Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 May 2021
This chapter offers an overview of the reception of Aristotle’s biology in antiquity and beyond. It argues that Aristotle’s biology remained largely at the margins of the philosophical tradition even after the so-called return to Aristotle in the first century BC. The relative lack of engagement with Aristotle’s biological works reflects a change in the philosophical agenda. While Aristotle placed great emphasis on the philosophical dimension of his biology, his immediate successors considered biology an expendable part of their agenda. For a full appreciation of what Aristotle achieved in the field of biology, we have to go beyond antiquity. The reappropriation of Aristotle’s biological writings was a gradual process that began in the Arabic world and continued in the Latin world.