The pseudo-Aristotelian treatise Peri kosmou or De mundo is not a text of great philosophical interest, but it was very important for French Renaissance culture, in a time when none of Aristotle’s treatises of natural philosophy was available in French. This short pedagogical text was translated into Latin by Guillaume Budé in 1526, and into French for the first time as early as 1541 by the French grammarian Louis Meigret (Le Livre du monde faict par Aristote et envoyé à Alexandre le Grand). In spite of this first French translation, the Calvinist theologian Lambert Daneau translated it once more (Traitté du monde et des plus nobles et principales parties d’icelui) and published it in a book entitled Physique françoise (1581), along with Basil of Cæsarea’s Homilies and fragments of John of Damascus. This article focuses on Daneau’s translation, which raises several questions: Why publish the translation in a book called Physique françoise? What were the issues of such a translation, made in order to restore a pious, Mosaic, natural philosophy? Did the context shape the way Daneau translated the text? What are the differences and similarities both with Meigret’s translation and with the humanistic Latin paraphrases by Budé?
Keywords: Guillaume Budé, Louis Meigret, Lambert Daneau, Pseudo-Aristotle, De mundo, cosmography