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International Conference: “Aristotle transferred – The Ancient Greek Commentaries on Aristotle and the Transfer of Knowledge”

Oct 23, 2014 - Oct 25, 2014

organized by subproject A04 “Processes of Creating Tradition in Late Antique and Medieval Commentaries of De interpretatione” (head: Prof. Dr. Gyburg Uhlmann)


The ancient commentators on Aristotle are deeply involved in the transmission and exegesis of the Aristotelian text. They presented not only well-informed and mature interpretations of the Aristotelian treatises but also had a huge impact on the text transmission itself.

Thus, the relationship between the school treatises of Aristotle and his ancient commentators become crucial. To describe these processes as transformations or deformations that did nothing else but lead away from the original text and its “original” meaning has in the past decades turned out to be inadequate. Rather, it is necessary to look for more differentiated descriptions. In this regard the conference suggests a concept of transfer as a tool. Transfer is a concept that implies reciprocity. We examine the thesis that the creation of knowledge takes place when an Aristotelian text or an Aristotelian concept or argument is transferred in a new context. Text and context then influence each other mutually. As a result we can distinguish between different kinds of differentiation, enhancement, widening or reducing of scope, simplification, recontextualization.

The conference “Aristotle transferred. The Ancient Greek Commentaries on Aristotle and the Transfer of Knowledge” discusses the option to describe the commentaries as forms of transfer. Experts in the Aristotelian tradition analyze the commentaries of the most prominent and influential ancient commentators from Alexander of Aphrodisias to Olympiodorus the Younger. Special emphasis is laid on the relationship between different commentators, the teacher and his pupils, on the institutional and cultural contexts of the commentaries, and the forms and methods of text transmission and exegesis.


The Conference will be held in English.


Dr. Michael Krewet,
Dr. Christian Vogel,


Time & Location

Oct 23, 2014 - Oct 25, 2014

Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Eingang Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin-Mitte