Aristoxenus of Tarentum: Texts and Discussion, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Aristoxenus of Tarentum

Texts and Discussion, 1st Edition

By Carl Huffman


400 pages

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Paperback: 9781138507395
pub: 2017-09-28
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pub: 2012-01-15
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Aristoxenus of Tarentum was reported to have been bitterly disappointed when Theophrastus was chosen instead of him to succeed Aristotle as the head of the Peripatetic School. He had a truly phenomenal output of some 453 volumes, most of which survive only in fragments. He was the most famous music theorist in antiquity and came to be referred to simply as "the musician." In addition, he was a founder of Greek biography and wrote the life histories of Pythagoras, Archytas, Socrates, and Plato among others.

This volume includes eleven selections, which are almost evenly divided between his work in music theory and biography. There is a chapter on his general biographical method as well as chapters on his specific treatments of the Pythagoreans, Socrates, and Plato. There are chapters evaluating the extent to which Aristoxenus was a historian of music, his account of music therapy, his views on musical "character," the use of instruments and empiricism in his harmonic theory, and his relation to the "Neoclassical" Greek composers of the fourth century.

This volume includes: "Did Aristoxenus Write Musical History?," Andrew Barker; "Instruments and Empiricism in Aristoxenus' Elementa harmonica," David Creese; "Aristoxenus and Musical Ethos," Eleonora Rocconi; "Aristoxenus and Music Therapy: Fr. 26 Wehrli Within the Tradition on Music and Catharsis," Antonella Provenza; "Aristoxenus and the "Neoclassicists," Timothy Power; "Apollonius on Theophrastus on Aristoxenus," William W. Fortenbaugh; "Aristoxenus' Biographical Method," Stefan Schorn; "Aristoxenus and the Pythagoreans," Leonid Zhmud; "Aristoxenus' Life of Socrates," Carl A. Huffman; "Aristoxenus' Life of Plato," John Dillon; and "Aristoxenus and the Early Academy," Andrew Barker. Spanning close to three full decades, Transaction's Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities Series continues to pioneer in the field of classical studies.

Table of Contents

Remembering Robert William Sharples
1 Did Aristoxenus Write Musical History?
Andrew Barker
2 Instruments and Empiricism in Aristoxenus'
Elementa Harmonica
David Creese
3 Aristoxenus and Musical thos
Eleonora Rocconi
4 Aristoxenus and Music Therapy: Fr. 26 Wehrli
within the Tradition on Music and Catharsis
Antonietta Provenza
5 Aristoxenus and the "Neoclassicists"
Timothy Power
6 Apollonius on Theophrastus on Aristoxenus
William W. Fortenbaugh
7 Aristoxenus' Biographical Method
Stefan Schorn
8 Aristoxenus and the Pythagoreans
Leonid Zhmud
9 Aristoxenus' Life of Socrates
Carl Huffman
10 Aristoxenus' Life of Plato
John Dillon
11 Aristoxenus and the Early Academy
Andrew Barker
Frequently Used Abbreviations
Works Cited
Index of Ancient Sources
General Index

About the Series

Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities


Han Baltussen, University of Adelaide, Australia

David Mirhady, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Stephen A. White, University of Texas at Austin, USA


This series, often referred to by the acronym RUSCH, grew out of Project Theophrastus, an international undertaking, whose purpose has been to collect, edit and comment on the surviving works and fragments of Theophrastus of Eresus, Aristotle’s pupil and successor as head of the Peripatetic School. To foster this endeavor a series of conferences were established that focused on subjects relevant to Theophrastus. The proceedings of these conferences were deemed worthwhile in their own right and under the direction of Professor William Fortenbaugh were published as volumes of RUSCH. Initially the volumes were closely related to work on Theophrastus, but in time the focus widened to included Theophrastus’ colleagues and successors in the Peripatos. Currently the volumes collect and edit the relevant texts, offer an English translation, and provide discussion of important issues. They contribute to our knowledge of philosophic developments within the Hellenistic Period, when the Academy and the Peripatos were challenged by the founding of new schools including the Stoics and the Epicureans.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Ancient & Classical