I came across a reference to the work of Aristotle "Metaphysics". The reference is:

Met. I.3 983b6–18

Here I can comprehend few parts of this reference which are

1: Met. stands for Metaphysics, the workitself 2: I stands for Book One. 3: 983b denotes the section, 4: 6-18 are referring to the paragraphcs.

But, I am not getting what ".3" means here.

Please help in knowing this. Also, please correct me, if needed, in the four parts which I think that I got properly.

I tried to check the reference format on Internet and the text of the work available online. And, I got work-title, Book No, Section and Pparagraph(s), like; Metaphysics, Book I, Section 983b, paragraphs 6-18.

But, ".3" doesn't sit in any of it.

Thanks for your time!


That's not quite right for the parsing.

What you're seeing is BOOK Chapter and Bekker notation.

Your example:

Met. I.3 983b6–18

= Metaphysics Book I Chapter 3

Bekker page 983 column b lines 6-18.

So 6-18 is not the paragraph numbers but rather the line numbers in the Bekker edition.

This is the standard scholarly way to cite Aristotle. You can also omit chapters but it's usually helpful to do work, Book, and Bekker are always to be included because that explains how someone can find it in any scholarly edition.

  • 1
    Thank you very much. You introduced me to Bekker Notation which I was unaware of. Jun 22 '18 at 12:20

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