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The Authorship of Meteorologica, Book IV

  • H. B. Gottschalk (a1)

The so-called fourth book of Aristotle's Meteorologica is not about meteorological phenomena at all. It describes the formation out of the four elements of ‘homoeomerous’ substances, by which are meant minerals such as stones and metals, and organic substances like flesh, skin, and hair, and the changes they can undergo under the influence of heat, cold, and moisture. Most commentators, ancient and modern, have seen that it has very little to do with the first three books of the Meteorologica to which it is attached, and Alexander suggested (p. 179. 3) that it should be placed after the second book de Generation et Corruptione.

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page 67 note 1 I shall refer to this treatise by the abbreviation md. My other abbreviations are mostly as in Liddell and Scott, ed. 9.

page 67 note 2 Cf. the passages quoted in Ideler's edition of the Meteorologica (1834), ii. 347–89.

page 67 note 3 Hammer-Jensen , ‘Das sog. IV. Buch der Meteorologie des A.’, Hermes, I (1915), 113–36; Ross , Aristotle, p. 11; Jaeger , Aristoteles, pp. 412 f.; cf. Regenbogen, ‘Theophrastos von Eresos’, R.E. Suppl. VII, col. 1418.

page 67 note 4 Coutant, Alexander of Aphrodisias: Commentary on Book IV of Aristotle's Meteorologica; Columbia dissertation, 1936 (I have not been able to see this book). Lee, introd. to the Loeb ed. of Meteor., 1952, pp. xiii–xxi. Düring, ‘Aristotle's Chemical Treatise’, etc., Göteborgs Högskolas Arsskrift, 1 (1944), no. 2.

page 67 note 5 P.A. 649218, cf. md 38027, etc.; G.A. 735b13 ff., cf. md 383b2O ff. Also G.A. 734224 ff., cf. md 390b2 ff.

page 68 note 1 In addition Hammer-Jensen's essay is marred by a number of small errors and mistranslations, of which During (p. 107) gives a comprehensive list. It is a pity that his censorious eye has not saved him from serious blunders of his own.

page 68 note 2 md 386b2, +387215; contrast Arist.Phys. 217a20ff.

page 69 note 1 md 384b10, 385a29, b19, 24; 381b1˜ Thphr. Ign. 74.

page 69 note 2 inline-graphic 385b20; probably the walls of the pores are meant.

page 69 note 3 inline-graphic 387a20.

page 69 note 4 md 387a12, inline-graphicinline-graphic

page 69 note 5 In accordance with his usual practice Olympiodorus does not mention his name, but refers to him as inline-graphic cf. the index to the Berlin edition, s.v. inline-graphic

page 69 note 6 G.C. 326b29–35; in his commentary on this passage Philoponos uses the expression inline-graphic (p. 184. 19).

page 70 note 1 Joachim H. H., edition of G.C., 1922, p. 172.

page 70 note 2 G.C. 1. 8. 324b25–35. 326b6–28, cf. Joachim, ad loc.

page 71 note 1 Cf. Verdenius and Waszink , Aristotle, On Coming-to-be and Passing-away; Some Comments (Leiden, 1946), pp. 5253.

page 72 note 1 e.g. G.A. 782b1, but not 747a11, 773a15; cf. Index Arist. 622a20.

page 72 note 2 Note in this connexion that inline-graphic is regularly listed as a homoeomerous substance, e.g. P.A. 647b17, md 388a17; cf. Index Arist. 824a25.

page 72 note 3 inline-graphic Düring distorts the sense when he writes that Aristotle ‘has observed that water trickles through pottery, especially when it is imperfectly burnt’.

page 72 note 4 inline-graphic Düring (p. 76) proposes to read inline-graphic

page 72 note 5 inline-graphicMeteor. 2. 3. 358b18–21, 34.

page 72 note 6 Arist . G.C. 1. 10; cf. Joachim (Journ. Philol. xxix [1904], 7286).

