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PENGUIN

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CLASSICS

EARLY GREEK PH ILOSO PHY
ADVISORY EDITOR: BETTY RADICE

Jonathan Barnes was born in 1942 and educated at the City
o f London School and Balliol C ollege, O x fo rd . From 1968
to 1978 he was a Fellow o f Oriel C ollege, O x fo rd ; since then
he has been a Fellow o f Balliol C ollege, O x fo rd . He has
lectured in philosophy since 1968.
His visiting appointm ents have taken him to the U niver­
sity o f Chicago, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton,
the University o f Massachusetts at Am herst, the University
o f T exas at Austin and the W issenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
He has published num erous articles in learned jou rnals and
his books include The Presocralic Philosophers (1979, second
edition 1982) and, in the Past Masters series, Aristotle ( 1982).
Jonathan Barnes has also written the introduction to Aris­
totle’s Ethics in the Penguin Classics.

J O N A T H AN BARNES

EARLY GREEK
PHILOSOPHY

P E N G U IN

BOOKS

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CONTENTS

M ap
In troduction

7
9

Synopsis
Note to the R ead er

PART
1
2
3
4
5
6

36
50

I

P recursors
T h a le s
A n a x im an d er
A n axim en es
Pythagoras
A lcm aeon

55
61
71
77
81
89

7 X en o p h an es
8 H eraclitus

93
100

PART
Parm enides
Melissus
11 Zeno

II
129
143
150

EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY P A R T III 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 E m pedocles F ifth-century P ythagoreanism H ippasus Philolaus Ion o f C hios H ipp o A n a x a go ras A rch elau s L eu cippu s D em ocritus D iogenes o f A po llo n ia 161 202 214 216 223 224 226 240 242 A p p en d ix : T h e Sources F u rth er R ead ing 295 302 Subject In dex In d ex to Q u o ted T e x t In d ex to D iels-K ranz B -T exts 3°5 309 3 *5 244 289 .

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and o f the Sceptics . w h atever its intention. T h e n cam e the p eriod o f the Schools — the p eriod o f Plato and A ristotle. th ere w ere the salad years. th e first G reek ph ilosopher. w hen a sequ en ce o f g ree n and genial individuals established th e scope and d eterm in ed the problem s o f p hilosophy.in w hich elab orate systems o f th ou g h t w ere w orked o u t and subjected to stren u ­ ous criticism. It began w hen T h a le s o f M iletus. did not b rin g p agan p h ilosop h y to a su d den stop.INTRODUCTION I The First Philosophers A cco rd in g to tradition. th ey p ro d u ced com m entaries an d in­ terpretations. T h e tradition is a sim plification: G reek s had en tertain ed philosop h ical thoughts b efo re 585 в с . 9 . G re e k p h ilosop h y b egan in 585 в с and en ded in a d 529. T h e lon g third period was m arked in the m ain by sch olarsh ip and syncretism : the later th in kers stu d ied their p red ecesso rs’ w rit­ ings with assiduity. First. and they attem pted to extra ct a co h eren t and u nified system o f th o u g h t w hich w ould in clu d e all th at was best in the earlier d octrines o f th e Schools. B u t the traditional dates stand as co n ven ien t and m em orable boundaries to the ca reer o f ancien t philosophy. It en d ed when the C hristian E m p ero r Justinian fo rb a d e the teach in g o f pagan ph ilosoph y in the U niversity o f A th en s. p red icted an eclipse o f the sun. o f the E p i­ cureans and the Stoics. from 585 until about 400 в с . an d b egan to d evelo p its con cep tu al equ ipm ent and to fix its stru ctu re. T h e thousand years o f that ca reer d ivid e into th ree period s o f u nequal d u ratio n . and Ju stin ian ’s ed ict. T h is second period en d ed in about 100 в с .

intellectually an d politically. in which thin kers o f very d if­ feren t persu asions attem pted each in his ow n way to reconcile the h opes o f the first th in kers with the rig o ro u s criticism s o f th eir successors. T h e y liked to talk ab o u t ‘Schools’ and about ‘Succes­ sions’. T h e n the early ad ven tu res w ere subjected to strin gen t logical criticism : the d aw n th ey had h erald ed seem ed a false daw n. su p p ly an intellectual fra m ew o rk w ithout w hich the h istory o f th ou g h t can n ot readily be co m p reh e n d ed . In fact n on e o f th e earliest p h ilosoph ers was A th en ia n . artificial th o u g h they are. T h e P resocratic p eriod itself d ivides into th ree parts. was the cen tre an d focus o f the G re ek w o rld . Philosophy b loom ed first on the eastern shores o f th e A e g e a n . T h e ep ith et is inaccu rate. o f Socrates an d A ristop h an es. T h e r e was first a cen tu ry o f bold and creative th ou g h t. w ere even m ore schem atic. su p p o sin g that th e city o f Pericles an d the P arthenon. w hen they cam e to w rite th e history o f th eir ow n th o u g h t. and each p h ilosop h y a set place. T h e s e constructions. T h e s e schem atism s im pose a fixity on w hat was in reality fluid an d irreg u la r. T h e G reek s them selves. fo r Socrates was bo rn in 470 в с and died in 399. Finally. on the south-west 10 . that they d iffe r in fu n d am en tal ways both fro m th eir u nph ilosop hical p red ecessors and from their g re a t successors. in w hich each th in k er had a m aster an d a p u p il. B u t the label is well en tren ­ ch ed and it w ould be idle to attem pt to evict it. with early G reek ph ilosop h y. in small in d e p en d e n t city-states w hich had at that tim e no political ties with A th en s. T h e G re e k states o f Ionia. so that m any o f the ‘P resocratic’ p hilosophers w ere in fact co n tem p o raries o f Socrates. Su ch n aked abstractions req u ire a co verin g o f d ecen t histori­ cal robes. artistically. th eir discoveries ch im erical. T h is period is com ­ m only called the ‘Presocratic’ phase o f G reek th ou gh t. th eir hopes illusory. it is at least ap p ro x im ately tru e that the Presocratics form a u nitary g ro u p .INTRODUCTION T h e p resen t book is co n cern ed with the first o f the three period s. and that w ithin the era w hich their fortu nes span th ree m ain p eriod s can be distin gu ished. M oreo ver. th ere w ere years o f retren ch m en t and consolidation . W h en w e thin k o f G reece we habitually thin k first o f A th en s.

A n a x a g o ra s cam e from C lazo m en ae. L ater. H eraclitus cam e from the city o f E phesus. by th e B o sp h o ru s and a lo n g the coast o f the Black Sea. P ythagoras was born on the island o f Sam os. th eir politics w ere tu rb u len t . noble scu lp tu re. by w hom they w ere eventually d estroyed in 494. a p rosperou s state som e m iles to the north o f M iletus. in art and in literatu re they flo u rish ed . th e first th ree philosop h ers. P ythagoras em igrated from Sam os to the G reek colon y o f C ro to n in south Italy. It was at M iletus in th e south o f Ionia that G re e k ph ilosoph y was born. they en jo yed a rem arkable efflorescence: they b u rg eo n e d econom ically. H ow soon and how w id ely th eir ow n w ork becam e know n we cannot say. D espite these un p ro p itio u s circum stances. the M ilesians w ere co m m er­ cially in d efatigable. M elissus fro m Sam os an d D em ocritu s fro m A b d era in th e north-east.INTRODUCTION coastal strip o f A sia M in or (m o d em T u rk e y ). they bloom ed politically. w ere torn by internal strife and th reatened by ex tern a l en em ies. Internally. Y e t fo r a cen tury and a half. w hich lies close to the m ain land h a lf­ way betw een Ephesus and C o lo p h o n . T h is geograph ical d iversity d id not m ean that the Pre- . X e n ­ oph an es cam e from n earby C o lo p h o n . first the Lydian s. A lcm aeon was a native o f C ro to n . and a fter 546 th e P er­ sians. A n a x im an d er and A n a xim en es. In add ition th ey sent n u m erou s colonies to settle in T h r a c e . B u t the intellectual activity which they p io n ­ eered soon sp read . lived and w orked. It was in this g ifte d tow nship that T h a le s. elegan t vase-paintings. E xtern ally. and they also had conn ection s with Sybaris in south Italy. E m ped ocles cam e fro m A cragas in Sicily. p ro d u cin g m ajestic a rch itectu re. P arm enid es and Z en o w ere born in Elea on the west coast o f Italy. T h e y trad ed not o n ly with the eastern em pires bu t also with E gyp t. T h e M ilesians w ere an u n co m m on ly vigoro u s lot. fro m about 650 to 500 в с .they knew faction . establishing a tra d in g em p o riu m at N aucratis on the N ile delta. with w hom they m aintained an u neasy sym biosis. exqu isite poem s. they w ere n e ig h ­ b ou red by two p o w erfu l em p ires. T h e west too m ad e its contrib ution. strife and blood y revo lu tion .

they w ere not w o rk in g an d th in kin g in isolation. B ut the sp eculation s a re plausible. Physics was d efined very generously: 12 . and the influences and inter­ actions which scholars com m only assum e a re speculative. X en o p h an es a n d E m ped ocles both tell us that they trav­ elled. h ave students. Y e t it is qu ite certain that M elissus knew P arm en­ ides’ w ork intim ately: eith er he had m et Parm enides. m any o f the early philosophers w ere itin eran t. P ythagoras. Z en o an d M elissus d id not m eet regu larly. m igrated fro m the east to the west. A n a x a go ras sp ent m uch o f his life in A thens b e fo re h e retired in ex ile to L am psacu s in the T r o a d . as I said.INTRODUCTION socratics w ere in d ep en d e n t w orkers. ‘Philosophy’ is a G re e k w o rd . L o g ic in clu d ed the study o f lan gu age a n d m ea n in g as well as the study o f th o u g h t an d argu m ent. It is true that th ere is little d irect evid en ce o f fru itfu l intellectual converse a m o n g the various ph ilosoph ers. hold sem inars. M elissus was w o rk in g at m ost a d ecad e o r so a fter P arm enides. N onetheless. w ritin g in ign orance o f o n e a n o th e r’s th ou gh ts. T h e G reeks them selves ten d ed to use th e term in a b road sense. F or m uch in the history o f Preso­ cratic th o u g h t is m ost intelligible on the hypothesis o f m utual contact. O n e p articu lar case is w orth m ention ing. A lth o u g h com m unications w ere slow and freq u en tly d an gero u s. Ethics in clu d ed m oral and political th eorizin g. o r h e had learn ed o f it from som e th ird p arty. discuss th eir th ou gh ts togeth er. T h e School p h ilosophers o f the secon d p eriod regu larly d ivid ed th eir subject into th ree parts: logic. to co ver m ost o f w hat w e now thin k o f as the sciences and the liberal arts. T h e r e was n o Eleatic ‘S ch oo l’: Parm enides. P arm enid es from Elea in west Italy. o r he had d isco vered a co py o f his w ork. M elissus cam e fro m Sam os in the eastern A e g e a n . bu t it also em braced topics which would now fall u nd er the head o f socio­ logy and ethnography. It is tim e to be a little m ore precise. give lectures. T h u s fa r I h ave sp oken o f the Presocratics as ‘philosop h ers’ o r ‘th in kers’. P arm enid es an d Z en o are su p p o sed by Plato to have visited A th en s. ethics an d physics. th e etym ological m ean in g o f which is ‘love o f w isdom ’.

detailed accounts o f n u m erou s natural ph en om en a . the Presocratic en terp rise involved m uch la rg e r and m ore obviously ‘p h ilosoph ical’ questions: d id th e universe have a beginn in g? A n d i f so. the first ‘student o f nat­ u re’ o r ‘natural philosopher’. psychological. T h e r e are ethical and logical parts to som e o f th eir w orks. In term s o f this later th reefo ld distinction. w hen aca­ dem ic specializations and intellectual b o u n d aries had not been th ou gh t o f. eventually. and although the titles w ere bestow ed not by the au th o rs but by later scholars. F or th e gen eral en terprise o f the early p h ilosoph ers was to tell th e w h ole truth ‘about n atu re’ : to d escribe. Thales. how d id it begin? W hat a re its basic constituents? W hy d oes it m ove and d evelo p as it does? «3 . botany. cu ltu ral and intellectual aspects o f h u m an life. then.and in d eed o u r m od ern subject o f physics derives its content no less than its nam e from the G reek phusikoi. was the first phusikos. physics. A t the o th e r en d o f the scale. zoology. bu t th eir c h ie f interest was physics: A ristotle calls them the phusikoi and th eir activity phusiologia.o f the biological. A ll this we m igh tju stly co u n t as ‘science’. o f th u n d e r and rain and hail and w ind and in g en era l o f ‘m eteorological’ events. o f m an .o f eclipses and the m otions o f th e h eaven ly b o d ­ ies. T h e written works o f the early thinkers frequ en tly b o re the title On Nature (Peri Phuseos). they w ere largely ap p ro p riate. to o rg a n ize. and we sh o u ld regard the Presocratics as the first investigators o f m atters which becam e the special objects o f astron om y. But the m odern disdnction between em pirical science and sp ecu lative ph ilosoph y is not readily ap plied to the earliest phase o f western th o u g h t. at on e end o f the scale. political. chem istry.INTRODUCTION it was the study o f n atu re and o f all the p h en o m en a o f the natural world. the Presocratics w ere rega rd ed prim arily as ‘physicists’. social. p sych o logy and so o n . they w ere ‘students o f n a tu re’ and th eir subject was the ‘study o f n a tu re’. an d to ex p lain the universe and all its contents. T o the m od ern read er that m ay sou n d m ore like science than p h ilosop h y . o f anim als their procreation an d gro w th and n o u rish m en t an d d eath and. o f m inerals and o f plants. T h e en terp rise in volved .

T h e playw rights o f the fifth cen tury indicate a w id esp read interest in philosophical m atters: the tragedian E u ripid es show s a keen aw areness o f Presocratic speculation .m en such as P rotagoras. and not all o f them w rote in such co m p rehen sive term s ‘about n atu re’. but when they contracted ties o f friendship and 4 . H ippias . w ere closely allied to the philosophical tradition. T h e g reat historians. a re tou ch ed by philosophical th ou gh t. as A ristotle saw. Presocratic p h ilosop h y d id not sp rin g into existen ce ex nihilo. Several o f the early m edical w ritings associated with the nam e o f H ipp ocrates a re th o ro u g h ly Presocratic in their concerns. and the com ic p o et A ristop h an es will p aro d y p h ilosophical and scientific notions. virtu e and practical success. in the m ost g en eral term s.INTRODUCTION W h at. N onetheless. N o t all observers a p p ro v ed o f these ties. originally practised a tough m ode o f life. W h eth er we shou ld now call them p h ilosoph ers o r scientists o r both is a m atter o f no im portan ce. T h u s a history o f Presocratic phusiologia is not a history o f early G re e k th ou gh t in its en tirety. they w ho p re­ p ared the way fo r Plato an d fo r the g rea t ph ilosophical schools o f th e fo llo w in g generations. and they all d eserve the h o n o rific title o f phusikos. th e Presocratics a re th e m ost im portan t an d influential represen tatives o f the ea rly p eriod : it was they w h o b egan p hilosophy. T h e didactic poets o f the a ge som etim es in d u lged in ph ilosophical reflection . H ero d otu s and T h u cy d id es. B u t they all w rote w ithin that g en eral fram ew ork. T h e com m ercial and political relations betw een Ionia and the M id d le East b ro u g h t cu ltu ral conn ection s a lo n g with them .who p rofessed to teach rh etoric. according to Phylarchus. they w ere not the only thin kers to e n g a g e in phusiologia. T h e sequ en ce o f phusikoi w ho a re th e h eroes o f this book w ere not the only intellectual a d ven tu rers o f early G reece in d eed . In the second h a lf o f the fifth cen tu ry the so-called ‘Sophists’ . G o rgias. T h e C olophonians. is th e n atu re and the unity o f the universe? A n d w hat can we h o p e to learn about it? N o t all the Presocratics asked all these questions.

drenched in the perfum e o f synthetic ointments. haughty. T h e r e a re clear lines o f contact betw een Ionian p o ttery and scu lp tu re on the o n e hand and L yd ian art on the o th er. m any o f the m ost characteristic and significant featu res o f early G reek th o u g h t have no know n antecedents in eastern cultures. T h e G reek ph ilosophers also had G re e k predecessors. Deipnosopliists 526л) B ut effem in acy was not th e o n ly L yd ian g ift. B u t alth o ugh som e eastern fertilization can scarcely be d en ied . the proven parallels a re su rprisin gly few and su rprisin gly im ­ precise. th ere was the E gyptian connection. W hat is m ore. parts o f Presocratic th o u g h t h ave parallels. T h e r e a re sim ilarities betw een certain aspects o f these early tales and certain parts o f the ea rly p h ilo ­ sop h ers’ writings. an d o ffe r in g m ythical histories o f the hum an race. with elegant hair-styles. O th e r. (Athenaeus. fo r ex a m p le. m ore speculative. in eastern texts.INTRODUCTION alliance with the Lydians they turned to luxury. B u t A ristotle m ad e a sh arp distinction 15 . T h e G reeks them selves later su p p o sed th at th eir own ph ilosophy ow ed m uch to the lan d o f the Pharaohs. m ust surely have becom e know n on the sh ores o f A sia M in or and have stim ulated th e Ionians to study astron om y fo r th em ­ selves. telling stories o f how Zeus m arried Earth and t rod u ced the w orld o f natu re. T h a le s’ k n o w led ge o f th e eclipse o f the sun o f 585 в с m ust have been d erived fro m B abylonian learn in g. T h e L yd ian lan gu age had som e influ en ce on Ionian poetry. X enophanes says the same: Learning useless soft habits from the Lydians when they were free from hateful despotism they went to the town square in purple robes. grow ing their hair long and adorning it with gold ornam ents. E arlier poets had w ritten ab o u t th e n atu re and the o rigin s o f the universe. o f a sort. T h e advanced astron om y o f the B abylonians. not less than a thousand o f them in all. In add ition . A n d scholars both m o d ­ ern and ancient have su p p o sed that th ere w ere also co n n ec­ tions betw een the earliest G reek th o u g h t an d the intellectual concerns o f the eastern em pires.

J u st as the early thin kers so u gh t fo r the o rigin s o f the uni­ verse. and m ost sim ply. its history fo llo w in g an ex p licab le co u rse and its d iffe re n t parts arra n g ed in som e co m p rehen sib le system . th eolo gy in place o f the an th ro p o m o rp h ic divini­ ties o f the O lym p ian pan th eo n . It is reasonable to co n clu d e that M iletus in the early sixth cen tu ry в с saw the birth o f science and philosophy. and it is tru e that the d ifferen ces are fa r m ore m arked and fa r m ore significant than the sim ilarities. T h e w orld was not a ran dom collection o f bits. in naturalistic term s . so fa r as we can tell. atheists: they allow ed the god s into their b rave new w orld . the Presocratics invented the very idea o f science and p h ilosophy. so later scholars have so u gh t fo r the origin s o f these first th ou gh ts about the universe.o r the cap rice . B u t they rem oved som e o f the traditional fu n ctio n s fro m the gods. II First Philosophy In w hat d id th eir gen iu s consist? W hat are the characteristics that d efin e the new discipline? T h r e e things in particu lar m ark o f f the phusikoi fro m th eir predecessors. an d som e o f them attem pted to p ro d u ce an im proved. its history was not an arbitrary series o f events. T h e Presocratics w ere not. It m erely su pposes that they w ere m en o f genius.INTRODUCTION betw een w hat he called the ‘m ythologists’ and the philo­ sop h ers. T h e y hit u pon that special way o f lo o k in g at the w orld w hich is the scientific o r rational way. T h u n d e r was exp lain ed scientifically. Still less was it a series o f events d eterm in ed by the will . T h e y saw the w orld as so m eth in g o rd e re d and intelligible. ration alized. First. T h a t conclusion does not ascribe any su p ern atu ral talent to T h a le s and his associates. It w ould be silly to claim that th e Presocratics began som ethin g en tirely novel and totally u n p rece d en te d in the history o f h u m an intellectual en d eav­ o u r. B u t it rem ains tru e that the best researches o f scholarship have p ro d u ced rem arkably little by way o f tru e antece­ dents.o f the gods.it was n o lo n ger a noise 16 .

T h e w orld is o rd erly w ithou t bein g divinely ru n . th o u g h t to explain ev e ry th in g in term s o f a sin gle m aterial elem en t (air) and a p a ir o f co­ ordinated o peration s (rarefaction and condensation). o n e by o n e. A n d the patterns o f th eir in terco n ­ nections provid e the tru ly ex p lan a to ry acco u n t o f the w orld . F or th e h a p p en in gs that constitute the w o rld ’s history a re not m ere b ru te events. A naxim enes. th e Pre­ socratic god s . by his predecessors. it is in the d evelo p m en t o f the notion o f explan ation that we m ay see o n e o f the p rim ary features o f Presocratic philosophy. T h e y are systematic: they explain the w hole sum o f natural events in the sam e term s and by the sam e m ethods. M ost im portan tly. to be record ed and adm ired. T h e *7 . In the first book o f his Metaphysics A ristotle w rote a sh o rt account o f th e early history o f G re e k p hilosoph y. but X en o ph an es insisted that Iris o r the rain bow was in reality nothing but a m u lticolou red clou d . Finally. at any rate. Iris was the god d ess o f th e rain bow . T h e y are stru ctu red events w hich fit togeth er and interconnect.d o not in terfere with the natural w orld .INTRODUCTION m ade by a m inatory Zeus. B u t in essence A ristotle is right. internal: they exp lain the u n i­ verse from w ithin. in term s o f its ow n con stitu en t featu res. H e discussed the subject exclusively in term s o f exp lan atio n s o r causes. invoke few o p eration s. fo r exam p le. T h e y are. T h u s the general principles in term s o f w hich they seek to accoun t fo r the origins o f the w orld are also ap p lied to the exp lan atio n s o f earthquakes o r hailstorm s o r eclipses o r diseases o r m onstrous births. Its o rd e r is intrinsic: the internal principles o f n a tu re a re su fficien t to explain its stru ctu re and its history. as I have said. and they d o not appeal to arb itrary interven tion fro m w ithout. T h e history o f ph ilosophy was thus th e history o f the con ceptu al u n d e r­ standing o f ex p lan a to ry schem es. Presocratic explan ation s a re m arked by several ch aracter­ istics. A ristotle’s a cco u n t o f this history has been criticized fo r bias and partiality.like the god s o f A ristotle an d even o f that arch theist Plato . H e h im self held that th ere w ere fo u r d iffe re n t types o f e x p la n ­ ation (or ‘fo u r causes’) and he th o u g h t that the fo u r had been slowly d iscovered . assum e few ‘u n kn ow n s’. Presocratic explan ation s a re economical: they use few term s.

