The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Aristotle's Politics in Byzantium

A used-book-store in Longmont had a translation of Aristotle's Politics. I found this on the shelf - I didn't buy it. The book's introduction mentioned the transmission of the text. Roger Pearse is looking into classical Greek texts that didn't make it to the modern day. This looks like it was almost one of them.

Cicero used some Aristotelian work in his political oeuvre, including some lost to us, but not this one. When the Syrians were translating Greek works of political-philosophy into their language and into Arabic - and they translated great swathes of that - they didn't bother with this one. And nobody in mediaeval (Latin) Europe cared.

Until the famous reactionary authors of pre-/early-Renaissance Italy: Thomas Aquinas, Dante Alighieri, and Marsilius of Padua. Later we can add Ibn Khaldun (although he questioned Politics's authenticity). They cared. A lot.

Back to the translation, its author said nothing about Byzantine use of this book. I suspect that the Late Roman Empire cared the most for it.

posted by Zimri on 21:07 | link | 0 comments

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