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
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)
Benoit, William L. 1981. "A Guide to Line Numbers in the Aristotelian Corpus." Rhetoric Society Quarterly no. 11:42-44.
"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)."
Blum, Rudolf. 1991. Kallimachos. The Alexandrian Library and the Origins of Bibliography. Madison: University of Wisconsin
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.
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
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,
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."
(1) See the discussion of T 20 and F 37 above, p. 164-177.
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.
"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.
———. 1989. "Exoterikoi Logoi 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.
"We would now like to show how various elements from the tradition can be combined in an entirely new interpretation. Since the explanations
of the term "exoteric" do not appear until after Andronicus's 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. On the basis of the subjects dealt with in the exoterikoi logoi, which,
as we shall see more clearly in the next section, included Plato's doctrine of Ideas and the debate over the Idea of the Good, we seem justified in
consideringthat "exoteric" was understood by Aristotle as "pertaining to the realities lying outside Physis. " That is to say, 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. 186)
"I should like to advance the hypothesis, therefore, that the notion of the enkyklios paideia is a product of philosophical
reflection, as laid down in the lost writings of Aristotle, on kinds of knowledge in relation to kinds of objects of knowledge.The introduction of this notion
may well have been linked with Aristotle's distinction between enkyklioi logoi and exoterikoi logoi in such a way that 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.(72) This distinction was no doubt linked 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 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 whatPlato 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"(73) and "is as susceptible to those things which are by nature most evident as the eyes of bats to daylight."(74) The way to
liberation indicated by Aristotle is a road involving various stages." (pp. 197-198).
(73) Aristotle, Metaphysics, A 2 982b29.
(74) Aristotle, Metaphysics, Alpha minor 1 993b9.
Chroust, Anton-Hermann. 1962. "The Miraculous Disappearance and Recovery of the Corpus Aristotelicum." Classica et
Mediaevalia no. 23:50-67.
———. 1964. "A Brief Account of the Traditional Vitae Aristotelis." Revue d'Études Grecques no. 77:50-69.
———. 1965. "The Vita Aristotelis of Dionysius of Halicarnassus." Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientarum Hungaricae no.
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. 369)
(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.51"
———. 1965. "A Brief Analysis of the Vita Aristotelis of Diogenes Laertius (Dl V 1-16) "L'Antiquité Classique no.
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)
(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.
———. 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)
(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,
(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.
———. 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. 629)
(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.
———. 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).
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)
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
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.
Düring, Ingemar. 1950. "Notes on the History of the Transmission of Aristotle's Writings." Acta Universitatis
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).
———. 1956. "Ariston or Hermippus? A Note on the Catalogue of Aristotle's Writings, Diog. L. V 22." Classica et Mediaevalia no.
"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 d' Aristote, Louvain 1951. To the exhaustive bibliography can be added: O.
Regenbogen s. v. Pinax, RE XX 2, 1950.
———. 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
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)
———. 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." (p. 264)
(1) Porphyre, Entretiens Fondation Hardt XII, 1965 (Geneva, 1966), p. 275.
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.
Falcon, Andrea, ed. 2016. Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Aristotle in Antiquity. Leiden: Brill.
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-Stiftung, 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.
———. 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,
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."
———. 1974. Aristotle and His School: An Inquiry into the History of the Peripatos with a Commentary on Metaphysics Ζ, Η, Λ and Θ.
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)
Gutas, Dimitri. 1986. "The Spurious and the Authentic in the Arabic Lives of Aristotle." In Pseudo-Aristotle in the Middle Ages: The
Theology and Other Texts, edited by Ryan, William Francis, Kraye, Jill and Schmitt, Charles Bernard, 15-36. London: Warburg Institute. University of
Reprinted as Chapter VI in D. Gutas, Greek Philosophers in the Arabic Tradition, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000.
"The study of the Arabic lives of Aristotle is an old and tired subject; it can fairly lay claim to the distinction of being the first area
of sustained scholarly concentration in Graeco-Arabic studies. I would not undertake an extensive treatment anew in a volume on Pseudo-Aristotle were it not
for the fact that, despite considerable discussion for more than a century now, much light can still be shed on the scope and nature of this material from the
vantage point of an examination of the spurious and the authentic in it, and for the rather ironic state of affairs that the secondary literature has itself
generated its own share of the spurious. A review of the whole subject, then, that would list in detail the sources and remark on the ways of analysing them,
remove the incrustations of outdated or misguided scholarship, and put the tasks of future research in perspective would seem to be in order.