First. T h e variety m ust be reduced to o rder. T h e term in o logy and the conceptu al equ ip ­ m ent w ere not god -given : they had to be invented. and the order m ad e sim ple . the very attem pt to p ro v id e scientific exp lan atio n s presu p p o ses certain con­ cepts. nonetheless the sam e d esire in form s both the ancien t and the m odern en d ea vo u rs .everyth ing. n erve.fo r that is th e way to intelligibility. o r to form the co n cep t o f a totality o r universe o f all things. is th e choice o f th e w ord kosmos to designate the u niverse. atom . N orm al conversation and norm al business d o not req u ire us to talk ab o u t ev eryth in g . T h e process will not . L et m e illustrate th e point briefly by way o f fo u r central exam p les. ‘to m arshal’ . th ere is the co n cep t o f the u n iverse o r the world itself. the prosecu tion o f the attem pt will bring o th e r concepts to birth. T h e n o u n kosmos d erives from a verb which m eans ‘to o rd e r ’. elem ent. T h e Preso­ cratics w ere a m o n g the first inventors. Plainly. tissue. Science today has its own ja r g o n and its own set o f specialized concepts . I f their attem pts som etim es look com ic w hen they are com pared with the elab orate stru ctu res o f m od ern science. T h e G ree k w ord is kosmos.the d esire to explain as m uch as possible in term s o f as little as possible. is a constant corollary o f scien­ tific stru ggle. T h e Preso­ cratics attem pted the m ost ex tre m e fo rm o f sim plicity. parallax. T h e w ord was certainly used by H eraclitus.’ B u tco n ce p t fo rm ation . ecliptic and so on. It is rem arkable en o u g h that these th in kers should have felt the n eed fo r a w ord to d esign ate the u n iverse . fo rce. T h e scientists will not o ften say to them selves: ‘ H ere is a cu rio u s p h en om en on . we m ust elab or­ ate new concepts to u nd erstan d it and devise new nam es to exp ress it. th e w hole w orld. ‘to a rra n g e ’. equ ally plainly.INTRODUCTION n atural w orld exhibits an ex tra o rd in a ry variety o f phen om en a and events. w h en ce o u r ‘cosm os’ and ‘cosm o­ lo g y ’.o r not o ften be a self-conscious one. F ar m ore note­ w o rth y. and the con sequ en td evelop m ent o f a technical vocabu lary. h o w ever. and it m ay p erh a p s have been used by the first M ilesian philosophers.mass.it is used by H om er 18 .

(T h a t. they have a nature. and th eir w orks w ere generally given the title Peri Phuseos. fo r they d o not grow . is w hat m akes it characteristically G reek . T h e concept o f the cosm os has an aesthetic aspect. T h e y have no natu re. T a b les an d carts and p lo u g h s (and perhaps societies and laws and justice) are artefacts: th ey have been m ade by d esigners (hum an d esigners in these cases) and they are not natural. T h u s a kosmos is an o rd erly a rran gem en t.) B ut also. T h e second term is phusis o r ‘n a tu re’.INTRODUCTION o f the G reek generals m arshallin g th eir troops fo r battle. so m eth in g w hich beautifies and is pleasant to contem plate. and it is the elegant u niverse. T h e cosm os is the universe. it is a b eau tifu l arrangem ent: the w ord kosmos in o rd in a ry G re e k m eant not only an o rd e rin g but also an a d o rn m en t (hence the English w ord ‘cosm etic’). an d m ore im portan t. betw een things which have ‘g ro w n ’ an d things which have been m ade. T h e y them selves used the term phusis: it is p resen t in several o f th e fragm en ts o f H eraclitus. B ut in an o th er. in this sense to discourse ‘O n N ature’ is to talk about the whole o f the natural w o r ld -phu sis and kosmos com e to m uch the sam e thing.and h en ce it m ust be in p rin cip le explicab le. T re e s and plants and snakes (and p erh a p s also rain and clouds and m ountains). T h e w ord d erives from a verb m ean in g ‘to g ro w ’. necessarily. sense th e w ord »9 . it has an essentially scientific aspect: the cosm os is. in d eed . T h e im portance o f the co n cep t o f n atu re lies partly in the fact that it introduces a clear distinction betw een the n atural and the artificial w orld. o rd ered . But the distinction betw een the natural and the artificial (in G reek. and it is plausible to su p p o se that it was also used by the Milesians. on th e o th er hand. T h e Presocratics. as I have said. it is som etim es said. between phusis and techne) does not exhaust the signi­ ficance o f the notion o f nature. In one sense the w ord ‘nature’ designates the sum o f natural objects and natural events. the totality o f things. B u t it is also the ordered u niverse. have not been m ade: they are not artefacts but natural objects — they grew . w ere later reg a rd e d as phusikoi. M oreo ver. and from o u r point o f view m o re im portan tly.

INTRODUCTION serves to d en o te so m eth in g within each natural object: in the first fra gm en t o f H eraclitus. w hy it is soft and yellow . and so on. w h y it has th e various accidental p rop erties it does. an d it is an essential fea tu re — not an accidental o r ch an ce fact ab o u t it. ‘to co m m en ce’. d oes gro w th start fro m ? W h at are the principles o f gro w th . Its n atu re is an intrinsic fe a tu re o f it. in term s o f w hich its o th e r p rop erties can be exp lain ed . T h e in qu iry into th e natu res o f thin gs leads easily to a search fo r principles. It is a d ifficu lt term to translate. Its co gn ate ve rb can m ean e ith e r ‘to b eg in ’. A ll scientists a re in terested . A chem ist. A n arche is thus a b eg in n in g o r origin . T h is indispensable scientific co n cep t was first established by th e Presocratics. say.fo r its ‘n a tu re’ o r phusis. in th e phusis o f things. o r else ‘to ru le’. m alleable an d d uctile. w e a re told. gold — is con­ cern ed to fin d o u t the u n d erly in g o r basic p rop erties o f gold . ‘to g o v e rn ’. T h e term is apt. T h e w o rd .) W riters on an cien t ph ilosoph y often use th e w ord ‘p rin cip le’ o r the p hrase ‘first p rin cip le’ to ren d er arche. and I shall follow th e practice. T h e notions o f p rin cip le an d o rig in in tro d u ce us to a third Presocratic term : arche. (Arche is in fact the norm al G re e k w ord fo r an o ffice o r m agistracy. T h e s e p rop erties will then exp lain w hy gold is. was first used by A n a x im an d er. N a tu re is grow th: what. T h e chem ist is lookin g fo r th e ‘fu n d am en tal p ro p erties’ o f go ld . they w ere in q u irin g into ‘the n atu re o f things’.say. th e origin s o f natural p h en om en a? T h e sam e qu estions w ere readily asked o f the 20 . fo r its ‘essence’ . in this sense. w hy it dissolves in su lp h u ric acid. M oreo ver. N a tu re is a p rin cip le an d o rig in o f gro w th . Per­ haps the basic p ro p erties o f g o ld a re those associated with its atom ic w eight. investigating som e s tu ff . a n atu re o f its ow n. p rovid in g that th e re a d e r keeps in m ind th e Latin etym o logy o f the E n gl­ ish w ord: a prin ciple is a principium o r a begin n in g.an yth in g that grow s and is not m ad e has. A n y natural object . it is an ex p lan a to ry feature: the n atu re o f an object explain s why it behaves in the ways it d oes. it was assum ed . the term phusis designates not th e cosm os as a w hole but rath er a prin ciple within each nat­ ural p art o f the cosm os. th en. W h en the Presocratics inqu ired into ‘n a tu re’. an d it is also a rule o r a ru lin g p rin cip le.

) T h e d iffe ren t stu ffs we see an d feel are. it is th oro u gh ly scientific in spirit. he m eans not that an in telligen t m an can describe things. by an intelligible tran sferen ce. fo r ex a m p le. T h e arche o f th e cosm os is water (or p erh ap s liquid). B ut evidently ev ery th in g m ust be m ad e o u t o f the basic s tu ff o r stu ffs o f the universe. T h a le s’ su ggestion is false in fact. T h e Presocratic inquiries w ere inevit­ ably cru de. to say why it is so. T h e ‘principles’ o f the u niverse will in clu d e its basic s t u ff o r stu ffs. T o g ive a logos o r an acco u n t o f so m eth in g is to exp lain it. B u t the w ord also has a rich er m eaning than that.o n th e co n trary. m erely m odifications o f w ater . not 99 p e r cen t as m od ern cu lin ary pu nd its say. W hen Plato says that an intelligen t m an can give a logos o f things. so that Parm enides. T h e w ord logos is ev en h a rd er to translate than arche. Н ел се in q u irin g into th e princip les o f the cosm os m eans in q u irin g into th e fu n d a m en ta l constitu ­ ents o f all natural objects. W h en H eraclitus begins his bo ok with a referen ce to ‘this logos’.m uch as we now th in k coal an d d ia ­ m onds to be m odifications o f carbon . but rath er that he can explain o r give the reason fo r things. so that a logos is o ften a reason. m ad e o f w ater. so that e v ery th in g in th e cosm os is. at bottom . T h e fo u rth o f my illustrative exam p les is th e co n ce p t o f logos. i. and also with abstract physics o r chem istry. o f o u r h um an reason. It is cognate with the verb legein. In this sense logos m ay be contrasted with p ercep tio n . by reason. T h en ce. in T h a le s’ view . but it is not foolish in p rin cip le .INTRODUCTION cosm os as a w hole: how d id it begin? W hat a re its first p rin c­ iples? W hat are the fu n d am en tal elem ents fro m w hich it is m ade and the fu n d am en tal op eration s w hich d ete rm in e its structure and career? T h e inquiry into archai was in this way closely associated with cosm ology. (T h e . T h u s a logos is so m eth in g said o r stated. can u rg e his read ers to test his argu m en t not by th eir senses bu t by logos. h e probably m eans o n ly ‘this statem ent’ o r ‘this acco u n t’ : m y logos is sim ply w hat I am g o in g to say. held that everyth in g is m ad e o f w ater.e. w hich n orm ally m eans ‘to say’ o r ‘to state’. (C u cu m b ers a re 100 p e r cen t water. T h a le s. i f we a re to believe the later testim ony. logos com es to be used o f the faculty with w hich w e g ive reasons.

T h is is evi­ d e n t even in the earliest o f the Presocratic thinkers and even w hen th eir claim s seem m ost stran ge and leastju stified .) It cann ot be said that the Presocratics established a single clear sense fo r the term logos o r that they invented the concept o f reason o r o f rationality. In them . which m ove tow ards it w ithout the interven tion o f any external pushes o r pulls. H e d id not m erely assert this bizarre d octrine: he argu ed fo r it by a p p ea lin g to the case o f the m agnet.) H ence T h a le s co n clu d ed that the m agn et.INTRODUCTION English term ‘logic’ d erives ultim ately from this sense o f the w ord logos. T h e term logos brings m e to th e third o f th e th ree great achievem ents o f the Presocratics. H ere is a piece o f stone . (A ristotle later took it as o n e o f the d efin in g characteristics o f things with ‘souls’ or living things that they possess such a m otive pow er. I m ean their em phasis on th e use o f reason. d esp ite appearances. they did not rest con ten t with m ere assertion. on a rg u ­ m ent and evid en ce. has a soul. a rg u m en t becom es the sole m eans to tru th .w hat cou ld ap p ea r m ore lifeless? Y et the m agnet possesses a p o w er to move o th er things: it attracts iron filings. B ut m y p o in t is not that the Presocratics o ffe r e d good argu m ents bu t sim ply that th ey o ffe r e d arguments. T h e Presocratics w ere not dogm atists. on rationality and ratiocination. B u t th eir use o f the term logos consti­ tutes the first step tow ards the establishm ent o f a notion which is central to science and philosophy. T h a t is to say. D eterm ined to exp lain as well as d escribe the w orld o f natu re. T h e a rg u m e n t m ay not seem very im pressive: certainly we d o not believe that m agnets a re alive. N ow it is a noticeable fea tu re o f living things that they a re capable o f p ro d u cin g m otion. by way o f the later G reek term logike. they w ere acutely aw are that exp lan atio n s req u ired the giv in g o f reasons. nor should we regard the attractive pow ers o f a p iece o f stone as evid en ce o f life. in d eed . and p erception is rega rd e d as 22 . T h a les is su p posed to have held that all things possess ‘souls’ o r are alive. In the thinkers o f the secon d Presocratic p hase this love o f a rg u m en t is m ore obvious and m ore p ro n o u n ced .

T h e fragm en ts o f M elissus. it is tru e. A s I have already indicated. are p ep p ered with such in feren tial particles. inasm uch as science lives by th e constant critical appraisal o f theories an d argu m en ts. (This is not as harsh a ju d g e m e n t as it m ay seem .) Secon dly. It is som etim es said th at the essence o f science is criticism . no Presocratic (as fa r as w e know) ev er in d u lg ed in the exposition and criticism o f his pred ecesso rs’ views. A lth o u g h w e m ay talk o f the influence o f o n e Presocratic o n an o th er. thirdly. am I su ggestin g that the Presocratics w ere con ­ sistently critical thinkers. and m ost o f th eir a rg u m en ts a re unsou n d. P arm en id es u rg e d his 23 . W h eth er o r not that is so. the Presocratics w ere not avid critics. T h e G reek p a rtic le s -w h ic h are part o f the natural lan gu age an d not devices p ecu liar to academ ic w riters . m ost o f th eir theories a re false. P reso­ cratic w riting wears its rationality on its sleeve. the claim is not that the Presocratics studied logic o r d evelo p ed a theory o f in fere n ce an d argu m en t.m ake ex p licit and o bvious w hat o th e r lan­ guages norm ally leave im plicit and obscure. a re n orm ally expressed in a G reek text. d id reflect on the p o w ers o f th e m ind and on the nature. ‘fo r ’.INTRODUCTION fun dam entally illusory. the claim is not that the P reso­ cratics w ere pecu liarly g oo d at a rg u in g o r that th ey regu larly p rod u ced sou n d argu m en ts. N or.to see exactly w hat this rationality consisted in. It is im portan t. Little w ords like ‘so’. fo r exam p le. which English custom arily om its (or includes at the cost o f tedious pedantry). It is rich in particles. scope and limits o f hu m an k n o w led ge. T h e w ritings o f P arm enid es. fo r th e sam e could be said o f virtually every scientist an d p h ilo so p h e r w ho has ever lived. M elissus and Zeno w ere n oth in g m ore than chains o f argu m en ts. ‘th e re fo re ’. G reek is ideally suited fo r rational discourse. O n th e co n trary. and it can exp ress nuances and niceties o f th o u g h t which in Latin o r English are n orm ally co n veyed by the tone o f voice o r the m an n er o f d elivery. an d A ristotle rightly boasted that no o n e b e fo re him had attem p ted to m ake explicit and system atic the rules and p ro ced u res w hich g o v ern rational th ought. T h e Presocratic ach ievem en t h ere is evid en t in th eir lan­ guage. B u t the study o f logic was in ven ted by A ristotle. Som e o f them .

but few think. w hose w orks w ere a rra n g e d and catalogu ed by a scholar in the first cen tury a d . T h e Presocratics w ere never bestsellers. fo r the sch olar Sim plicius. unlike o u r know ­ led ge o f Plato o r A ristotle. th en. B u t Sim plicius h im self rem arks that P arm en id es’ book was a rarity. w ho w orked in A th en s in the sixth century a d . Zeno. T h o se w h o d o u b t the fact should reflect on the m axim o f G eo rge B erkeley. O u r k n o w led ge o f the Presocratics. is the substance o f the claim that the Presocratics w ere ch am pion s o f reason and rationality? It is this: they o ffe r e d reasons fo r their opinion s.D em ocritus. and it is not d ifficu lt to im agin e that by his tim e m any o th e r Presocratic works had actually d isap p eared . O f all those w orks not o n e has su rvived intact fo r us to read. is not gained directly from the books th ey w rote. th ey gave argu m en ts for th eir views.INTRODUCTION read ers to criticize his views. C ritical reflection d id not com e into its own until the fo u rth cen tu ry в с . Som e w rote in verse and som e in prose. B o oks w ere easily d estroyed . o thers several . A ll told. the eigh teen th -cen tu ry Irish p hilosopher: All m en have opinion s. A n a x a go ras. P erhaps that seem s an u n rem arkable achievem ent. was able to consult texts o f Parm enides. ap p aren tly com posed som e fifty books. but his u rg in g s went unansw ered. M elissus. the collected w orks o f the Presocratic thin kers w ould have m ad e an im press­ ive row on the library shelves. First. then. It is not. O n the co n trary. Som e wrote a sin gle w ork. it is the m ost rem arkable and the m ost praise­ w orth y o f the th ree achievem en ts I have rehearsed . th ere a re n u m erou s referen ces to Presocratic th ou gh t 24 . W hat. T h e y did not u tter ex cathedra pron oun cem ents. I l l The Evidence A few Presocratics w rote nothing. it d ep en d s u pon ind irect inform ation o f two d iffe re n t types. but m ost p u t th eir thoughts to p ap er. Som e o f them en d u red fo r at least a thousand years. R ather. D iogenes o f A p o llo n ia and others.

T h a t su ggestion is in a p p ro p ria te h ere . ‘histories o f ph ilosop h y’. Secon dly. and w e m ust w o n d er i f th e in form ation flow ing dow n it was not som etim es contam in ated with false­ hood o r poisoned by inaccuracy. torn o u t o f a P resocratic bo ok and su rvivin g by som e fluke o f tim e. W e can now read such histories in b r ie f h an d ­ books (for exam p le.fo r ex a m p le. m ere em bellishm ents to a text w hose c h ie f aim was not the transm ission o f historical inform ation about early philosoph y. Som e o f these r e fe r ­ ences are b r ie f and casual allusions.INTRODUCTION in the su rvivin g works o f later authors. M any o f the referen ces are em bed d ed in later philosophical texts . Finally. p ro p erly sp eakin g. w hat w ere H ip p o ­ lytus’ own philosophical predilections. from w hat sou rce d id he d raw his inform ation? For the ch ann el w hich w inds fro m H eraclitus to H ippolytus is lon g. T h e y w ere w ritten centuries a fter the th o u g h t they ch ron icle. in the am bitious but uncritical Lives o f the Philosophers by D iogenes L aertius. w h ere the w ord ‘fra g m en t’ is used in a m ore g en ero u s sense: it refers 25 .have been the subject o f subtle scholarly investigation. we shou ld not believe him b e fo re an sw erin g two im portant questions. we still possess som e actual fragm en ts o f th e origin al w orks o f the P reso­ cratics. In them selves they are o f u ncertain value. T h e s e accounts have a historical p u rp ose and they are written with a philosop h ical intention. an d w hat w ere the aim s o f his own book? F or these m ay h ave biased him — consciously o r unconsciously . ascribes a certain view to H eraclitus.o r ‘d o x o g ra p h ie s’. T h e w ord ‘fra g m en t’ p erh ap s suggests a sm all scrap o f paper. T h e y rarely issue in certainty. T h e argu m en ts on these issues are intricate. In addition to later referen ces and reports. in several w orks o f C h ristian polem ic (such as the Refutation o f A ll Heresies by H ipp olytus). but they are not. First. in A ristotle’s Metaphysics and in his Physics. I f Bishop H ippolytus. fo r exam p le. in the History o f Philosophy w hich goes u n d er G a len ’s nam e). th ere a re g en u in e attem pts at the history o f philosophy. in scholarly w ritings o f late antiquity (most notably in the co m ­ m entary on A ristotle’s Physics by Sim plicius). and they w e re w rit­ ten by m en with d iffe re n t interests and d iffe re n t outlooks. T h e se histories .in his rep o rtin g . as they a re com m only called .

T h e r e is a sequ ence o f d ifficu lties o f w hich every seri­ ous stu d en t o f early G reek ph ilosoph y becom es quickly aware. He makes this clear in the first book o f the Physics at the begin­ ning o f which he says: T o g eth e r w ere all things. L et us co n sid er the gen eral issues th ro u gh the m edium o f a particular exam p le. an intrinsic interest o f th eir own. separate o f f from a single m ixture. w h ere he becam e o n e o f the lead in g figures o f the N eop latonist school. infinite in quantity. p a ra g ra p h s -w h ic h have been preserved as quotations in the w ritings o f later authors. T h e ir n u m b er and th eir ex ten t vary greatly from o n e th in k er to an other. phrases. in any case. It is necessary to say a little about these d ifficu lties h ere .INTRODUCTION to passages from the Presocratics’ own w ritings . sentences. T h e s e ‘fragm en ts’ constitute o u r most precious testim ony to th e views o f the Pre­ socratics. (Simplicius. . . the d o x o gra p h ie s are o f im portan ce: they p ro vid e indirect evid en ce w h ere direct evid en ce is m issing. with som e o f his associates. T a k e the fo llo w in g passage (which will reap p ea r in the ch a p ter on A n axagoras): In the first book o f the Physics Anaxagoras says that uniform stuffs. Som etim es th ey a re sh ort and sparse. F or it sh ou ld not be th o u g h t that these fragm en ts a re readily extracted from th eir contexts o r read ily u n d erstoo d and inter­ p reted .23-27) Sim plicius was born in Cilicia in the latter part o f the fifth cen tu ry a d . A fte r Ju stin ian ’s ed ict he left A th en s and w ent.and th ey have. In a few cases we possess en o u g h fragm en ts to form a tolerably d eterm in ate idea o f the original w ork. to the royal co u rt in Persia. H e stu d ied p h ilosop h y first at A lex a n d ria and then at A th en s. Commentary on the Physics 155. T h e r e he co n tin u ed his 26 . the less we need to rely on the d o x o gra p h ical m aterial B u t even in the m ost favou rable cases. and they give invaluable aid in the in terp retation o f the fragm en ts them selves. infinite both in quantity and in smallness . but the eastern life p ro ved u nattractive and he retu rn ed to A th en s about 533. T h e fu ller the fra g ­ m ents.words. all things being present in all and each being characterized by what predom in­ ates.

