Titles of Aristotle's works and their abbreviations

Aristotle's works are often referred to by Latin forms of their titles, and equally often by abbreviations derived from these Latin forms. Since he wrote in Greek, this may seem a silly practice for English-speaking audiences, but we do it anyway (at least Latin titles and abbreviations are the same for English, French, German, Italian, etc., writers). This table may be useful in figuring out references.

The order of works in this table descends from Andronicus' edition (1st. C. BCE). Andronicus grouped the works by category and arranged them in an order of study: first logic, then natural science, then ethics and politics. Note that the Metaphysics, as its title suggests, follows next in order after the works on natural science, and just before the works on ethics and politics. This order is reflected in the standard page, column, and line numbers given in modern editions of Aristotle's works: actually, those numbers correspond to the pagination of Immanuel Bekker's edition of 1831. All of this is merely a matter of convenience: the order certainly has nothing to do with chronology (a very difficult subject when it comes to the Aristotelian treatises), nor can it be taken for granted that it reflects Aristotle's own views. Several works generally regarded as spurious are omitted from the table below.

Latin Title English titlesCommon abbreviations
Categoriae CategoriesCat., Catg.
De InterpretationeOn InterpretationDe Int., Int., DI
Analytica PrioraPrior AnalyticsAn. Pr., APr., Pr. An.
Analytica PosterioraPosterior AnalyticsAn. Post., APo., APst., Post. An.
De Sophisticis ElenchisOn Sophistical RefutationsSE, Soph. El.
OrganonOrganon (collective title for the preceding six works)
Physica Physics Phys.
De Generatione et CorruptioneOn Coming-to-Be and Passing Away; On Generation and CorruptionGC, De Gen. et Corr.
De CaeloOn the HeavensDe Cael., DC, Cael.
MeteorologicaMeteorologyMeteor., Metr.
De AnimaOn the SoulAn., De An., DA
De Sensu et SensibilibusOn Sense and Sensibles, On Sense and SensibiliaSens., SS
De Memoria et ReminiscentiaOn Memory and RecollectionMem., Mem. et Rem.
De Somno et VigiliaOn Sleep and WakingSomn., Somn. et Vig.
De InsomniisOn DreamsInsomn.
De Divinatione per SomnumOn Divination by DreamsDiv., Div. Somn.
De Longitudine et Brevitate VitaeOn Longness and Shortness of LifeLong., Long. Vit.
De Juventute et Senectute [De Vita et Morte] On Youth and Old Age [On Life and Death]Juv.
De RespirationeOn RespirationResp.
Parva NaturaliaLittle Physical Treatises (collective title for the preceding eight works)PN
De SpirituOn BreathSpir., Spirit.
Historia AnimaliumHistory of Animals; Natural History of AnimalsHist. An., HA
De Partibus AnimaliumOn the Parts of AnimalsPA, Part. An.
De Motu AnimaliumOn the Motion of AnimalsMA
De Generatione AnimaliumOn the Generation of AnimalsGA
De Incessu Animalium On the Beginnings of Animals, Progression of AnimalsIA
MetaphysicaMetaphysics Met., Metaph. (Greek letters for individual books are often used alone)
Ethica NicomacheaNicomachean* EthicsEth. Nic., EN
Ethica EudemiaEudemian EthicsEth. Eud., EE
Magna MoraliaMagna Moralia MM
PoliticaPolitics Pol.
Rhetorica, Ars RhetoricaRhetoric; Art of RhetoricRhet.
PoeticaPoetics Poet.

*The most extreme penalties attach to anyone who spells this 'Nichomachean'

Table courtesy of Prof. Robin Smith, Texas A & M University

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