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Neoplatonic Source-Material In Eustratios Of Nicaea’s Commentary On Book VI Of The Nicomachean Ethics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the role played by Neoplatonic sources in Eustratios' commentary on book VI of the Nicomachean Ethics. Here, although the commentator does not deal directly with the Aristotelian criticism of the Platonic theory of knowledge, Eustratios still seems to regard the Platonic and Neoplatonic tradition as a reliable set of sources for the exegesis of the Aristotelian text. By reading Eustratios' commentary, one realizes how difficult it is to locate Eustratios within the traditional scheme that is used to define Byzantine literature of the XI and XIIth centuries. To label him as a Christian, as a Neoplatonist, or as a Christian Neoplatonist does not fully account for the very complex character of this Byzantine commentator. This chapter avoids these kinds of characterizations and to have instead focuses upon Eustratios' methodology and his textual approach, in particular, his peculiar way of constructing his arguments from his mainly Neoplatonic sources.

Keywords: Aristotelian criticism; book VI; Byzantine literature; Eustratios' commentary; Neoplatonic sources; Nicomachean Ethics



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