In m any cases. on the evid en ce o f these late and con flictin g m anuscripts. oth er m anuscripts give the G reek fo r ‘som e m ix tu re ’. in it Sim plicius preserves n u m erou s Presocratic fra gm en ts and in addition presents valuable d o x o gra p h ical accounts o f early G reek thought. and the choice betw een them is not o f great m om ent. but they a re copies o f copies o f copies. O n ce Sim plicius’ tex t is established. and conjectu ral em endation m ay. how ever. and that is the G re e k I have translated. is to d eterm ine. Sim plicius h im self w ro te m ore than a m illenn ium a fter A n axagoras. the earliest o f w hich dates fro m the tw elfth cen tu ry and is th ere fo re som e six h u n d re d years later than Sim pliciu s’ text. th en . with g rea ter o r less plausibility. B u t that is not the full m easu re o f o u r distance from A n a x a go ras as we read Sim plicius’ texts. ru n n in g to m ore than a thousan d large pages. His co m m en ­ tary on the Physics was p rob ably co m p leted in abo u t 540. A ll these m anuscripts d erive ultim ately fro m Sim pliciu s’ au to ­ graph . It is a h u ge w ork. he will certainly m ake m istakes).INTRODUCTION researches (though he was prob ably b a rred from teaching). Each act o f copyin g introduces erro rs (fo r h o w ever ca refu l a scribe m ay be.) T h e discipline o f textual criticism has p ro ced u res an d tech niqu es whose aim is to p ro d u ce the best text o r th e tex t closest to w hat the au th o r origin ally w rote. the read in gs o f d iffe ren t m anuscripts g ive radically d iffe r e n t senses. So m eth in g like sixty m anuscript copies o f the w o rk are extan t. w riting lon g and learn ed com m en taries on A risto tle’s works and using the resources o f the A th en ian libraries. and no two m anuscripts a gree w ord fo r w ord with o n e an o th er. O ccasionally it is clear that non e o f the m anuscript read in gs can be correct. w e m ay tu rn to the 27 . T h e first task. Q u ite o ften we are obliged to confess that w e d o not really know what precise w ords Sim plicius w ro te d ow n . (In o u r illustrative text som e o f the m anuscripts give the G reek fo r ‘a single m ixtu re’. O fte n it is possible to d ecid e w hich o f several variant read in gs o ffe r e d by the d iffe re n t m an u ­ scripts is the origin al read in g. H ere the variants d iffe r little in sense. fo r w e d o not possess Sim plicius’ ow n a u to g ra p h co p y o f his com m entary. resto re the original text. w hich w ords Sim plicius h im self actually w rote.

even a rem ote parap h rase . O ccasionally Sim plicius will say ‘X says. . com e from a later epitom e o f A n a x a go ras’ book. T h is question is easy in the case o f Presocratics who wrote in verse. W ith prose auth ors the question is m uch h ard er. Su p pose. it is plausible to in fe r that he is p u r­ p o rtin g to quote A n a x a go ras. . T h e w ork he cites cou ld be a fo rgery : the co u n terfeitin g o f early texts was a p o p u la r pastim e in the ancient w orld. A g ain . ‘A n a x a go ras says that . . F or exam p le.will sim ply say ‘X says that . that we have established Sim plicius’ text and have d eterm in ed that he p u rp o rts to q u o te A n axago ras. T o distinguish citations fro m parap h rase we m ust rely on various linguistic signs. as Parm enides and E m ped ocles d id .’. . phrases o f that sort m ay as well introd u ce a p arap h rase . fo r if Sim plicius rem arks that ‘P arm enid es says this . in these very w ords. Far m ore often he — like any o th er sou rce . H ere the first question is w h eth er o r not Sim plicius p u rp o rts to be quoting A n a x a g ­ oras. i f Sim plicius writes. (A n d not all actual quotations a re p u rp o rted quotations. and then breaks into verse. B ut such explicitness is rare. N ot all p u rp o rted quotations are actual quotations.) W h en Sim plicius p u rp o rts to q u o te from a w ork w ritten a th ou san d years b efo re his tim e. Som e scholars have th o u g h t that Sim plicius d id not have a p ro p e r text o f A n a x a go ras available to h im . In this particular 28 . So it is in o u r illustrative text. th ere m ay have been a sim ple m istake: the bo ok from which Sim plicius quotes m ay have been w ro n gly labelled o r m isidentified. . t h a t . he could be in erro r. not (as he thou ght) fro m the book itself.’ : and then we know that he p u rp o rts to qu ote.INTRODUCTION A n a x a g o rea n m aterial em b ed d ed in it. then. and his qu ot­ ations. we can be su re that he is p u rp o rtin g to quote Parm enides and not m erely to p arap h rase him . th ey think. B u t i f the saying is short th ere m ay be n o th in g to distinguish quotation from paraph rase. . In G reek as in English.as a verbatim citation.’ and follow s it with a p aragrap h o f prose in an archaic style. B u t in this context the possibility o f d isguised o r u n an n ou n ced quotations need not exercise us. and am o n g the Presocratics P ythagoras an d his im m ediate fol­ low ers had n u m erou s w orks falsely fa th ere d on them . .

INTRODUCTION case I d o not think that scepticism is ju stified . D u rin g the m illennium separatin g Sim plicius fro m the P reso­ cratics. T h e probability that Sim plicius read a p u re text o f A n a xa go ras is zero. its contents in the m ost literal sense o f the term . T h e first ph rase o f the quotation in o u r illustrative text becam e the ‘T o be. O n the contrary. there is no g u a ran tee that his tex t is fa ith fu l to th e o rigin al. and h ence to establish th e g en u in e P reso­ cratic text. even i f Sim plicius is accurately transcribing the text h e h im self has in fro n t o f him . but th ere is o ften reason to p r e fe r o n e version to another. be reasonably co n fid en t that w e know w hat w ords A n a x a g o ra s h im self wrote. O r again. W hat can a m od ern scholar d o about this? So m e Presocratic passages are qu o ted m ore than once. o r he m ay be q u o tin g fro m a tex t he has in fro n t o f his eyes . V ario u s 29 . by these m eans. o r n o t to be’ o f P resocratic th ou gh t: it is cited som e sixty tim es by som e twenty a u th o r s . an a u th o r w ho quotes a b r ie f passage was probably q u o tin g fro m m em ory. now. W hat words did A n a x a go ras use? F or th ere is no reason to assum e that Simplicius’ w ords m ust accurately rep resen t Anaxagoras’ words. we m ay b e able to constru ct a plausible story to acco u n t fo r the d iffe r e n t read in gs in the d iffe ren t citations. Ju st as we read copies o f copies o f Sim plicius’ a u to ­ g rap h . Suppose. Sim plicius m ay be qu o tin g from m em ory — and m isrem em bering. H ere there is less ch ance o f g ettin g back to the o rigin al text. the w orks o f A n a x a go ras m ust have been co p ied m any times over. an d he is th e re fo re m ore likely to have m ad e an e rro r than an a u th o r w ho qu otes a lon g portion o f the origin al and was presu m ably tran scribin g it from his copy o f the text. F or exam p le. B u t m ost su rvivin g fra gm en ts are qu o ted o n ly o n ce. In o u r illustrative case we can. In such cases th ere are alw ays varian t versions o f the text. that we have a g en u in e quotation o f A n a x a g ­ oras before us: the n ext questions concern its conten ts — and first. so Sim plicius will have read copies o f copies o f A n a x ­ agoras’ a u to grap h . E rrors o f both sorts are easy and com m on. bu t the possibility o f such e rro r d em an ds contem plation . M ore im portan tly.and m iscopying. th ere is every reason to th in k that they d o not.

Som etim es this is su rprisingly hard. bu t the sam e cann ot be said fo r all the Presocratics . the w ords o f a fra g m en t m ean.and plausible guesses m ay som etim es hit u p o n the o rigin al read in gs. it is true. T h e r e are som e ex tern a l aids. It is a testing and an elusive business. at a literal level. First. A n a x a g o ra s is. O n ce w e have b efo re us the w ords o f A n a x a go ras. but it always requ ires e x p e rt diagnosis and som etim es d em an d s subtle th erap y. T h e case is rarely hopeless. In particu lar. a linguistic anachron ism will betray itself.INTRODUCTION philosophical tests an d techniques can be ap p lied . in o th er w ords. on the w h ole an intelligible author. fo r exam p le) are o ften h igh ly obscure. M ost o ften we m ust be con ten t with so m eth in g less than certainty. we m ust n ext try to u n d erstan d them . T h e ir obscurity fo r us is d u e in part to the ravages o f tim e: had m ore G reek o f the early period survived. even i f w e can grasp w hat. Sentences taken o u t o f co n text a re often h ard to in terp ret. and m ost o bviously. w hich are som etim es all we h ave. th ere is the elem en t­ ary m atter o f g ra sp in g the sense o f the w ords and phrases w hich the text contains. and we m ay suspect that an exp lan ato ry note o r gloss has insinuated itself into the text. T h is task has two distinct but closely con­ nected aspects. Som etim es. B u t in part the obscurity is intrinsic to the texts them selves: the Preso­ cratics w ere w ritin g in a new idiom on a new subject — it is only to be exp e cted that they sh o u ld som etim es h ave been less than pellucid. T h is is the point at w hich serious philosophical in terpre­ tation begins.and som e o f them (H eraclitus an d E m ped ocles. m ay be virtually senseless. to ask w hat sense the fra g m en t had in its origin al con­ text. S econ d ly. an d isolated p h rases. fo r exa m p le. o r as close an a p p roxim ation to them as we can reach. w e sh ou ld possess m ore co m p arative m aterial and so ex p eri­ en ce less d ifficu lty in u n d erstan d in g the Presocratics. how it fitted into his a rg u m e n t o r into the exposition o f his views. Som etim es we m ay co n jectu re that the old tex t was retailored to fit its later co n text . w hat contrib ution it m ad e to the g en era l econ om y o f the p h ilo so p h er’s w ork. we m ay still be fa r from u n d er­ stan d in g the passage. th ere is the co n text in which 30 . W e need.

T h e y can som etim es be o vercom e. T h e collocation o f fragm en ts is o ften a risky m atter: it is too easy to im agin e that we have en o u g h bits and pieces to recon stru ct the o rigin al pictu re w hen in fact we m ay well possess only en o u g h to give o n e sm all p art o f the original.) Som etim es we m ay fairly claim success. F req u en tly w e shou ld be co n ten t with a Scottish verdict: non liquet. (This is certainly tru e o f A n a x a go ras. IV The Texts T h is book contains E n glish translations o f all th e su rvivin g philosophical fragm en ts o f th e Presocratic th in kers. in the case o f Sim plicius. the co n tex t o f citation will give us an idea o f how a fra g m en t could h ave fu n ctio n ed in its origin al hom e. fo r ex a m ­ ple. fo r e x a m ­ ple. it is tru e. the context is som etim es h elp fu l . w h ere alm ost all the su rvivin g fragm en ts a p p e a r to com e fro m the early part o f his book. ‘It is not clea r’. this co n tex t is o f little use: fo r the fragm en ts cited by J o h n Stobaeus.INTRODUCTION the fragm en t is cited. B u t these questions take us beyond the scope o f the p resen t book. Som etim es the co ntext may be actually m isleading. w ho was an able sch olar o f g reat learn in g. A gain . N onetheless.) A t the very least. Som etim es. the task o f in terpretation is full o f d ifficu lty. I thin k. and he does not p u rp o rt to p reserve the o rigin al settings o f the passages he add u ces (why shou ld he?). all we have to g o on a re the section headin gs u n d er w hich he arran g ed them in his an th olo gy. C lem en t o f A lex a n d ria .) T h e d an gers n eed to be a ck n o w led ged . w hose fu n ction is not to o ffe r an exegesis o f Presocratic th o u g h t b u t to exh ibit the m aterial on w hich any exegesis m ust be based. will yield fu rth e r evid en ce. an d com ­ parison o f the fragm en ts with the d o x o gra p h ical trad itio n . (A good exam p le o f this is the lo n g passage from the co m m en tary on A ristotle’s Physics w hich contains all the su rvivin g fragm en ts o f Zeno. cites the Presocratic pagans fo r his ow n C h ristian ends. In sum . (T h a t is on e reason w hy it is fu ll o f excitem ent.especially so. com parison o f o n e fra g m en t with an o th er. In each 31 .

T h e y also. w hich is not cu stom ary. fo r exam p le. still others w ere en tirely fo rgo tten . has certain disadvantages: it m akes fo r occasional 32 . th ey a re in ten d ed to p ro vid e a m od er­ ately intelligible fra m ew o rk w ithin w hich the texts m ay first be read . T h e fragm en ts a re presen ted in the contexts in which they h ave been p reserved . T h e m ain chapters o f the bo ok thus p resent a partial view o f th eir subjects relative to the evid en ce we possess. an d inevitably. U se them o n ce o r twice and then clim b free. fo r it is not to be su pposed that the su rvivin g in form ation represen ts a balanced accoun t o f the origin al w orks. bu t it is in ten ded to in clu de all the most im p ortan t item s and to give a fa ir sam ple o f the u nim portant items. n o r d o th ey claim to convey definitive interpretation s o r incon­ testable truths. T h is m od e o f presentation.INTRODUCTION ch a p ter the fragm en ts have been su p p lem en ted by extracts from th e d o x o gra p h ical m aterial. in sofar as they can be know n. T h e n ext ch a p ter is d esign ed to m itigate this d ifficulty. It contains a sequ ence o f b r ie f synopses o f the m ain view s o f each th in ker. W e can d o little to redress things. Som e parts o f the Presocratic writings hap pen to have been well rep o rted . I h o p e that the rea d er will fo rg e t them as soon as he has fo u n d his ow n way th ro u gh the texts. T h e synopses a re not substitutes fo r the texts in the m ain chapters. others w ere only sketchily described . T h e y are fixed ropes on a d ifficu lt rock face. A co m p rehen sive translation w ou ld fill several tedious and co n fu sin g volum es. R ather. T h e su rvivin g d o xo gra p h y is vast (and very repetitive). T h e in form ation w hich we d o possess is contain ed in a large n u m b er o f d iffe re n t and d isparate texts. it is no easy business to fo rm a gen eral im pression o f the overall shape and intention o f his th ou g h t. From the m aterial exhibited in the ch a p ter on H eraclitus. placed th ere fo r the in exp erien ced clim ber. p resen t a partial view relative to the sum total o f the origin al evid en ce. T h e selec­ tion o f texts h ere does not p reten d to convey all we can glean fro m the d o x o g ra p h y . and it cann ot readily be set o u t in a m an n er w hich reveals the gen eral d rift and tenor o f the ph ilosoph ies it describes.

E legan ce will disguise the sense and the a rg u ­ m entative flow o f the o rigin al. o r even un in telli­ gible. and he wants to rep ro d u ce so m eth in g o f the fo rm . o f the o rigin al. Fidelity. as I have already rem arked . i f o n ly by virtu e o f the d iffe re n t resonances and overton es o f syn on ym ous e x ­ pressions in dif feren t languages. decisively o u tw eigh ed by th ead van tages. 33 . to d istin guish g en u in e citations from paraphrases o r m ere allusions. English. I have p u t fidelity above elegan ce. in terestin g in th eir ow n right. has two desires.INTRODUCTION repetition. and in particu lar every translator o f ph ilo­ sophical texts. B u t those disadvantages are. A n d in any case. It is equally tru e that any translation will add som eth in g to the o rigin al. In the face o f these d ifficu lties a translator m ust a d o p t som e w orkin g principle. M oreo ver. the con texts are. o r so I believe. T h e s e two desires usually conflict. B u t he also wants to p ro d u ce read able and tolerably elegan t sentences o f his ow n lan gu a ge . A presentation o f the texts shorn o f th eir contexts gives a wholly m isleading im pression of the n atu re o f o u r evid en ce fo r Presocratic p h ilosophy. In add ition . especially in the case o f prose fragm en ts.a co m m o n p lace w hich applies to prose no less than to po etry. H e wants to be fa ith fu l to his original: he wants to co n vey all and only w hat it conveys. the first desire is essentially unsatisfiable. as well as the content. the con text o f a quotation o ften helps us to u n d e r­ stand the fragm en ts better . O n the w hole I have chosen to g ive m ore w eight to the first desire than to the second.o r at least to see how the ancien t authors u n d erstood them . fo r d iffe r e n t lan gu a ges have d if­ feren t idiom s and d iffe re n t m odes o f expression . E very translator. It is a com m on p lace that ‘so m eth in g is lost in translation’ . I think. will result in barbarous. T ran slatio n in co n text avoids that erro n eou s im pression. if pressed to the limit. and it m eans that the texts a p p e a r in a d iffe re n t o rd e r from that o f the standard m od ern editions. bein g m ore co n cern ed to transm it the sense o f the G reek texts than to p ro vid e an aesthetic feast fo r the E n gl­ ish reader. and at th e sam e tim e it en ables the E n g­ lish read er to see how d ifficu lt it o ften is.

fidelity d em an d s that the translation be as uncouth as the origin al. I h op e. be accom p an ied and o u tw eig h ed by o th er. B u t I have tried to keep such editorial m atter to a m ini­ m um . O r. and it is o ften obscure o r am biguous. Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin. T h e r e are n u m erou s com m entaries and interpretations in print: this b o o k is not an add ition to that large literature. T h e s e referen ces key the passages to the stan­ d ard collection o f the G re e k texts. em otions. an d each ch a p ter is in trod u ced by a short p a ra g ra p h o r two. It is no d u ty o f a translator to polish his a u th o rs’ w ork. It is as th o u g h on e is presen ted with a jig sa w p u zzle (or rath er. T h e sou rce o f each translated passage is given. 1952 [10th edition]).INTRODUCTION M y translations are in con sequ en ce som etim es obscure o r am bigu ou s. T h e A p p e n ­ d ix sup plies som e elem en tary in form ation about the dates and the c h ie f interests o f the auth ors to whom we ow e o u r surviving k n o w led ge o f the Presocratic texts. and it is d ifficu lt to en visage the shape and fo rm o f the origin al pot. T h e fragm en ts are also e q u ip p ed with ‘D iels-K ran z’ re fe r­ ences (these are the cip h ers which a p p ea r in square brackets a fter th e texts). I suspect. ed ited by H erm an n Diels an d W alth er K ran z. it is as th ou gh o n e w ere loo kin g at a m useum case co n tain in g broken and ch ip p ed fragm en ts o f on ce eleg an t p ottery. B u t I should stress that these infelicities are not invariably faults in the translation. I add these referen ces because th ey are invariably used by scholars w ho w rite about early G reek p hilo­ soph y: an yon e w ho wants to follow up o n e o f the fragm en ts in the m od ern literatu re will find his task sim plified if he notes the the p ertin en t D iels-K ran z nu m ber. F ragm ents o f b eau tifu l p ottery m ay. B u t the vexation w hich this m ay p ro d u ce will. P resocratic G reek is som e­ tim es co n to rted . M any o f the pieces a re sm all. be freq u en tly p erp lexed and som etim es an n oyed . be 34 . m ore pleasing. with a set o f jig sa w puzzles) in which m any o f the pieces are m issing and m ost o f the su rvivin g pieces are fa d ed o r torn. T h e translated texts are lin ked tog eth er by b r ie f b rid ge pass­ ages. R eaders o f this b o o k will. O n the con ­ trary. to take a closer an alogy. som e o f them d o not seem to fit at all. a fter all.

fragm en ts a re ch allen gin g in a way that w holes are not: they appeal to the intellectual im agination. I find the Presocratic fragm en ts objects o f inexhaustible and in trig u in g d eligh t. I ho p e that the rea d er o f this book m ay com e to find a sim ilar p leasu re in co n tem p latin g the battered rem ains o f the first h eroes o f w estern science and philosophy.INTRODUCTION them selves objects o f beauty. M oreover. and they excite the read er to construct fo r him self. in his own m ind. som e picture o f the w hole from w hich they cam e. 35 . and certain ly m any o f the P reso­ cratic texts a re fascinating and stim ulatin g pieces o f th ou g h t. For my part.

air. H e su ggested that the earth floated on a vast w ater-bed. From this ‘infin ite’ the fam iliar stu ffs o f the w orld . and perh aps also a geom eter. T h e two m ost rem arkable featu res o f his accoun t lie in biology (w h ere he sp ecu lated on the origin s o f m ankind) a n a x i m a n d e r and in astron om y (w h ere he d evelo p ed an ingenious account Зб . was a practical statesm an. t h a l e s was certainly a fu ll-blood ed phusikos. M ost fam ously.earth. and he certain ly sp oke o f the prin ciple o r arche o f all natural things.w ere gen erated by a process in w hich the twin notions o f h eat and cold played som e part. o f the hot an d d ry and the cold and wet. he conjectured that ev ery th in g was m ade from w ater — o r even that every­ th in g is m ade o f w ater.SYNOPSI S I G re ek ph ilosophy began with the th ree m en fro m M iletus.) T h u s the w orld is law -governed. A n a x im a n d er also g ave a detailed accotm t o f natural p h en o ­ m ena. and so on . w ater. B u t he d id not id en tify this basic prin ciple with any fam iliar sort o f stu ff: the arche was described sim ply as ‘the infinite’ infinite in exten t and also ind efin ite in its characteristics. and that e v ery th in g is full o f gods. that w ater is the ‘m aterial p rin cip le’ or arche o f everyth in g. W hat he d id in p h ilosop h y is uncertain : he is said to have a rg u ed that m agnets ‘have souls’ (that they are alive). T h e gen erated stu ffs en croach on o n e an o th e r and have in the course o f time to p ay com pensation fo r th eir ‘injustice’. W h eth er o r not he inqu ired fu rth e r ‘into n a tu re’ we d o not know. (W e m ay think o f the altern atin g en croachm en ts o f su m m er and w inter.

etc.rarefaction and condensation . H e had indeed a reputation fo r vast learn in g. a n a x i m e n e s is a pallid reflection o f A n a x im a n d er. H e h eld that the soul was im m ortal. 37 .o r at least all things in hum an life . A n d A naxim enes m aintained that a pair o f op eration s . H e seem s to have held that all things . light and d ark . but he seem s not to have concern ed him self particu larly with natu re. H e was a d o cto r with an interest in n atu re.was su fficient to g en era te all the fam iliar things o f the w orld from the origin al and u n d erly in g air.SYNOPSIS o f the celestial system and o ffe r e d the su ggestion that the earth rem ains u n su p p orted in m id-universe because it is equ id istan t from every part o f the o u ter heaven). and he attracted a band o f disciples w h o fo llo w ed a ‘P yth ago ­ rean way o f life’ and w ho fo rm ed a sort o f secret society. P ythagoras was also a political fig u re o f som e im portan ce. Scholars are now g en era lly scepti­ cal o f the ancien t tradition w hich associates him with various m athem atical and m usical discoveries. and he also p ro ­ posed a cosm ogony. H e too provided a d etailed accoun t o f nature. fo r exa m p le.is endless and u n ch an gin g. on the structure and fu n ctio n in g o f the sense-organs. inasm uch as they a re hosts to the sam e souls: P ythagoras probably m ade this the g ro u n d fo r certain d ietary reco m ­ m endations.are to be exp lain ed in term s o f pairs o f opposites: hot and cold. and especially in h um an n atu re . and that it u n d er­ goes a sequence o f incarnations in various types o f creatu res (this was later known as the th eory o f ‘m etem psychosis’). like A n a x im a n d e r’s. His interest was the soul: he held that the soul was im m ortal. and he advan ced a new a rg u m e n t fo r this belief. it was infinite air. this process . His arche was infinite. w et and d ry . M ore­ over. but it was not indeterm in ate: rather. in w hich he ven tu red to correct A n a x im a n d er on certain points. W hat else he did we d o not know . T h e th eory o f m etem psychosis suggested that all creatu res w ere fu n d am en tally the sam e in kind.and the w hole history o f the w orld . a l c m a e o n had P ythagorean connections.h e sp ecu lated . the sam e things rep ea tin g them selves in cycles o f eternal recu rren ce. A d iffe ren t tradition was initiated by p y t h a g o r a s .

he rega rd e d custom ary religiou s beliefs as gro u n d less and foolish. H e criticized the im m oral god s o f H om er a n d the poets. A g a in . m akin g fire the arche o f th e u n iverse. all-know ing and all-pow erfu l. L ater tradition held him to have been a sceptic. T h e later tradition ascribes to him a h igh ly articulated system : the tradition m ay ex a g g e r­ ate. T h e account in clu ded a novel astron om y. bu t it is not beyon d all en d eavo u r. H e m ay possibly have h eld that the m aterial arche o f things is earth . X en o p h a n es’ second claim to o rigin ality lies in the field o f natural th eology. w ho was m oral and m otionless.m hint at an existen ce fo r the soul a fte r d eath . an d it m ad e m uch use o f ‘ex h a l­ ations’. he was an abstract and im personal fo rce. In the place o f this folly h e o ffe r e d a rational th eology. H eraclitus stressed that the u niverse o f n atu re was law -governed . H e stood in the Ionian tradition. and o ffe rin g an acco u n t o f n atu re an d th e n atu ral w orld. H e advan ced som e m oral and political notions w hich are p erh a p s co n n ected with this. R eflectin g on the p reten ­ sions o f the new science o f the phusikoi. m ore g en erally. but a g o d accom m odated to the new w orld o f the Ionian philosophers. an d som e o f the. N o r was the god an th ro p o m o rp h ic: rather. even if he d id not speculate ‘O n N a tu re’ in th e th o ro u g h -g o in g M ilesian way. H e also had w hat m igh t be called a P ythagorean side: the fragm en ts betray an interest in the soul and in hum an p sych o logy. but it follow ed the M ilesian m o d e l. he was led to p o n d er the possible limits on hum an kn ow led ge. like 38 . H eraclitus. not a god from the O lym p ian pan th eo n .a n d . w hose w ritings won him an ea rly repu tation fo r obscurity.SYNOPSIS T h e p o et X e n o p h a n e s knew so m eth in g about Pythagoras and his o th er Presocratic predecessors. N ot all his w ork was n ew fa n g led o r rid d lin g. T h e m ajo r fig u re in the first phase o f Presocratic philosophy is h e r a c l i t u s . and o n e fra gm en t does a p p ea r to en tertain a h ighly sceptical position. H e h im self en ga ge d in inquiries into nature. like A n a x im ­ a n d er. bu t the fragm en ts show that X en o p h an es believed in a sin gle g o d . B u t his most o rigin al ideas co n cern o th er m atters. H e is in som e respects a b a fflin g thinker. but o th er texts suggest that he was a gradualist: k n o w led ge is doubtless d ifficu lt to com e by.

