The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Research Article

Philoponus, in De Anima III: Quest for an Author*

Peter Lautnera1

a1 Solymár, Hungary

It has been strongly disputed that Philoponus is the author of the commentary on the third book of De Anima printed in vol. xv of CAG under his name, and Stephanus of Alexandria has been taken to be its real author. The evidence for the authorship of Stephanus is as follows: (I) Codex Parisinus gr. 1914, written in the twelfth century, has an adscript by a later hand saying βιβλxs22EFον τρxs22EFτον xs22EFπxs22EF xs03D5ωνης στεxs03D5xs22EFνου (‘third book from the voice of Stephanus’), and the same appears in the fifteenth-century Codex Estensis iii F 8. (II) In 543.9 there is a clause saying xs1F61ς xs22EFν τxs1FF7 περxs22EF xs22EFρμηνεxs22EFας xs22EFμxs22EFθομεν (‘as we learnt in the De Interpretatione’), which was taken by M. Hayduck to be direct reference to Stephanus' commentary on the De Interpretatione, edited also by Hayduck in vol. xiii/3 of CAG. (III) The third book, says Hayduck, is short (brevis) and jejune (jejunus), in contrast to the verbosity of the preceding two books. (IV) The commentary on the third book of De Anima is divided into lectures (πρxs22EFξεις), but the first two books are not. (V) Some locutions are used constantly in the third book and in Stephanus' in De Interpretatione as well. (VI) In the Codex Vaticanus gr. 241 fol. 6 (fourteenth century) we are told that Stephanus also wrote a commentary on the De Anima.


* An infant version of this paper was delivered in May 1990 at King's College London and I am indebted to Andrew Coles, Eric Lewis and, last but not least, Richard Sorabji for the improvements they suggested. The enlarged and emended version was read by Anne Sheppard, Henry Blumenthal, William Charlton, Carlos Steel and the anonymous referee, whose remarks, corrections and doubts were of greatest help to me. I am grateful to William Charlton, again, and the Editors for correcting my rough English. For all the shortcomings, of course, I remain responsible.