The volume presents the critical edition of the corpus of texts which, at the current status of research, is attributable to David of Dinant. It is preceded by an Introduction which provides a review of the problems regarding the texts’ identification and transmission, and exposes the main scientific-philosophical issues developed by the author.
Daring to identify god and matter, the texts of the Magister were condemned to be burnt in 1210. Nonetheless, many of the texts were salvaged. Significant sections of his work, trasmitted in anonymous or pseudepigraphic form, have survived until today enabling a more thorough and precise evaluation of the author’s interests and intellectual profile. On the basis of the texts, David emerges as a complex figure, at first characterized by a wide knowledge of aristotelian texts, read directly in greek. Almost unprecedented at the beginning of the XIIIth century, this knowledge has become in his writings the fundamental instrument of philosophical inquiry, both metaphysical and naturalistic. Doctrinally remarkable and coherent with the radical metaphysical monism and pantheism, the naturalistic sections of his writings evince competence in many disciplines – physic, cosmology, meteorology, optic, biology- and outline a philosophical culture which, although predominantly peripatetc-oriented, is open to different influences, mainly presocratic. As the title of the book aims to stress, dialogue with ancient thought is the keystone and most original element of David’s philosophical inquiry. He recovered and exploited significant elements of eleatic and pythagoric thought, as well as of hippocratic and galenic tradition. Isolated from the context of contemporary debates, David developed his world outlook drawing from original greek texts and aristotelian doxographies, thereby facing ancient philosophy heritage. David’s philosophical inquiry represents an interesting chapter of the complex process of the west rediscovery, not only of Aristotle but of other different voices of ancient philosophy.