T h e path u p is th e sam e as the path dow n. T h e fu n dam en tal truth about n atu re is this: the w orld is an eternal and ever-ch a n g in g m odification o f fire. that most o f his predecessors had been a rro g a n t and m isguid ed . H era­ clitus reflected on the possibility o f know led ge: he th o u g h t that know ledge about the n atu re o f things was not easy to com e by. T h is truth is the accoun t in acco rd an ce with which everyth in g h appens. existin g things a re ch aracter­ ized by pairs o f co n trary p rop erties. Finally — and m ost stran gely — H eraclitus believed in the unity o f o pposites. its various contents each unified and held togeth er by a d yn am ic tension o f contrarieties. that m ost o f his con tem poraries w ere ign oran t and stupid. criticized received religious practices and o ffe re d the world a new and m ore scientific g o d . A n d . fo r if the riv er ceases to flow it ceases to be a river. But he believed that he him self had attained to tru th . and he supposed that the book o f nature could be read by m en p rovided that they m ade p ro p e r use o f th eir senses and th eir understanding. things d ep en d on this flu x fo r their continuity and identity. Secondly (his m ost celebrated notion). and it u n d erlies and explain s the whole o f nature. II T h e early philosophers had taken the first totterin g steps d ow n the road to science. now iden ­ tified with the cosm ic fire. w hose bellicose coexist­ ence is essential to th eir co ntinu ed being. T h e sceptical suggestion s o f X en o p h a n es perh aps cast a sm all shadow o v e r th eir inquiries. First o f all. he h eld that ‘everyth in g flows’: the w orld and its fu rn itu re are in a state o f perpetual flux. H ere th ree fea tu res are w orth em ph asizin g.SYNOPSIS X enophanes. In the secon d p h ase o f 39 . again like X en o p h an es. and that th ere was no cosm ogonical story to tell. and in gen eral. he rejected cosm ogony: the M ilesians had told stor­ ies about the origin s o f the w orld. T h e novelty o f H eraclitus lies in w hat we m ay call his m eta­ physical views. W h at is m ore. b u t the sun o f H eraclitus soon b u rn ed it away. H eraclitus held that the world had always existed.

not exist — bu t that is im possible). B u t in fact the latter is not a genuine possibility — fo r you can n ot thin k o f. o r you can inquire into w hat does not exist. it m ust be continu ous — w ithout spatial o r tem poral gaps. and it m ust have seem ed alm ost im penetrab le. like a sp h ere. th en so m uch the w orse fo r sense-perception. and p erh a p s also the first to iden tify the ev en in g and the m ornin g star. it m ust be en tirely changeless . w hat exists. T h e clou d blew in from Elea fro m P arm enid es. a th icker an d d a rk e r cloud loom ed: it threatened to cu t o f f all ligh t fro m em pirical science. B u t e v ery th in g that exists m ust. at som e tim e.it can n ot m ove o r alter o r gro w o r dim inish. which described the W ay o f O p in ion and w hich was self-confessed ly false and ‘d eceitfu l’. and that m otion th ro u gh a plenum was m anifestly im possible. T h e first part o f the poem was a g u id e to th e W ay o f T r u th . the non -existen t. as P arm enides proceed s to a rg u e.SYNOPSIS p h ilosoph y. Reason .the logical p ow er o f ineluctable d ed u ctio n — shows that reality. 40 . he d iffe r e d on tw o im p ortan t points fro m his m aster. F or w h ereas P arm en id es’ w orld was finite. M elissus held that what­ ev e r exists m ust be infinitely ex ten d ed in all directions. So every subject o f inquiry m ust exist. P a r m e n i d e s h im self actually w rote at som e length on n atu re. Secondly. he p ro d u ced som e new argu m en ts fo r P arm en id es’ old positions . and that W ay led th ro u g h stran ge and arid territory. Zeno. and it m ust be b o u n d ed o r finite.m ost notably. P arm enid es began by co n sid erin g the possible subjects o f inquiry: you can in qu ire into w hat exists. possess a certain set o f p rop erties: it m ust be u n g en e r­ ated and in d estru ctib le (otherw ise it w ould. M elissus. he a rg u e d that the existen ce o f a vacuum was not logically possible.) B u t the discou rse on nature occu pied the second h a lf o f his g rea t poem . must be so: i f sense-perception suggests a w orld o f a d iffe re n t sort. (H e was the first G reek to say that the earth was spherical. m e l i s s u s rew rote the P arm en id ean system in plain prose. an d he sp oke in detail on biology and on astronom y. that the w orld was th e re fo re full o r a plenum. and hen ce cann ot inquire into. H e d evelo p ed a novel system in vokin g two principles o r archai. First. B u t he was not w ith ou t origin ality.

Z en o ’s o w n aim in d evisin g his pu zzles is u ncertain . Z en o also d evised fo u r celebrated argu m ents p ro v in g th e im possibility o f m otion: it is not clear w h eth er these a re to b e n u m bered a m o n g th e fo rty a rg u m en ts against plurality. against th e Eleatics. T h e post-Eleatics tried in their d iffe re n t ways to d o ju stic e to the fo rce o f P arm en id es’ argu m ents w hile retain in g th e rig h t to fo llo w th e pathw ays o f science. H is a rg u ­ m ents m ay seem at first sight m erely jo c u la r. T h e p eriod p ro d u ced th ree m ajo r figu res (E m p ed o ­ cles. a n d w ith it som e stran ge pow ers. and that if m ore things than o n e exist. I f th e Eleatics w ere right. w e re rou tes to k n o w led ge. D em ocritus) an d som e in terestin g m in o r characters. each o f w hich con clu d ed that plu rality is parad oxical: i f m ore th in gs than on e w ere to exist. A n a x a go ras. e m p e d o c l e s prom ised his read ers kn o w led ge. M elissus also p resented an ex p licit argu m en t to show that sense-perception is illusory. b u t th ey all involve concepts . Ill T h e third phase o f P resocratic p h ilosop h y is best u n d erstoo d as a reaction against the P arm en id ean position.tw o sides o f th e sam e coin. T w o o f the forty argu m en ts survive: in them Z en o arg u es th at i f m ore things than o n e exist. he in ferred that th ere can be at m ost one th in g in existence. th at th e senses. H e insisted. Z en o ’s puzzles a re both en tertain in g an d serious. H e co n trived a series o f argu m en ts (fo rty in all. then th ey m ust be both la rg e an d sm all. Z en o d en ied that th ere existed m ore than o n e .notably the co n cep t o f infinity .w hich con ­ tinue to p erp lex an d ex ercise ph ilosoph ers. then contradictions w o u ld follow . i f p ro p erly u sed . then science was im possible. H e a g re e d 41 . z e n o p ro d u ced no system atic p h ilosophy. th en they m ust be both finitely and infinitely m any. O th e rs h ave suspected that Z en o was an intellectual nihilist.SYNOPSIS M oreover. Plato re g a rd e d him as a su p p o rter o f Eleatic m onism : M elissus had a rg u e d th at th ere existed only o n e th in g. an d that th e w o rld is u tterly d iffe re n t from the way it a p p ears to o u r senses. w e a re told).

air. w o rld and sp h ere. M uch o f E m p ed ocles’ p oem On Nature gave detailed d escrip ­ tion o f th e articu lated w orld w e live in. and hen ce ch an ge too was possible. o r attraction and rep u lsion . the n atural pow ers o f the stu ffs them selves an d govern ed .SYNOPSIS with P arm enid es that n o th in g cou ld really com e into existence o r perish . a cco rd in g to Em pedocles. m ark th e eternal and n e ve r ch a n g in g history o f the universe. fo r the eternal stu ffs cou ld m ove and inter­ m in gle w ith o n e an o th er. In the battle betw een love and strife each w arrio r period ically d om in ­ ated: u n d er the d om inion o f love. he believed. B u t nonetheless. E veryth in g in the w orld is m ad e u p fro m these fo u r ‘roots’ o r elem ents. love and strife. th ereby e ffe c tin g the ch anges we observe. w ith ou t inten tion o r p ro v id en ce. and that they a re all p erfo ra ted by chann els o r p o res o f variou s sh apes an d sizes. w ere fo u r: ea rth . T h e basic stu ffs o f the u niverse. T h e u n iverse was fu ll o f etern al stu ff. th e sp h ere b ro k e u p. L o n g accounts o f the stru ctu re o f th e eye an d o f the m echanism o f b rea th in g survive. o r m anifested in. T h e infinite alternations betw een sp h ere an d w orld .it co vered ev ery subject fro m astronom y to zo o lo gy. th ro u g h the several stages. A s strife regain ed po w er. a h o m o g en eo u s sp here. m otion was possible. H e believed that all thin gs always give o f f ‘efflu en ces’. E m p ed ocles a rg u ed . by th e forces o f chance and necessity. b e fo re the w orld attains its p resen t state. In add ition there w ere tw o o p p o sin g pow ers. com e into existen ce in an ea rly stage o f cosm ic history. T h e s e efflu en ces and pores 42 . B u t a notoriou s featu re was his accoun t o f the various m onstrosities w hich. T h e d escription o f the p re­ sent w orld was rich . and (after a co m p lex series o f stages) o u r fam iliar w orld cam e to be articu lated . w ater. fire. w hich d evelo p m en t was cyclical and eternal. T h e n the process reversed itself: fro m the articu lated w o rld . w hose o peration s w ere aid ed by. E m ped ocles’ m ajor o rig in ­ ality h ere lies less in m atters o f detail than in o n e general a n d u n ify in g notion. T h e pow ers d eterm in ed the d evelo p m en t o f the uni­ verse. back to the h o m o gen eo u s sp h ere again. the elem ents separated. all th e elem ents cam e to g eth er into a unity. an d he a greed with M elissus that vacuum s could not exist.

th e A p h o rists an d the Scientists.an d by that th ey m ean t the wisdom o f P ythagoras — cou ld be ca p tu red in gn o m ic u tter­ ances. and th e question is co m plicated by the fact that m any fragm en ts can n ot be secu rely assigned to e ith e r poem . A nim als and som e plants a re also fallen spirits. T h e two poem s w ere p rob ably very d iffe r e n t in spirit an d in content. B u t they certain ly em p lo yed th e sam e g en era l ideas. T h e Fall was tragic. and m ust be assiduously a vo id ed . clothed tem porarily and pu nitively in hu m an flesh. fo r the sterility o f m ules. bu t the fu tu re shines: i f we follow E m p ed ocles’ advice w e too m ay h o p e to becom e fellow feasters at the table o f the gods. m etem psychosis had m oral im plications: the anim als (and certain plants) a re o u r kin. a bird. pores o f a p a rticu lar typ e accounts fo r physical and chem ical reactions. E m pedocles is som etim es called a P yth ago rean . and th eir p u n ish m en t is a sequence o f m ortal incarnations.th o u g h t o f th em as twin parts o f a single scientifico-m ystical system . fo r m agnetism . as fo r Pythagoras. P yth ago ras’ follow ers soon d ivided into two g ro u p s.SYNOPSIS are E m ped ocles’ fu n d am en tal ex p lan a to ry concepts: that efflu en ces fit. but a seer and a god . T h e A ph orists have little claim on o u r attention: they a p p e a r to have believed that w isdom . fo r biological a n d psych o­ logical p h en om en a . then they e rre d (the e r ro r is un specified .fo r p ercep tio n . o r fail to fit. an d his views have P yth ago rean connections. an d o u r life h ere is p a in fu l. W h eth er o r not they w ere strictly consistent with o n e an o th er. It is m uch d ispu ted w h eth er Purifications is consistent with On Nature. an d a fish. it seem s clear that the an cien t com m entators — and prob ab le that E m pedocles h im self . E m ped ocles w rote a w ork which was later called Purifications. B u t he has now reached th e highest point in the cycle o f incarnations — he is not only a hu m an . W e a re all such fallen spirits. T h e story o f th e p o em was the story o f the Fall: o rigin ally the spirits en jo yed a life o f bliss. and they had no d esire to in qu ire o r to reason. (E m pedocles h im self. In addition to his poem on natu re.) F or E m ped ocles. he says. has alread y been a bush. ea tin g them is th ere fo re cannibalism . but it is usually su pposed to have been bloodshed). T h e ir 43 .

lf the survivin g fragm en ts a re g en u in e (and th eir authen ticity has o ften been d ou bted ). that h e had theories in biology (in clu d in g an acco u n t o f th e n a tu re o f diseases). fu n d am en tally com posed o f num bers: nu m bers. T h e Scientists fell into d iffe re n t factions. consists o f unlim ited stu ff. h o w ever. w ater. a n a x a g o r a s accepted th e Eleatic a rg u ­ 44 . P yth agorean elem ents e n te r w hen Philolaus introd u ces num bers: the w orld w hen g en era te d is d eterm in ed by n u m bers.unlim ited things and lim iters. So fa r the schem e is essentially M ilesian in fo rm . bu t they w ere united by a b e lie f in the scientific and p h ilosophical im p ortan ce o f m athem atics. Su ch a view can d ege n erate into nonsense. o r sacrifice. and that he em b raced th e th eory o f th e ‘co u n ter-ea rth ’ (an oth er planet. h e exp ressed an opinion ab o u t th e n atu re and fu tu re o f the soul. T h e only P yth agorean o f this p eriod w ho has a face is p h i l o l> a u s (fo r н I p p a s u s is little m ore t h a n a n a m e ) .SYNOPSIS aph orism s w ere fo r the m ost p art religiou s o r ritualistic in conten t — th ey co n cern ed diet. a n d b rin g in g th e heaven ly bodies u p to the p e rfe c t n u m ber. Few details o f his views are rep o rted : we know . a version which w ould be in vu ln erable to the Eleatic objections. b alan cin g the earth . L ike E m ped ocles. In add ition . d eterm in ed by a lim iter. fo r exa m p le. bu t they hypothesized th at the w orld was. it can also rep resen t th e insight that science is essentially ap p lied m athem atics. then it seem s that P hilolaus was attem ptin g to p ro ­ d u ce a P yth agorean version o f n atural science. w ere th e principles o f all things. B ut w e can see th at it m ust have been m ad e u p o u t o f two types o f th in g . o r burial: m ost o f them a re e ith er bizarre o r silly. in som e sense. In th e case o f the P yth agor­ eans sense and nonsense w ere p resen t in equal m easure. its shape.was req u ired to harm onize lim it­ ers an d u nlim ited s in o rd e r to g en era te the w orld. these are stu ffs and shapes: a p o n d . (R o u gh ly. ten). O n these fo u n d atio n s Philolaus h o p ed to erect th e stru ctu re o f natural science. T h e y w ere not them selves technical m athem aticians. Philolaus holds that we can know little ab o u t the w orld. in the sense that it is describable in qu antitative term s — oth erw ise it cou ld not be know n by us. o r rath er the prin ciples o f num bers.) S o m eth in g we can n ot tell exactly w hat .

them selves con ceived o f as stu ffs. B u t they then fo u n d fault with A n a x a g o ra s and co m p lain ed that h e had not invoked m ind at the level o f p articu lar scientific e x p la n ­ ations . W hat 45 . In d ee d . such as the hot and the cold .stu ffs such as earth. A n a x a go ras’ second innovation concern s his co n cep tio n o f stuffs. w h erein e v e ry th in g was present and n o th in g was clear. nonetheless p erva d ed ev ery th in g and was responsible fo r everyth in g. First. A n axago ras believed that every substance o r s t u ff was e te r­ nal : he had no th eory o f basic stu ffs. (By ‘e v e ry th in g ’ A n a x a g ­ oras probably m eant ‘all stu ffs and all qualities’ . A s stu ffs separate out. but m aintained that m otion was non eth eless poss­ ible. H ence everyth in g always existed. A s P arm en ­ ides had show n. M ind. the sw eet and th e bitter. and hence that ch an ge cou ld take place in the w orld.SYNOPSIS m ents to the e ffe ct that gen eratio n and d estru ctio n w ere im possible. he believed that o u r faculties. n o th in g can com e from n oth in g. no pure s tu ff ever com es into bein g. L ater th in kers saw this as a great leap forw ard : A n a x a go ras. o r at least an inten tional. they believed. n o ‘elem en ts’. qualities. he said. A g ain like Em pedocles. fashion: p erhaps it was an im personal fo rce. B u t in his conception o f the natu re o f things he d iffe r e d fu n d a m e n t­ ally from Em pedocles. had seen that the universe was plan n ed by an intelligent d esign er. A n d h ere com e A n a x a g o ­ ras’ two m ost o rigin al and influential doctrines.) T h e cosm os form ed w hen stu ffsa n d th in gs g ra d u a lly separated out from this u n d ifferen tia ted mass. flesh. It is in any case uncertain to w hat ex ten t A n a x a g o ra s’ m ind was th o u g h t o f as a personal. n on e is e v e r entirely se gre g ated . cheese. if p ro p erly used.th ere he had rem ained con ten t with the stand ard Ionian explan ations in term s o f m aterial forces. gold. he held that the origin al cosm ogonical fo rce was m ind. a lth o u g h d iffe re n t fro m all o th er things and not m ixed with them . ev ery p iece o f s tu ff always contains a portion o f every o th er stu ff. w ould yield reliable in form ation about the natural w orld . p lan n in g faculty w hich d eterm in ed th e his­ tory o f the w orld in a ben evolent. co m p arab le to the love and strife o f E m pedocles. In the b eg in n in g ‘ev ery th in g was to g eth er’ in an infinite gaseous toh u -boh u .

T h e secon d con sequ en ce is not explicitly p resen t in the fragm en ts: stu ffs cann ot consist o f particles o r be ‘in’ o n e a n o th e r in the way in w hich d iffe r e n t sorts o f seeds m ay be m ixed in a packet. em pty space. F ar m ore influen tial w ere the views o f L e u c i p p u s and D e m o ­ c r i t u s . a re atom ic o r indivisible. A n a x a g o ra s h im self d rew the first consequence: th ere is no sm allest p iece o f s tu ff o f any sort h o w ever sm all a p iece o f g o ld you m ay take. w ho stood to him as A n axim en es to A n a xim an d er. A n a x a g o ra s’ views w ere largely ad o p ted by a r c h e l a u s . rath er. F or th ey d en ied that w hat d oes not exist cann ot be th ou gh t o f . th ere is always a sm aller.SYNOPSIS we call ‘g o ld ’ is not w holly g old en : rath er. in the p ro p e r sense. two o f its consequ ences a re clear. T h e void is infinite in ex ten t. th ey m aintained. and w ithou t any ‘qualities’: th ey have size and shape and h ard ness o r solidity. bu t they lack the ‘secon d ary’ qualities — co lo u r. W h at exists a re bodies. the so-called ‘p rim a ry’ qualities. that what d oes not exist is no less real than w hat does exist. B odies. the things w hich o ccu p y space an d m ove th ro u g h its em ptinesses. W hat does n ot exist is void. taste. etc. A n a x a g o ra s’ view d em an ds that stu ffs b e m ixed th ro u g h and th ro u g h — that they be associated in so m eth in g m o re like chem ical com bination than physical ju x ta p o sitio n . In th e lo n g run .in d eed . sm ell. T h e y tackled Parm enides head on. th e two Atom ists. ’g o ld ’ is the nam e we g ive to lum ps o f s t u ff w hich a re predominantly gold. fo r w ithin y o u r p iece o f gold th ere is a portion o f. say. the bodies a re infinite in num ber. T h e A tom ists a rg u ed that th ere must be indivisible bodies. the physics o f A n a x a g o ra s p roved infertile. solid.an d th at blood will itself contain a sm aller portion o f go ld . T h e atom s exist fo r ev er and are un ch an geable. B ut A rc h e ­ laus has the repu tation o f bein g th e first p h ilosop h er to reflect on ethics: he m ain tain ed —we no lo n g er know on what g ro u n d s— that m oral qualities w ere con ven tion al and not natural. blood . parad oxically en o u g h . A n a x ­ a go ras’ g ro u n d s fo r h o ld in g this d octrin e are d ispu ted. T h e s e indivisibles w ere very sm all. fo r they th o u g h t that the supposition that bodies can be d ivided ad infinitum led to p a ra d o x . T o this e xten t each 46 .

M ore interesting fro m a ph ilosophical p o in t o f view a re D em ocritus’ opinion s on the possibility o f h u m an kn o w led ge. and in som e cases at least he attem pted to apply his atom ism to d etailed scientific e x p la n ­ ations. and neither void nor atom s can be co lo u red . H en ce the w orld is very d iffe re n t fro m the way o u r senses take it to be. B u t i f we distrust o u r senses. E veryth in g happens by m echanical chance. b u t given infinite space and infinite tim e. T h e only real things a re atom s an d vo id . w h en the hooks on o n e atom m ay h ap p en to lock with the eyes on another. H en ce co lo u rs . P erhaps th e m ost in terestin g portion o f his w ork was that w hich d ealt with a n th ro p o lo g y the history and d escription o f th e h u m an race as a social and cultural object.in d eed . O f his rem ain in g scientific w ritin g little rem ains. A tom ic m ovem ents create the w orld . a m o n g o th er things. H is rem arks here are alm ost en tirely speculative (and they have little co n ­ nection with atom ism ). D em ocritus discussed. th o u g h largely an a priori co n stru c­ tion.an d all o th er secon d ary p rop erties . they m ove constantly and have been m ovin g fo r all eternity. In this way co m p o u n d bodies a re even tu ally fo rm ed . D em ocritus was an enthusiastic and p rolific scientist. and a fter som e collisions th ey stick to g eth er. how can w e say an y th in g about the stru ctu re o f reality? T h e atom ist th eory itself. F or atom s som etim es collide. but his speculation s b egan a lo n g tra­ dition o f arm chair an th ro p o lo g y. H e w rote on a w ide variety o f topics. h e a p p ears to h ave en tertain ed an extrem e fo rm o f scepticism . seem ed to p resu p p o se the validity o f sense-perception and to gain its su p p o rt from its capacity to ex p lain the 47 . H is reasons fo r this a re m ostly missing. th e origins o f religion an d the n atu re o f lan gu age. B u t atom s m ove . but som e o f them at least w ere closely co n n ected with his atom ism .a re illusory. D espite his scientific am bitions. T h e best exam p les o f this com e in his acco u n t o f p e r ­ ception and the objects o f p ercep tio n . an d o u r senses a re fu n d am en tally m isleading. it is o n ly to be ex p ected that the com ­ plex stru ctu re o f the w orld ab o u t us will so m ew h ere and som ewhen be fo rm ed .SYNOPSIS atom is a Parm enidean entity.

