aristotle’s On Philosophy (Cicero, De Natura Deorum I. 13. 33) 175; XV The Doctrine of the Soul in Aristotle’s On Philosophy 194; XVI Aristotle’s On Philosophy and the ‘Philosophies of the East’ 206; XVII Aristotle’s Criticism of Plato’s ‘Philosopher King’: Some Comments to Aristotle’s On Kingship 216; Conclusion 224; Postscript: Werner Jaeger and the Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Lost Works 231; Notes 270; Index of Ancient Authors 469; Index of Modem Authors 495.

    "This book, which consists of two distinct volumes, essentially is a collection of papers which I wrote between 1963 and 1968, when I became interested in the historical Aristotle -- the Aristotle revealed not merely in the highly problematic Corpus Aristotelicum, but also in the ancient biographical tradition and in the 'lost works' of the young Stagirite. Some of the papers collected and edited here owe their origin to classroom discussions and lectures which I offered while on leave from the Notre Dame Law School. They have previously been published in various journals, both in the United States and elsewhere. When re-editing these papers for this book, I made some far-reaching alterations, important additions, incisive corrections and, it is hoped, some worthwhile improvements." (Vol. I, from the Preface , IX)

    "Aside from a more general and rather sweeping discussion of the several Vitae Aristotelis in Chapter I, only the Vita (or Chronologia) Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Vita of Diogenes Laertius And the Vitae of the Syriac and Arabic biographers are treated in this book with any detail. The Vita Aristotelis Marciana, which was recently edited by O. Gigon, the Vita Hesychii (Vita Menagii or Vita Menagiana), the Vita Vulgata, the Vita Latina and the brief biographical sketches found in the Neo-Platonic commentaries to the works of Aristotle, on the other hand, have not received special treatment, although frequent reference is made to them. Chapter I also makes an attempt to reconstruct the essential content of the lost Vita Aristotelis of Hermippus of Smyrna as well as that of the likewise lost Vita Aristotelis of Ptolemy (-el-Garib). These two Vitae, it is claimed, constitute the most important sources or intermediary authorities for the majority of the subsequent Vitae. Chapter II, which discusses the Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, indicates that this Vita is actually a brief chronology which offers little detailed information, except some valuable and apparently accurate biographical data. The Vita Aristotelis of Diogenes Laertius, which is analyzed in Chapter III, poses many vexing problems, some of which are almost impossible to resolve. Especially difficult to determine are the sources used by Diogenes Laertius. There can be little doubt, however, that this Vita, as we shall see in Chapter I, draws heavily on the Vita of Hermippus. Chapter IV, again, presents a general survey and discussion of the Syriac and Arabic Vitae Aristotelis without entering into a detailed analysis of each individual Vita. This particular chapter is primarily an attempt to illustrate the peculiar biographical trend introduced (?) by the Neo-Platonic biographers and by Ptolemy (-el-Garib) in particular. Of necessity no less than by design, the expository and analytical discussions of all these Vitae Aristotelis are at times repetitious in that certain statements found in one Vita are referred to or restated again and again.


    The somewhat arbitrary selection of these biographical sources was made on the basis of the following considerations: The lost Vita Aristotelis of Hermippus and the lost Vita Aristotelis of Ptolemy (-el-Garib), it is widely and probably correctly held, constitute what appear to be the two main biographical trends. The Vita of Diogenes Laertius, in particular, to a fairly large extent, though not exclusively, relies on the Vita of Hermippus (as does the Vita Aristotelis of Hesychius) and, hence, at least in part, may be considered an 'epitome' or 'derivative' of the latter. The Syriac and Arabic Vitae, in turn, are primarily based on the Vita of Ptolemy (-el Garib) -- as are the Vita Marciana, the Vita Vulgata and the Vita Latina -- and, hence, may be called 'epitomes' or 'derivatives' of Ptolemy's biography. The Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, which is largely based on what appear to be independent investigations, seems to follow a course of inquiry all its own." (Vol. I, Introduction , pp. XIX-XX, notes omitted).

  16. Dix, T. Keith. 2004. "Aristotle’s ‘Peripatetic’ Library." In Lost Libraries. The Destrucion of Great Book Collections since Antiquity , edited by Raven, James, 58-74. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    "The details in Strabo’s account are subject to question and interpretation; and the truth of the Scepsis episode in particular must remain an open question. Three elements in Strabo’s story do ring true to the history of libraries in the Hellenistic age. First, there is the rise of institutional libraries, beginning with the library of the Peripatetic school.