For the purposes of the present discussion, all the Arabic biographical material on Aristotle can be conveniently categorized under the
following six headings:
1) Reports in Arabic biographies of scholars;
2) Information in Arabic histories and chronographies, in so far as it does not derive from No. 1;
3) The story of young Aristotle, the precocious orphan, in Hunayn's Nawâdir al-falasifa ('Anecdotes of the Philosophers');
4) The story of Aristotle's death in The Book of the Apple;
5) Various scattered reports, the Aristotelian adespota;
6) The voluminous material on Aristotle in his relation with Alexander: anecdotes, stories, correspondence, the 'legend' of Aristotle.
In this paper I shall concentrate mainly on No. 1, deal very briefly with Nos. 2 to 5, and omit altogether No. 6 which, in addition to being
biographical only peripherally, clearly requires a volume -- if not volumes -- of its own."
———. 2012. "The Letter before the Spirit: Still Editing Aristotle after 2300 Years." In The Letter before the Spirit: The Importance of
Text Editions for the Study of the Reception of Aristotle, edited by van Oppenraai, Aafke M. I., 11-36. Leiden: Brill.
"Survey of the methods and practices used to edit the texts of Aristotle from the time of Aristotle himself to the present. Special attention
is paid to the significance of the translations of Aristotelian texts, in particular into Arabic, for the establishment of their critical editions, as well as
to the relative value of the vet-eres and recentiores Greek codices. Attention is also paid to some of the shortcomings of modem research and the challenges it
Hatzimichali, Myrto. 2013. "The Texts of Plato and Aristotle in the First Century Bc." In Aristotle, Plato and Pythagoreanism in the
First Century Bc, edited by Schofiled, Malcolm, 1-27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hecquet-Devienne, Myriam. 2004. "A Legacy from the Library of the Lyceum? Inquiry into the Joint Transmission of Theophrastus' and
Aristotle's Metaphysics Based on Evidence Provided by Manuscripts E and J." Harvard Studies in Classical Philology no.
"A scholium in Paris, BNF, gr. 1853, fol. 312r, provides evidence for the tradition of the Aristotelian corpus. The scholium reveals
that Theophrastus' Metaphysics was not on early lists of Theophrastus' works. It also reveals that Nicolaus of Damascus in his study of Aristotle's
Metaphysics (*) identified the author of the work as Theophrastus. The transmission of Theophrastus' Metaphysics is thus closely linked to
that of the Aristotelian corpus. Conclusions are: that both Book L of Aristotle's Metaphysics and Theophrastus' Metaphysics were
written before the central books of Aristotle's treatise as it is known to us; and that Theophrastus' Metaphysics could have provoked, in response,
Aristotle' writing of De partibus animalium and De generatione animalium."
(*) Nicolaus Damascenus On the Philosophy of Aristotle, edited by H. J. Drossart Lulofs, Leiden: Brill, 1965 (reprint with additions
and corrections 1969).
Huby, Pamela M. 1969. "The Transmission of Aristotle's Writings and the Places Where Copies of His Works Existed." Classica et
Mediaevalia no. 30:241-257.
"This is an attempt to trace the history of the Aristotelian tradition, (1) mainly by means of a study of the evidence about the whereabouts
of the manuscripts of his esoteric writings in ancient times. In this particular case the task is a relatively easy one, because these works are too difficult
to have had a wide circulation. A few important centres of learning probably had good copies of all of them, and some works like the Organon, may have
been much more widely known at certain periods, but most of the material that once existed must have been destroyed, and we can often say where and when such
destruction is likely to have happened. We can distinguish four main centres of tradition, by which I mean places where manuscripts were kept, studied and
copied over a long period — Athens, Alexandria, Rome and Constantinople. (2) Of these the Roman tradition is completely lost, except in some Latin
translations; the large collection at Athens probably slowly decayed, though some manuscripts may have gone to Constantinople; the perhaps even larger
collection at Alexandria was scattered, but its tradition survived in Antioch and other parts of the Arab dominions, and is probably at the base of the Arabic
translations. Even in Constantinople much was lost through fire or neglect, but a certain amount survived till the revival of interest in the ninth century,
when our earliest extant Greek manuscripts were made." (p. 241)
(1) The following books are frequently referred to by an abbreviated title:
Düring, ABT = I. Düring, Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition, (Göteborg, 1957)
Lulofs = H. J. Drossaart Lulofs, ed. & trans: Nicolaus Damascenus, On the Philosophy of Aristotle (Leiden, 1965).
