State of work on the edition of Sententia super Meteora

by Kevin White

     The manuscript tradition consists of ten continuous witnesses, and two manuscripts that present extracts as marginal glosses to the Meteora. In 1966, the manuscripts were carefully examined in an article published by A. Dondaine, O.P., and L. J. Bataillon, O.P., “Le commentaire de saint Thomas sur les Météores,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 36 (1966): 81-152. This article has been the basis of my study of the manuscript tradition.

     Among their findings, Dondaine and Bataillon established that Aquinas’s commentary includes three chapters, attested to by a number of manuscript witnesses, which had never appeared in any printed edition. In 1992, I published an edition of these chapters in “Three Previously Unpublished Chapters from St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Meteora Sentencia Super Meteora 2.13-15,” Mediaeval Studies 54 (1992): 49-93.  In the introduction to this edition, I present a “Preliminary Critique of the Manuscript Tradition” (pp. 55-64), in which I discuss pecia markings at six points in the commentary, and conjecture that there may have been two other pecia divisions. I also present a stemma (p. 63), established on the basis of collations of all witnesses to the first pecia, and to the chapter in which the transition from the second to the third pecia occurs. The stemma distinguishes between a “university” group of seven manuscripts and an “independent” group of three manuscripts. Subsequent soundings have confirmed this basic division in the tradition.

     In 2008, an important resource for the edition was published, namely, the Aristoteles Latinus edition of the Moerbeke translation, edited by Gudrun Vuillemin-Diem (Aristoteles Latinus : X.2.1-2).  The editor shows that the manuscript of the Aristotelian text used by Aquinas was either the model, or an exceptionally faithful copy of the model, of a second exemplar of the Aristotelian text used for copying at the University of Paris.

     Another important resource for the edition is Alexandre d’Aphrodisias. Commentaire sur les Météores d’Aristote. Traduction de Guillaume de Moerbeke, ed. A. J. Smet. Centre De Wulf-Mansion. Corpus Latinum Commentariorum in Aristotelem Graecorum 4, 1968.
Also useful to have is the edition of the Meteora of Albertus Magnus published in 2003, in Volume 6.1 of the Cologne edition of Albert’s Opera Omnia.

      Proceeding chapter by chapter, I am currently preparing a draft of all thirty chapters of Thomas’s commentary, along with an Aristotelian text based on the Aristoteles Latinus edition.