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Themistius, Heavens and Elements. Interpretations of Aristotle’s Cosmology Across the Ages
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 892630 Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
Funded under: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST Overall Budget: 196,708 EURFunder Contribution: 196,708 EUR

THEIA is the resubmission of the project “Themistius, Heavens and Elements. Interpretations of Aristotle’s Cosmology Across the Ages” that has received the Seal of Excellence 2019. THEIA is a project on the paraphrase of Aristotle’s De Caelo by the 4th century rhetor and philosopher Themistius. It aims to shed light on Themistius’ presentation of the Aristotelian cosmos, that is contained chiefly in this paraphrase. Its importance in the history of Aristotelianism is beyond doubt, as it is the first complete exegesis of the De Caelo that has come down to us, but adequate study of it has been hampered by the fact that the original Greek is lost: only a medieval Hebrew version of the lost Arabic version, and in a Hebrew-into-Latin version survive. Both are edited, but the Latin is derivative, and the Hebrew text requires a new critical edition. THEIA will edit, translate into English, and comment upon the Hebrew text. Once the task accomplished, this will allow the scholars in the field to get a more complete picture of 4th century Aristotelianism. To the importance of THEIA for the history of philosophy another reason of interest should be added, that concerns the text of Aristotle. The Hebrew version allows the scholar who is conversant with Themistius’ exegetical habits to reconstruct some passages in the Greek original, and to single out the Aristotelian lemmata of the De Caelo interspersed in Themistius’ wording. The retroversion of these lemmata into Greek will provide the philologists with an extremely important piece of documentation: parts of the text of Aristotle’s De Caelo as it was read in the 4th century, i.e. five centuries before the most ancient ms of it. In this sense, THEIA can be considered an interdisciplinary project that, through the reconstruction and interpretation of a Greek work transmitted in Hebrew and Latin, paves the ground to a fruitful cooperation of philosophical and philological skills.

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