Aristoteles Latinus II 1-2, De interpretatione uel Peri hermeneias. Translatio Boethii edidit L. Minio-Paluello, Translatio Guillelmi de Moerbeka, edidit G. Verbeke reuisit L. Minio-Paluello Bruges-Paris 1965, pp. 5-38 (Corpus Philosophorum Medii Aeui).
Boethius, who considered logic to be of fundamental importance for proper investigations of the truth, decided both to translate Aristotle’s Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας in a more pleasing, less obscure style than the original Greek (Syll. Cat. PL 64, 1793CD) and to explicate its contents with a commentary that was attached to it in two editions (an editio maior and an editio minor). The hypothesis positing that a later copyist created a continual text of Boethius’ translation by collating all the fragments contained in the two Commentaries should be deemed groundless: in fact, the commentaries only quote selections of the Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας, and at numerous points the wording presented in them differs from that of the full translation. The full translation is furthermore characterized by details of linguistic and stylistic coherence that find clear parallels in Boethius’ translations of Aristotle’s Categories and Porphyry’s Isagoge (“introduction”) to that text. Boethius, then, should have edited his own translation three times: once in complete form without a commentary; once in quasi-complete form through the fragments cited in the Commentarius maior; and one final time through the fragments cited in the Commentarius minor, which lacks about one third of the Aristotelian text. The translation of the Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας presented in the Commentaries does not appear to be complete, probably because Boethius only translated the sections he intended to gloss while passing over those parts that were of less importance or interest to him (Minio-Paluello 1965). Regarding the points at which the three translations differ from one another, one may observe that the full translation is more accurate than the text transmitted by the two Commentaries, and that the translation glossed in the Commentarius maior is better than the one glossed in the Commentarius minor (Minio-Paluello 1962). Karl Meiser composed a critical edition of Boethius’ translation of the Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας for Teubner in 1887-1880, but his chief goal was to publish the Commentaries rather than the full translation; indeed, he only placed the translation before the two Commentaries because he found it was always copied before them in some of the manuscripts that he consulted for his critical edition. In keeping with these interests, Meiser did not consider those manuscripts—some of which were extremely old—that offered the translated text of the Περὶ Ἑρμηνείας without the Commentaries (Meiser 1877-1880). Lorenzo Minio-Paluello thus decided to reexamine the work’s manuscript tradition during the 1950s and prepared a new critical edition of the full translation, which was published in 1965 in the series ‘Aristoteles Latinus.’ [M. Ferroni; tr. C. L. Caterine].