D iogen es certain ly held that the w orld was well d esign ed . and it was th e co n tro llin g and g o v ern in g force o f the u niverse. B u tin D iogen es’ system . and he is o ften . in his case air. o r im p ertu rbability. H ow h e attem p ted to solve it we d o not know . all-know ing air. with som e ju stice. Finally. an d aphorism s d o not typically com m u n icate system atic th ou gh t. A n d he ad o p ted A n a x a g o ra s’ cosm ogonic m ind. th e ch an ges w hich we observe in th e w orld co u ld not com e about. bu t i f perception is illusory. perception is illusory. m ental rath er than physical in their objects: D em ocritus was no advocate o f a life o f Riley. Som e scholars have attem pted to find conn ection s betw een his ethics an d his atom ism . and g en era ted the w orld from it by rarefaction an d cond en sation. w hy em brace atom ism ? D em ocritus was aw are o f this p u zzle. Som e scholars have attem pted to d iscern a m oral system behin d th e fragm en ts. T h e y a re p resented as m axim s o r a p h o r­ isms. in fact. O f the m axim s. D em ocritean pleasures. and this is som ehow equated with jo y o r p leasu re. a typical collection o f m oralistic aphorism s. described as an eclectic. som e are o u trag eo u s — they are. m ind was identified with eternal. I f atom ism is righ t. som e a re sane. 48 .SYNOPSIS p h en o m en a o f p ercep tio n . som e are am usin g. T h e m ost rem arkab le fra g m en t o f D iogen es’ w ork is a d etailed description o f the blood vessels o f the hum an body. H e ex p lain ed the various nat­ ural p h en om en a by referen ce to this origin al s tu ffa n d its m ani­ fold m odifications. a re on the whole som ew hat d ry an d severe. T h e last o f the Presocratics was d i o g e n e s o f A p o llo n ia. he argu ed . h o w ever. D em ocritus w rote at len gth on m atters o f m oral and political philosophy. It is p erh ap s a m istake to look fo r an y th in g m ore system atic than that in the fragm en ts. som e a re banal. His treatm en t o f n atu re was in m any respects close to that o f th e ea rly M ilesians: h e took a single arche. I f h e can claim o rigin ality in his physics it m ust lie in his attem pt to ju s tify the positing o f a single u n d erly in g s tu ff o r arche: unless all things w ere fu n d am en tally the sam e. bu t th ere is p rob ably n on e. It is clear that D em ocritus was a h ed on ist o f sorts: the goal o f life is conten tm en t. His was not an origin al gen iu s.

In this way they w ere the fo reru n n ers o f A ristotle — and th ro u g h him o f m od ern science an d philosophy.SYNOPSIS H ere we can read at first hand w hat in the case o f th e o th er Presocratics we know o f only indirectly: an attem pt to d escribe in scientific detail the stru ctu re an d o rgan ization o f the p hysi­ cal w orld. B u t th ey w ere also scien­ tists. 49 . T h e Presocratics w ere ph ilosoph ers. T h e abstractions o f their cosm ogonical th o u g h t a re co m ­ plem ented and co m pleted by the con crete detail o f th eir p articular descriptions and explan ations. an d th ey co n ­ cerned them selves with the m ost g en eral questions ab o u t the n atu re and o rigin s o f th e universe.

an u nspecific p ro n o u n . T h e y a re o f two sorts. Brackets o f th ree d iffe re n t styles a p p ea r in the quoted m aterial. (For ex a m p le.i. ‘h e’. . W h ere the pointed brackets en close w ords.]’. C itations a re typ o grap h ically distin gu ished from com ­ m ents inasm uch as they are invariably indented. in add ition to m ark in g stress an d id en tifyin g booktitles. ‘< .) T h e y also en close ed itorial comments. . (For exam p le. these rep resen t w hat we m ay guess to have been om itted. Asterisks. . they enclose the m od­ ern equ ivalen t o f the ancien t system o f d atin g by O lym p ic years. su rro u n d passages w h ere eith er the trans­ lation o r the tex t itself is w holly uncertain.) (3) P ointed brackets. . ‘(. m ark lacun ae in the G re e k tex t . in the origin al is som e­ tim es replaced by the a p p ro p riate p ro p e r nam e. (1) O rd in a ry parentheses. 50 . places w h ere th e ancien t scribes have accidentally om itted som ethin g. .e. References follow each q u o ted passage. are used in the nor­ mal way as punctu ation signs. (2) S q uare brackets. T h u s th e contexts o f citations will be set in rom an. p erfo rm two special fun ctions: (1) all p u rp o rted citations from the Presocratics and (2) all editorial com m ents are set in italics. en close trivial ed itorial alterations to the qu o ted texts. > ’. Roman typ e m arks all quotations from ancien t authors except p u rp o rte d citations from the Presocratics. .N O T E T O T HE READER T h e m ain ch apters o f this bo ok em p loy a variety o f typo­ grap h ical devices. ‘[. Italics. an d so too will allusions to and p arap h rases o f Presocratic views.)’. W ords betw een the asterisks a re at best an optim istic guess.

enclosed in sq uare b rack­ ets. A su bsequ en t ‘[в 2 1a]’ refers to fra g m en t 2 1a in the sam e ch apter. Problems’ refers to the book called Problems which the m an u script tradition falsely ascribes to A ristotle. (E. Diels and W . In principle. In fact DielsK ran z o ften in clu d e passages a m o n g their ‘в’ texts w hich are certainly not fragm en ts. Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (B erlin . Square brackets abo u t an a u th o r’s nam e are a sign o f sp u rio u s­ ness. the ch ap ter on A n a x a g o ras. T h u s ‘[59 в 1]’ refers to fr a g ­ m ent 1 in ch a p ter 59. o f DielsK ranz.g. K ran z. T h is n orm ally consists o f the letter ‘в’ follow ed by a n u m ­ ber. he sh ou ld in fer that D iels-K ran z falsely p resen t the passage as a fr a g ­ m ent. th e ‘в’ passages in D iels-K ran z are g en u in e fragm en ts (in contrast to parap h rases and allusions which ap p ea r in separate sections labelled ‘ a ’ ).) (2) T o each Presocratic fra gm en t qu o ted th ere is ap p en d ed a ‘D iels-K ran z’ referen ce. 5‘ .NOTE TO THE READER (1) T o each text qu o ted th ere is a p p en d ed the a u th o r’s nam e. an d su fficien t auxiliary in form ation to enable the passage to be located in any stan d ard edition. 1952 [ lo th edition]). T h is is the n u m b er o f the relevant ch a p ter in D iels-K ranz. T h e n u m b er is th e n u m b er o f the fra g m en t in H . ‘[Aristotle]. W hen the read er finds a D iels-K ran z referen ce fo r a passage w hich is not set in italic typ e. T h e first D iels-K ran z referen ce in any ch a p ter p refixes a n u m b er to the letter ‘в’. the title o f the w ork.

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PART I .

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and rivers and the bou nd less sea with its seethin g sw ell. from the begin n in g. g ra n t a sw eet so n g and celebrate the holy race o f the im m ortals w h o exist fo rever. and scholars have speculated on the sources and influences behind him. and shining stars and th e b road sky above. became more explicit. and those the salt Sea reared . Homer’s poems. First o f all cam e the C hasm . and that conception finds echoes.1 PRECURSORS Thales. and tell which o f them first cam e into being. contain occasional references to what were later to become scientific and philosophical topics. Two varieties o f influence have been dis­ cerned. there are native Greek antecedents. and tell how th ey d ivid ed th eir wealth and shared o u t th eir honours and how first th ey gained O ly m p u s with its m an y glades. First. those w ho w ere born o f Earth an d o f starry H eaven and o f d ark N igh t. More influential. H ail. and then 55 . was the view o f the universe expressed by the seventh-century poet Hesiod. you M uses w ho have y o u r h o m e on O ly m p u s. ch ildren o f Zeus. in Presocratic thought. The poems presuppose a certain vague conception o f the nature and origins o f the universe (how could they not?). T ell how first god s and earth cam e into bein g. T ell m e this. A short passage from his T h e o g o n y — 'The Birth o f the Gods’ — merits quotation. the first o f the canonical line o f Presocratic philosophers. both verbal and substantial. the earliest surviving works o f Greek literature. no doubt had his predecessors.

equal to h erself. w ithout d esirable love. who wrote at the beginning o f the fifth century. and m u rky T a rta ru s in the recesses o f the w ide-pathed land. Theogony 10 4 -13 8 ) A ll this is myth. 56 . The Greeks themselves were well aware o f this. and then she lay with H eaven an d bore d eep -ed d y in g O cean and C o iu s and C reiu s and H yperion and Iapetus and T h e ia an d R heia and R ight and M em ory and gold e n -crow n ed P h oebe an d lovely T eth ys. The Sicilian comic poet Epicharmus.T h e god s w ere alw ays th ere: they w ere never yet m issing. as it were. presents a mock philosophical criticism o f Hesiod’s story in a little dialogue preserved by Diogenes Laertius: . From the C hasm cam e black D arkness and N igh t. (H esiod. the origins o f the universe. A n d a fter them . the you n gest. the eternal safe seat o f all the im m ortals w ho hold the h eights o f snow y O lym pus. Sea. but it is. and th ese things a re alw ays th ere. scientific myth: many ofHesiod’s gods are personifications o f naturalfeatures or phenomena.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY w ide-bosom ed E arth. not science. and from N igh t cam e E th er and Day w hom she conceived and b o re a fte r m in glin g in love with Darkness. E arth b o re first. to veil h er all about that th ere m igh t be an etern al safe seat fo r the blessed gods. the sam e and in the sam e way always. the g ra cefu l haunts o f the god desses o f the N ym p h s w ho dw ell on the w ooded m ountains. in picturesque form. was born . A n d she gave birth to tall M ountains. by w hom all god s and all m en find th eir thou ghts and wise cou nsels overco m e in their breasts. m ost terrible o f h er ch ild ren . wily C ro n u s. loosen er o f lim bs. w ho is fairest a m o n g th e im m ortal gods. starry H eaven. A n d she also bore the restless d eep with its seethin g swell. and he hated his stron g father. and in telling the birth o f ‘the gods’ Hesiod is telling. and L ove.

. (Sextus E m piricus. and then w ide-bosom ed E arth. (D iogenes L aertius. by Zeus. F or i f som eone asks him w hat th e C h asm cam e from. T h e schoolm aster replied that it wasn’t his jo b . . but the jo b o f the so-called p hilo­ sophers. .H ow could that be? H e had n o th in g to co m e fro m and n ow h ere to go to i f h e was the first. th en . seat o f all . Som e p eo p le say that this is the reason why E picu rus tu rn ed to ph ilosop h y. B u t they in fact say this because th eir w o rld -ru lers ch an g e: th e hybrids a m o n g 57 . refu tes him self. . ‘W ell. what the C hasm cam e from i f it cam e first. but Zeus. i f they a re th e on es w ho know the truth about the th in gs that exist’. n o r a n y th in g secon d.PRECURSORS .’ said E picurus. he says. o f the things w e’re now talkin g about: they existed always. Lives o f the Philosophers III 10) A story from a later century is also worth retelling: T h e poet w ho writes First o f all cam e the C h asm .T h e n d id n ’t anything com e first? — N o. W h en he was still very y o u n g he asked a schoolm aster w h o was read in g out First o f all cam e the C hasm .B u t the C hasm is said to h ave been th e first g o d to be b orn . . hold that goodness and beauty only make their appearance as the world progresses. he will not be able to answ er. Some thinkers.w ho ru le an d hold sw ay. Against the Mathematicians x 18—19) In the final book o f his M etaphysics Aristotle discusses the place o f 'the good and the beautiful’ in the world. ‘I m ust g o a lo n g to them . and the early poets say so m eth in g sim ilar in so far as th ey hold that it is not the first co m e rs— N ig h t an d H eaven . . o r th e C h asm o r O cean . to teach that sort o f thing.

(A ristotle.I m ean P h erecyd es an d som e o th ers .in Egypt. (Dam ascius. whom Aristotle here distinguishes from Hesiod and his fellows. part mythologist and part natural philosopher. Lives o f the Philosophers I 119) P h erecyd es o f Syrus says that Zas and T im e and C h th on ie existed alw ays as th e th ree first principles (the on e b e fo re the two. in Babylonia. w h o d o not say e v ery th in g in a m ythical vein . is scarcely borne out by the surviving remnants his writings. it begins like this: Zas and Time always existed. On First Principles 124) The other reports o f Pherecydes’ work contain nothing but fanciful mythology. an d th e two a fter th e one).4-10) Pherecydes o f Syrus. Many o f the Greeks themselves believed that philosophy began among ‘the barbarians’ . in Persia.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY th em . Aristotle’sjudgement that he was a hybrid. or the theoretical approach to science. it is difficult tofin d a single clear 58 . They credited the early Presocratics with journeys to Egypt and the Near East. He was therefore a contemporary o f thefirst Presocratic philosophers. But in philosophy. I say. Here are the two most ‘philosophical’ pieces: T h e bo ok w hich P h erecyd es w ro te has been preserved .[7 в 1] (D iogen es L aertius. Metaphysics 1091 b. and Chthonie acquired the name Earth when Zas gave her the earth as a bridal gift. is probably to be dated to the early sixth century вс. o f the five worlds). and supposed that they returned with philosophy among their souvenirs.d o m ake the first g en eratin g prin ciple th e best thin g. and so did Chthonie. p erh ap s. It is plausible to suppose that there was some intellectual contact between the Greeks and their eastern neighbours. T im e from his ow n seed created fire an d air and w ater (I take this to be the th ree fo ld natu re o f the intelligible): they w ere d ivid ed into five nooks and fro m them w ere constituted th e rest o f the n u m erou s race o f the god s w hich is called the race o f th e five nooks (m eaning.

bein g cam e into bein g. uncalled by nam es. T h e y p rolo n g ed the days. A n u . The identities o f the other divinities are uncertain. L ahm u and L aham u w ere b ro u g h t fo rth . W h en I had com e into being. she w h o b o re them all. (James B. firm gro u n d below had not been called by nam e. fo r what they are worth. A n u bego t in his im age N u d im m u d . (It should be said that where some scholars see striking parallels between a Greek and an eastern text. and the translation o f the lines is in many places uncertain . 1969. The Egyptian creation myth is known in a number o f variant forms. p. was probably composed early in the second millennium не. P ritchard. the fresh waters and the sea. Ancient Near Eastern Texts. no m arsh land had a p p ea re d . different scholars have produced remarkably different versions. and all bein gs cam e into 59 . th eir destinies u n d eterm in ed then it was that the god s w ere fo rm ed within them . A n u was their heir. Apsu and Mummu-Tiamat are primordial waters. their waters co m m in glin g as in a sin gle body: no reed hut had b een m atted. and M um m u -T iam at. It begins as follows: W hen on high the heaven had not been nam ed .) Here. was his equal. the Babylonian creation epic. The following text probably dates from about 2. when no god s w hatever had been b ro u g h t into bein g. A n sh a r’s first-born. one from Babylonia and the other from Egypt. su rpassin g the others. o f his fathers the rival. others see no more than superficial coincidence.000 вс: I am he w ho cam e into b ein g as K h ep ri. The E num a Elishu.at all events. by nam e w ere they called. yea. a d d ed on the years. th eir b egetter. n au gh t but prim o rdial A p su .) A nu and Nudimmud are the sky and the earth. are two brief passages from eastern creation stories.PRECURSORS case o f influence. third ed ition . P rinceton. A n sh ar and K ishar w ere fo rm ed . 61) (The text is written in Akkadian. B e fo re they had grow n in a ge an d stature.

6) Khepri. 60 . I was the o n e w ho copu lated with m y fist. a n d th ey b ro u g h t fo rth th eir m ultitudes in this land. . I p lan n ed in m y ow n h eart. Isis. Both the Babylonian and the Egyptian stories bear comparison with Hesiod as examples o f mythical cosmogony. H oru s Khenti-en-irti. Shu and Tefnut are the air-god and the moisture-goddess. an d I m ad e every fo rm when I was alo n e. b e fo re heaven cam e into being. suggesting (for example) that Thales' ideas about the importance o f water may derive from the primordial significance o f Mummu-Tiamat and Nun. o n e o f these a fter another. They may be right. M an y w ere th e bein gs w hich cam e fo rth fro m m y m ou th . Geb and N ut are earth and sky. Many scholars compare the stories more directly with Greek philosophy. and th ere cam e into bein g a m u ltitu d e o f fo rm s an d bein gs. and b e fo re any o th e r had co m e in to b ein g w ho co u ld act with me. p. (Pritchard . I sp u ttered o u t w hat was T e fn u t. T h e n G eb a n d N u t b ro u g h t fo rth O siris. but to me Thales seems to live in a different and a more luminous world. N un is the primordial water. b e fo re I h ad sp at o u t w hat was Sh u . T h e n S h u and T e fn u t b ro u g h t fo rth G eb and N ut. th e fo rm s o f ch ildren and the fo rm s o f th eir ch ild ren . the speaker. I p u t to g eth er som e o f them in N u n as w eary ones. Ancient Near Eastern Texts. It seem ed ad van tageo u s to m e in my heart. I p lan n ed with m y face. b e fo re th e g ro u n d an d creep in g th in gs h ad b een created in this place.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY b e in g a fte r I cam e into bein g. Seth. It was m y fa th er N u n w ho b ro u g h t them u p . b e fo re ea rth cam e into bein g. b e fo re I had sp u ttered o u t w h at was T e fn u t. . T h e n I sp ew ed with m y own m ou th : I spat o u t w h at was S h u . is the morning sun-god. b e fo re I co u ld find a place in w hich I m igh t stand. an d N ep h th ys fro m the bo d y. I m asturbated with m y h and .

a philosopher. yet he so fa r ex celled th em as to eclipse all his predecessors. we depend entirely on later reports.29-3 3 ) Other sources ascribe other writings to him. as T h eo p h rastu s h im self adm its. Simplicius reports that T h a le s is said to h ave been the first to in tro d u ce th e stu d y o f nature to the G reeks: a lth o u g h m an y oth ers p reced ed him . one o f the so-called Seven Sages o f early Greek history. or even primarily.2 THALES According to Aristotle. the fifth-century historian. tells several stories which illus­ trate his political sagacity. (Sim plicius. The other known facts about his life suggest that he was bom in about 625 and died in about 545. H e was a man o f practical wisdom. B u t he is said to h ave le ft n o th in g behind in w ritin g ex cep t the so-called Nautical Astronomy. For our knowledge o f his views. Commentary on the Physics 23 . even b e fo re th e d estru ctio n o f Ionia. Thales was not simply. U seful advice had b een given . He is dated by the eclipse o f the sun which he allegedly predicted and which modem astronomers place on 28 May 585 вс. by T h a le s. and those reports must themselves have been based on oral tradition. Herodotus. then. and he was regarded by posterity not only as an original contributor to science and philosophy. but also as an astute statesman. a M ilesian w hose fam ily o rigin ally cam e fro m • 61 . and there were certainly books circulating under his name in antiquity. But it seems most prob­ able that he wrote nothing — or at least nothing which survived even to the time o f Aristotle. Thales o f Miletus was' t h e fo u n d e r o f natural p h ilosop h y’.

even so. th e d ay su d d en ly turn ed to night. w hich was the cen tre o f Ionia. then . m ade th e river w hich flow ed o n th e left o f the arm y flow on the rig h t too. bu t a cco rd in g to m ost o f the G reeks.acco rd in g to m y acco u n t — he crossed his arm y by way o f the existing b ridges.2) (Modem scholars conjecture that Thales had learned something o f Babylonian astronomy. since these bridges d id not yet exist at that tim e. a fte r battle had been jo in e d .3) W h en C roesu s cam e to the R iver H alys. (ibid I 74. B e g in n in g upstream o f the cam p. and th en . and that h e d id so in the fo llo w in g way. and that the o th er cities should continue to be inhabited but shou ld be treated as th o u g h they w ere parishes. T h a le s o f M iletus crossed the arm y fo r him . it is generally doubted that he could actually have p red icted the eclipse. he d u g a d e e p channel w hich he d rew in the shape o f a crescent so that it ran rou n d the back o f w h ere the cam p was sited.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY Phoenicia: h e u rg ed the Ionians to establish a single councilch am ber. (H ero do tus. F or it is said that C roesu s was at a loss how his arm y sh o u ld cross th e river. T h u s as soon as the river was d ivided it becam e fo rd a b le in both its parts. (1ibid I 7 5 . b ein g d iverted from its o rigin al cou rse d ow n the ch ann el. saying that it should be located in T e o s. T h is ch a n g e in the d ay had been fo reto ld to the Ion­ ians by T h a le s o f M iletus. and that T h a le s. Histories I 170. w ho was in the cam p.) O f Thales’philosophico-scientific doctrines. the most celebrated concern 62 . d eb o u ch ed again into its origin al course.4 -5 ) Herodotus also reports the famous eclipse: T h e w ar [betw een the L yd ian s and the Persians] was equally b alan ced. w ho had fixed as its term the very y ea r in w hich it actually o ccu rred . havin g passed the cam p. until in the sixth yea r an en ga ge m e n t took place in w hich.

T h ales. an d w ater is the n atu ral p rin cip le o f m oist things. T h is in fact is the oldest view that has been transm itted to us.h e cam e to his b e lie f both fo r this reason and because the seeds o f ev ery th in g have a m oist nature. b u t th ey can rest on water) . was the 'material principle’ o f the world.THALES water. in Aristotle’s later jargon. (A ristotle. Metaphysics д 8 з Ь в . or that water.) In addition. says that it is w ater (that is w hy he declares that th e earth rests on water). F or th ey say that the elem en t and first p rin cip le o f the thin gs that exist is that from w hich they all are and from w hich they first com e into bein g and into w hich th ey a re finally d estroyed . Thales held that everything was made from water.as th ou gh the sam e m ust n o t hold o f th e w ater su p p o rtin g the earth as h old s o f th e earth itself. T h e r e m ust be som e nature . an d they say that it was advanced by T h a le s o f M iletus w ho th o u g h t th at the earth rests because it can float like a lo g o r so m eth in g else o f that sort (fo r n on e o f these things can rest on air.eith er o n e o r m ore than o n e . he held that the earth rests upon water (a notion which has some Egyptian antecedents).fro m w hich the o th er things com e into bein g. Here is Aristotle’s critical report: Som e say that [the earth] rests on w ater. (A ristotle.1 1* 1 7 -2 7 ) 63 . Aristotle again is our best source: M ost o f the first p h ilosoph ers th o u g h t that prin ciples in the form o f m atter w ere the o n ly principles o f all things. and more strikingly. B u t as to the n u m ber and form o f this sort o f p rin cip le. its su b­ stance rem ain in g and its p rop erties ch a n g in g . . . it b ein g p reserved . On the Heavens 294828—34) (Note Aristotle’s non-committal 'some say’ and 'they say’: this cautious approach to Thales is yet more pronounced in the next few passages. First. they d o not all agree. H e p erh ap s cam e to acqu ire this b e lie f fro m se e in g that the nou rishm ent o f e v ery th in g is m oist an d that heat itself com es from this and lives by this (fo r that fro m w hich an y th in g com es into bein g is its first principle) . the fo u n d e r o f this kind o f ph ilosop h y.