    At least four of the Macedonian dynasts established libraries in their capitals, a practice which spread to other rulers on the fringe of the Mediterranean world who aspired to Hellenic culture; and a number of Greek cities established libraries in their city gymnasia, presumably for the education of their young men. Second is the bibliomania of rival Hellenistic kings, especially the Ptolemies in Alexandria and the Attalids in Pergamum. Indeed, the entire Scepsis episode may reflect wrangling between Alexandria and Pergamum over who had the better texts of Aristotle. Third is the confiscation of the cultural treasures of Greek civilisation, including libraries, by victorious Roman generals: Sulla was not the first nor would he be the last to acquire a library as spoils of war. One element is unusual: Strabo’s assertion that the decline of the Peripatetic school after Theophrastus was due to the ‘disappearance’ of Aristotle’s library. In no other ancient account of lost libraries do we find any assessment of the consequences of loss. Other ancient accounts and modern scholarship do not seem to bear out Strabo’s assertion; nevertheless, for his ability to conceive that the loss of a library might have practical and intellectual consequences, Strabo can take his place in this collective history of lost libraries. (pp. 69-70)

  17. Dorandi, Tiziano. 2016. "The Ancient Biographical Tradition on Aristotle." In Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Aristotle in Antiquity , edited by Falcon, Andrea, 277-298. Leiden: Brill.


    I have tried to answer the two question I asked at the beginning of this chapter— Who was Aristotle? and What should we take the ancient biographical tradition on Aristotle to be? At the same time, I have mapped some of the landmarks in the reception of Aristotle’s thought in this body of literature. The results may be limited, but they are nevertheless interesting and consequential.

    Both as a metic and above all because of life choices well matched with his philosophical ideas, Aristotle lived an isolated and studious life, entirely caught up in scientific and theoretical research and in his educational program at the Lyceum.

    The biographical tradition tries, in various ways, to fill in the gaps left by a normal life of philosophical research. The tradition unfolds in two broad currents, one of which probably goes back to Hermippus of Smyrna (third century BC) and the other to the Neoplatonic milieu (starting in the fourth century AD). There is also an Arabic tradition, parts of which are drawn from lost Greek sources.

    A “biographical legend” took form early on, attaching various friendly and hostile accounts to Aristotle’s name. The sources for the reconstruction of these biographical veins are varied. They include an enormous amount of evidence which must, in every case, be analyzed and studied in order to establish their importance and reliability which separates the authentic from the spurious.

    In the biographical as well as the gnomological tradition, we ultimately find clear traces both of Aristotle’s own doctrine and of doxographical texts which combine readings of Aristotelianism from several centuries, filtered through Hellenistic and Neoplatonic philosophy. Two concrete examples are preserved in Sextus Empiricus and Diogenes Laertius." (pp. 295-296)

  18. Drossart, Lulofs Henrik Joan. 1999. "Neleus of Scepsis and the Fate of the Library of the Peripatos." In Tradition et traduction. Les textes philosophiques et scientifiques grecs au Moyen Age latin. Hommage à Fernand Bossier , edited by Beyers, Rita, Brams, Jozef, Sacré, Dirk and Verrycken, Koenraad, 9-24. Leuven: Leuven University Press.

    Text prepared for publication and completed after the death of author by A. M. I. van Oppenraay.

    "Roughly speaking, Posidonius (135-51 BC) and Apellicon (d. 87) were contemporaries, while Strabo was only 13 years old when Posidonius died. So this (*) is the earliest mention of Apellicon’s purchase of Aristotle’s library which has come down to us. When and where he acquired it is not explicitly stated, but it may have been in his student days — thirty or forty years before, perhaps with Athenion, who after a career as sophist in Messene and at Larissa, in Thessaly, amassed a considerable fortune and returned to Athens. (31) Messene, Larissa and Athens are quite distant from Scepsis. Since Posidonius does not refer to Neleus at all, it is clear that he follows a different tradition. Even so it is noteworthy that the two authors (Posidonius and Strabo) agree as to the main point: that Apellicon was the owner of the library of Aristotle (so Athenaeus; Strabo more correctly adds Theophrastus).

