Aristotle, Antisthenes of Rhodes, and the Magikos

J . B. Rives free ebook

Among the many lost works that ancient writers attributed to Aristotle is a piece entitled Magikos. The only substantial
discussion of this work is that of Valentin Rose published a century and a half ago; since his analysis rests on some questionable assumptions that have never been closely examined, it is perhaps time for a reconsideration of the evidence. Although the evidence is scanty, we can nevertheless reach a better understanding of the work’s probable nature and, in turn, of the tradition to which it belonged.
Rose assigned five fragments to the Magikos.1 F 32 comes from Diogenes Laertius: “Aristotle says that a certain magus, who came from Syria to Athens, made several observations about Socrates, most notably that he would have a violent end”.2 F 33 is from the Suda, which, in its entry on Antisthenes, says that “he composed ten volumes; first is Magikos. It tells about Zoroaster, a certain magus who discovered wisdom. But certain people attribute this to Aristotle, and others to Rhodon”.3 F 34 comes from the elder Pliny’s discussion of magic: “Eudoxus, who wanted it.. free ebook