2) T h is th eorem p roves that w h en two straigh t lines intersect with o n e a n o th e r the angles at the ve rtex a re equal . a pupil o f Aristotle. (ibid 29 9 .EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY Aristotle elsewhere reports something about Thales’ views on the nature o f the soul: S o m e say that < s o u l> is m ixed in the w hole u niverse.acco rd in g to E u d em u s. T h e y say that T h a le s was the first to d em on strate that a circle is bisected by its diam eter. scholars have been reluctant to credit Eudemus’ reports. Here. ju d g in g b y w hat they rep o rt. seem s to have believed that the soul was som ethin g w hich prod u ces m otion. it was first d isco vered by T h ales. but he is relying on the work o f Eudemus. The source. Nonetheless. (ibid 250 . fo r he says that he m ust h ave m ade use o f it in the 64 . wrote in the fifth century. (Proclus. for what they are worth. (ibid 405a 19 -2 1) There is also some evidence that Thales made geometrical discover­ ies.1 0 .1-4 ) E u d em u s in his History o f Geometry ascribes this th eorem [that a pair o f triangles with one equal side and two equal angles are equal] to T h a le s. inasm uch as he said that the m agn et has a soul because it m oves iron. Commentary on Euclid 1 5 7 . and to have called the equal angles ‘sim ilar’ in the archaic style. Perhaps th at is w hy T h a le s th o u g h t that e v ery th in g was full o f gods. Proclus. O n the Soul 4 1 ia7~8) T h a le s. (A ristotle.1 1 ) W e a re ind ebted to old T h a le s fo r m any discoveries and fo r this th eorem in particu lar.20 -251. fo r he is said to have been the first to have reco gn ized and stated that in every isosceles triangle the an gles at the base a re equ al. are the fou r passages in question.

1 4 -1 8 ) I append part o f the discussion o f Thales in Diogenes Laertius’ Lives o f the P hilosophers. at which tim e.THALES p roced u re by w hich he is said to have d eterm in ed th e distance o f ships at sea. {ibid. 3 5 2 . the Seven Sages w ere in fact nam ed. The passage is a good illustration o f the complex and controversial nature o f much o f our evidence fo r the Presocratics—and it does also contain som e important and trustworthy pieces o f information. A cco rd in g to others. B u t C allim achu s know s him as th e d isco verer o f the Little B ea r and writes as follow s in his Iambi-. "“ju d g in g that e v ery th in g else was u n k n o w ­ able*. and many are at best dubious: it should be read not as a reliable guide to the views o f Thales but rather as a specimen o f the sort o f material which we now depend on fo r our knowledge o f the philosophy o f the Presocratics. an d he was the first to be called a Sage . H e is th ou gh t by som e to have been the first to study 65 .> acco rd in g to Plato. A cco rd in g to som e he left n o w ritin g beh in d. Some o f the statements in this discussion certainly false. D uris an d D em o ­ critus) was Exam yes and his m oth er was C leo b u lin a. A n d he is said to have m easu red o u t the little stars o f the W ain by w hich the Phoenicians sail. On the Solstice and On the Equinox. acco rd in g to D em etrius o f Phaleron in his List o f Archons. H e was en ro lled as a citizen at M iletus w hen he cam e th ere with N eileus w ho had been ex p elled from P h oen icia but m ost authorities say that he was a native M ilesian o f a fam ous fam ily. < H e was o n e o f the Seven Sages. A fte r his political activities he tu rn ed to scientific sp ecu ­ lation.d u rin g the archo n sh ip o f Dam asias a t A th en s [582-580 в с]. h e w ro te ju s t two w orks. fro m th e fam ily o f T h e le u s (they a re Phoenicians. T h a le s’ fa th er (accord in g to H ero d otu s. the m ost n oble o f the descendants o f C a d m u s an d A g en o r). fo r the Nautical Astronomy ascribed to him is said to be by P h ocu s o f Samos.

w hen he had passed his p rim e and she insisted again. H ieronym us o f R hodes. that he lived a solitary life as a p rivate citizen. A n d they say that when his m oth er pressed him to m arry he said. ‘scalenes and triangles’ and w hat b elongs to the study o f geom etry. says that. fo r which he sacrificed an o x. as E u dem u s says in his History o f Astronomy — that is why X en o p h a n es and H ero d otu s a d m ire him. ascribe this to Pythagoras. and the first. as H eraclides recoun ts. B u t he h im self actually says. acco rd in g to som e. Cybisthus. H eraclitus and D em ocritus also give a g oo d rep o rt o f him.and that saved the city w hen C y ru s cam e to pow er. ‘It’s too ea rly’. H e was the first to d iscover the period from o n e solstice to the next. A ristotle an d H ipp ias say that he ascribed souls to lifeless things too.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY astron om y an d to have p red icted eclipses o f the sun and sol­ stices. Pam phila says that he learn ed g eom etry from the Egyptians and was th e first to inscribe a righ t-an gled triangle inside a circle. Som e (am ong them the p o et C hoerilu s) say that he was also the first to say that souls a re im m ortal. ‘B ecau se I love ch ild ren ’. 66 . ju s t as th e size o f the m oon is a seven h u n d re d and tw en tieth > o f th e lu n a r orbit. he foresaw that th ere was about to be a g oo d crop o f olives. in the second book o f his Miscellanies. A n d he was the first. Som e say that he m arried and had a son. (O thers. who d evelo p ed to their greatest exten t the discoveries which C alli­ m achus in his Iambi attributes to E u p h o rbu s the P hrygian . w hen C roesu s sent en voys to the M ilesians to m ake an alliance he p reven ted it . inclu din g A p o llo d o ru s the calculator.so that w hen he was asked w hy he had no children he rep lied . and that then. he said ‘It’s too late’.) H e is also th ou g h t to have given excellen t advice in political affairs. to discou rse about nature. hired the olive presses. H e was the first to call the last d ay o f the m onth th e thirtieth. takin g the m agn et and am b er as his evid en ce. F or exam p le.fo r ex a m p le. o th ers that he rem ain ed a b ach elor but adop ted his sister’s son . and m ade a h u g e sum o f m oney. w anting to show how easy it is to be rich. a cco rd in g to som e. to state that the size o f the sun is a seven h u n d red and twentieth part < o f the solar orbit.

N o-one tau g h t him . secondly. th ird ly. T h e g o d gave this oracle: O ffs p rin g o f M iletus. h a vin g observed the tim e w hen < o u r sh ad ow s> are the sam e size as we are. the ru le r o f M iletus. that I am a h u m an and n o t a beast. H e used to say. T h e r e is a celebrated story about the tripod w hich was dis­ covered by the fisherm en and sent ro u n d to the Sages by the p eo p le o f M iletus. a lth o u g h he w ent to E gyp t an d spent tim e with the priests th ere. an d to have fallen into a ditch: when he cried out. that I am a m an and not a w om an. W h en the tripod was fished u p th ere was a d isp u te until th e M ilesians sent to D elphi. that he th an ked F ortu n e fo r three things: first. and so it was passed on until it reach ed Solon . H iero n ym u s says th at he actually m easured the pyram ids from th eir shadow s. T h e y say he d iscovered the seasons o f the yea r and d iv id ed it into th ree h u n d red and sixty-five days. B u t h e g ave it to o n e o f the o th er Sages. and that the w orld has a soul and is fu ll o f spirits. T h a le s. th at I am a G reek and not a fo reign er. H e lived with T h rasy b u lu s. a sage astron om er.] H erm ippu s in his Lives ascribes to T h a le s w hat o th ers say o f Socrates. the old w om an said: ‘D o you thin k. a cco rd in g to M inyes. d o you ask A p o llo ab o u t a tripod ? I d eclare that the tripod belongs to him w h o is first in wisdom . that you will learn w hat is in th e heavens w h en yo u can n ot see w hat is in fro n t o f y o u r feet?’ T im o n too know s him as an astron om er and praises him in his Silli in the fo llo w in g words: Such was T h a le s o f the Seven Sages. T h e y say that som e y o u n g m en fro m Ionia bo u gh t a net from som e M ilesian fisherm en . H e is said to h ave been taken fro m his h o u se by an old wom an to look at the stars. w h o said that the god was first in w isdom and sent it to D elph i. they rep o rt.THALES H e supposed that w ater was th e first p rin cip le o f all things. So they gave it to T h a le s. Lobon o f A rg o s says that his w ritings stretched to tw o h u n d re d 67 . [T h e re follow a n u m ber o f d iffe r e n t versions o f the trip o d story.

’ 68 . ‘T h e n why d o n ’t you d ie?’ som eone asked him .fo r it runs th ro u g h ev eryth in g . ‘W hat has neith er b eg in n in g n o r e n d ’. N ecessity is the stron gest .fo r it controls everyth in g .by a d a y . H ow can we live best and m ost ju stly ? . choose o n e g oo d thing. the highest o f all in wisdom . T h e fo llo w in g aphorism s are ascribed to him . he said: ‘A n old tyran t’. ‘ Because it m akes no d iffe re n c e . ‘Success’. god is the oldest — fo r he is u n g en e ra ted . W h en so m eo n e asked him w hich cam e first. M ind is the s w ifte s t. H e said that d eath is no d iffe re n t fro m life. H e adds that his poem s in clu d e these verses: It is not m any w ords w hich show an intelligent opinion: search o u t o n e wise th in g. w hat m ost pleasant. Space is the g reat­ e s t . ‘N ig h t cam e first .’ he replied. he an sw ered .’ W hen asked w hat is d ifficu lt.I f we d o not ourselves d o th e things we blam e o th ers fo r d oin g.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY lines and that th e fo llo w in g ep ig ra m was inscribed on his statue: T h is is T h a le s w hom Ionian M iletus bred and show ed an astron om er. and that we shou ld not beau tify o u r faces bu t be b eau tifu l in o u r practices.’ A n a d u lte rer asked him i f he sh ou ld sw ear that he had not com m itted adu ltery: h e rep lied .fo r it includes everyth in g. w h at is easy.I f we see o u r en em ies fa rin g worse.’ W hen som e­ o n e asked him w h eth er a m an can escape the notice o f the god s i f he d oes w ro n g. and an educable natu re. w hat d ivin e.O n e w ho has a healthy b o d y. a w ell-stocked soul.fo r it is g o d ’s creation. H e says that we sh o u ld rem em b er o u r frien d s both p resen t and absent. ‘ P erju ry is no w orse than a d u lte ry . T im e is the wisest . he said. ‘Do not be rich by evil m eans. W h en asked w hat was the strangest thing he had seen. H ow can we bear mis­ fo rtu n e m ost e a s i l y ? . d ay o r n igh t. ‘T o g ive advice to som eone else’.fo r it discovers everyth in g. W h o is happy? . T h e w orld is the m ost b eau tifu l . fo r thus you will stop the ceaseless ton gu es o f babbling m en. ‘T o know y o u r s e lf. O f existing things. he replied: ‘N o t even i f he thinks o f d o in g w ro n g .

In the first book o f m y Epigrams o r Poems in A ll Metres th ere is an epigram on him: W hen on ce he was w atching a gym nastic contest. H om er.’ H e said that the N ile floods w hen its stream s are ch ecked by the contrary etesian winds. as Sosicrates says. a co n tem p o ra ry o f H esiod.THALES he says. his fam e is heaven -high: behold the g ra ve o f the wise and ingeniou s T h a le s. H e was by then an old m an. w hom he u n d erto o k to trans­ port across the H alys w ithou t a b rid g e by d iv ertin g its cou rse. th o u g h AntistH enes in his 69 . fo r th e old man could no lo n ger see the stars fro m the earth.’ ‘E xpect from y o u r ch ildren the sam e benefits that you gave to y o u r p arents. a pain ter from Sicyon. T h e r e w ere o th er m en called T h a le s . is m entioned by D ionysius in his Critical Essays. T h e Sage d ied o f heat and thirst and weakness w hile w atch­ in g a gym nastic contest. O n his tom b is inscribed: His tom b is sm all. T h e m otto ‘K now T h y s e lf is his. I praise you fo r takin g him n ear to you . you stole T h a le s the Sage fro m th e stadium . О Zeus o f the Sun. h avin g lived d u rin g the tim e o f C roesu s. a cco rd in g to D em etrius o f M agnesia in his Homonyms'. at ninety). an o ra to r fro m Callatis. fo r he died in the fifty-eighth O lym p iad [5 4 8 -54 5 в с ] . who had a p o o r style. m ore recen t and o bscu re. the fo u rth is m ention ed by D uris in his w ork On Painting-. o f g reat talent. and L ycu rgu s. H e d ied at the age o f seven ty-eight (or.five. ‘and let not w ords estrange you from those w ho have shared you r trust. A p o llo d o ru s in his Chronicles says that he was born in the first year o f the thirty-ninth O lym p iad [624 в с ]. the fifth. the third is very early.

EARLY CREE K P H IL O SOP H Y Successions says that it was P h em on oe’s and that C h ilo n ap p ro ­ priated it. 33-40) 70 . (D iogen es L aertius. Lives o f the Philosophers I 22-28 .

H ecataeus o f M iletus. he wrote a book. H e speaks o f tim e. H e said that a certain infin ite n a tu re is first principle o f the things that exist. A n a x im an d er said that th e infinite is prin ciple an d elem en t o f the things that exist. Geography I i) The leading ideas o f Anaximander’s work O n N atu re are summa­ rized by a late doxographer as follows: A n a x im an d er was a pu pil o f T h a le s . a g re a t traveller. From it com e th e h eavens and the w orlds in them . a fter him . son o f Praxiades. th ere is an eternal m otion in w hich the heavens com e into being. He also produced a star-map and a map o f the world: A n a x im an d er o f M iletus. was th e first m an bold en o u g h to d raw the inhabited w orld on a tablet. Unlike Thales. a M ilesian. came from Miletus. since gen eratio n an d exist­ en ce and destruction a re determ inate. 7i . m ad e it m ore accurate so that it was greatly ad m ired . It is etern al and ageless. Anaximander was bom in 610 and died in about 540 вс. In add ition. Lives o f the Philo­ sophers II 2). which was later in circulation under the title O n N atu re. b e in g the first to call it by th e n am e o f principle. like Thales. ‘A p o llo d o ru s o f A th en s says in his Chronicles that h e was sixty-fo u r in the secon d year o f the fifty-eigh th O lym p ia d [547/546 вс] and that he died shortly afterw ard s’ (D iogenes L aertius.3 ANAXIMANDER Anaximander. (A gath em eru s. I f Apollodorus is right. and it contains all the w orlds. a pu pil o f T h a le s.A n a x im a n d er.

the circles o f th e fixed stars lowest. H e says that the earth is cylindrical in shape and is a third as d e e p as it is broad. A n im als com e into bein g < fr o m m o istu re> evap o rated by the sun. Its sh ap e is ro u n d ed .EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY T h e earth is alo ft. collect tog eth er and m ove. H um ans origin ally resem bled an o th e r type o f anim al. nam ely fish. Refutation o f A ll Heresies I vi 1—7) A second doxographical report contains some supplementary material: A n a x im an d er. says that the infinite is the universal cause o f the g en eratio n and destruction o f the u niverse. W inds com e into b ein g w hen the finest vapou rs o f air are separated o ff. hen ce eclipses o ccu r w hen the breathingholes a re blocked . H e asserted that destruction and. we stand on o n e w hile the o th er is opposite. H e was bo rn in th e third year o f the forty-second O lym piad [610/609 в с]. O f its surfaces. infinite in n u m ber. and the m oon ap pears som etim es w axing and som etim es w anin g a cco rd in g to w h eth er the channels are blocked o r o p en . separated o f f from the fire in the w orld and en closed by air. T h e r e are certain tub ular chann els o r breathin g-holes th ro u gh which the heav­ en ly bodies a p p ear. the heavens w ere separated o f f and in g en era l all the w orlds. an associate o f T h a le s. T h e circle o f th e sun is tw enty-seven times g rea ter C th a n the earth and th e circle > o f the m oon e i g h t ­ een tim es g re a te r > . Rain com es from va p o u r sent u p by the things beneath the sun. (H ippolytus. g en eratio n o ccu r fro m tim e im m em orial. T h e heavenly bodies com e into bein g as a circle o f fire. H e says that at th e gen eration o f this w orld that which is p ro d u ctiv e fro m th e eternal o f hot and cold separated o f f and 72 . h e says. From it. m uch earlier. not su p p o rted by an yth in g but resting w h ere it is because o f its equal distance from everyth ing. all the sam e things bein g renew ed . L ig h tn in g occurs w hen w ind breaks o u t and parts the clouds. like a stone pillar. circular. T h e sun is highest.

the remarks o f Hippo­ lytus and pseudo-Plutarch can be eked out by three further texts: A n a x im an d er says that the first anim als w ere born in m oist­ ure. So ju s t 73 . bu t that at first m en cam e into b ein g inside fish an d w ere nourished th ere . (C en sorin us. A s th ey grew o ld e r they em erged on to d rie r parts. su rrou n d ed by prickly barks. and fo r a sh o rt tim e they lived a d iffe re n t kind o f life. H ere their p h ilosoph y is b etter than that o f A n a x im a n d er. In biology.as do the Syrians. the b ark burst.ANAXIMANDER from it a ball o f flam e grew rou n d the air ab o u t th e earth . ([Plutarch]. because the o th er anim als can soon look a fter them selves w hile hum an s alon e requ ire a lo n g p eri­ od o f nursing. that hum ans grew in them . F or he says.o n ly e m e rg in g an d tak in g to the land w hen th ey w ere able to look a fte r them selves. Preparation fo r the Gospel I vii 16) Anaximander's most striking thoughts concern biology.2. that is w hy if they had been like this origin ally they w ould not have su rvived. he says that origin ally hum ans w ere b o rn fro m an i­ mals o f a d iffe re n t kind. W hen th e ball burst and was enclosed in certain circles. believin g that m en g rew fro m th e m oist su b­ stance . astronomy and the conception o f ‘the infinite’. like bark on a tree. o r anim als very like fish. in Eusebius. as bein g o f the sam e species and the sam e n u rtu re as them selves. T h a t is w hy th ey revere fish. On Birthdays IV 7) T h e descendants o f old H ellen actually sacrifice to Poseidon the A ncestor.like sharks . the sun and the m oon and the stars cam e into bein g. an d that the em bryos w ere retained inside u p to p u b erty w h ereu p o n th e fish-like anim als burst and m en and w om en e m erg e d a lread y able to look a fte r th em ­ selves. ([Plutarch]. Miscellanies fra g m en t 179 . On the Scientific Beliefs o f the Philosophers 908D) A n a x im an d er o f M iletus says he thinks that fro m h o t w ater and earth th ere arose fish. not that fish and m en w ere bo rn in th e sam e su rro u n d ­ ings. Furth er.

so A n a x im a n d er. filled with fire and perforated. having d eclared that fish a re at o n ce fath ers and m others o f m en. O f those w h o hold that the first p rin cip le is o n e. u rges us not to eat them . T h is is the sun. and infinite. They circle a stationary earth. Un­ fortunately. F or th ere is no reason w hy w hat is situated in the m idd le and is sim ilarly related to the ed ges shou ld m ove upw ards rath er than d ow n ­ w ards o r sideways. So it necessarily rests w h ere it is. (A ristotle.exactly how extensive Simplicius’ citation is. A n a x im a n d er. A n a x im an d er).EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY as fire consum es the m atter fro m w hich it was kindled (its own m oth er and fath er. as the p o et w h o inserted the m arriage o f C e y x into H esiod ’s poem s said). we have a few words from Anaximander's book preserved in a passage o f Simplicius. it is uncertain .and a matter o f vigorous scholarly contro­ versy . w hich at a certain p o in t reveals the fire th ro u gh a m ou th p iece. w ho was a successor and pupil o f Thales. On the Heavens 295b! 1-16 ) As for the infinite principle or element o f all things. B u t it can n ot m ove in o pposite directions at the sam e tim e. Aristotle adds to Hippo­ lytus’ account o f the stability o f the earth: Som e say that [the earth] rests w h ere it is because o f the simi­ larity (so. Table Talk 730DF) The astronomical theory described by Hippolytus can be given a little more colour: A n a x im a n d er holds that th ere is a circle tw enty-eight tim es as g rea t as the earth . with a hollow rim full o f fire. These are the earliest surviving words o f western philosophy. (Plutarch. It is like the w heel o f a cart. said that the infinite is princ­ iple and elem ent o f the things that exist. ([Plutarch]. On the Scientific Beliefs o f the Philosophers 889F) The heavenly bodies are concentric hollow wheel-rims. son o f P raxiades. m oving. a M ilesian. a m o n g the ancients. H e was the first to 74 . as th ro u g h the tube o f a bellows.

an d th ere is an en d to every d estruction. B e lie f in th e existen ce o f so m eth in g infin ite com es m ainly from five considerations: fro m tim e (since this is infinite). H e accounts fo r com ing into being not by the alteration o f the elem ent but by the separating o f f o f the opposites by the eternal motion. it has no prin ciple but itself is th o u g h t to be a principle fo r ev ery th in g else an d to g o v ern ev e ry th in g . A g ain . from which all the heavens and the worlds in them com e into being.ANAXIMANDER introduce this word ‘principle'. It is with reason that they all m ake [the infinite] a principle. (Simplicius. B u t th e infinite has no p rin cip le fo r then it w ould h ave a limit. A n d it is also the divine. as A n a x im an d er and m ost o f th e n atural scientists say. F or w hat com es into b ein g m ust have an en d . H ence. . F or e v ery th in g is e ith er a prin cip le o r d erived from a principle. . it is u n g en e ra ted and indestructible and so is a principle. H e says that it is neither water nor any other o f the so-called elem ents but som e d ifferen t infinite nature. fro m the division o f m agn itu d es (m athem aticians actually use the infinite). A passage in Aristotle's Physics alludes to Anaximander and lists some reasons fo r belief in infinitude: it is possible that one or more o f those reasons originally came from Anaximander. fo r it can neith er exist to no p u rp o se n o r h ave any p o w er excep t that o f a prin ciple. again. fo r it is deathless an d u n p e rish in g. For they give justice and reparation to one anotherfor their injustice in accordance with the arrangement o f time [ 12 в l ] (he speaks o f them in this way in som ewhat poetical words). It is clear that he observed the change o f the fo u r elem ents into one another and was unwilling to m ake any on e o f them the underly­ ing stu ff but rather chose som ething else apart from them . water). because gen eratio n an d d estruction will give ou t unless th ere is so m eth in g infin ite fro m w hich w hat com es 75 . air.13—25) Simplicius explains why Anaximander’s ‘element’ was different from the four traditional elemental stuffs (earth. H e does not explain why it was unlimited or infinite. A nd the things from which existing things com e into being are also the things into which they are destroyed. Commentary on the Physics 24. fire. in accord­ ance with what must be. as I say.

fo r with eternal things th ere is n o d iffe re n c e betw een b ein g possible and b ein g actual. B u t if the region outside is infinite.1 1. (Aristotle. i f void and space are infinite. then body and w orlds also seem to be infinite .fo r why sh ou ld they be h ere rath er than th ere in the void? H ence i f body is an yw h ere. 13-30) 76 . A g ain . Physics 20‘} Ь 6 . because w hat is finite is always lim ited by som ethin g. th ere is so m eth in g w hich raises a pu zzle fo r every­ one alike: because they d o not give o u t in thought. and so d o m athem atical m agnitudes and the region outside the heavens. body too m ust be infinite . num bers seem to be infinite. again. it is everyw h ere.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY into bein g is subtracted. so that th ere cann ot be an [ultimate] limit i f one th in g m ust always be lim ited by an oth er. last and most im portan tly.

