Winter 2006, pages 77 - 106
Strabo, Plutarch, Porphyry and the Transmission and Composition of Aristotle's Rhetoric. a Hunch
Scholars who have been writing recently about the unity and composition of Aristotle's Rhetoric make either brief or no mention of the transmission and editorial history of Aristotle's texts. This essay addresses this void by first presenting and discussing Strabo's, Plutarch's, and Porphyry's accounts of the transmission and editorial history of Aristotle's and Theophrastus' texts in conjunction with discussing the list of works that Diogenes Laertius ascribes to both authors. Once the transmission and editorial history is considered, evidence is presented from the Rhetoric that may indicate two important points. the extent to which the text is a compilation of previously independent texts that were ascribed to both Aristotle and Theophrastus and that Andronicus, rather than Aristotle, may be responsible for the text as we have it.