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The Anonymous Commentary On Nicomachean Ethics VII: Language, Style And Implications

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Chapter Summary

The anonymous commentator on Nicomachean Ethics (NE) VII has gained a tripartite reputation for incompetence among the scholars of the past two centuries who have examined his work. Their verdict is unanimous: he is incompetent in managing the morphology and vocabulary of Greek, incompetent in mustering adequate Greek style to express himself, and incompetent in understanding and explicating philosophical ideas. This chapter illustrates two examples of Anonymous' practice. Although Michael and Eustratios occasionally use Anonymous' beloved conjunction, their commentaries on the NE do not present the dense thickets of ἢτοι typical of Anonymous' style. In this highly selective discussion of Anonymous' literary interests, the chapter reserves a particularly tantalizing instance either of his scholarly industry and resourcefulness or of his willingness to present pseudo facts without any basis in sources. It summarizes a philologist's sketch of Anonymous based on characteristics of his commentary.

Keywords: Anonymous' practice; Nicomachean Ethics (NE) VII



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