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Theophrastus of Eresus Commentary Volume 8

Sources on Rhetoric and Poetics (Texts 666-713)


William Fortenbaugh

This volume is a commentary on the rhetorical and poetic texts collected in the second volume of Theophrastus of Eresus: Sources for His Life, Writings, Thought, and Influence. The commentary begins with a discussion of the ancient and medieval sources from which the texts are drawn. Next comes discussion of the titles of Theophrastus' works on rhetoric and poetics. After that each text is discussed individually. In sum, Theophrastus is shown to be an important, though sometimes seriously misunderstood, contributor to the development of Greek rhetorical and poetic theory. The commentary concludes with a bibliography of the modern scholary literature followed by several indices: important Greek and Latin words, titles of works (non-Theophrastean as well as Theophrastean), persons and places, and subjects discussed in earlier sections of the commentary.

The Soul and its Instrumental Body

A Reinterpretation of Aristotle's Philosophy of Living Nature


A.P. Bos

For more than 1800 years it has been supposed that Aristotle viewed the soul as the entelechy of the visible body which is 'equipped with organs'. This book argues that in actual fact he saw the soul as the entelechy of a natural body 'that serves as its instrument'. This correction puts paid to W. Jaeger's hypothesis of a three-phase development in Aristotle. The author of this book defends the unity of Aristotle's philosophy of living nature in De anima, in the biological treatises, and in the lost dialogues. Aristotle should therefore be regarded as the author of the notion of the 'vehicle of the soul' and of a 'non-Platonic' dualism. The current understanding of his influence on Hellenistic philosophy needs to change accordingly.

Chrysippus’ On Affections

Reconstruction and Interpretation


Teun Tieleman

The 'On Affections' by the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus (c. 280-205 BCE) contains the classic exposition of the Stoic theory of the emotions. This book provides a fresh discussion of the extant evidence, i.e. the fragments and testimonies preserved by later sources. It aims to establish the exact amount of available evidence and to arrange the fragmentary material so as to see how far the original treatise can be reconstructed. The fragments are interpreted both in their literary context and in the light of Stoic doctrines known from other sources. Given its contextual approach, this study includes extensive discussion of the methods of sources such as Galen, Posidonius and Cicero. In addition, the medical backdrop to Chrysippus’ theory receives considerable attention.

Traditions of Theology

Studies in Hellenistic Theology, its Background and Aftermath


Edited by Dorothea Frede and André Laks

The nine articles in this volume were orginally presented at the VIII. Symposium Hellenisticum in Lille in August 1998. The authors discuss
a set of theological questions that were central to the doctrines of the dominant schools in the Hellenistic age, such as the existence of the gods, their nature, and their concern for humankind. While the philosophers of the Classical age had kept their distance from conventional religion, the Stoics and Epicureans saw the need to come to terms with the religious tradition both in a critical and in a supportive sense. Especially the challenge by the Sceptics forced the followers of the dogmatic schools (Stoics, Epicureans) to clarify the basis of their theological tenets. Many of the texts that are accessible to us only in a fragmentary state were still highly influential in the early Christian era, so that the reconstruction of the theological views of the Hellenistic philosophers form an important part not only of the history of philosophy, but also of Christian theology and the history of religion in general. One distinctive feature of the volume is that it mirrors the changes of perspective that took place over the many centuries in this area, thus presenting the Hellenistic contribution within the larger framework of Greek philosophical theology.


The papers collected in this volume deal mainly with ancient Greek or Roman philosophy. They range chronologically from the 5th century BC to the 6th century AD, and in them the evidence is fully presented and discussed. They are concerned mainly with the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Early Academy, the Platonic and Aristotelian traditions, especially as represented by Neoplatonism. In addition, there are a few more general articles. The first deals with the saying "Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas" and studies the different forms of this proverb from the time of Plato and Aristotle to Cervantes in the 17th century. Another one discusses the rather complex transmission of Plato's alleged epitaph. A third one deals in detail with an incomplete but interesting allegorical interpretation of Heliodorus' Aethiopica.