2) Too much must not, however, be made of the idea of a separate tradition in each place. For long periods there was close contact between
two or more of these centres, and men, and their private libraries, might move from one to another. But it has some value.
Jaeger, Werner. 1948. Aristotle: Fundamentals of the History of His Development. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
English translation by Richard Robinson of: Aristoteles. Grundlegung einer Geschichte seiner Entwicklung, Berlin: Weidemann,
Keaney, John J. 1963. "Two Notes on the Tradition of Aristotle's Writings." American Journal of Philology no. 84:52-63.
"In recent years, scholars have taken up anew the problem of the knowledge of Aristotle's works, most particularly his school treatises, in
the period from Theophrastus to Andronicus, and the question of the sources of the catalogues of Aristotle's writings, especially of that preserved by Diogenes
Laertius (V, 22-7). The names of Paul Moraux and Ingemar Düring have been prominent in this activity.(1) In the present paper, I propose to deal with two of
the many points raised by these scholars." p. 52
(1) P. Moraux, Les listes anciennes des d'Aristote (Louvain, 1951); I. Düring, "Notes on the history of the transmission of
Aristotle's writings,"Goteborgs Hogskolas Araskrift, LVI (1950), pp. 35-70.
Leyra, Irene Pajón. 2013. "The "Aristotelian Corpus" and the Rhodian Tradition: New Light from Posidonius on the Transmission of Aristotle's
Works." Classical Quarterly no. 63:723-733.
"According to information provided by Strabo 13, 1, 54 and Plutarch, Sull. 26, the texts produced by the Peripatetic school were
lost for a period of more than two hundred years from the time of Neleus, the heir of Theophrastus's library, until Sulla's victory in Athens in 86 B.C. Sulla,
these sources maintain, recovered the esoteric writings of Aristotle, and this prepared the ground for the work of Andronicus of Rhodes, said to have been the
author of the "editio princeps" of the Aristotelian corpus. Although it is true that knowledge about Aristotelian thought and science weakened until the
renaissance of Peripatetic studies in the 1st cent. B.C., the tales of the total loss of the corpus until the time of Sulla seem hard to accept. Clear pieces
of evidence point at least to the existence of copies of several Aristotelian works preserved in Hellenistic cultural centers. In this context, the fragments
of the works of Posidonius of Apamea offer useful information. They demonstrate that the author had access to some treatises during the time when they were
supposed to be lost; and show how Posidonius's reading of Aristotle can shed light on the tradition of Peripatetic studies developed in Rhodes and on its role
in developing the version of the corpus as we know it today."
Lindsay, Hugh. 1997. "Strabo on Apellicon's Library." Rheinische Museum no. 140:290-298.
"A remarkable tale, full of fabulous elements, appears in Strabo's Geography in the course of his discussion of notable figures from
Scepsis (2). It relates to the history of the text of the Corpus Aristotelicum. The passage has been taken to contain an important discussion of the
chain of events surrounding the fate of Aristotle’s personal library between the time of Aristotle and Cicero. It certainly purports to deal with this topic,
but there are good reasons for believing that it exaggerates the extent to which Aristotelian texts were unavailable in the interim (3). This has frequently
been noticed, but in this paper I shall suggest that Strabo had motives related to his own career for wishing to add to the mystique over the history of
Aristotle’s text, and for dismissing the value of earlier editions of Aristotle. It may be that Apellicon before him had started the process of making
excessive claims over the importance of the documents that passed through his hands." (pp. 290-291)
(2) Strabo 13.1.54 p.608-9. For a summary of the vast literature on this passage see H. B. Gottschalk, Notes on the Wills of the
Peripatetic Scholarchs, Hermes 100 (1972) 335 n. 2, and further in "Aristotelian philosophy in the Roman world from the time of Cicero to the end of the
second century AD", ANRW II.36.2, 1079-1174, partially reprinted as "The earliest Aristotelian commentators", in: Aristotle Transformed: The ancient
commentators and their influence, ed. R. Sorabji (London 1990) 55-81 (henceforth Gottschalk 1990).
