Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Aristotelianism in the Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew Traditions

  • John MarenbonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_51-2


Aristotle was the most important ancient philosopher for all four main traditions of medieval philosophy: Greek philosophy from Byzantium; Latin philosophy; philosophy in Arabic (the work mainly of Muslims, but also Jews and Christians); and, from the thirteenth century, philosophy written by Jews in Hebrew. All these traditions drew, directly, or indirectly, on Aristotle as transmitted by the Neoplatonic schools of late antiquity. But the way in which the Aristotelian texts were disseminated (in translation, except in Byzantium) and studied varied in each of these traditions. And, although all the medieval philosophers had it in common that they lived in cultures dominated by a monotheistic religion, the range of attitudes to Aristotle varied from one to another. This entry has the strictly limited aim of giving enough basic information about each of these circumstances to enable comparisons to be made. Fuller treatment of each of the areas it covers will be found elsewhere in the Encyclopedia. Readers will also find a fuller exposition of most of the particular view suggested here in Marenbon (Medieval philosophy; an historical and philosophical introduction. Routledge, London/New York, 2007; Medieval philosophy. A very short introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity CollegeUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK