The role of medieval Syriac scholars in the translation, and thus preservation, of classical literature cannot be underestimated. Gottheil provides all of the extant Syriac texts of the translation of Aristotle’s Categories, and a brief introduction.
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The role of medieval Syriac speaking scholars in the translation, and so preservation, of many works of classical literature cannot be underestimated. Among the works of interest, exceptional attention was directed to Aristotle’s Organon. Professor Gottheil suggests that this was due to its usefulness in matters of theology and philology. Due to this utility its perpetuation in the Syriac speaking world outlasted that of all else in Aristotle’s literary corpus. Herein, Professor Gottheil provides all of the extant Syriac texts of the translation of the portion of the Organon known as the Categories. These are accompanied by a brief introduction reviewing the status of scholarship on the preservation of Aristotle’s works in the early medieval Near East to the author’s time and addressing the concerns surrounding the texts he is to present.
Richard James Horatio Gottheil (1862-1936) was educated at Columbia and Leipzig. Concerned with the reception of Jews in American society, he was an advocate of Zionism and a supporter of Jewish students at his home institution of Columbia University. His name is widely recognized from the many Columbia dissertations he supervised, many of which were subsequently published. He also held the office of President of the Society of Biblical Literature.