Empedocles, On Nature 1.273-287: Place, the elements and still no 'we'

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Abstract

This article presents a new, complete edition of Empedocles, On Nature I.265-90, in particular lines I.273-87 or a (ii) 3-17 of the Strasburg papyrus of Empedocles, P. Strasb. gr. Inv. 1665-1666. The basis for the edition is two new supplements to section a (ii) grounded on doxographic testimony. These new supplements confirm that the passage is devoted to cosmology, specifically the relation between place and the elements. That in turn provides a reliable framework for a reconstruction of the remaining lines. More controversially, the reconstruction gives new grounds for rejecting the controversial variant reading συνερχόμεθα ‘we come together’ found in two or perhaps three instances in the papyrus. If the content of the passage is consistently cosmological, these new variants must be no more than scribal errors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-584
Number of pages23
JournalMnemosyne
Volume70
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Empedocles
  • elements
  • cosmic cycle
  • natural places
  • doxography

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