    The implications in § 4 are downright impossible. For it is improbable that this rascal, at best an amateur, was able to restore heavily damaged manuscripts of extremely difficult texts. Apart from that, even if he had been an accomplished philosopher and a trained expert in textual criticism, he might have corrected only a very small part of the 676.078 lines of the literary remains of Aristotle and Theophrastus (32).

    There is, however, an independent witness: the annotated catalogue of Andronicus is lost, but we still have a summary (in Arabic), made by a certain Ptolemy. Towards the end of the Arabic translation of the catalogue of Ptolemy, called the Foreigner (al-garïb), in which a miscellany of personal papers, letters etc. is listed, there is a reference to “Books that were found in the library of a man called Ablikun” (Ablikun is the regular transcription of Apellicon). Now, it is known that he was interested in Aristotle’s marriage to Pythias (I. Düring, Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition , p. 267, T. 10; p. 375, T. 58 / and the commentary, on p. 392), and it may be that he bought some personal papers concerned with Aristotle’s private life, because such texts appealed to him, and he was able to read and to emend them. Boastful and vainglorious as he was, he may have grossly exaggerated his acquisition.

    According to § 7, after his death Apellicon’s books were carried away by Sulla and included in his private library at Rome (or Cumae? see Cicero, ad Att . IV. 10, 1). If it really had contained all the books of the Peripatos, the hundreds of volumes in large chests would immediately have caught the eye. But Cicero, who was privileged to visit Sulla’s library, failed to notice anything of the sort, so that we may safely conclude that the famous library of the Peripatos was not among the belongings of Apellicon captured by Sulla. Presumably, Apellicon had actually acquired some Aristotelica, which may easily have escaped Cicero’s attention. On the other hand Cicero came across several Commentarii , that is to say esoteric works, of Aristotle in the library of Lucullus, another general, who had collected manuscripts during his expeditions in the East (see Cicero, Fin. III. 10 and Moraux Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen 1973, pp. 39ff.). This is extremely interesting, for the same Lucullus brought Tyrannio of Amisia as a prisoner to Rome, where he was freed and honoured as a scholar. Apparently, even in remote Pontus it was possible to acquire Aristotelian MSS. In this connection it should be stressed once more that, contrary to the impression given by Strabo’s account (in § 5), MSS of Aristotelian esoterica were available outside the school in various countries. This stands to reason, because the school was known all over the world. And this was exactly what Strabo’s informant ignored: apart from Athens and Rome there existed intellectual centres in many parts of the ancient world (like the Troad, for instance, see note 25.

    My conclusions are that Strabo’s account ought to be dated early, that it may have had a place in Strabo’s own Historical Sketches , and that later on it may have been inserted in his Geography . It consists mainly of misinterpreted facts." (pp. 23-24)

    (*) [Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, V. 214 de].

    (25) Note that Straton is nowhere referred to in the account, and Strabo himself seems to have ignored that he was a Peripatetic. He quotes him (in 1.3, 4-5) on the authority of Eratosthenes with his usual nickname Straton the Physicist. The account in Geogr . XIII. 1.45 may suggest that Scepsis was an insignificant one-horse town, but that is far from the truth. In the next chapter of the 13th book Strabo repeatedly quotes Demetrius of Scepsis (Geogr . XIII.1.45, 55, al.), a famous historian who spent his life in his native town, where he must have been able to collect the material for his thirty books of commentary on a little more than sixty lines of Homer, that is on the Catalogue of the Trojans (ibid. XIII.1.45), a work of stupendous erudition. In fact, Strabo’s reports on the Troad reveal that it was one of the centres of intellectual activity. From Assos, where Aristotle had taught, came Cleanthes, the Stoic (ibid. XIII. 1.57). With Lampsacus and Parium many great names are connected. See ibid. XIII.1.19 : “Now Neoptolemus, called the Glossographer [and author of a Poetic, heavily drawn upon by Horace for his Ars poetica ], a notable man, was from Parium; and Charon the historian and Adeimantus and Anaximenes the rhetorician, and Metrodorus the comrade of Epicurus were from Lampsacus; and Epicurus himself was in a sense a Lampsacenian, having lived in Lampsacus and having been on intimate terms with the ablest men of that city, Idomeneus and Leonteus and their followers” (transi. Jones). Here again, Strabo omits mention of Straton — a Lampsacenian too — and of Lycon, the son of the Trojan Astyanax, who was Straton’s successor. Evidently he was poorly informed about the Peripatos.