(3) As emphasized by A.H. Chroust, The Miraculous Disappearance and Recovery of the Corpus Aristotelicum, C&M 23 (1962) 50-67; D.C. Earl,
Prologue form in Ancient Historiography, ANRW I.2, 851.
Lord, Carnes. 1986. "On the Early History of the Aristotelian Corpus." American Journal of Philology no. 107:137-161.
"The manner in which the collection of Aristotelian writings now extant was originally constituted remains very much a mystery. The curious
and in many respects implausible story of the disappearance and subsequent recovery of the library of Theophrastus is the best known element in this puzzle.
But the most detailed evidence concerning the early condition of the Aristotelian corpus is that provided by three lists of books ascribed to Aristotle which
have been preserved in ancient biographies of him. These catalogues are the chief source of external evidence touching on both the condition of Aristotle's
writings in the period immediately following his death and the alterations they appear to have undergone in the edition of Aristotelian works prepared by
Andronicus of Rhodes in the first century B.C. Because of the many problematic features of the catalogues, their evidence has often been ignored or dismissed,
or used only in selective and unsystematic fashion.
The extensive studies devoted to the catalogues in recent years by Paul Moraux and Ingemar During have rectified this situation to some
degree, and have secured general agreement as to their authority and importance.(1) At the same time, however, the problem of the catalogues, and of the early
history of the Aristotelian corpus as a whole, can hardly be said to have been satisfactorily resolved. Disagreements persist over such questions as the
identity of the original source of the earliest catalogues and the circumstances and precise nature of Andronicus' editorial activity. Moreover, even when
liberal recourse is had to textual emendation, no fully convincing account has yet been given of the exact relationship of the three catalogues to one another,
to the edition of Andronicus, and to the corpus as presently constituted.(2) In the state of our knowledge, many uncertainties must remain concerning matters
such as the status of book titles and the meaning of the numbering of books of larger treatises. Still, it has to be acknowledged that much information in the
lists appears to be transmitted with great fidelity, and under these circumstances it seems legitimate to wonder whether there are not alternative hypotheses
concerning the catalogues which remain to be explored.
In what follows, an attempt will be made to establish the plausibility of such a hypothesis and to examine some of its implications with
respect to the composition and early history of Aristotle's writings." (pp. 137-138).
(1) Paul Moraux, Les listes anciennes des d'Aristote (Louvain 1951); Ingemar During, Aristotle in the Ancient
Biographical Tradition (Göteborg 1957); Düring, art. "Aristoteles," RE Suppl. XI (1968) cols. 184-90.
(2) Consider the negative judgment on Moraux' undertaking expressed by R. Stark, Aristotelesstudien (Munich 1972) 160-64.
Lynch, John Patrick. 1972. Aristotle's School. A Study of a Greek Educational Institution. Berkeley: University of California
See Chapter V. The Athenian Peripatos and Its Decline Among the Successors of Aristotle and Theophrastus, in particular pp.
"The research presented here does not make great claims for its utility in understanding Greek philosophy as a speculative phe nomenon. Pure
philosophers will not find in these pages much even about the educational theory of Aristotle and his successors. My inquiry originates from a concern with
what Aristotle and other Greek philosophers actually did as teachers, not what they said should be done. Such a concern is, I believe, both proper and
desirable. For Greek philosophy as it developed in the Athenian schools of the fourth century B.C. was more than a general name for various kinds of theories
and systems, and that "more” — philosophia as higher education among the Greeks — can be legitimately isolated and subjected to analysis on its own. Much con
fusion results from not clearly distinguishing between theory and practice. Histories of ancient education almost always conflate the two with misleading
results, and interpretations of Greek phil osophical texts often lapse into concrete formulations such as "Plato’s University,” “Scholarch of the Stoa,” or
“chair in the Per ipatos” without considering concrete facts which such language implies.
