ἀκροάομαι, to hear).—Designed for the hearing of the
initiated, applied to the lessons which were Esoteric (ἐσωτερικός) in contrast
with the Exoteric, those given to general audiences (ἐξωτερικός).
Plutarch (in Alexand.) and Aulus Gellius (l. XX. c. 4)
maintained that the
acroamatic works had natural philosophy and logic for their
subjects, whereas the exoteric treated of rhetoric, ethics, and
politics. Strabo (l. 13, p. 608), Cicero (Ad Atticum, 13, 19),
and Ammonius Herm. (Ad Categor. Aristot.), maintain that they
were distinguished, not by difference of subject, but of form; the
acroamatic being discourses, the exoteric dialogues.
Simplicius (Ad Categor. in Proem.) thus characterises the
acroamatic in contradistinction to the exoteric works:
"distinguished by pregnant brevity, closeness of thought, and quickness
of transitions," from his more expanded, more perspicuous, and more
Buhle has a Commentatio de Libris Arist., Exot. et
Acroam., in his edition of the works of Aristotle, 5 vols. 8vo, Deux
Ponts, 1791, p. 142.
"In Aristotle's works the word exoteric does
not occur (yet
cf. Analyt. Post., I. 10, p. 76, bk. 27,
ὁ ἔσω λόγος as
ὁ ἐν τῇ φυχῇ, in opposition to
but exoteric is employed in the sense of 'outwardly directed,
addressed to the respondent (πρὸς
ἕτερον)' " (Ueberweg's
Hist, I. 143).
"In the life of Aristotle, by Mr Blakesley" (published in the
Ency. Met.), "it
has been shown, we think most satisfactorily, that the acroamatic treatises of
Aristotle differed from the exoteric, not in the abstruseness or mysteriousness
of their subject-matter, but in this, that the one formed part of a course or
system, while the other were casual discussions or lectures on a particular
thesis" (Mor. and Met. Phil., by Maurice, note, p. 165).