H e said that the first principle is infinite air. and clou d is p ro d u ced from air by com pression. A g a in . son o f Eurystratus. from w hich w h at is co m in g into bein g and w hat has com e into b ein g an d w hat will exist and god s and divinities com e into bein g. 77 . a re co n d en sed air. w hen still fu rth e r con d en sed it is earth. and w hen it is as d en se as possible it is stones.4 A N A XI MENE S Anaximenes was a younger contemporary o f Anaximander. and like him a Milesian. and w inds. w hen it is m ore con d en sed it is w ater. he wrote in ‘a sim ple and econom ical Ionian style’ . but their interpretation is controversial: we may be satisfied with the thought that Anaximenes was active in the middle o f the sixth century вс. his work certainly followed the same general pattern as that o f Anaximander. H e is said to have been a pupil o f Anaximander. w hile ev ery th in g else com es into bein g from its o ffsp rin g . T h e form o f the air is this: w hen it is m ost u n ifo rm it is invisible.in contrast. but it is m ad e a p p a ren t by the hot and th e cold and the m oist and th e m ovin g. again. Whether or not that is literally true. to Anaximander’s ‘som ew hat poetical w o rd s’. Our sources offer some precise dates. the fullest is the one given by Hippolytus: A naxim enes. O f the various doxographical accounts o f his views. was also a M ilesian. fo r the things that ch a n g e w ould not ch an ge i f it w ere not in m otion. T h u s the m ost im portan t factors in co m in g into b ein g are opposites hot and cold. According to Diogenes Laertius. It is always in m otion. perhaps. F or as it is co n d en sed an d rarefied it ap pears d ifferen t: w hen it dissolves into a m o re rarefied condition it becom es fire.

(H ippolytu s. fo r w hen they part a b righ t and fiery flash occurs. T h e s e a re the views o f A n axim en es. in the sam e way the sun an d th e m oon and the o th er h eaven ly bodies. and the heavenly bodies are com posed o f this fire w hen it is aloft. and snow w hen these sam e things solidify in a m ore w atery form . T h e r e are also som e earth y substances in the region o f the heavenly bodies which orbit with them . but rou n d the earth . Rain­ bows are gen erated w hen the su n ’s rays fall on com pacted air. as may the notion o f the stars ‘riding’ on air.ju s t as a felt cap turn s on the head. H ail com es ab o u t w h en the w ater fallin g from the clouds solidifies. W inds a re g en era ted w h en the air is con d en sed and driven along. L ig h tn in g o ccu rs w hen the clou d s a re parted by the force o f winds. Hippolytus’ account o f the earth’s flatness can be supplemented by a passage from Aristotle: A n a x im e n es and A n a x a g o ra s and D em ocritus say that the 78 . Refutation o f A ll Heresies I vii 1-9) The curious reference to felt caps may go back to Anaximenes himself. A n d the sun is h idd en not because it goes u n d e r the earth but because it is screen ed by the h ig h er parts o f the earth and because o f its grea ter distance fro m us. T h e h eaven ly bodies h ave com e into bein g from ea rth . which are all fiery. H e says that the heaven ly bodies m ove not u n d er the earth . as others have su pposed. rid e th e air because o f th eir flatness. Anaximenes seems to have liked such similes: he also held that the sun is ‘flat like a l e a f and (perhaps) that the stars are ‘fixed into the crystalline like nails’ ([Plutarch].EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY T h e earth is flat and rides on air. 889л). H e flo urish ed in the first year o f the fifty-eigh th O lym p iad [548/547 в с ]. A s it collects to g eth er and is fu rth e r thickened . because mist rose from the earth an d was rarefied an d p ro d u ced fire. clouds a re g en era ted and in this way it ch an ges into w ater. earth q u akes w h en the earth is considerably altered by heating an d cooling. On the Scientific Beliefs o f the Philosophers 890D. T h e heaven ly bodies d o not heat us because o f th eir g rea t distance.

On the Scientific Beliefs o f the Philosophers 876 а в) A n axim en es believes that th ere is a single. O r should we. m oving. fo r ev ery th in g com es into b ein g fro m air an d is resolved again into it. F or he says this: Air is close to the incorporeal. stays m otionless in a mass below).fo r they are not easily m oved even by the winds because o f th eir resistance. On the Divine and Sacred Art o f the Philosopher’s Stone 25) 79 . The Primary Cold 947F) A naxim enes. like the w ater in a clepsydra. infinite first principle o f all existing things. T h e y say that becau se o f its flatness the earth does the sam e th in g in relation to the air und erneath it (which. it is necessary fo r it to be both infinite and rich because it never gives out. nam ely air. On the Heavens 294b 1 3 -2 1 ) Three texts have been supposed to contain a few ofAnaximenes’ own words. treat the hot and the cold not as substances bu t rath er as com m on p ro p erties o f m atter which su p e rv en e u p o n changes? F or he says that m atter which is concentrated and con d en sed is cold . F or it does not cut the air beneath bu t covers it like a lid. (A ristotle. being air. asserted that air is the first prin ciple o f the things that exist. bu t w hen the m ou th is relaxed and it is ex h a led it becom es hot by reason o f its rare­ ness. [ 13 в 1] H en ce it is not unreasonably said that m en release both hot and cold from their m ouths. not havin g en o u g h room to m ove away. [в 3] ([O lym piodorus]. fo r the breath is cooled w hen it is com ­ pressed and cond en sed by the lips.ANAXIMENES flatness [o f the earth] causes it to rest w h ere it is. a M ilesian. and because we come into being by an outflowing o f air. F or exam p le. [в 2] ([Plutarch]. and breath and air contain the whole world (‘air’ and ‘b reath ’ are used syn on y­ m ously). h e says. son o f E urystratus. our souls. Flat bodies are observed to d o this . as old A n a x im en es th o u g h t. hold us together. (Plutarch. while that w hich is rare and slack (that is the w ord he uses) is hot.

The fragment’ quoted by pseudo-Olympiodorus is regarded as spurious by most scholars. but the citation can hardly be literal (and its sense is obscure). but the content o f the text may be Anaximenean.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY In the Plutarch passage the only word that can be ascribed to Anaxi­ menes is ‘slack’. 80 . The parenthetical comment at the end o f pseudo-Plutarch shows that he purports to quote Anaximenes.

we shall conclude that Pythagoras was bom on the island o f Samos. in about 5 70 вс. This chapter sets out the most important o f the early texts which refer 81 . Later. It is difficult to cut through this jungle and discover the original Pythagoras. (This is the orthodox modem view. there was disagreement among the ancients on the point. but. his character. nor did his early followers. the histories o f Pythagoreanism and o f Platonism became closely connected. each group claiming to be the genuine heirs o f the Master. as we shall see. his beliefs— than about any other Presocratic philosopher. which was then ruled by the culti­ vated autocrat Polycrates. Pythagoras himself did not set down his notions in writing. A t all events. I f we attempt to disen­ tangle the few threads o f historical truth. Legends rapidly collected about his name. he was eventually obliged to leave town: he settled in the nearby city o f Metapontum. and as a result accounts o f Pythagorean philosophy became contaminated with Platonic material. Later still. Yet in many ways Pythagoras is the most obscure and perplexing o f all the early thinkers.5 PYTHAGORAS We are told more about Pythagoras—his life. where he died. Some thirty years later he left the island. H e appears to have become a figure o f consequence in the political life o f Croton. and several works by later Pythagoreans have survived. and emigrated to Croton in south Italy.) In the fifth century there occurred a division among the Pythagoreans. in the fourth century. various Pythagorean documents were produced and circulated. For the school o f thought to which he gave his name lasted fo r more than a millennium. pro­ jecting back on to Pythagoras himself philosophical ideas o f a more recent age. and to have aroused some hostility among the citizens.

Lives o f the Philosophers V I I I 36) [H eraclitus] was u n com m on ly a rro g a n t and contem ptuou s. . and selecting from these writings he manufactured a wisdom fo r himself— much learning. Later chapters will deal with fifth-century Pythagoreanism. and with Hippasus and Philolaus. and reports the few doctrines which can be ascribed to him with any confidence. [22 в 40] {ibid IX 1) Som e say that P ythagoras d id not leave a single w ritten w ork beh in d him . [22 в 126] ' {ibid V III 6) Ion o f C h io s in his Triads says that P ythagoras w rote som e things an d attrib uted them to O rp h eu s. and again Xenophanes and. Heraclitus. Pythagoras is mentioned by Xenophanes.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY to Pythagoras. practised inquiry more than any other man. T h e y a re in erro r. W h at he says ab o u t him goes like this: A nd once when he passed a puppy that was being whipped they say he took pity on it and made this remark: ‘Stop. Hecataeus. artful knavery. {ibid VIII 8) 82 . [21 в 7] (D iogen es L aertius. in w hich he says: M uch learning does not teach sense — otherwise it would have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras. Ion and (per­ haps) Empedocles: A s to [P ythagoras’] h avin g becom e d iffe re n t p eo p le at d iffe r ­ en t tim es. at any rate. H eraclitus the natural scientist pretty well shouts it o u t w hen he says: Pythagoras. . the only Preso­ cratic Pythagoreans about whom we have any substantial evidence. as in d eed is clear fro m his treatise itself. fo r it is the soul o f a dear friend I recognized it when I heard the voice’. do not beat it. X en o p h a n es bears witness in a n eleg y w hich begins with th e line: Now I will attempt another theme and show the path . son o f Mnesarchus.

even after death possesses in his soul a pleasant life i f indeed Pythagoras is truly wise. B u t in th e 83 . Salm oxis. For when he stretched out with all his mind he easily saw each and every thing in ten or twenty human generations. In th e place w h ere h e h ad d o n e and said w hat I have rep o rted h e bu ilt an u n d e rg ro u n d cham ber. W h en the ch a m b er was co m p leted h e van ish ed from am o n g the T h racia n s. th e son o f M nesarchus. excelling in courage and also in honour. A n d h e tau g h t th em that n e ith er h e n o r his fellow -drin kers n o r any o f th eir d escend an ts w ou ld d ie but w ould com e to a co u n try w h ere th ey w o u ld live fo r e v e r in possession o f all g o o d things. associated with G reek s . and h avin g d o n e so retu rn e d to his ow n co u n try . d esce n d in g into th e u n d e rg ro u n d cham ber and stayin g th ere fo r th ree years. p re ­ p ared a banqueting-hall w h ere h e en tertain ed an d feasted the lead in g citizens. T h e y m issed him and m ou rn ed fo r him as th o u g h h e w e re d ea d .an d w ith P yth agoras w ho was b y n o m eans th e feeblest o f th e G re e k sages). T h e n h e gained his freed o m and accu m ulated a la rg e sum o f m oney. an exceptional master o f every kind o f wise work.he was a slave to P yth agoras. B u t since the T h racia n s led m iserable lives and w ere ra th e r stu p id . Life o f Pythagoras 30) Pythagoras is referred to by the fifth-century historian Herodotus: A s I learn fro m th e G reek s w h o live on the H ellesp on t a n d the Black Sea. who above all men learned and gained knowledge. [31 в 129] (P o rp h yry.PYTHAGORAS Ion o f Chios says ab o u t [Pherecydes]: Thus he. this Salm oxis was hu m an a n d lived as a slave in Sam os . a fte r all. [36 в 4] (ibid I 120) E m pedocles bears witness to this w hen he says o f [Pythagoras]: Among them was a man o f immense knowledge who had obtained the greatest wealth o f mind. w ho was acqu ain ted with th e Ion ian w ay o f life an d with m anners m ore civilized than those o f th e T h ra c ia n s (he had.

and in this way w hat Salm oxis had said a p p ea re d plausible to them . have d on e so. who was a contemporary o f Plato. Republic 600 а в) Isocrates the orator. (Isocrates. both now and in the past. has the follow­ ing account: I am not the only m an o r the first to have observed [the piety o f th e Egyptians]: m any. and in p articu lar he was co n cern ed . I n eith er disbelieve the story n o r place too m uch cred it in it . w hile the o ld e r m en w ere m ore pleased to see th eir ch ild ren associating with him than looking a fte r th eir ow n a ffairs. with m atters to d o with sacri­ fices and tem ple purification s. H e was the first to brin g philo­ sop h y to G reece. with p u p ils w ho loved him fo r his co m p an y and w ho handed d ow n a H om eric way o f life to their successors .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY fo u rth y e a r he a p p ea red to th e T h ra cia n s .and I thin k that Salm oxis lived m any years earlier than Pythagoras. i f H om er did no public service. th en. m ore conspicu ou sly than a n yon e else. N o r can w e distrust th eir ju d g e m e n t. (H ero d o tu s. is he said to have becom e d u rin g his lifetim e an ed u cational lead er in private. fo r even now those w ho claim to be his pupils receive fo r their silence m ore adm iration than those w h o have th e greatest repu tation fo r speaking.like Pythag­ oras. Histories IV 9 5 -д б ) Plato mentions Pythagoras once: W ell. w h o w ent to E gyp t and studied with the Egyptians. A s fo r th e m an an d his u n d erg ro u n d ch am ber. A n d that is w hat h ap p en e d . th in k in g that even if this w ould gain him n o advan tage fro m the god s it w ould at least bring him h igh rep u te a m o n g m en. For he so e x cee d ed o th ers in rep u tation that all th e y o u n g m en d esired to be his pupils. in clu d in g P ythagoras o f Sam os. T h a t is w hat th ey say he d id . Busiris 28-29) 84 . w h o was h im self particu larly loved on this accoun t and w hose successors even now talk o f a P yth agorean m ode o f life and are th o u g h t to stand o u t fro m o th er m en? (Plato.

They divide roughly into two categories. Several o th er p arad oxical stories are told o f him .’ A g ain . in C a u lo n ia . as A ristotle says.which is w hy he left M etapontum w ithou t b ein g observed by an ybody. W hen at M etapontu m a ca rgo ship was e n te r­ ing h arbo u r and the o n loo kers w ere p ra y in g that it w ould d ock safely because o f its cargo . Pythagoras was the first to draw triangles and p o lygon s and *to bisect* the circle . Here is a representative sample: Pythagoras. A n d while he was crossin g th e river Casas in co m p an y with o th ers he heard a su p erh u m an voice sayin g ‘H ail. P yth ago ras’ — and those w ho w ere th ere w ere terrified . which was m ad e o f g old . an d revealed to th e au d ien ce his own thigh. w h en he was sitting in th e th eatre. first stu d ied m athem atics and num bers bu t later also in d u lg ed in the m iracle-m o n g erin g o f Pherecydes. but since I d o not w ant to be a m ere transcriber.and to teach m en to abstain from livin g things.PYTHAGORAS Some o f the legends about Pythagoras were collected by Aristotle in his lost work O n the P ythagorean s. the son o f M nesarchus.6 0 -6 2 P feiffer) Most modem scholars are properly sceptical o f these ascriptions. and their scepticism is nothing new. Marvellous Stones 6) A large body o f teachings came to be ascribed to Pythagoras. A n d o n ce he a p p ea re d both in C ro to n an d in M etapon tu m o n th e sam e d ay a n d at the sam e h o u r. so A ristotle says. he stood u p and said: ‘Y o u will see that this ship is ca rry in g a co rp se. (A p o llon iu s. h e stood u p . and A risto tle> in his w ritings abo u t him tells m any stor­ ies in clu din g the o n e ab o u t the poisonous sn ake in T u sca n y which bit him and w hich he bit back and killed.as the poet Callimachus put it. A n d he fo r e ­ told to the P ythagorean s the co m in g strife . the mathematico-metaphysical and the moral . O n ce. The best ancient commentary on Pythagoras’ doctrines is to be found in a passage o f Porphyry: 85 . {Iambi fra g m en t 19 1. en o u g h o f P ythagoras. < h e fo reto ld the ap p ea ra n ce o f th e w hite shebear.

som e earlier. one o f w hom . so he asked that. and m any from the nearby fo reign territory. alive and d ead . T h u s in his life he rem em b ered ev eryth in g . first. that at certain p eriod s w h atever has h a p p en e d h appen s again. So m e o f the G reek s . T h e a n o . it again enters into th e b o d y o f a m an which is then b ein g born . that it ch an ges into o th e r kinds o f anim als. Histories II 123) The names Herodotus coyly refrains from transcribing will have included that o f Pythagoras. H erm es invited him to ch oose w h atever h e w anted. an d this cycle takes it th ree thou san d years. and w h en he 86 . or the transmigration o f the soul. fo r they p reserved n o o rd in a ry silence. Herodotus also mentions it: T h e E gyptians w ere the first to ad van ce the idea that the soul is im m ortal an d that w hen the body dies it en ters into an oth er anim al w hich is then bein g born . th ere b ein g n o th in g absolutely new. an d that all living things should be co n sidered as b elo n g in g to the sam e kind. (H ero d o tu s. e x cep t im m ortality. ach ieved som e fam e). w hen it has g o n e rou n d all the creatu res o f th e land. som e later — p u t fo rw a rd this idea as th ou gh it w ere th eir ow n: I know their nam es bu t I d o not transcribe them . that the soul is im m ortal. P ythagoras seem s to have been th e first to in trod u ce these d octrines into G reece.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY P ythagoras acqu ired a g reat repu tation : he w on m any fol­ low ers in the city o f C ro to n itself (both m en and w om en. W hat he said to his associates no-on e can say with any certainty. Life o f Pythagoras 19) The theory o f metempsychosis. then. and fu rth e r. (P o rp h yry. is implicitly ascribed to Pythagoras by Xenophanes in the text quoted above. he shou ld rem em b er w hat h a p p en ed to him . H eraclides o f Pontus reports that [Pythagoras] tells th e follow ­ in g story o f him self: h e was o n ce born as A eth alid es and was co n sid ered to be the son o f H erm es. both kings and n o b 'em en . B u t it becam e very well known to everyo n e that he said. Two later passages are worth quoting even though they belong to the legendary material. th e sea and th e air.

h e said th at h e h im self had bo rn e that shield at T r o y w h en h e was E u p h o rb u s. w ho h im self w anted to g ive a p r o o f and so w ent to B ran ch id ae. w ho was killed by M enelaus. in T ro ja n tim es. Som e tim e later he becam e E u p h o rb u s an d was w o u n d ed by M enelaus. h e becam e P yrrh u s. W h en th e A rg iv e s asked him the reason fo r his em otion . W h en E u p h o rb u s d ie d . an d again h e rem em b ered e v e ry th in g how he had been first A eth a lid es. saying that the souls o f all anim als en ter d iffe r e n t anim als a fter d eath . (D iodoru s. (D iogenes L aertius. it had by then d ecayed an d all that was le ft was the ivory boss.how it had circu lated. B ecau se o f the ex tra o rd in a ry n a tu re o f his claim they all u rg e d that the shield be taken d ow n — an d it turn ed ou t that on the inside the inscription was fo u n d . w hat his soul had su ffe re d in H ades a n d what o th e r souls e x p erien ced . and bu rst into tears.PYTHAGORAS died he retained the sam e m em ories. Universal History X vi 1 -3 ) The theory o f transmigration was later adopted by Empedocles: further texts will be found in the chapter under his name. W h en P yrrh u s d ie d . b u t h e said he w ould p rovid e a tru e sign that it was in d eed th e case: on the inside o f the shield th ere had been inscribed in archaic letter­ ing e u p h o r b u s . into w hat plants and anim als it h ad passed. E u p h orbu s used to say that he had o n ce been A eth a lid es an d had acquired the g ift from H erm es and learn ed o f th e circu l­ ation o f his soul . E u p h o rb u s. h e becam e Pythagoras and rem em b ered e v ery th in g I h ave related . the Delian fisherm an. T h e y did not believe him an d ju d g e d him to be m ad . then H erm otim us. T h e y say th at on ce when h e was staying at A rg o s he saw a shield fro m th e spoils o f T r o y nailed u p. W h en H erm otim u s d ied . then Pyrrhus. Panthus’ son. th en E u p h o rb u s. his soul passed into H erm otim us. H e h im se lf used to say that he rem em b ered bein g. en tered the tem p le o f A p o llo and pointed to the shield w hich M enelaus had d ed ica ted (he said that he had d edicated the shield to A p o llo w hen h e sailed back from T ro y ). Lives o f the Philosophers V I I I 4 -5 ) Pythagoras believed in m etem psychosis an d th o u g h t th at eat­ ing m eat was an abom in able th in g. 87 .

h o ld in g this stick. Commentary on the Physics 73 2. (Sim plicius. like metempsychosis. It is w o rth setting dow n a passage fro m the third bo ok o f E u d em u s’ Physics in w hich he p ara­ phrases th eir views: O n e m igh t w o n d er w h eth er o r not the sam e dm e recurs as som e say it does. and so on fo r ev ery th in g else .then it is plausible that the sam e tim e too recurs.2 3 -3 3 ) Eternal recurrence. 88 .g.that you will be sitting h ere and I shall talk to you .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY The idea o f eternal recurrence had a wide currency in later Greek thought. again. It is ascribed to ‘the P yth ago rean s’ in a passage from Sim­ plicius: T h e P yth agorean s too used to say that numerically the sam e things o ccu r again and again. will be found again in con­ nection with Empedocles. N ow we call th in gs ‘the sam e’ in d ifferen t ways: things the sam e in kind plainly r e c u r — e. sum m er a n d w in ter and the o th e r seasons and periods. m otions recu r th e sam e in kind — fo r the sun com pletes the solstices and th e eq u in o x es and the o th er m ovem ents. B u t i f we a re to believe the P yth agorean s and hold that things the sam e in n u m b er recu r .

