Dream interpretation itself, though mentioned approvingly as an important tool of medical diagnosis, is not given much attention in the work, and in any case must lose much of its splendor within a rather prosaic theoretical framework.
How, therefore, could Aristotle acquire such a reputation?
In Arabic, the Parva Naturalia are known as Kit?b al-?iss ( al-??ss ) wa ? l-ma?s?s , the title of the first treatise ( De sensu et sensibilibus ) being used for the collection as a whole.
Several medieval Arabic and Hebrew texts refer to, or quote, what Aristotle says about dreams and divination in Kit?b al-?iss wa ? l-ma?s?s .
Some of these quotations have already given rise to the suspicion that the version of De divinatione per somnum transmitted in Arabic must have been quite different from the Greek text we know.
However, it was only in 1985 that Hans Daiber discovered a copy of Kit?b al-?iss wa ? l-ma?s?s itself in a seventeenth-century manuscript in the Raza Library, Rampur (India).
This text can finally provide an answer to the question of why Aristotle could be regarded as an authority on divinatory dreams and their interpretation.