ALEXANDER OF APHRODISIAS,
Qaestiones 1.1-2.15. Translated by R.W. Sharples.
Duckworth, London, 1992. 183p. Original black cloth with wrps. Spine gilt titled. Series: Ancient Commentators on Aristotle. Nice copy. ‘Alexander of Aphrodisias, who began his career as a professor of Philosophy in Athens under the reign of the Roman emperor Septimus Severus, ranks among the most influential of the Greek Aristotle commentators. The works attributed to him, part of the vast collection of ancient commentaries on Aristotle that have come down to us from the perild between 200 and 600 A.D., constitute a crucial link in the transmission of Aristotelian thought through Hellenism, late antiquity, and the Islamic world, to the Middle Ages. On a smaller scale, the Alexandrian corpus is an invaluable source for our knowledge of the vicissitudes of third-century Aristotelianism. It represents, in fact, the last and finest stage of a strictly Aristotle-oriented Peripatetic tradition, in a time immediately before the Neoplatonists were to merge Peripatetic, Platonic, and Stoic thought in an all-embracing synthesis. The ‘Quaestiones’ freely discuss various topics ranging from central issues in Aristotle’s philosophy, such as the definition of soul and the relation between form and matter, to problems of a more scholastic kind, (…). The ‘Quaestiones’, Sharples maintains, are likely to reflect actual debates between Alexander and his pupils, and may therefore shed light ‘on the functioning of a philosophical ‘school’ in the early years of the third century A.D. (…) Rather than presenting an interpretive paraphrase of Alexander’s text, the translators have sought to follow the Greek as closely and accurately as possible. In notes to the translations they amply discuss textual difficulties and variant readings, and clarify allusions to Aristotle and other classical sources. The translations are followed by English-Greek and Greek-English glossaries (Greek is transliterated throughout).’ (HENRI OOSTHOUT in The Review of Metaphysics, 1993, pp.872-74).