Alexander Aphrodiseus

, one of the most celebrated followers of Aristotle, flourished about the year 200. He was so called from Aphrodisea, a town in Caria, where he was born. He penetrated, with such success, into the meaning of the most profound speculations of his master, that he was not only respected by his contemporaries as an excellent preceptor, but was followed by subsequent Aristotelians among the Greeks, Latins, and Arabians, as the best interpreter of Aristotle. On account of the number and value of his commentaries, he was called, by way of distinction, “The Commentator.” Under the emperor Septimus Severus he was appointed public professor of the Aristotelian philosopln r, but whether at Athens or Alexandria is uncertain. In his works he supports the doctrine of Divine Providence; upon this head he leaned towards Platonism, but on most other subjects adhered strictly to Aristotle. In his book concerning the soul, he maintains that it is not a distinct substance by itself, but the form of an organized body.

Of his works there are extant, 1. “De Fato, deque eo quod in nostra potestate est,” a short treatise dedicated to the emperor Caracalla, and first printed in Greek at th Aldine press, 1533, fol. at the end of the works of Themistius. Grotius translated it into Latin in his “Veterum | philosophorum sententiae de Fato,Paris, 1648, 4to; and there is a London edition, Gr. and Lat. 1688, 12mo. 2. “Commentarius in primum librum priorura analyticoruna Aristotelis>” Gr. Venice, 1489, and Aid. 1520, fol. Florence, 1521, 4to, and translated into Latin by Jos. Bern. Felicianus, Venice, 1542, 1546, and 1560, fol. 3. “Commentarius in VIII Topicorum libros,Venice, 1513, translated into Latin by Gul. Dorotheas, Venice, 1526 and 1441, and Paris, 1542, fol. and by Rasarius, Venice, 1563 and 1573, fol. 4. “Commentarii in Elenchos sophisticos, Gr. Venice, Aldus, 1520, fol.; at Florence, with the” Commentarius in primum librum, &c.“1521, 4to; and translated into Latin by Rasarius, Venice, 1557, fol. 5.” In Libros XII Metaphysicorum ex versione Jos. Genesii Sepulvedae,“Rome, 1527, Paris, 1536, Venice, 1544 and 1561, fol. The Greek text has never been printed, although there are manuscript copies in the imperial library at Paris, and in other libraries. 6.” In librum de sensu et iis quae sub sensum-cadunt,“Gr. at the end of Simplicius’s commentary on the books respecting the soul, Venice, 1527, fol., and in the Latin of Lucilius Philothscus, Venice, 1544, 1549, 1554, 1559, 1573, fol. 7.” In Aristotelis Meteorologica,“Gr. Venice, 1527, fol. translated into Latin by Alex. Picolomini, 1540, 1548, 1575, fol. (See Alexander Ægeus). 8.” De Mistione,“Gr. with the preceding. 9.” De anima, libri duo,“Gr. at the end of Themistius in the first article, and translated into Latin by Jerome Donate, Venice, 1502, 1514, fol. 10.” Physica scholia, dubitationes et solutiones, libri duo,“Gr. Venice”, 1536, fol. and in Latin by Bagolinus, Venice, 1541, 1549, 1555, 1559, fol. 11. “Problematum medicorum et physicorum libri duo.” The best Greek edition of this is in isylburgius’s works of Aristotle; but some think that these problems are by Alexander Trallianus. 12. “Libellus de Febribus, Latine, Georgio Valla interprete,” in a collection of various works translated by Valla, Venice, 1488. It is also thought that this is by Alexander Trallianus. It has not been printed in Greek. There are other works aacribed to our Alexander, some in Arabic and some in Greek: in the imperial library at Paris is one “De nutritione et augmento,” which is not given in the usual lists of his works. All the above are very rare, especially the Greek editions, and the multiplicity of these editions shows in what high esteem the author was held in the fifteenth and | sixteenth centuries, and how useful his writings were corn sidered by the students of Aristotle. 1


Brucker. Biog. Universelle. —Moreri. —Saxii Onomasticon. Beloe’s Anecdotes of Literature, vol. IV. p. 260.