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  • Author or Editor: Miklós Maróth x
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Until now thee Nestorian theology has been known in Greek, only from indirect hostile, sources. In the Arabic literature, however, there are known works that deal the Nestonian theology in its entirety and, in addition, in Nestorian spirit. The examination of the often occurring term maˁanā in Arabic Nestorian texts indicates that these Arabic texts are based on a thorough knowledge of Aristotle’s philosophy, so this term must be taken in various passages in various meanings, but its most important equivalent is ousia.

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Aristotle refers to enthymemes both in his Organon and Rhetoric. The comparison of the various passages leaves open some questions about the exact meaning of enthymemes. The problem becomes more complicated if one compares enthymemes with syllogisms described in the Analytica posteriora and Nicomachean Ethics . Some enthymemes seem to be identical with the how syllogisms of the Analytica posteriora , while some others seem to be identical with the practical syllogisms described in the Nicomachean Ethics . Our confusion is increased by Anaximenes. He tries to define the exact meaning of various kinds of rhetoric proofs, nut his text is far from being unambiguous. At any rate he creates a new system of rhetoric proofs as compared with Aristotle.

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The Aristotelian tradition knows the dichotomy of his works into exoteric and esoteric groups. The interpretation of the two terms, however, changed in the course of time. According to the later, perhaps Hellenistic interpretation of the terms, the group of “exoteric” works included all the works which have been written in schools of rhetoric, and later ascribed to Aristotle. The well-known treatise De mundo should not be considered as a genuin work of school-philosophy, because it belongs to Pseudo-Aristotle’s works written in a school of rhetoric and ranged amond his “exoteric” works.

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ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī was an outstanding representative of the Nestorian theology in the Christian-Moslem disputes of the ninth century. As a Christian writer who knew both Greek and Syriac, he continued the traditions of the Eastern (Greek) church in every respect, including the way of presentation and argumentation. Relying on his example the author tries to point out that the Christian writers of the early Islamic centuries represented the traditional Greek rhetoric culture in Islamic surroundings.

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The paper examines a fragment of Xenocrates on definition preserved by Alfarabi. Proving that the exposition of Plato’s and Aristotle’s definitions in the same fragment reflect the views of the philosophers referred to in late antique wording the author accepts Alfarabi’s report as reliable and authentic. Further comparison of Alfarabi’s passage with late antique logical views results in the statement that Xenocrates’ definition was connected with the emerging doctrine of relational syllogisms. Alfarabi's fragment exposition of Xenocrates’ hitherto unknown teaching is, consequently, exposed as part of the late antique philosophical tradition.

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The article deals with the problem of a Greek collection of maxims in Arabic translation. The collection under examination has two special features among the many similar collections: 1) In this gnomology each one of the maxims ascribed to Aristotle is compared with one of the maxims abstracted from the poems of al-Mutanabbi’ (915–965), who lived in the tenth century. 2) The maxims deal with some traditional concepts of the late antique moral teaching usual in other collections (desire, pleasure, wisdom, etc.), but their negative treatment (e.g. that of desire and pleasure) is turned into a positive one many times in our collection. The maxims quoted in this collection cannot be ascribed to Aristotle, but they are not alien to the Aristotelian tradition. This collection together with other ones seems to prove that maxims played a much more important role in the late antique literature, than it used to be thought earlier.

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Analogy was a basic means of the interpretation of reality in late antique schools of philosophy, and among them in the Stoic philosophy, too. It was, at the same time, also a heuristic and didactic method. It played an important role in the philosophers’ activity of explaining the world, and in schoolbooks, like that of Cornutus, in giving a world-view. The analogical method served as a basis for the wellknown etymological explanations, too, and etymological explanation in turn played an important role in discovering the basic knowledge of the world, and in later times, it received a rhetoric justification among the common places of rhetoric. In this way it became part of rhetoric argumentation.

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Maxims played an important role in the Greek tradition of rhetoric, and collections of maxims arranged alphabetically or according to subject-matter represent a well-established literary genre both in the field of belles-lettres and sciences. Collections of maxims served well-defined purposes: they were used in schools, or they were read by people who were interested in wisdom, but did not have the necessary p_r

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