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Challenging Authorities: Prodromos’ Criticism of Aristotle’s Categories

Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm

Challenging Authorities: Prodromos’ Criticism of Aristotle’s Categories

In the twelfth-century Byzantium there was a significant revival in Aristotelian studies revolving around the princess Anna Komnene (1083 - 1153). One of the most prolific Byzantine authors and court poet, Theodore Prodromos (c. 1100 – c. 1165/70), probably close to this circle, not only engaged in interpreting Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics, but also in his treatise “On Great and Small” challenged one of the positions taken by Aristotle in his Categories. In the section on category of quantity, Aristotle claims that big and small, as well as many and few, should not be regarded neither as quantities, nor to be opposed to each other as contraries, but rather to belong to category of relatives. And in the treatise, Prodromos tries to prove exactly the opposite and argue not only against Aristotle’s view, but also against what was traditionally accepted by interpreters of Aristotle’s Categories.  Together with Porphyry’s Isagoge, Aristotle’s De Intepretatione and Prior Analytics, Categories were one of the first texts that a Byzantine student of logic encountered in educational setting and these texts were prerequisite for further studies of philosophy and theology. In the Late Antique and Byzantine tradition, these authoritative texts were expounded, but almost never been challenged. Therefore, this talk, by situating Prodromos’s treatise within rich commentary tradition on Aristotle’s Categories, will closely assess how Prodromos’s line of reasoning and challenging authorities contributes to Byzantine studies of Logic.  

You can attend the seminar either in person or via Zoom. 

Due to COVID regulations on campus, external guests need to register for events. If you are an external guest, please send an email to by January 23 at the latest. We will request a visitor card for you, which you can pick up from the reception desk when you arrive for the event on Tuesday, January 24.

If you plan to attend online, the zoom link:…

Meeting ID: 945 6267 3369

Passcode: 300652

Time: Jan 24, 2023 05:30 PM Budapest