Authors/Duns Scotus/Quaestiones in libros Perihermenias Aristotelis

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Primum oportet constituere quid sit nomen, quid verbum &c

There are two separate versions of Scotus's Questions on Aristotle's two books of the Perihermenias. Opus I is on Aristotle's first book only, consisting of 13 questions. Opus II is shorter, but is on both books. The first book of Opus II was called Quaestiones octo (eight questions), in the Wadding edition.



Andrews et al. 2004

  • B. Ioannis Duns Scoti. Quaestiones in libros Perihermenias Aristotelis; Quaestiones Super Librum Elenchorum Aristotelis, edited by Robert R. Andrews, O. Bychkov, S. Ebbesen, G. Gál, R. Green, T. Noone, R. Plevano, A. Traver. Theoremata, edited by M. Dreyer, H. Möhle, and G. Krieger, Opera philosophica 2 (St. Bonaventure, N.Y.: Franciscan Institute Press; Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2004).


The five MSS collated for the Perihermenias text were:

The eight MSS not collated for the Perihermenias text were:


See Wadding 1639 volume 1. Wadding reverses the order of Opus II books I and II, making book II the second part of Opus I (which only consists of book I), and following with book I of Opus II which he introduces as the 'eight questions'.

Hae quaestiones octo, nusquam hactenus impressae, repertae sunt in tribus codicibus vetustis MSS. Primus habetur in Bibliotheca Vaticana, pluteo 20. num. 870. Secundus in Bibliotheca Monasterii S. Mariae de Populo, in Urbe celeberrimi. Tertius in Aniciana Collegii Ordinis S. Benedicti. Primus & Secundus ita praefigunt, Quaestiones Ioannis Scoti super librum primum de Perihermeniis, secundum aliam reportationem. Tertius codex ita habet, ad finem Commentariorum primi libri, quos prae manibus excusos habemus, Expliciunt quaestiones primi Operis libri Perihermenias Aristotelis. Deinde subiungit tractatum, & in fine ita subscribit, Explicit liber primus Perihermenias Aristotelis, & secondi Operis Doctoris Subtilis. Sane stylus, & methodus reliquis huius Operis quaestionibus cohaerent. Videtur Doctor expleto primo opere, maturius, & dum per otium licuit, oblata occasione opus ponderosius expendendi, has questiones adiunxisse.


Wadding had access to three mss.: Vat. Lat. 870 above, and two mss. no longer extant, from Bibl. Monasterii S. Mariae de Populo and Aniciana Collegii Ordinis S. Benedicti.

Groupings of manuscripts

The extant ms can be grouped into

  • Those that contain both the Quaestiones in primum and Quaestiones in duos and preserve them in the 'correct' order (namely Quaestiones in primum, then Quaestiones in duos with the questions on book I first, followed by the questions on book II. These are E, N, R, S, W.
  • The one manuscript (O) that contains Quaestiones in primum then Quaestiones in duos but with the order of book I and book II reversed. (Wadding also keeps this order - the rationale seems to be that Quaestiones in primum is more comprehensive than the corresponding version in Opus II, book I, and so Opus II book II is placed after it to fill the gap.
  • Those that contain only Quaestiones in primum in its entirety (A, K).
  • Those that contain only Quaestiones in primum but omitting qq 12-13 (J, L[1], Q, U, V).

Another difference, discussed in more detail here is that E, L, O, R, S contain an inserted passage or ‘extra’ about the analogy between signification and illumination by the sun. Since the same passage is included in Wadding, who only had access to N plus another two manuscripts now lost (from Bibl. Monasterii S. Mariae de Populo and Aniciana Collegii Ordinis S. Benedicti, see below), it can be safely concluded that the extra is in at least one of the lost manuscripts. Probably both, as Wadding notes in the margin of p. 257 ‘deest totum hoc in cod. Vaticano’, i.e. ‘all of this is missing in the Vatican manuscript’, and would surely have mentioned if it were missing in either of the other two. Santa Maria del Popolo was the first Augustinian monastery in Rome. During his visit to Rome in 1510-1511, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk who would later become a leading figure of the Reformation, stayed here. The monastery was destroyed in 1527 during the sack of Rome.


Time and Existence Cover.jpg
  • Duns Scotus on Time & Existence translation, with introduction and commentary, by Edward Buckner and Jack Zupko, The Catholic University of America Press, 2014. ISBN-13: 9780813226033

See also


  1. Actually L does include Quaestiones in duos, but these are written in a later hand.
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