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Eude'mus

2. Of Rhodes, a contemporary and disciple of Aristotle. We have no particulars of his life; but that he was one of the most important of Aristotle's numerous disciples may be inferred from the anecdote of Gellius (13.5, where Eudemo must be read instead of Menedemo), according to which Eudemus and Theophrastus were the only disciples whom the Peripatetic school esteemed worthy to till the place of Aristotle after his death. Simplicius makes mention of a biography of Eudemus, supposed to be the work of one Damas or Damascius. (Simplic. ad Aristot. Phys. 6.216.)


Works


Philosophical Works

Eudemus was one of those immediate disciples of Aristotle who closely followed their master, and the principal object of whose works was to correct, amplify, and complete his writings and philosophy. It was owing to this circumstance. as we learn from the ancient critics, that Aristotle's writings were so often confounded with those of other other authors. Thus, for instance, Eudemus and his contemporaries and fellow-disciples, Theophrastus and Phanias, wrote works with the same titles and on the same subjects as those of Aristotle. The works of Eudemus of this kind were--1. On the Categories. 2. Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας. 3. Ἀναλυτικά. 4. Φυσικά, a work of which Simplicius in his commentary has preserved some fragments, in which Eudemus often contradicts his master. In this treatise, or in some other, he seems to have also treated on the nature of the human body. (Appul. Apolog. p. 463.) But all these works are lost, and likewise another of still more importance, in which lie treated of the history of geometry and astronomy ( περὶ τῶν Ἀστρολογουμένων Ἱστορία, D. L. 1.23; or Ἀστρολογικὴ Ἱστορία, Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iii. p. 432.)


As commentator on Aristotle

Eudemus, however, is of most importance to us as an editor of and commentator upon the Aristotelian writings. How closely he followed Aristotle in his work on Physics, is shewn by the circumstance of later commentators referring to Eudemus in matters of verbal criticism. (Stahr, Aristotelia, ii. p. 82.) Indeed Eudemus followed the Aristotelian system so closely, that modern scholars, as Brandis for instance, do not hesitate to ascribe to Eudemus some writings which are generally attributed to Aristotle. (Brandis, in Rhein. Museum, 1.4. pp. 283, 284.) Aristotle died in his 63rd year, without having published even half of his writings; and the business of arranging and publishing his literary relics devolved upon his nearest friends and disciples. Simplicius has preserved a passage of the work of Andronicus of Rhodes on Aristotle and his writings, which contains a fragment of a letter of Eudemus, which he wrote to Theophrastus, asking for an accurate copy of a manuscript of the fifth book of the Aristotelian Physics. (Simplic. ad Arist. Phys. fol. 216, a., lin. 7.) In the same manner the Aristotelian Metaphysics in their present form seem to have been composed by Eudemus or his successors; for we learn from Asclepius of Tralles [ASCLEPIUS], who has preserved many valuable notices from the works of the more ancient commentators, that Aristotle committed his manuscript of the Metaphysics to Eudemus, by which the publication of the work was delayed; that on the death of Aristotle some parts of the manuscript were missing, and that these had to be completed froio the other writings of Aristotle by the survivors of Aristotle (οἱ μεταγενέστεροι). (Asclepius, Prooem. in Arislot. Metaph. libr. A. p. 519, in Brandis, Schol. p. 589.) That we are indebted to Eudemus and his followers for the preservation of this inestimable work may also be inferred from the fact, that Joannes Philoponus states that Pasicrates (or Pasicles) of Rhodus, brother of Eudemus and likewise a disciple of Aristotle, was, according to the opinion of some ancient critics, the author of the second book of the Metaphysics (the book á). (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iii. p. 256 ; Syrian. ad Aristol. Metaph. B. p. 17; Alexand. Aphrodis. pp. 55, 82, ad Sophist. Elench. ii. p. 69, ed. Venet. 1529.)


Eudemus and the
Ethics
of Aristotle

For the Ethics of Aristotle we are also probably indebted more or less to Eudemus. We have, under the name of Ethics, three works ascribed to Aristotle of very unequal value and quality. [ARISTOTELES, pp. 330, 331.] One of these bears even the name of Eudemus (Ἠθικὰ Εὐδήμεια), and was in all probability a recension of Aristotle's lectures edited by Eudemus. What share, however, Eudemus had in the composition of the chief work (the Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια) remains uncertain after the latest investigation of the subject.


Further Information

Pansch, de Moralibus magnis subditicio Aristotelis libro, 1841.

[A.S]

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