To those scholars who are interested in ancient educational practice and the external history of the Athenian philosophical schools, the
modifications in traditional views which have been suggested above may seem too drastic. Because of the vastness of the area concerned, this may well prove in
some measure to be the case. But if these six chapters serve to stimulate some debate in a virtually unexplored field, the purpose of this investigation will
be fulfilled." (pp. 7-8)
Menn, Stephen. 1995. "The Editors of the Metaphysics." Phronesis.A Journal for Ancient Philosophy no. 40:202-208.
Natali, Carlo. 2013. Aristotle: His Life and School. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Translated and edited by D.S. Hutchinson from Italian Bios theoretikos. La vita di Aristotele e l’organizzazione della sua scuola,
Bologna: Il Mulino, 1991.
Pajón Leyra, Irene. 2013. "The Aristotelian Corpus and the Rhodian Tradition: New Light from Posidonius on the Transmission of Aristotle's
Works." Classical Quarterly no. 63:723-733.
"There are clear pieces of evidence (6) that point, if not to a broad circulation of the Corpus’ treatises, at least to the existence of
copies of several Aristotelian works, preserved in the various culture centres of the Hellenistic period associated with the Peripatos. Though it is most
unlikely that the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus were at that time widely known and available, the idea that they were preserved in single copies can
hardly be sustained, so that the problem now is not to determine if there was a total loss of the Corpus, but when and where the different treatises were
known, and what their relation is to the version of the Corpus that we know today.
In this context, the preserved fragments of the works of the Stoic philosopher Posidonius of Apamea might offer useful information. The aim
of this paper is, then, to examine how they demonstrate that the author had access to some Aristotelian treatises during the time when they were supposed to be
lost, and how Posidonius’ reading of Aristotle can shed light on the tradition of Peripatetic studies developed in Rhodes, and on its role in developing the
final version of the Aristotelian Corpus as we know it today." (pp. 724-725)
(6) Particularly important is the information provided by Philodemus and Simplicius. See Phld. Cont.: P.Herc. 1005, fr. 111 Angeli;
W. Crönert, Kolotes und Menedemos. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Philosophen und Literaturgeschichte (Amsterdam, 1965 = 1874), 174, on the existence of
copies of the Aristotelian Analytics and Physics. See F. Grayeff, Aristotle and his School. An Inquiry into the History of the Peripatos.
With a Commentary on Metaphysics Z, H, Λ and Θ (London, 1974), 70 n. 2. Simpl. In Phys. 923.9 ff., on the letters exchanged between Theophrastus
and Eudemus, regarding a mistake of the scribe on the copy of the Physics available in Rhodes. See Zeller, Die Philosophie der Griechen in ihrer
geschichtlichen Entwicklung, Zweiter Teil, zweite Abteilung: Aristoteles und die alten Peripatetiker (Hildesheim, 1963 = 1921 4th edition = 1878) 149 n.
2; J. E. Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship. Vol. 1: from the Sixth Century B. C. to the End of the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1921), 85.
Plezia, Marian. 1961. "Supplementary Remarks on Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition." Eos.Commentarii Societatis Philologue
Polonorum no. 51:241-249.
"Ingemar Düring's excellent book Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition (Göteborg 1957) represents an important step
forward in the development of research on Aristotle, in so far it manages to present an almost complete collection of biographical material available to us and
relating to the philosopher of Stagira, not only in the form of his proper biographies in Greek, Latin, Syrian and Arabic, but also in the shape of a rich
collection of loose references to him (some taken from valuable sources) which can be found scattered in the whole of the ancient and parts of medieval
literature. At the end of the book the author makes an attempt to draw some conclusions, of a broadest nature, from the collected texts, which are all very
However, like all human works, Düring's valuable book shows some shortcomings and defects, which are unavoidable at such first attempts; we
thought it therefore both necessary and useful to present here a handful of supplementary remarks, based on our research on the same subject, carried out
between the years 1943 to 1957, in the belief, that they may prove useful to those interested in Aristotle's biography and how it took shape in the course of
centuries. Our remarks are divided, in conformity with the way During handles his material, into three parts: (a) those dealing with full biographies of the
philosopher of Stagira; (b) those dealing with loose references to him, contained in sources pertaining to various epochs; and finally (c) certain amendments
relating to the question of how the ancient tradition about Aristotle has developed." p. 241
Richardson, Nicholas J. 1994. "Aristotle and Hellenistic Scholarship." In La Philologie Grecque À L'époque Hellénistique Et Romaine. Sept
Exposés Suivis De Discussions, edited by Montanari, Franco, 7-28. Genève: Fondation Hardt.
Rist, John M. 1964. "Demetrius the Stylist and Artemon the Compiler." Phoenix no. 18:2-8.
"The appearance of G. M. A. Grube’s book (1) on Demetrius the Stylist has revived interest in the date of his work. Grube dates it at about
270 B.C. whereas G. P. Goold holds (2) that it was written in the Augustan Age. Such a discrepancy is disturbing; two hundred and fifty to three hundred years
is a wide margin of error. This note therefore is intended to reduce the gap by an investigation of the Artemon who is described by Demetrius (223) as the
editor of Aristotle’s Letters. It seems that some progress may be possible here, although the matter has been quickly passed over by both Grube (3) and Goold.
(4) More in fact can be discovered about the date of Artemon than either of these scholars has indicated. To attain such knowledge, it is necessary to examine
the traditional accounts of the contents of the Aristotelian corpus." (p. 2)
(1) G. M. A. Grube, A Greek Critic: Demetrius on Style (Toronto 1961).
(2) G. P. Goold, "A Greek Professorial Circle at Rome," TAPA 92 (1961) 168-192.
(3) Grube (note 1), who on p. 111 writes that nothing is known of the Artemon who edited Aristotle's letters, mentions on p. 42 the
suggestion of H. Koskenniemi, "Studien zur Idee und Phraseologie des griechischen Briefes," Annales Academiae Scientiarum
Fennicae B.102 (Helsinki 1956), that the Artemon mentioned by Demetrius may have been a contemporary of Theophrastus.
(4) Goold (note 2) 181.
Sharples, Robert W. 2007. "Aristotle's Exoteric and Esoteric Works: Summaries and Commentaries." In Greek and Roman Philosophy 100 Bc -
200 Ad. Vol. Ii, edited by Sharples, Robert W. and Sorabji, Richard, 505-512. London: Institute of Classical Studies.
Shute, Richard. 1888. On the History of the Process by Which the Aristotelian Writings Arrived at Their Present Form.
Reprint: New York, Arno Press, 1976.
Table of Contents: I. The problem 1; II. From Aristotle to the time of Cicero and the Latin Renaissance 19; III. Cicero and the Latin
Renaissance 46; IV. From Cicero to Alexander Aphrodisiensis 66; V. Of titles and references 96; VI. Of repetitions and second and third texts, illustrated
especially from the Physics, Metaphysics, and De anima 117, VII. Of the Nichomachean ethics 141; VIII. The Politics and
evidence from the avoidance of hiatus 164; General summary 176; Index of references 183.
I have in this essay attempted to prove, first, that of the great bulk of the Aristotelian works as we now have them, there was no kind of
publication during the lifetime of the master, nor probably for a considerable period after his death. Secondly, that as to this portion of the Aristotelian
whole, we cannot assert with certainty that we have ever got throughout a treatise in the exact words of Aristotle, though we may be pretty clear that we have
a fair representation of his thought. The unity of style observable may belong quite as well to the school and the method as to the individual. We have
certainly got a most precious Aristotelian literature ; we have not certainly got Aristotle in the strongest and most literal sense. Thirdly, I have tried to
prove that the works which are preserved to us come chiefly, if not entirely, from the tradition of Andronicus, and stand in no very definite relation to the
list of Diogenes, and consequently we have a very considerable proportion, and not a merely insignificant fraction of the reputed works of Aristotle known to
Latin antiquity. Fourthly, I have laid down that the majority of the titles, and probably all the definite references, are post-Aristotelian, and that
therefore no safe argument can be drawn from the latter as to the authenticity or original order of the Aristotelian works, though other very valuable
inferences as to the subsequent history of these works result from their careful consideration. Fifthly, I have attempted to trace the double texts and
repeated passages each to several original sources, and not to a single point of origin. I have applied the doctrines arrived at to the consideration of those
Aristotelian treatises which have given rise to most controversy, and seem to myself to have found some solutions at least, through the method I have followed.