    (31) See R. Goulet, in Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques , I, Paris, 1989, p. 649.

    (32) For this number see the catalogues of Diogenes Laertius V. 27 and V. 50.

  19. Düring, Ingemar. 1950. "Notes on the History of the Transmission of Aristotle's Writings." Acta Universitatis Gotoburgensis :37-70.

    Reprinted as second study in: Aristotle and His Influence: Two Studies, New York: Garland, 1987 (First study: Hans Kurfess: Zur Geschichte der Erklärung der aristotelischen Lehre vom sog. Nous poietikos und pathetikos (1911).

  20. ———. 1956. "Ariston or Hermippus? A note on the Catalogue of Aristotle's writings, Diog. L. V 22." Classica et Mediaevalia no. 17:11-21.

    "The catalogue of Aristotle's writings preserved to us by Diogenes Laertius is a valuable document, supplementing our knowledge of Aristotle's literary production. Provided that we can solve the problem of its origin, it will enable us to draw important conclusions as to the extent to which Aristotle's books were known during the centuries immediately following his death. In his book on this and the other catalogues, preserved by Hesychius and Ptolemy-el-Garib, Moraux (1) has well summarized the results of earlier research, and his own contributions to the interpretation and clarification of details in these catalogues are very important. With his predecessors Littig and Baum-stark, however, he shares a tendency towards highly conjectural construction. Owing to the conditions under which the catalogues are handed down to us, they pose for us a series of complicated problems. If we are going to draw any profit from the information they contain, we must be careful not to transcend what is really knowable. These problems cannot be solved by substituting still more problematic reconstructions, however ingenious these may be.

    Moraux has advanced and vigorously defended the thesis that the catalogue preserved by Diogenes is a list of Aristotle's works in the library of the Peripatos, composed by Ariston of Ceos who succeeded Lycon as head of the School, about 226/5 B.C. If this thesis can be proved, it will have important consequences for the history of the Peripatos and Hellenistic philosophy in general, and Moraux has not shrunk from drawing such far-reaching conclusions. The object of this paper is to examine Moraux's thesis and match it with the traditional opinion that this catalogue is an inventory of Aristotle's books in the possession of the Alexandrian library." (pp. 11-12)

    (1) P. Moraux, Les listes anciennes des ouvrages d' Aristote, Louvain 1951. To the exhaustive bibliography can be added: O. Regenbogen s. v. Pinax , RE XX 2, 1950.

  21. ———. 1957. Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition . Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell.

    Reprint New York, Garland, 1987.

    Contents: Preface 7; Part I. Editions of the Ancient Vitae Aristotelis. 1. Diogenes Laertius 13; 2. Hesychius 80; 3. Vita Marciana 94; 4. Vita vulgata 120; 5. Vita Lascaris 140, 6. Vita Latina 142, 7. Medieval Vitae Aristotelis 164; Part: II. The Syriac and Arabic tradition on Aristotle's life and writings 183; Part III. Fragments of the ancient biographical tradition. I. Chronology of Aristotle's life 249; II. Descent and family 263; III. Hermias of Atarneus 272; IV. Relationship with Philip and Alexander 284; V. Aristoteles and Isocrates 299; VI. Aristotle and Plato 315; VII. Aristotle's library 337; VIII. Aristotle honoured by the Delphic Amphyctions 339; IX. Aristotle's dicta on leaving Athens 341; X. Aristotle's apology 343; XI. Aristotle's death 345; XII. Appearance and personal qualities 349; XIII. Some ancient verdicts 353; XIV. Indirect evidence from Aristotle's own writings 366; XV. Early invectives against Aristotle 373; Comments on ch. XV 374; XVI. Characteristic sayings. Bon-mots. Anedoctes 396; XVII: The words peripatos, peripatein, peripatetikos 404; XVIII. The Roman edition of Aristotle's works 412; XIX. Exoterichoi logoi 426; XX. The neoplatonic introductions to the study of Aristotle 444; Part IV. From Hermippus to Ptolemy. A brief summary of results and conclusions 459; Index testimoniorum 479-490.

    "This book has a long history. It was begun as an investigation of the passages in which Plutarch speaks of Aristotle. Detached from their context some of these passages lent themselves to different interpretations and I found too that they were used as evidence for quite different opinions. It soon became apparent that the scattered fragments of the biographical tradition could not be fully understood and properly interpreted unless on the basis of an examination of all the material. The aim of this book is to present this material and the result of my examination of it and to trace the development of the biographical tradition concerning Aristotle's life and writings.

