Editing Aristotle's Metaphysics: why should Harlfinger's stemma be verified?
The textual transmission of Aristotle’s Metaphysics is currently described by Dieter Harlfinger’s stemma codicum. It appeared in 1979 within the acts of the 1972 Symposium Aristotelicum.1 With a single exception, the stemma has been accepted by scholars without discussion, or with minor relevances only. On the other side, at least until 2009 no stemmatically-based edition of a single book of the Metaphysics appeared. Still today, no new general edition is available. We are thus still left with Jaeger’s 1957 OCT – admittedly, an editio minor, which partly depends on Ross’ 1924 critical apparatus and textual choices. But things are evolving now, as we are about to see: this crucial theory and practice – editing Aristotle’s Metaphysics –is moving today faster than it has since the 19th century. Hence the interest in promoting a broader and a more articulated discussion, by pointing out some basic desiderata, which show the need for the subject to be taken into consideration anew.
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