Incidentally I have been led to investigate the question of another class of works which bear Aristotle's name, of which we can say with certainty that the
portions which we have of them are precisely as the final author wrote them; but cannot with equal certainty assert that that author was Aristotle. We can
safely assume, however, that these works, and works like these, were those best known to our earliest authorities on the subject, Cicero and his predecessors,
and that on them all the praise of Aristotle's style is founded.
If there be any value in these conclusions, the practical lesson to be drawn from them will be, that the present duty of scholarship is to
determine as far as possible the course of the Aristotelian argument, by bracketing superfluous and repeated passages. In some cases there will be internal or
external evidence for bracketing the one of two passages rather than the other. In other cases, and I believe they will be the majority, there will be no
trustworthy evidence which shall lead us to reject one of such passages more than the other. We shall not follow such assumptions as that of Torstrik in the
De Anima, that the former of two like passages is always the preferable; nor shall we rashly assume that the one is more strictly Aristotelian than
the other. When we have pointed out such reduplications to the student we shall leave him to choose which of them he prefers, showing him only that both cannot
be wanted in the text. If we bracket at all, it will not be that we assert the one passage rather than the other to be spurious (except in those rare cases
where we have definite proof). It will merely be in order that he may see what is the general line and connection of the argument. We shall be cautious in many
cases in assuming even reduplication ; for an author or lecturer may deliberately repeat himself. But this caution will not be necessary in the case of
repeated and almost identical passages which follow immediately after each other.
In a word, we shall try to get as near as we can to the earliest form of the teachings of the master, but shall not vainly and pedantically
hope to restore his actual words; nor shall we rashly reject this or that passage or phrase as being clearly un-Aristotelian, since we shall know well that the
Aristotle we have can in no case be freed from the suspicion (or rather almost certainty) of filtration through other minds, and expression through other
voices. Criticism of Aristotle must in truth always be of thought rather than of phrase, of sentence rather than of word." (pp. 176-177).
Sollenberger, Michael George. 1992. "The Lives of the Peripatetics: An Analysis of the Contents and Structure of Diogenes Laertius' Vitae
Philosophorum Book 5." In Aufstieg Und Niedergang Der Römischen Welt, Vol. 36: Philosophie, Wissenschaften, Technik. 6. Teilband: Philosophie
(Doxographica [Forts.]), edited by Haase, Wolfgang, 3793-3879. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
On the Catalogue of Aristotles' writings see § 2. Writings pp. 3849-3855.
"Accounts of the lives of six early Peripatetic philosophers are contained in the fifth book of Diogenes Laertius' 'Vitae philosophorum': the
lives of the first four leaders of the sect -- Aristotle, Theophrastus, Strato, and Lyco -- and those of two outstanding members -- Demetrius of Phalerum and
Heraclides of Pontus. Our knowledge of the history of two rival schools, the Academy and the Stoa, is aided not only by the lives of several members of these
two schools in Books Four and Seven of Diogenes' work, but also by accounts in the `Index Academicorum' and the 'Index Stoicorum' which have been preserved for
us among the several papyri from Herculaneum.(1) But for the Peripatos there is no such second source of information. There are, to be sure, numerous bits and
pieces of evidence which concern the school and its members scattered throughout ancient and medieval literature, many of which have been made readily
accessible by F. Wehrli in his well-known series 'Die Schule des Aristoteles'.(2) Moreover, in addition to Diogenes' version, several other lives of Aristotle
have come down to us and have been collected and analyzed in detail by I. Düring in his 'Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition'.(3) But for the lives
and careers of other Peripatetics, Diogenes' accounts are the only ones available to us.
