Questions of life and death. An inquiry into the reception of Aristotle's De longitudine et brevitate vitae and De iuventute et senectute, De vita et morte, De respiratione in the Middle Ages
This project focuses on the twelfth-century Latin translations, made by James of Venice, of Aristotle’s treatises On Length and Shortness of Life and On Youth, Old Age, Life and Death, and Respiration and on the manuscripts that contain these translations. These manuscripts will be studied from a twofold angle, aiming at full disclosure of their relevance for the study of medieval Aristotelian natural philosophy. First, the project aims at editing and analysing James’s translation. From a philological point of view, this includes an analysis of the genesis of the translation, a mapping of the different forms in which it circulated, and a study of the Greek source(s) that are at its basis. From a doctrinal point of view, we will examine which semantic shifts took place in the process of translating and disseminating the translation. Secondly, the project studies the reception of Aristotle's natural philosophy in the Medieval West, by studying not only – as is often done – commentaries on Aristotle's works or treatises in which Aristotle's works are used but also by focusing on the interlinear and marginal glosses found in the manuscripts of the translation. By this combination of historic-philosophical, philological, and codicological research, we will offer an innovative view on the appropriation of Aristotelian natural philosophy in the Middle Ages.