World Philologies Seminar
Thu 08 May 2014 | 16:00–18:00

Aristotle in Motion: The Ancient Commentaries on Aristotle’s Metaphysics

Gyburg Uhlmann (Freie Universität Berlin); Chair: Islam Dayeh (Freie Universität Berlin)

Freie Universität Berlin, Raum JK24/122d, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin

The tradition of commentaries on Aristotle's Metaphysics in late antiquity begins with Alexander of Aphrodisias. Later commentators and writers of glosses on Aristotelian manuscripts, whether at the margins or interlineally, respond to his exegesis broadly. However, in their references to Alexander and to Aristotle, Plato and other earlier commentators they perform strategies that differentiate, enrich, refocus, recontextualize and systematically clarify the understanding of the text and the topics and problems in the Aristotelian text. This process of creating a new textual environment and transferring the text to other contexts can be viewed as a specifically premodern way of producing knowledge and making progress in the history of knowledge. This strategy does not annihilate the past or deconstruct it for the sake of the innovativeness of one's own success in gaining new and innovative knowledge. The paper will illustrate such premodern strategies by analysing the relationship between different commentaries and scholia on passages in Aristotle's Metaphysics.

Gyburg Uhlmann is Professor of Classical Philology at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research engages with the commentary tradition in late antiquity and the tradition of Platonism and Aristotelianism in antiquity and beyond, with the methodological foundations for the interpretation of ancient poetry and the modern reception of ancient literary theory and aesthetics. In 2006 she was awarded the renowned Gottfried Wilhelm-Leibniz-Prize. Her publications include: Die Theorie der Zahl im Platonismus. -- Ein systematisches Lehrbuch (2003), Tragik und Metatragik -- Euripides' Bakchen und die moderne Literaturwissenschaft (2003) and Das Lächeln des Parmenides -- Proklos' Interpretationen zur Platonischen Dialogform (2006).

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