page 72 note 7 Cf. D'Arcy Thompson on H.A. 590a24 (in the Oxford transl.); Lee on Meteor. 359a5; Diels (Hermes, xl [1905], 310–16).

page 73 note 1 Thphr. Ign. 28, 38, 42, 45, 61; Od. 13, 19, 40; cf. Lap. 19 and Strato, fr. 56 init. Also (Arist.) Col. 793a24, and in the Problems.

page 73 note 2 The same doctrine occurs at md 382b32, 383a7. 385a27.

page 73 note 3 md 382b32, 385a23, cf. Thphr. Lap. 3.

page 73 note 4 md 382b19, 383a18, cf. Thphr. Ign. 8.

page 73 note 5 md 382b8 ff., cf. Thphr. Ign. 14, etc., Arist. Meteor., 348b2 with Lee's note.

page 73 note 6 Arist. Cael. 286a26, G.C. 318b17,Metaph. 1070b12.

page 73 note 7 Hammer-Jensen (p. 128) and Düring (p. 70) agree in thinking that this is a deliberate correction of md 380a7; Düring is forced to suppose that Aristotle had changed his mind after writing md. But G.C., which is certainly earlier than md, contains the same doctrine.

page 75 note 1 Regcnbogen , ‘Theophrastos’, R.E. Suppl. VII, col. 1416. 42.

page 75 note 2 378a17 ff., cf. Alexander, ad loc., p. 213. 22; Regenbogen 1418.

page 76 note 1 Contrast Arist. Cat. 9a28 ff.

page 76 note 2 Diog. Laert. 5. 45; cf. the remarks of F. Patricius (from Discussiones Peripateticae [1581], vol. i) quoted in Ideler's edition of Meteor. vol. ii, p. 379.

page 76 note 3 md 384b24 ff. ˜Arist . Meteor. 3. 6. 378a17 ff., cf. Thphr. Lap. 1–3; Alexander, in Meteor. 213. 22, 178. 14, Olympiodorus, in Meteor. 266. 34.

page 77 note 1 Aristotle does not refer to the ground covered by md. At 339a5 he mentions phenomena arising through inline-graphic among those he intends to explain, but he probably means snow, hail, and so on, as Alexander says (in Meteor. 3. 25 ff.); cf. Lee and the Oxford translators ad loc., and Capelle (Hermes xlvii [1912], 533).

page 77 note 2 Peck, P.A. Loeb ed. intr. p. 9, after Jaeger (Hermes xlviii [1913], 38). Jaeger points out diat Aristotle also seems to have delivered a shorter course which went straight from P.A. to G.A., leaving out the intervening sections.

page 77 note 3 Themistius, in de An. 108. 11 = Thphr. fr. 53 b Wimmer, fr. 1 Hicks–Barbotin.

page 78 note 1 384b24–385a11, cf. Thphr. Lap. 1–3.

page 78 note 2 Cf. Olympiodorus, ad Ioc, p. 319. 35; there seems to have been some controversy among the ancients about the purpose of the repetition.

page 78 note 3 Exceptions are at 381b1, 384b10, 20.

page 78 note 4 Alexander, pp. 86. 32, 89. 7, on Arist. Meteor. 358b22, 359b20, refers to a treatise inline-graphic by which Theophrastus’ book is probably meant; cf. Regenbogen 1423. 4 ff. In the same way ideas found in Meteor. 1.5, 3. 4 are elaborated in ps.-Arist. Col. 2–3. The authorship of this work is disputed, but on the whole Theophrastus is the most likely candidate.

page 79 note 1 Strato, frs. 54–67 in Wehrli , Die Schule des Aristoteles, vol. v. Sponges are used to illustrate compression in fr. 56, as in md 386b6–8. See further Diels , Sitz.-Ber. Acad. Berl., 1893, pp. 101–27, Capelle , R.E. iv a, col. 289 ff.

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