In this paper, I propose to focus on Aristotle’s passages about the brain in order to gain a deeper understanding of the way they were assimilated in the Latin 13th century. Firstly, I will deal with the Latin translations of Avicenna’s and Averroes’s commentaries on Aristotle’s De animalibus. These Arab authors combined philosophy with medical knowledge and confronted their own views with Aristotle’s one. Then, I will address the question of the selection of Aristotle’s passages by the Latin compiler Bartholomew the Englishman (De proprietatibus rerum). This case will bring to light the sections of Aristotle’s De animalibus considered as very significant by the compiler. Moreover, it will illustrate how the compiler managed to conciliate Aristotle’s words with the opinions of his other sources.
The relationship between astrology and politics is among the most neglected issues in the academic literature on Marsilius of Padua. This paper aims to fill this gap investigating the influence of astrology on Marsilius’s political discourse in his main work, the Defensor Pacis. More specifically, this paper identifies the philosopher, physician, and astrologer, Peter of Abano, as a possible source of three important aspects of Marsilius’s political discourse in the Defensor Pacis: his view of scientia civilis, his idea of lex and the relationship between religion and politics.
The philosopher, medical scholar, and physician Bartholomew of Bruges may be counted among the most important representatives of early 14th century Parisian Aristotelianism. His main contribution to the medieval reception of Aristotle is his commentaries on two pseudo-Aristotelian texts, both translated from Greek into Latin in the 13th century: the Economics and the De inundatione Nili. While the former represents an ancient moral-philosophical tract on the household and on marriage, the latter is a short ancient natural-philosophical treatise on the causes of the annual Nile flood. The paper will present Bartholomew’s commentaries on these two pseudo-aristotelian texts which he believed to be genuine works of Aristotle. In particular, it will discuss the commentator’s attempt to ‘prove’ Aristotle’s authorship and the fully aristotelian character of both treatises and to define their place and purpose within the medieval corpus aristotelicum.