This paper deals with the most ancient tale about the way and the time Aristotle’s Metaphysics was composed. This is found at the beginning of Asclepius’ commentary in Metaphysicam (4.4-16 Hayduck). If we consider the general context which the tale seems to presuppose, its interest is twofold: it witnesses for a time when the Metaphysics could still be regarded as an unfinished work. In this paper, after some remarks on the reception and the textual constitution of the text, I suggest that Asclepius’ source could be Alexander of Aphrodisias in his lost introduction to Aristotle’s Metaphysics. If so, Alexander could have still been in condition to apologize for some lately made changes in the overall shape of the work.
Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Asclepius of Tralles, Eudemus of Rhodes, Alexander of