Anonymous Philosophical Treatise


M.E. Stone and M.E. Shirinian

The Anonymous Philosophical Treatise is here presented to the western world for the first time. It is a philosophical treatise of the Late Antique period, written in about the sixth century C.E. The author was a Christian, but he utilized pagan philosophical sources. Thus this is one of the latest writings of ancient philosophy, and as such is of very considerable interest and importance.
The Anonymous Philosophical Treatise was preserved only in Armenian. It was published first half-a-century ago in Armenian and in Russian translation, but is barely known to western scholarship. Here a new edition is presented, prepared on computer, together with critical apparatuses, translation and commentary. A variety of tools for the study of the text are included: a concordance, a word list of the English translation, triliteral tables of Armenian - Greek - English technical terminology and more.

Theophrastus against the Presocratics and Plato

Peripatetic Dialectic in the De sensibus


Han Baltussen

This study offers a new and stimulating interpretation of Theophrastus' De sensibus, a treatise unique in content and method, as it reports and criticizes the theories of sense perception of the Presocratics and Plato.
Most of the material on the Presocratics is found nowhere else, which explains why many passages can be found scattered over the Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. As an antidote to this fragmented approach the Presocratics are here studied in context, a text informed by a distinctly Peripatetic perspective. The analysis of the reports and (long neglected) criticisms of Plato (ch.4) and the Presocratics (ch.5) offers new insights into Theophrastus' exegetical procedure by succesfully using Peripatetic dialectic as a heuristic tool. The Epilogue outlines some implications for the role of the treatise in the doxographical tradition.

Edited by John J. Cleary and Gary Gurtler

This volume represents some of the activities of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy from the academic year 1997-98. It
contains nine colloquia that were hosted by eight different colleges and universities in the greater Boston area. Discussions of the works
of Plato dominate this volume, with six of the nine colloquia based on Platonic texts. Appropriately, the colloquia begin with an analysis of division in the ancient atomists. Later, a study of truth in Aristotle gives a counterpoint to the Platonic interplay of drama and pedagogy or logic and rhetoric examined in papers about the "Theaetetus" and "Symposium". A presentation of Proclus’s account of evil revisits some of the issues of sophistry and morality discussed in relation to Plato’s "Republic" and "Euthydemus". Finally, the remaining Platonic papers are in a way not about Plato at all, but about Socrates and Xanthippe, supplementing Platonic dialogues with Xenophon and others. Underneath these discussions of ancient texts current modes of philosophy run along, providing a score of alternative interpretative schemes.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.

Philo and the Church Fathers

A Collection of Papers


Douwe (David) Runia

The extensive writings of the Jewish philosopher and exegete Philo of Alexandria (15 BCE to 50 CE) were preserved through the efforts of early Christians, who decided that these works could assist them in developing their own distinctive kind of thought. The present collection of papers, written from 1989 to 1994, is published as a companion volume to the author's monograph Philo in Early Christian Literature: A Survey (1993). The papers deal with various aspects of the process of reception that Philo received at the hands of the Church Fathers. Authors who are given particular attention are Athenagoras, Clement, Origen, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Isidore of Pelusium and Augustine. The papers also include a hitherto unpublished English translation of the author's inaugural lecture held at Utrecht in April 1992.

Theophrastus Metaphysics

With Introduction, Translation and Commentary



Edited by M. van Raalte

This book has been written from the conviction that general statements about the philosophical position taken by Theophrastus in this small but extremely difficult treatise, can only be made on the basis of a detailed interpretation of each and every sentence of the text. This resulted in a full commentary, which evades no philological or philosophical question that should be asked in order to elicit from the text a maximum of information. The outcome is a cautious but nonetheless explicit and determinate characterization and evaluation of Theophrastean metaphysics as a biologist's metaphysics, which deserves the attention of philosophers in its own right.
The author has paid special attention to questions of Peripatetic idiom and terminology, thus increasing the value of this book to students of Peripatetic thought in general. The information brought together has been made easily accessible by full indexes.