In the article the manuscript of the first Arabic prose work is being
investigated. The author comes to the conclusion that it was written originally
in Greek by somebody who was attached to one of the rhetoric schools in Syria.
The Greek work contains the alleged correspondence between Aristotle and
Alexander the Great. The Greek version of the novel in letters must be dated
back to the sixth century A.D., thus the work is one of the last documents of
the classical Greek literature. Through this novel one can get a better insight
into the activity of the schools of rhetoric in the late Antiquity and the
question of Pseudo-Aristotle's treatises.
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
In this paper the meaning of some key-terms of the Neo-platonic aesthetic theory are investigated:
mimesis, logos, erôs, theôrein/theôria
. These terms are examined in Platonic (Alcinous) as well as in Neo-platonic (Plotinus, Proclus) context of emanation. After having investigated their more or less similar views the author tries to give an explanation to the basic attitude of the Neo-platonic philosophers towards the essence of arts.
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.
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.
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
. Some enthymemes seem to be identical with the
syllogisms of the
, while some others seem to be identical with the
described in the
. 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.
The paper examines the meaning of “sign inferences”. First the reader will be reminded that sign inferences were used in all philosophical schools, but the meaning of “sign inference” is different in the various schools. After examining Quintilianus’ text one can come to the conclusion that he spoke of sign inferences in terms of the Aristotelian logic. In Aristotelian logic sign inferences were used to the effect of conviction, but, from point of view of logic, they were not valid. Thus in rhetoric Aristotle intentionally admitted invalid proofs as “rhetoric arguments”.
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.