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Two Attributions

  • Jaap Mansfeld (a1)

The short treatise On the Cosmos, which most scholars believe to be not by Aristotle, has confidently been attributed to Aristotle by G. Reale and A. P. Bos. I do not wish to enter into their arguments for this attribution, because I believe it can be proved to be untenable.

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1 I use the ed. and transl. by Furley D. J., Pseudo-Aristotle De Mundo, Loeb Cl. Libr. Vol. 400 (London and Cambridge, MA, 1965 and later repr.), pp. 331ff.

2 Aristotele: Trattato sul cosmo per Alessandro, ed., Italian transl., introd. and comm. by Reale G., Filosofi antichi 5 (Naples, 1974). Bos's latest publication on the topic is a Dutch transl. with introd. and notes, Aristoteles: Over de kosmos (Meppel and Amsterdam, 1989); see also Bos A. P., ‘Greek Philosophical Theology and the De mundo’, in On and Off the Beaten Track. Studies in the History of Platonism (Nijmegen, 1986), pp. 1ff.

3 E.g. the Strangford copy of the shield in the British Museum and the shield of the Lenormant statuette in the National Museum at Athens. See Leipen N., Athena Parthenos: A Reconstruction (Royal Ontario Museum, 1971), figs. 23, 26–7 and fig. 83 for reconstructions of the Amazonomachy.

4 The issue is whether portraits are feasible in the fifth century b.c.e. Richter G. M. A., The Portraits of the Greeks, i (London, 1965) pp. 103f., 150, accepts the portraits, or at least that of Pheidias. Philipp H., Tektonon daidala (Berlin, 1968), p. 113, calls them in doubt. For further references and discussion see Mansfeld J., ‘The Chronology of Anaxagoras' Athenian Period and the Date of his Trial’, Pt. II. ‘The Plot against Pericles and his Associates’, Mnem. 33 (1980), 29f.

5 See the references in Overbeck J., Die antiken Schriftquellen zur Geschichte der bildenden Künste in der Antike (Leipzig, 1868; repr. Hildesheim, 1959), pp. 122f. The passage from the De mundo is Overbeck nr. 669, its translation by Apuleius nr. 671.

6 Some items are certainly of later provenance than others, so either the whole collection is late, or it was added to in the course of its transmission.

7 Flashar H., Aristoteles, Mirabilia. Aristoteles: Werke in deutscher Übersetzung Bd. XVIII 22 (Berlin and Darmstadt, 1981), p. 147 argues that De mundo must be the source because it would be the source of the preceding paragraph too, but this argument also holds the other way round.

8 Reale, op. cit. (n. 2), p. 265 nn. 76 and 77. The parallel in the De mirab. ausc. 155 which he cites with due caution fails to prove that Aristotle wrote the De mundo for Alexander.

9 Whom we may call a Platonist or even an early Middle Platonist, see e.g. Dillon J. M., The Middle Platonists (London, 1977), pp. 115ff.

10 Tarrant H., ‘The Date of Anon. in Theaetetum’, CQ 33 (1983), 161ff., esp. pp. 180ff.; less confidently Tarrant H., Scepticism or Platonism? The Philosophy of the Fourth Academy (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 66ff.

11 Mazzarelli C., ‘Raccolta e interpretazione delle testimonianze e dei frammenti del medioplatonico Eudoro di Alessandria’, Pt. I, Riv. Filos. Neosc. 11 (1985), pp. 197ff. – Pt. II, ibid., pp. 535ff. On Eudorus and other Platonists on the categories see Dörrie H., ‘Der Platoniker Eudoros von Alexandreia’, in Id., Platonica minora (Munich, 1976), pp. 300f. Cf. also Dillon, op. cit. (n. 9), pp. 134f.

12 But note that elsewhere, in less full listings of the categories, he rather often has ποιν before ποιν; see the table in Oehler K., Aristoteles, Kategorien. Aristoteles: Werke in deutscher Übersetzung, Bd. I 12 (Berlin and Darmstadt, 1986), pp. 352ff. Eudorus may have appealed to such passages.

13 See Szlezák T. A., Pseudo-Archytas: Über die Kategorien, Peripatoi 4 (Berlin and New York, 1973), ad loc. Simpl., In Cat. 206.8ff. points out the parallel between Eudorus and (ps.-)Archytas.

14 Cf. Theiler W., ‘Philo von Alexandria und der Beginn des kaiserzeitlichen Platonismus’, in Parusia. Festschr. J. Hirschberger (Frankfurt a. M., 1965), pp. 204f., repr. in Id., Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur (Berlin, 1970), pp. 489f.

15 See Moraux P., Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen, II: Der Aristotelismus im I. und II. Jh. n. Chr., Peripatoi 6 (Berlin and New York, 1983), pp. 485ff.

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