    Part I contains critical editions of all ancient Vitae Aristotelis, based on fresh collations of all manuscripts known to me. To the very last I hoped to find another manuscript of the Vita Marciana , now preserved only in Marcianus 257 , which is today almost indecipherable, but my hope failed. The editions of the Vitae pose problems which I have set forth in the introductions. To each text I have added testimonia , a running commentary, and a short chapter with a general evaluation. In this part of the book I have also included a brief survey of some of the late medieval Vitae .

    Part II contains a survey of the Syriac and Arabic tradition. My chief object has been to present readable translations of the most important Vitae Aristotelis and to discuss the problems raised by these texts. This material has been hard to deal with for a non-orientalist, and it would have been impossible for me to give an account of it, had I not received kind and generous assistance from my orientalist colleagues, Professors Oscar Löfgren and Bernhard Lewin, Göteborg University, and Dr. Richard Walzer, Oxford University. I wish to emphasize, however, that I am alone responsible for all shortcomings in this chapter.

    Part III contains about four hundred passages from ancient and medieval writers, selected from a large collection of excerpts and arranged according to subject-matter. I have experimented with several types of arrangement and finally decided upon the one chosen here. This arrangement of the material inevitably leads to certain repetitions for which I ask the reader's indulgence. I hope that the frequent cross-references and the Index testimoniorum will help the reader to find what he wants to find.

    In most cases each passage or cluster of passages is provided with a commentary. In my comments and interpretations I have followed the simple method applied in every critical treatment of sources and authorities. Each statement has first been examined separately, with due consideration given to textual problems, language, context, mode of transmission, the writer's personality (if known), time and tendency, and so forth. It has then been compared with related texts and further analysed and interpreted with the ultimate aim of finding out as much as possible about trends and tendency in that branch of the biographical tradition to which the passage belongs. Certain facts recorded in the biographical tradition are of such a nature that we can never prove whether they are true or not. But we may advance a step nearer the truth if we can prove that the author (or his source) is biassed and find out something about his prejudices or tendency. In most cases it is possible to evince that he follows a certain tradition whose general character we are able to determine. However, everybody familiar with the ancient biographical tradition knows that the material is fragile and often open to different interpretations. I have honestly tried to make a clear distinction between facts and hypotheses and left many questions open with a non liquet. But I am fully aware how complicated and difficult the problems are and how evasive the truth is. The reader will find that my conclusions are often qualified by an additional "probably" or subject to other reservations.

    It is my hope that the editions of the Vitae Aristotelis together with the large collection of testimonia will prove useful as a source book for the purpose of reference, quite irrespective of the appended comments.

    Part IV contains a brief outline of the development of the biographical tradition from Hermippus to Ptolemy-el-Garib.

    I have of course had a great mass of material to draw upon in the works of the many scholars who have written on the life of Aristotle: Brandis, Stahr, Blakesley, Zeller, Bywater, Shute, Busse, Baumstark, Praechter, Jaeger, Mulvany, Wormell, Hubbell, Moraux, and many others cited or referred to in my notes and comments. My separate debts to predecessors I have tried to acknowledge in all cases where they were contracted; I may sometimes have put down, from ignorance or forgetfulness, as my own, what ought to have been credited to another. Let me say, however, that without the diligent and careful work done by generations of scholars towards clarifying obscure passages and hidden rapports in the biographical tradition, this presentation and, if I may be allowed to say so, this tidying-up of the entire material, could not have been achieved." (from the Preface, pp. 7-9)

  22. ———. 1971. "Ptolemy's Vita Aristotelis Rediscovered." In Philomathes. Studies and Essays in the Humanities in Memory of Philip Merlan , edited by Palmer, Robert B. and Hamerton, Kelly, 264-269. La Haye: Nijhoff.

    "In a discussion at the Fondation Hardt (1) Professor Richard Walzer reminded classical scholars and historians of philosophy that they largely ignore the fact that Arabic translations of hitherto unknown Greek texts are becoming known in steadily increasing numbers, either through editions of the Arabic texts or, more often, because more detailed information about existing manuscripts is now available. The following example well illustrates his point.