All of the many aspects of these six lives cannot be discussed here with comprehensive thoroughness. Rather, relying on the studies and
findings of past scholars, sometimes heavily, I shall offer a compilation of those findings in a systematic manner. Although oversimplification is inevitable
in view of the many complex problems encountered in these lives, consideration will be given to general matters of content, structure, organization, and
arrangement of material in Book Five as a whole, to the different categories of information in the individual lives, and to the two most striking features of
this book which set it apart from other books: the wills of the first four scholarchs and the extensive catalogues of writings included by Diogenes for five of
the six philosophers." pp. 3793-3794
(1) P. Herc. 1021 (and 164) and 1018 respectively, edited by S. Mekler, Academicorum Philosophorum Index Herculanensis (Berlin,
1902), which should be read in conjunction with W. Crõnert, Die Ueberlieferung des Index Academicorum, Hermes 38 (1903) p. 357-405, and A. Traversa,
Index Stoicorum Herculanensis. Istituto di filologia classica 1 (Genoa, 1952).
(2) F. Wehrli, Die Schule des Aristoteles. Texte und Kommentare, 2nd ed. vol. 1 - 2 (Basel, 1967), vol. 3 --10 (Basel, 1969), suppl.
vol. I (Basel, 1974), and suppl. vol. 2 (Basel, 1978). The fragments of Theophrastus, not included by Wehrli are being prepared by a team of scholars headed by
W. Fortenbaugh in a series of volumes which is scheduled to appear soon. [Theophrastus of Eresus. Sources for his life, writings, thought and
influence. Edited by Fortenbaugh William W. et al. Leiden: Brill 1992, two volumes].
(3) Ingemar Düring Ingemar. Aristotle in the ancient biographical tradition. Studia Graeca et Latina Gothoburgensis 5 (Göteborg, 1957).
Tanner, R.Godfrey. 2009. "Aristotle's Works: The Possible Origins of the Alexandria Collection." In The Library of Alexandria. Centre of
Learning in the Ancient World, edited by MacLeod, Roy, 79-91. London: I. B. Tauris.
"Some of the most puzzling issues surrounding the Alexandria Library involve the source and content of the Library's holdings of Aristotle's
works. The history of these works bears a close and intriguing relationship to the history of the library. The argument of this paper is that there are two
sources for the transmission of Aristotle's work from the ancient to modern world. The first - what we may call the traditional view - holds that Aristotle's
corpus was inherited entirely by Theophrastus, and subsequently buried, sold, and edited in Rome. Thence, in Roman times, copies made their way to the library.
The second, the more controversial, but possibly more interesting view, argues that there is a,collection of Aristotle's works which was derived from the works
prepared at Mieza for the education of Alexander; and that these were either given by Alexander to Alexandria, or were subsequently stolen for the library by
These two, parallel accounts, present us with Aristotle's thought at two different stages in its chronological development. One phase we can
describe as the 'educational stage', dealing with works intended for the education of Alexander, and embracing Aristotle's four so-called `non-scientific'
works on poetry, ethics, politics and rhetoric; the other can be described in terms of Aristotle's larger philosophical corpus." p. 79
Tarán, Leonardo. 1981. "Aristotelianism in the First Century B.C." Gnomon no. 53:721-750.
Review-article of Paul Moraux, Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen, Von Andronikos bis Alexander von Aphrodisias. Vol. I: Die
Renaissance des Aristotelismus im I. Jh.v. Chr. (1973).
Reprinted in: L. Tarán, Collected papers (1962-1999), Leiden: Brill, 2001 pp. 479-524.
On the Aristotelian Corpus see in particular pp. 481-511.
Tarán, Leonardo, and Gutas, Dimitri, eds. 2012. Aristotle Poetics. Editio Maior of the Greek Text with Historical Introductions and
Philological Commentaries. Leiden: Brill.
See the Introduction by Leonard Tarán, Chapter One, History of the Text of the Poetics: 1. The Poetics and Its Place
among Aristotle’s Works. The Availability of Aristotle’s Scholarly Treatises during His Lifetime and those of Theophrastus and Eudemus, pp. 11-25; 2.
From the Deaths of Theophrastus and Eudemus until the End of the First Century CE, pp. 25-31; 3. From the Second Century CE to the Poetics’
Archetype pp. 32-35.
Verdenius, Willen Jacob. 1985. "The Nature of Aristotle's Scholarly Writings." In Aristoteles. Werk Und Wirkung: Paul Moraux Gewidmet.
Erster Band: Aristoteles Und Seine Schule, edited by Jürgen, Wiesner, 12-21. Berlin: de Gruyter.