Sergius of Resh‘aina’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Categories
The Commentary Project team is working on aspects of Sergius of Res'aina’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Categories with the aim of producing both an edition and a translation of this fascinating but under-read text.
Parts of the text have been translated already into Italian and French [Bibliography of previous research on Sergius], but otherwise no access exists to this text other than through the manuscripts. Sergius’ Commentary is an important example of Alexandrian Neoplatonist Aristotelianism in its own right and stands besides better known works of the same genre, such as the Commentaries of his contemporaries Simplicius and Philoponus, but is also important as a first attempt to transport this approach to learning and scholarship into the Semitic world.
The format of the work is an extensive lemma-by-lemma commentary in seven books with real contributions from Sergius as well as repetition of earlier material, especially his teacher in Alexandria, Ammonius. The Prologue and Book 1 deal with the Prolegomena to Aristotle that are commonly found in comparable Greek texts. From Book 2, Sergius then begins to deal in detail with the issues raised by the Aristotelian text of the Categories.
According to his Prologue, Sergius intended the complete a commentary series on all the works of Aristotle (as did Boethius in the West at about the same time) although as far as we know he never progressed beyond the Categories.