    Some twelve years ago I attempted to collect a number of facts transmitted to us in nine late epitomes of a Vita Aristotelis , two Greek, one Latin, two Syriac, and four Arabic Vitae. I concluded that these epitomes were extracts from a Vita written by a certain Ptolemy. Having examined the evidence and the solutions reached by other scholars I came to the result which I summarize here.(2) The author is possibly identical with the Neo-Platonic Ptolemy mentioned by Iamblichus, Proclus, and Priscianus.(3) The book was dedicated to Gallus, presumably a Roman of high standing and a contemporary phil-Aristotelian. Ptolemy’s book contained a biography, numerous aphorisms and anecdotes referring to Aristotle, the text of Aristotle’s Will, and a catalogue of Aristotle’s writings. The biography has a clear tendency: it is a glorification of Aristotle,(4) based on some typical Neo-Platonic conceptions." (pp. 264-265)

    (1) Porphyre , Entretiens Fondation Hardt XII, 1965 (Geneva, 1966), p. 275·

    (2) For further details, see my Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition , Studia Graeca et Latina Gothoburgensia V (Goteborg, 1957), pp. 208-246, abbreviated hereafter as Biogr. Trad .

    (3) The references in V. Rose, De Aristotelis librorum ordine et auctoritate commentatio (Berlin, 1854), p. 45.

    (4) I quote here Biogr. Trad ., pp. 470 f.

  23. Earl, Donald. 1972. "Prologue-Form in Ancient Historiography." In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, vol. I. 2 , edited by Haase, Wolfgang and Temporini, Hildegard, 842-856. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

    On Aristotle see pp. 850-856.

    "That all knowledge of the acroatic works was completely lost is an untenable belief and the cellar at Scepsis is a highly suspicious story(43). Fortunately, however, the complexities of the problems connected with the Andronican recension need not concern us here. On the basic facts about Apellicon, Sulla, Tyrannion, Andronicus and the transmission of Aristotle to Rome Strabo is a witness of authority. He studied Aristotelian philosophy with Boethus of Sidon, Andronicus' most notable pupil, perhaps under Andronicus himself(44), and also heard Tyrannion lecture(45). Two things seem incontrovertible: that Rome at the time that Sallust was writing was the centre of Aristotelian studies and that the result of these studies, Andronicus' edition, was to make available for the first time to the generally educated and cultured public the works of Aristotle as we know them, whatever had been the position among philosophic specialists. On the latter point the argument ex silentio from Cicero is decisive. For all his wide reading and commerce with Greek philosophers and scholars he did not know our Aristotle. His Aristotle, with one exception, is the author of the dialogues and the exoterica(46).

    The date of the publication of Andronicus' edition cannot be accurately established. The earliest indication seems to be in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 'Epistula ad Ammaeum' I, written to refute the belief of an unnamed Peripatetic that Demosthenes learned the rules of rhetoric from Aristotle's 'Rhetoric', a view which Dionysius himself had once held(47). The discussion is conducted with considerable skill on the basis of wide research. There are quotations expressly assigned to all three books of the 'Rhetoric' as we know it(48). Dionysius clearly knew our text of the 'Rhetoric' well(49). Moreover, Dionysius has a confident command of the details of Aristotle's biography and of the order of his works: on internal evidence he argues that 'Topica', 'Analytica' and 'Methodica' precede the 'Rhetoric'(50)." (pp. 851-852)

    (43) My colleague Dr. H. B. Gottschalk, whose guidance through the maze of the Aristotelian text tradition has been invaluable, suggests to me that the cellar was an invention of Apellicon to cover up theft of MSS from the Peripatos.

    (44) Strabo, XVI 2, 24.

    (45) Strabo, XII 3, 16.

    (46) Cf. e. g. Cic., Ad Att. XIII 19, 4. (29 June, 45). It is clear from the references in the great series of philosophical works produced in 45—44 B. C. that Cicero did not know of the 'new' Aristotle. (...)

    (47) Epist. ad Amm. I 1.

    (48) Epist. ad Amm. I 6: (...) 11: (...) Cf. De Comp. Verb. 198, (...).

    (49) Epist. ad Amm. I 6 = Rhet. 11, 12; 7 = I 2, 8—10; 8 = III 10, 7; 11 = II 23, 6; 12 = II 24, 8 and 23, 3.

    (50) Epist. ad Amm. I 6; 7; 8.

