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date: 27 February 2021


  • Robert Sharples


Eudemus of *Rhodes (later 4th cent. bce), pupil and friend of *Aristotle. No account of his life survives, though Simplicius (in Aristotelis de Physica Commentarii 924. 13) mentions a biography by a certain Damas. Eudemus had a strong claim to succeed Aristotle as head of the Lyceum (see aristotle, para. 5), but *Theophrastus was preferred. Later, Eudemus may have returned to Rhodes to set up his own school; but he remained faithful to Aristotle's teaching, and continued in close contact with Theophrastus, for a fragment of a letter to the latter concerning the interpretation of a passage in Aristotle's Physics survives (Simpl. in Phys. 923. 11).Eudemus compiled histories of arithmetic and geometry, astronomy, and theology. His name is coupled with Theophrastus' in important innovations in modal logic; he also wrote on rhetoric, and possibly on zoology. Numerous passages from his work on physics are preserved by *Simplicius; for the most part it is a paraphrase of Aristotle's Physics, though occasionally Eudemus attempts to reduce Aristotle's treatment to a more rigid scheme.

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