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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities - Alexander von Humboldt Professorship

Project Description


Biology meets Philosophy in Byzantium: Michael of Ephesus on Aristotle’s views of Life and Death


This project deals with Michael of Ephesus’ (12th cen. AD) commentary on Aristotle’s On Youth and Old Age, on Life and Death, and on Respiration (hereafter On Youth). It aims at highlighting the multifaceted nature of Michael’s scholiastic activity by examining in detail some of the most representative specimens of his exegetical practice in his commentary on On Youth. In order to do so, the project sets out to provide the first-ever translation into English of selected passages of this commentary, and to offer a profound discussion of its methodological, philological and philosophical aspects. Issues of major importance that lie at the core of this research project include the exegete’s authority (what we would call ‘scholiastic self-consciousness’), his suggestions concerning the order of exposition of the subjects under investigation in Aristotle’s text, but also his proposed syntactic, stylistic and conceptual modifications, viewed under the light of the text of the Parva Naturalia that has come down to us.