  24. Gottschalk, Hans B. 1972. "Notes on the Wills of the Peripatetic Scholarchs." Hermes no. 100:314-342.

    "Among the more important documents preserved by Diogenes Laertius are the wills of six leading philosophers, Plato (3, 41—3), Epicurus (10, 16—21), and the first four heads of the Aristotelian school, Aristotle himself (5, 11—16), Theophrastus (5, 51—7), Strato (5, 61—4 = fr. 10 Wehrli) and Lyco (5, 69 to 74 = fr. 15 Wehrli); Aristotle's will has also been preserved in two Arabic versions containing some variant readings (1). While those of Plato and Aristotle are purely personal, the remaining wills contain more or less detailed provisions for the continuation and endowment of the Epicurean and Peripatetic schools, which throw a good deal of light on their organisation and the conditions in which they operated. The Peripatetic wills are particularly instructive, forming as they do a continuous series dating from 322 to 228/5 BC. Yet there has been no comprehensive study of these documents since the eighties of the last century, and the discussions published then concentrated mainly on their legal aspects (2). The aim of this paper is rather to extract as much historical information as possible about the Peripatos and its members. I shall press the evidence hard and some of my conclusions are more speculative than I like. But none of my results conflict with any reliable ancient testimony, and I hope at least to succeed in dispelling some misconceptions and in clarifying the nature of our sources and the limits of our knowledge." (p. 314)

    (1) See below, p. 315 ff.

    (2) C. G. Bruns, "Die Testamente der gr. Philosophen", Ztschr. d. Savigny-Stiftun g, Romanistische Abtlg. I, 1880, 1-52; A. Hug, "Zu den Test. d. gr. Philos.", Festschr. zur Begrüßung der Vers. deutscher Philologen u. Schulmänner, Zürich 1887, 1-22. Wilamowitz, Antigonos v. Karystos, Berlin 1881, 263ff., deals with the historical problems. Aristotle’s will has come in for a great deal of individual attention. An English translation of the Arabic version of Usaibia is printed by I. Düring, Aristotle in the Biographical Tradition , Göteborg 1957, p. 219f., and both the Arabic and the Greek text are discussed on pp. 61 ff. and 238 ff. ; this work will be referred to as AB . Another edition of the Greek text, with the chief Arabic variants (in a Latin translation) given in an apparatus, is in M. Plezia, Arist. Epistulae cum Testamento , Warsaw 1961. Discussions by A. Grant, Aristotle , London 1877, 26ff. ; G. Grote, Aristotle , London (2nd edition) 188o, 17ff. ; E. Zeller, Ph. d. Gr. II 23, 1879, 41 ff.; W. W. Jaeger, Aristoteles, Berlin 1923 etc., 34ff.; C. M. Mulvany, "Notes on the Legend of Ar.", Class. Quart . 20, 1926, 157ff. ; M. Plezia, in Meander 2, 1947, 215ff. (in Polish ; not available to the present writer); A.-H. Chroust, "Ar.’s Last Will and Testament", Wien. Stud . 80, 1967, 90 ff. includes English translations of the Greek and Arabic versions in parallel columns. Düring, Plezia and Chroust break the text up into short numbered sections; in this paper references will be given to Diogenes’ paragraphs and sections in the numeration of Düring and Plezia, e.g. Diog . 5. 15, § 2e D.-P. Chroust’s numeration differs from that of the other editors and will not be given here.

  25. ———. 1987. "Aristotelian Philosophy in the Roman World from the Time of Cicero to the End of the Second Century AD." In Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, vol. 36: Philosophie, Wissenschaften, Technik. II. Teilband: Philosophie (Platonismus, [Forts.]; Aristotelismus) , edited by Haase, Wolfgang, 1079-1174. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

    Partial reprint in: R. Sorabji (ed.), Aristotle Transformed. The Ancient Commentators and Their Influence, London: Duckworth, 1990, pp. 55-81.

    Contents: Introduction 1079; I. The revival of Aristotelianism 1083;II. The 'early commentators' 1097;III. Compendia and compilations 1121;IV. The impact on other schools 1139;V. Aristotelians of the later first and second centuries AD 1151; VI. Ptolemy and Galen 1164; VII. Conclusion 1172-1174.

