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Prof. Dr. Oliver Primavesi

Research Interests:

Greek Philosophy (Presocratics to Aristotle), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Polychrome Sculpture, History of the Transmission of Greek Philosophical Texts, Methodology of Classical Editing


Oliver Primavesi is Professor of Greek Philology at the LMU Munich, where he has held the Chair of Greek Philology I since 2000. He received his Ph.D. in 1994 with a dissertation on Aristotle's Dialectic and his Habilitation in 1997 on the Strasburg Papyrus of Empedocles, both from the Goethe University Frankfurt, where he was also Reader in Classics from 1990 to 2000. Since 2008, he has been a corresponding member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He has received several awards, including the Leibniz Prize in 2007 and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2010.

Project Abstract

My research project is part of my long-term project to prepare, together with Marwan Rashed (Sorbonne), a new critical edition of Aristotle's Metaphysics, based on extensive collations of the independent Greek manuscripts made possible by my Leibniz Prize 2008-2014 and provided by a team led by Pantelis Golitsis, who is also a former fellow at the Einstein Center Chronoi. 

My work during the EC-C fellowship will focus on the constitutio textus of the last four books (Kappa-Lambda-My-Ny), where the stemmatic situation is strikingly different from that of the first ten books. In particular, I hope to provide a more reliable text of the second half of Book Lambda, which contains Aristotle's famous argument for the existence of a first unmoved mover of the universe, based on the eternity of time.

Curriculum vitae


Habilitation in Classical Philology (1997), Goethe University Frankfurt

Ph.D. in Classical Philology (1994), Goethe University Frankfurt 

Diploma in Latin and Greek (1988), Heidelberg University

Academic Positions and Fellowships

Since 2000

Chair of Greek Philology I, LMU Munich

Since 2008

Corresponding member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina


Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin


Lecturer in Classics, Goethe University Frankfurt 

Honors and Awards


Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany


Prix Joseph Gantrelle, Royal Academy of Belgium, Brussels


Prix Reinach, Association pour l'Encouragement des Études Grecques, Paris

Selected Publications

2023. Aristotle: De Motu Animalium. A New Critical Edition of the Greek Text by Oliver Primavesi, with an English Translation by Benjamin Morison and an Introduction by Christof Rapp and Oliver Primavesi. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2022, ed. with Anna Kathrin Bleuler. Lachmanns Erbe. Editionsmethoden in klassischer Philologie und germanistischer Mediävistik. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 19. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag.

2010, ed. with Vinzenz Brinkmann and Max Hollein. Circumlitio: The Polychromy of Antique and Mediaeval Sculpture. Schriftenreihe der Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung. Munich: Hirmer.

1999, with Alain Martin. L'Empédocle de Strasbourg (P. Strasb. gr. Inv. 1665-1666): Introduction, Edition et Commentaire. With an English Summary. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.

1996. Die Aristotelische Topik: Ein Interpretationsmodell und seine Erprobung am Beispiel von Topik B. Zetemata 94. Munich: C. H. Beck.

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