Abstract | Between Seriousness and Play: Imperial Platonic Readings of the Aristotelian Natural Problems (Plutarch, Taurus, Apuleius)

The aim of this contribution is to examine how the Natural Problems, attributed to Aristotle (but only partially authentic), were received in the first centuries of the Imperial period, specifically in Platonist milieus. I will zoom in on three distinguished Platonic readers: viz. Plutarch of Chaeronea, L. Calvenus Taurus, and Apuleius of Madauros. Which reading contexts can we distinguish in the literature and what do we learn about the readers’ response to what was read? Answering questions like these will contribute to our better understanding of how the Aristotelian genre of natural problems was revived and gained in popularity beyond the confines of the Lyceum, in an era that was pivotal to the transmission of Aristotelianism to many generations to come.