    "A particular difficulty for our study is the almost complete loss of the relevant literature. This is in large measure due to the character of that literature, much of which consisted of commentaries on Aristotle's works or discussions of problems arising out of them. Such writings were by their very nature liable to be superseded as each generation reread Aristotle in the light of its own needs and preoccupations. The only writings by professed Aristotelians of this era to have survived in their original form are a commentary on parts of the 'Nicomachean Ethics' by Aspasius (second century AD) and the 'De mundo' wrongly attributed to Aristotle himself, to which one can doubtfully add the pseudo-Aristotelian 'De virtutibus et vitiis' with its doublet, falsely ascribed to Andronicus of Rhodes. In addition two treatises by Nicolaus of Damascus,

    originally perhaps parts of the same work, have survived through being translated into Syriac or Arabic.(1) Besides these we only have fragments quoted by later writers; the chief sources are the commentaries on Aristotle's works written by Alexander of Aphrodisias in the third century and by Ammonius (the son of Hermeias), Philoponus and Simplicius in the fifth and sixth.(2) The last-named is especially generous with quotations and sometimes gives a synopsis of the views of earlier interpreters on particular problems;(3) the introduction of his commentary on the 'Categories' (pp. 1-2) includes a survey of the work of earlier commentators. The information they provide is sufficient to give us an idea of the problems which interested the earlier Aristotelians and the kind of answer they gave, but usually not to reconstruct their arguments in full." (p. 1080)

    (1) All these works will be discussed below.

    (2)This and the other ancient Greek commentaries on Aristotle have been excellently edited in the series 'Commentaria in Aristotelem Graeca' (CAG), published under the auspices of the Prussian Academy (Berlin 1883-1909); other relevant works, notably the treatises and essays of Alexander of Aphrodisias, have been published in the same format in the 'Supplementum Aristotelicum' (Berlin 1885—1903). They will be quoted by page and line of these editions.

    (3) E.g. In Cat. 62-7, on whether Aristotle was right to posit ten and only ten categories.

  26. Grayeff, Felix. 1956. "The Problem of the Genesis of Aristotle's Text." Phronesis no. 1:105-122.

    "If the Corpus Aristotelicum consists of such varied material it is necessary, as Brink says ["Peripatos" in Pauly-Wissowa suppl. VII 1.1. p. 925], to investigate separately in each case in what manner the individual books, or μέθοδοι, of the Corpus were first edited. But perhaps the most immediate task of Aristotelian students is, to search for characteristics of the three (or more) main sources on which, I think, Tyrannion and Andronicus drew, i.e. to attempt to assign parts of the Corpus to the Rhodian, the Athenian, the Alexandrian branches of tradition. Only if we succeed in distinguishing between such branches, if we discover trends prevalent in each of them, and understand the principles of editing and lecturing used in the different peripatetic centres, can we hope to find a way to Aristotle himself." (p. 122)

  27. ———. 1974. Aristotle and His School: An Inquiry into the History of the Peripatos with a Commentary on Metaphysics Ζ, Η, Λ and Θ . London: Duckworth.

    Contents: Preface 7; List of Abbreviations 8; Introduction 9; Part One: 1. Life of Aristotle 13; 2. The Peripatos after Aristotle’s Death 49; 3. The Emergence of New Philosophical Schools during the Fourth and Third Centuries B.C. 57; 4. The Library of the Peripatos and its History 69; Part Two: 5. The Structure of Metaphysics Z; 6. Peripatetic Ontology according to Metaphysics Η 127; 7. Peripatetic Ontology according to Metaphysics Λ 143; Excursus: The Theory of the Proper Place 183; 8. A Volume on Potentiality and Actuality: Metaphysics Θ 187; Select Bibliography 213; Index of Passages Quoted in Text 219; General Index 225-230.

    "This book on Aristotle and the Peripatos aims at elucidating the origin and growth of the Aristotelian treatises and it poses the question whether the treatises are the work of Aristotle himself, or of some of the outstanding members of his school." (p. 9)


    "In making this new attempt at explaining the Aristotelian contradictions I intend to analyse the structure of Metaphysics Z, H, Θ and Λ — a task greatly facilitated by W. D. Ross’s commentary on Aristotle’s works. The analysis, which forms the main part of this book, is preceded by an introductory section on Aristotle’s life and the history of the Peripatos after Aristotle’s death, and on the history of the school library, especially after the closure of the school. Both sections of the book are designed to throw light on the genesis of the treatises, which must not be read as though they had been composed in a void, but as lectures delivered before often critical audiences of students, in the consciousness of changing trends of thought." (p. 10)