Theophrastus of Eresus Commentary Volume 6.1

Sources on Ethics


Interest in Theophrastus, Aristotle's pupil and successor as head of the Peripatetic School, has increased considerably since the 1992 publication of Theophastus of Eresus: Sources for his Life, Works, Thought and Life. Now comes an extensive commentary on the ethical sources. It considers Theophrastus in relation to Aristotle, to other members of the Peripatos and to the Stoic philosophers who became Theophrastus' rivals. Special attention is given to Theophrastus' insistence that virtue by itself cannot guarantee happiness. Also to the difference between manners and moral virtue, the relation between innate character and fate, the value of marriage and how animal behavior relates to that of human beings.
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Biographical Note

William Fortenbaugh, Ph.D. (1964) in Classics, University of Pennsylania is Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. He is the author of Aristotle on Emotion, an edition of Theophrastus' work On Sweat and a commentary on Theophrastus' rhetoric.

Review Quotes

" I cannot, in a brief review, do justice to this massive and magisterial piece of scholarship. […] Each section reads very much like an essay on its subject, reflecting the breadth and depth of the author’s understanding of this material and the secondary literature on it.
Robert Mayhew, Seton Hall University, in BMCR 2011.12.52 (2011)

Table of contents

I. Introduction

II. The Sources
1. Authors Including Pseudonymi and Anonymi Arranged Chronologically
2. Greek, Latin and Italian Anthologies, Gnomologies and Other Collections
3. Lexicographers
4. Scholia
5. Catalogue of Books
6. Arabic

III. Titles of Books
436 no. 1-22, 666 no. 10, 436 no. 23-30, 727 no. 4, 436 no.31-3

IV. The Texts
1. Writings on Ethics 437, 436 no. 21, 482, 498, 590
2. Emotions 438, 271, 439-441, 526, 442-445, 362A-1, 610, 446-8, 719A-B, 726A
3. Virtue and Vice 449A-B, 738.5, 450-464
4. Education, Exhortation and Censure 465-466A-B, 661-662, 720-721A-B, 467-474
5. Happiness 475-484, 323A-B, 485
6.The Wise Man and Marriage 486-486.5
7. Fortune and Goods and Evils outside the Soul 487-501
8. Fate, Nature and the Death of Callisthenes 502-506
9. Wealth 507-509, 456-458, 510-516
10. Kindness, Honor and Vengeance 517-528
11. Justice 529A-B, 530
12. Natural Relationship 531, 584A-D
13. Friendship 532-546
14. Flattery 547-548
15. Pleasure 549-556
16. Eros 557-561, 625-626, 562-568A-B
17. Wine 569-577A-B, 1.42-4, 578-579A-B

V. Summary

VI. Bibliography of Modern Literature

VII. Indices to the Titles and Texts

1. Important Words

2. Titles of Books

3, Gods, Persons, Groups of People and Places Named or Referred to in either Greek or Latin or Arabic Texts

VIII. Indices to the Commentary
1. Passages Cited in Sections II-V
2. Subjects Discussed in Sections II-V

IX. Corrigenda and Addenda in the Text-Translation Volumes
1. The "Etics" section and texts referred to from that section
2. References in the indices


All those interesed in intellectual history and ethical theory. Also in Aristotle and his School, the Hellenistic Period, and the ethical background to Greek comedy and rhetoric.


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