Editing Aristotle's Metaphysics: why should Harlfinger's stemma be verified?
Keywords:Aristotle, Editions, Metaphysics, ancient philosphy
The textual transmission of Aristotle’s Metaphysics is currently described by Dieter Harlfinger’s stemma codicum. It appeared in 1979 within the acts of the 1972 Symposium Aristotelicum.1 With a single exception, the stemma has been accepted by scholars without discussion, or with minor relevances only. On the other side, at least until 2009 no stemmatically-based edition of a single book of the Metaphysics appeared. Still today, no new general edition is available. We are thus still left with Jaeger’s 1957 OCT – admittedly, an editio minor, which partly depends on Ross’ 1924 critical apparatus and textual choices. But things are evolving now, as we are about to see: this crucial theory and practice – editing Aristotle’s Metaphysics –is moving today faster than it has since the 19th century. Hence the interest in promoting a broader and a more articulated discussion, by pointing out some basic desiderata, which show the need for the subject to be taken into consideration anew.
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