M ost o f w hat he says concern s m edicin e.w hen he says: Most human things come in pairs. Lives o f the Philosophers V I I I 83) Brontinus. and В athyllus are elsewhere said to have been Pythagoreans . H e is th ou g h t to have been the first to co m pose a treatise on natural science (as F avorinus says in his Universal History). [24 в i] H e said that the soul is im m ortal an d that it m oves con tin u ously like the sun. H e was the son o f P eirithous. nevertheless h e som etim es en gages in natural science too . Leo. and he was probably active in the early part o f the fifth century вс. 89 .Brontinus being a relation by marriage o f Pythagoras himself. said this to Brontinus and Leo and В athyllus: A bout matters invisible the gods possess clarity. the first o f a distinguished line o f Greek philosopher-physicians. but as fa r as humans may judge etc. The short notice on Alcmaeon by Diogenes Laertius is worth quoting in full: A lcm aeon o f C ro to n : he too h ea rd P ythagoras. The township was famous fo r its doctors and Alcmaeon himself was a medical man. as he h im self says at th e b e g in ­ nin g o f his treatise: Alcmaeon o f Croton.6 ALCMAEON Alcmaeon came from Croton. son ofPeirithous. but he is said to have been a younger contemporary o f Pythagoras. and to have h eld that the m oon and ev ery th in g a bove it possess an eternal nature. No dates are recordedfo r his life. (D iogenes L aerd u s.

is in fact taken from a report in Aristotle: A lcm aeo n held sim ilar views to [the P ythagoreans]. he held that men. mentioned in Diogenes. sw eet an d b itter. F or the divinities too a re always in co n tin u o u s m otion — the m oon. o r locale. F or he says th at it is im m ortal because it is like the im m ortals a n d that it is like them in sofar as it is alw ays in m otion.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY Diogenes’ first ‘quotation’. perish: A lcm aeo n says that m en d ie because they can n ot attach the 90 . g oo d and bad. A n d illness com es about by an excess o f heat o r cold . H ealth is the p ro p o rtio n ­ ate b len d in g o f the qualities. ([Plutarch]. F or he says that m ost hu m an things com e in pairs. It som etim es o ccu rs in them fro m extern a l causes too . unlike their souls. o r fatigu e. o r so m eth in g else o f that sort. g rea t and sm all. the stars an d the w hole heaven. from a su rfeit o r d eficien cy o f n ou rish m en t. sp eakin g not.w ater o f a particu lar kind. (A ristotle. the sun . o f a d eterm in ate set o f opposition s bu t rath er o f a haphazard collection . bitter an d sweet and the re st—an d that autocracy am o n g them prod u ces illness. are reported at slightly greater length by Aristotle: A lcm aeo n seem s to have held a sim ilar view ab o u t the soul. fo r the au to cracy o f e ith er p a rtn er is d estructive. Metaphysics 986330-34) These oppositions had a medical application: A lcm aeo n says that health is co n served by egalitarianism a m o n g th e p o w e rs—w et and d ry . o r con­ straint. and in the blood o r the m arrow o r the brain. about things coming in pairs. like them . On the Scientific Beliefs o f the Philosophers 9 1 1 a ) Alcmaeon’s ideas about the immortality o f the soul. cold and hot. On the Soul 4 0 5 3 2 9 ^ 1) A t the same time. (A ristotle.such as black an d w hite.

an d th ey accept and transm it them because they are loose-textured an d delicate. d raw in g th e b reath tow ards th e brain . w h ereas th e o thers p erceive bu t d o not u n d e r­ stand. O n this 9l . T h e eyes see th ro u gh the w ater su rro u n d in g them . fo r. fo r it obstructs the passages th ro u g h w hich the senses w ork. T h e y see by the gleam in g and tran sp aren t part. th e b etter th ey see.the sam e thing. H e says that we h ea r with o u r ears because th ere is an em p ty space inside them w hich echoes: the cavity sou nd s and the air ech oes in retu rn . w hen it reflects — an d the p u re r it is.ALCMAEON b egin n in g to th e en d — a cleve r sayin g i f you take it to have been m eant loosely an d d o n o t try to m ake it precise. So m uch fo r A lcm aeo n ’s views. (H e su pposes that th in kin g and p erceiv in g a re distinct. A ll the senses a re som ehow co n n ected to th e brain .) T h e n he discusses each o f th e senses. h e said n eith er how n o r by w hat m eans it works. A s fo r tou ch. b ein g so ft and w arm . not . fo r w hen th ey a re struck it flashes out. T h a t is w hy they a re incapacitated i f it is m oved o r d isplaced. Problems 9 16 3 3 3 -3 7 ) Theophrastus’ essay on the senses contains a summary o f Alcmaeon's views on perception: O f those w h o d o not exp lain p ercep tio n by sim ilarity. (T h eo p h ra stu s. th ey dissolve things with th eir heat. ([Aristotle]. It is clear that th ey co n ­ tain fire. A lc­ m aeon first d efines the d ifferen ces a m o n g anim als. W e d iscrim in ate fla­ vours with o u r ton gu es. On the Senses 2 5 -2 6 ) In this connection the following report deserves mention (although scholars have doubted its veracity): W e m ust now g ive an acco u n t o f the n atu re o f th e eye.as E m ped ocles hold s . W e sm ell with o u r noses at the sam e tim e as we b rea th e in. F or he says that hum ans d iffe r fro m the o th e r anim als because they a lo n e u n d erstan d .

(Calcidius.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY subject m an y scientists. pu blished m uch o f value. . (C lem ent. there is an isolated moral maxim: A lcm aeo n o f C ro to n says that it is easier to be on y o u r gu ard against an en em y than against a frien d . . in clu d in g A lcm aeo n o f C ro to n (who busied h im self with natural science and w h o was the first to u n d erta ke d isse ctio n s). Miscellanies V I ii 16.1) 92 . Commentary on the Timaeus ccxlvi 279) Finally.

H e is said to have lived to be over a hundred. H e also recited his ow n poem s. and from my birth there were twenty five to add to them i f I know how to speak truly about these things. there are enough surviving fragments to warrant our calling him a philo­ sopher — and indeed to justify our regarding him as one o f the early philosophical geniuses o f Greece. H e was a peripatetic poet. who came from Colophon in Ionia. H e lived to an ad van ced age. love. cen su rin g th em fo r th eir rem arks ab o u t th e gods. war. H e wrote on traditional poetical subjects drink. Many modem scholars have doubted whether he was a systematic thinker. both elegiac an d iam bic. and the rest 93 . and to have attacked E pim enides. was a man o f many parts. [21 в 8] (D iogenes L aertius. A number o f his verses are philosophical in content. the teacher o f Parmenides and the founder o f the Eleatic school o f thought. against H esiod and H om er. According to Diogenes Laertius. games . H e is said to h ave d isa greed with T h a le s and with P yth agoras. However that may be. by his own reckoning. The later tradition regarded him as a serious philosopher.7 XE N OP HA NE S Xenophanes. was ninety-three when he wrote these lines. and some have denied that he ever wrote a properly philosophical poem. as he h im self says: By now have seven and sixty years been tossing my thought about the land o f Greece. he w rote in verse. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 18) Xenophanes. who travelled about Greece reciting his own and other men’s verses.and also on historical themes.

but I shall translate all the extant fragments which have philosophical content. on nature. on the gods. but beliefisfound over all. sayin g that e v ery th in g is in ap p reh en sible w hen he writes: A nd the clear truth no man has seen nor will anyone know concerning the gods and about all the things o f which I speak. On Singularities o f Language 946. Table Talk 746B) N o com p aratives e n d in g in -on h ave a p en u ltim ate upsilon. [в 18] (Stobaeus. [в 35] a n d invited us to state and say w hat we believed. fo r even i f he should actually manage to say what was indeed the case. h en ce X en o p h a n es’ glusson [‘sw eeter’] is rem arkable: I f god had not made yellow honey.) They divide roughly into three groups: on knowledge. It rested primarily on the first o f the following three fragments. In the later tradition. by inquiring. they would say that the fig was fa r sweeter. but in time. Xenophanes acquired a reputation fo r sceptic­ ism. (Plutarch. as h e usually does. [в 38] (H ero d ian . with the line o f X en oph an es: Let these things be believed as similar to the truth.22-24) But Xenophanes also spoke in a modestly optimistic way about the pro­ gress o f human knowledge: X en o p h an es: Not from the start did the gods reveal all things to mortals. A c c o rd in g to som e.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY o f our evidence suggests that his life spanned the century from 580 to 480 вс. nevertheless he himselfdoes not know it. Anthology I viii 2) 94 . they make better discoveries. Not all his surviving verses deserve a place here. Against the Mathematicians V 11 49) A m m on iu s p refa ced his rem arks. X en o p h a n es takes this sceptical position. [в 34] (Sextus E m piricus. (The frag­ ment on Pythagoras has already been cited in Chapter Five.

[в 11 ] (Sextus Em piricus. Against the Mathematicians IX 193) H om er and H esiod. greatest among gods and men. B u t the poets o ften m ake it short. Miscellanies V xiv 10 9 . [в 15] (Clem ent. a cco rd in g to X en o p h a n es o f C o lo p h o n . and they would make their bodies similar in shape to those which each had themselves.1-3 ) 95 . [в 23] A n d again: But mortals think that the gods are bom. . cows like cows. [в ю ] and again: As many things as are clear for mortals to see . [в 12] (ibid I 289) X enoph anes o f C o lo p h o n . from Homer . claim in g that g o d is o n e and in co r­ poreal. h ence X en o p h an es in his criticism o f H om er and H esiod says: Homer and Hesiod attributed to the gods all the things which among men are shameful and blameworthy theft and adultery and mutual deception. . told many lawless deeds o f the gods — theft and adultery and mutual deception. and have clothes and speech and shape like their own. as in X en o p h an es: Since all at first have learned. . then horses would draw the forms o f gods like horses. . . [в 14] A n d again: But i f cows and horses or lions had hands or could draw with their hands and make the things men can make. says: There is one god. . On Double Quantities 16.XENOPHANES In verbs en d in g in -si the p en u ltim ate syllable is n aturally lon g . [в 36] (H ero d ian . similar to mortals neither in shape nor in thought. 17 -2 2 ) Among the theological fragments there are several which are sharply critical o f traditional religious notions: [T h e m yths o f the th eologians and poets] a re full o f im piety.

It is n eith er infinite n o r finite 96 . he says. o r the existin g u niverse. they w ould all have to possess equ al pow er. T h eo p h ra stu s allows that the accoun t o f his view s belongs to a d iffe r e n t inquiry from the study o f n atu re. he says. the teach er o f P arm enides. it sees — fo r he sees as a whole. H e show ed that it was u n g en e ra ted fro m the fact that w hat com es into bein g m ust d o so eith er from w hat is sim ilar o r fro m w hat is dissim i­ lar. if it is a living thin g. the T h racian s red-h aired and blue-eyed). it sees both w hite things and black. it is a living th in g. su pposed that the first prin ciple. (Sextus E m piricus. I f the d ivine exists. he hears as a whole. Against the Mathematicians IX 144) T h eo p h ra stu s says that X en o p h a n es o f C o lo p h o n . but sim ilar things. he thinks as a whole. bu t w hat is m ost p o w erfu l and best o f all things is go d . then what is will com e fro m w hat is not. n eith er ch a n g in g n o r changeless.1: c f в 16) Further fragments reveal a positive side to Xenophanes' thought about the gods. fo r X en o p h an es said that this o n e universe was go d . and the doxography suggests (perhaps anachron­ istically) that his views were elaborated with some sophistication and detail. so too they invent souls fo r them sim ilar to th eir own. fo r i f th ere w ere m ore than one. H e shows that g o d is o n e fro m the fact that he is most p o w erfu l o f all things. can n ot be a ffected by one an o th e r (fo r it is no m ore fitting that w hat is sim ilar should g en era te than that it sh o u ld be g en era ted by what is sim ilar to it). as X en o p h a n es o f C o lo p h o n says (the E thiopians m akin g them d ark and snub-nosed. was on e and neith er finite n o r infinite. [в 24] I f it sees. (Clem ent. and i f it com es into bein g from w hat is dissim ilar. In this way he show ed it to be u n g en e ra ted and eternal. Miscellanies V I I iv 22.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY T h e G reeks su ppose that the god s have not only hum an shapes but also h um an feelings: ju s t as each race depicts th eir shapes as sim ilar to their ow n.

. and h e quotes an exam p le which indicates this: . and a cco rd in g to A le x a n d e r he says that it is finite and spherical. and require no comment. w hen he writes: But fa r from toil he governs everything with his mind. P orp h yry says that X en o p h a n es held the d ry an d th e m oist i. nor is it fitting fo r him to move now here now there [в 26] . hold s that ev ery th in g has com e into bein g from earth: For all things are from earth and in earth all things end. [в 25] (Sim plicius. earth and w ater — to be first principles. bein g lim ited by o n e an o th er.20) The fragments dealing with natural science are sparse. H e d oes aw ay with ch an ge and changelessness in a sim ilar fashion: it is w hat d oes not exist w hich is ch angeless (fo r n o th in g else passes into itan d it does not pass into a n yth in gelse). Commentary on the Physics 22. H en ce when he says that it rem ains in the sam e state an d d oes not ch an ge Always he remains in the same slate.e. ([A lex ­ a n d er supposes that] it is finite and spherical because [X enophanes] says th at it is sim ilar from all directions.XENOPHANES because it is w hat does not exist w hich is infin ite (h avin g no beginn in g. [в 29] (Philoponus. B u t it is clear fro m w hat I have said that he shows it to be neith er infinite n o r finite. Commentary on the Physics 125.) A n d he says that it thinks o f all things. w hile it is several things which ch an ge (fo r o n e th in g ch an ges into an oth er).26-23. no m idd le and no en d ). changing not at all. [в 27] .he m eans not that it rests in virtu e o f the stationariness w hich is o p p o sed to ch a n g e bu t in virtu e o f the rest w hich is distinct from ch an ge and from stationariness. a cco rd in g to som e.27—30) X en op h an es. Earth and water are all things which grow and come into being. w hile it is several th in gs which are finite. h e says that the first prin ciple is infinite and changeless. A cco rd in g to N icolaus o f Dam ascus in his w ork On Gods. the poet H o m er holds that ev ery th in g has com e into bein g 97 . .

EARLY

GREEK

PHILOSOPHY

from tw o thin gs, earth and w ater, . . . and a cco rd in g to som e
X en o p h a n es o f C o lo p h o n agrees with him . F or he says:
For we all come into being from earth and water, [в 33]
(Sextus E m piricus, Against the Mathematicians x 3 1 3 -3 1 4 )
X en o p h a n es in On Nature:
Sea is source o f water and source o f wind;
fo r neither in the clouds <would the force o f the wind come about,
breathing out> from inside, without the great ocean,
nor would the streams o f the rivers nor the rain-water o f the air;
but the great ocean is generator o f clouds and winds
and rivers, [в 30]
(G en eva scholium on H om er, Iliad X X I 196)
X en o p h an es thinks that the earth is not alo ft but reaches
d ow n w ards ad infinitum; fo r he says:
O f the earth this, the upper limit, is seen at our feet
next to the air; but below, it proceeds to infinity, [в 28]
(A chilles, Introduction to Aratus 4)
O n e sh o u ld u n d erstan d the sun to be ‘g o in g abo ve’ inasm uch
as it always passes above the earth - as I thin k X en o p h an es o f
C o lo p h o n also says:
And the sun, passing above and warming the earth, . . . [в 31 ]
(H eraclitus, Homeric Questions 44.5)
X en o p h a n es says:
A nd in certain caves [speatessi] the water drips down . . .

[в 37]
B u t the fo rm speas does not occur.
(H ero d ian , On Singularities o f Language 936.18 -2 0 )
R em em ber that X en o p h a n es describes the rainbow in his
h exam eters thus:
What men call Rainbow, that too is a cloud,
purple and scarlet and yellow to see. [в 32]
(Eustathius, Commentary on the Iliad X I 24)

98

XENOPHANES

It is worth appending the brief doxographical account which Hippo­
lytus transmits:
H e says that n o th in g com es into b ein g o r is d estroyed o r
changes, and that the u n iverse is o n e and changeless. H e also
says that god is eternal and unique and h o m o g en eo u s in every
way and lim ited and spherical and capable o f p ercep tio n in all
his parts.
T h e sun com es into existen ce each d ay fro m sm all sparks
which co n gregate. T h e earth is infinite and su rro u n d e d
neith er by air n o r by the heavens. T h e r e a re infin itely m an y
suns and m oons. E veryth in g is m ad e fro m earth.
H e said that th e sea is salty because m any m ixtu res flow
togeth er in it. (M etrodoru s holds that it is salty because it is
filtered in th e earth , but X en o p h a n es thinks that the earth
m ixes with the sea.) H e holds that the earth in tim e is dissolved
by the m oisture, u rg in g as p r o o f the fact that shells a re fo u n d
in the m iddle o f the land and on m ountains; and he says that
in the qu arries in Syracuse th ere w ere fo u n d im pressions o f
fish and o f seaw eed, on Paros the im pression o f a b a y -lea f d e ep
in the rock, and on M alta shapes o f all sea-creatures. H e says
that these w ere fo rm ed lon g a go w hen ev ery th in g was co vered
in m ud - the im pressions d ried in th e m u d. A ll m en are
destroyed w hen the earth is carried d ow n into th e sea and
becom es m ud; then they begin to be born again — and this is
the fo u n d atio n o f all the worlds.
(H ippolytu s, Refutation o f A ll Heresies I xiv 2-6)

99

8
HERACLITUS
Heraclitus came from Ephesus in Asia Minor; he belonged lo an emi­
nent family; he flourished about 500 вс. His thought and his
writings were notorious fo r their difficulty: he was nicknamed 'The
Obscure’ and 'The Riddler’. One anecdote, no doubt apocryphal, is
worth repeating:
T h e y say that E u ripid es g ave [Socrates] a co py o f H eraclitus’
bo ok an d asked him w hat he th o u g h t o f it. H e rep lied : ‘W hat
I u n d erstan d is sp len did ; and 1 thin k that w hat I d o n ’t u n d er­
stand is so too - bu t it w ou ld take a Delian d iver to get to the
bottom o f it’.
(D iogen es L aertius, Lives o f the Philosophers II 22)
Socrates’ attitude o f puzzled admiration has been shared by many later
students o f Heraclitus.
It is hard to know how best to present the surviving fragments o f
Heraclitus' work. The Greek texts are uncertain in more cases than
usual; and since Heraclitus wrote in prose it is frequently difficult to
tell which words — i f any — in a given passage purport to be his.
But the chief problem concerns the arrangement o f the texts; fo r any
arrangement will insinuate some general interpretation o f Heraclitus’
thought, and every such interpretation is controversial. (A random
ordering is no solution; for that will suggest that Heraclitus was not a
systematic thinker at all, a suggestion which has itself had several
scholarly advocates.)
It will be uncontroversial to begin with the opening words o f Hera­
clitus’ book. After that, it may prove most helpful to quote two long and
complementary doxographical texts, which incidentally have a number

100

HERACLITUS

o f important fragments embedded in them. Then the remaining frag­
ments will be collected under various thematic headings.
First, then, the opening passage o f Heraclitus’ book. It is referred to
by Aristotle:
It is d ifficu lt to pu n ctu ate H eraclitus’ w ritings becau se it is
unclear w h eth er a w ord goes with w hat follow s o r with w hat
preced es it. E.g. at the very b eg in n in g o f his treatise, w h ere he
says:
O f this account which holdsforever men prove uncomprehending,
[cf 22 в l]
it is u n clear w hich ‘fo re v e r’ goes with.
(A ristotle, Rhetoric 1 4 0 7 ^ 4 - 1 8 )
A longer quotation is preserved by Hippolytus (see below) and by Sextus
Empiricus. I cite the passagefrom Sextus because it isfu ller (but I have
tacitly altered his text once or twice in the light o f Hippolytus’ readings).
A t the b egin n in g o f his w ritings o n n atu re, an d p o in tin g in
som e way at the en viro n m en t, [H eraclitus] says:
O f this account which holds forever men prove uncomprehending,
both before hearing it and when first they have heard it. For
although all things come about in accordance with this account,
they are like tiros as they try the words and the deeds which I
expound as I divide up each thing according to its nature and say
how it is. Other men fa il to notice what they do when they are
awake, just as they forget what they do when asleep, [в 1]
H avin g thus explicitly established that e v ery th in g w e d o o r
think d ep en d s u pon participation in th e d iv in e accoun t, he
continues and a little later on adds:
For that reason you must follow what is common (i.e. w h at is
universal - fo r ‘co m m o n ’ m eans ‘u n iversal’). But although
the account is common, most men live as though they had an
understanding o f their own. [в 2]
(Sextus Em piricus, Against the Mathematicians V I I 13 2 -1 3 3 )
The first doxographical passage comes from the R efu tatio n o f A ll

101

EARLY GREEK

PHILOSOPHY

H eresies. In it Hippolylus presents what is supposed to be a rounded
summary o f Heraclitus’ main ideas.

H eraclitus says that the universe is divisible and indivisible,
g en era te d and u n g en e ra ted , m ortal and im m ortal, W ord and
E ternity, F ath er an d Son, G o d an d Justice.
Listening not to me but to the account, it is wise to agree that all
things are one, [в 50]
says H eraclitus. T h a t ev ery o n e is ign oran t o f this and does not
a g re e h e states as follows:
They do not comprehend how, in differing, it agrees with itself a backward-turning connection, like that o f a bow and a lyre.
[в 5 *]
T h a t an accoun t exists always, bein g the u niverse and eternal,
h e says in this way:
O fthis account which holdsforever men prove uncomprehending,
both before hearing it and when first they have heard it. For
although all things come about in accordance with this account,
they are like tiros as they try the words and the deeds which I
expound as I divide up each thing according to its nature and say
how it is. [в 1]
T h a t th e u niverse is a child and an eternal kin g o f all things
fo r all etern ity he states as follows:
Eternity is a child at play, playing draughts: the kingdom is a
child’s, [в 52]
T h a t the fa th er o f ev ery th in g that has com e a bout is g enerated
and u n g en era ted , crea tu re and creato r, we h ear him saying:
War is father o f all, king o f all: some it shows as gods, some as
men; some it makes slaves, some free, [в 53]
That <. . .
. . . > connection, like that o f a bow and a lyre, [c f в 51 ]
T h a t G o d is u n a p p a ren t, u nseen, u n kn ow n to m en, he says in
these words:
Unapparent connection is better than apparent [в 54]
- h e praises and adm ires the u nkn ow n and unseen part o f his
p o w er abo ve the know n part. T h a t h e is visible to m en and not
u nd iscoverable he says in th e fo llo w in g w ords:

102

HERACLITUS

I honour more those things which are learned, by sight and hear­

ing’ tB 55l
he says - i.e. the visible m o re than the invisible. < T h e sa m e>
is easily learn ed from such w ords o f his as these:
Men have been deceived, he says, as to their knowledge o f what
is apparent in the same way that Homer was - and he was the
wisest o f all the Greeks. For some children who were killing lice
deceived him by saying: 'What we saw and caught we leave
behind, what we neither saw nor caught we take with us’, [в 56]
T h u s H eraclitus gives equ al ran k and h o n o u r to th e a p p a ren t
and u n ap p aren t, as th ou gh th e a p p a ren t an d th e u n a p p a re n t
w ere confessedly o n e. For, he says,
unapparent connection is better than apparent; [в 54]
and:
I honour more those things which are learned by sight and hearing

[в 55]
(i.e. the organs) - an d he d oes not h o n o u r the u n a p p a re n t
m ore.
H ence H eraclitus says that d ark an d light, bad an d g o o d ,
are not d iffe re n t but o n e and the sam e. F or ex a m p le, h e re­
proaches H esiod fo r not kn o w in g d ay an d n ig h t - fo r d a y and
night, he says, a re o n e, ex p ressin g it thus:
A teacher o f most is Hesiod: they are sure he knows most who did
not recognize day and night - f o r they are one. [в 57]
A n d so are g oo d and bad. F or ex a m p le, d octo rs, H eraclitus
says,*w ho cut and cau terize an d w retch ed ly torm en t the sick
in every way are praised - they d eserve no fee fro m the sick,
fo r they have th e sam e effects as the diseases* [в 58]. A n d
straight and twisted, he says, a re the sam e:
The path o f the carding-combs, he says, is straight and crooked
[в 59]
(the m ovem ent o f th e in stru m en t called the screw -press in a
fu lle r’s sh op is straigh t an d cro o k ed , fo r it travels u pw ard s and
in a circle at the sam e tim e) — he says it is o n e an d the sam e.
A n d u p and d ow n a re o n e and th e sam e:
The path up and down is one and the same, [в 6o]
A n d he says that th e p o llu ted an d th e p u re a re o n e a n d the

103

winter and summer. fo r men. undrinkable and deathdealing. d irects everythin g) . but he changes like olive oil which. ex p ressin g it thus: The thunderbolt steers all things [в 64] (i. (H ippolytu s.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY sam e. he says. he says.e. when it is mixed with perfumes.an d at the sam e tim e that o f the sect o f N oetus. even if they d en y they are dis­ ciples o f H eraclitus. [в 62] H e also speaks o f a resu rrection o f this visible flesh in which we a re b orn . [в 66] H e says that this fire is intelligent an d th e cause o f the m an age­ m en t o f th e universe. satiety and famine (all the opposites . F or he says that the created u niverse is itself the m aker and crea to r o f itself: God is day and night. and he is aw are that g o d is the cause o f this resu rrection . gets its name from the scent o f each.by ‘the th u n d erb o lt’ he m eans the eternal fire. war and peace. a n d that the d rin kab le an d the u n d rin kab le a re o ne and the sam e: The sea. will come and judge and convict all things. [в 67] It is clear to ev ery o n e that th e m indless follow ers o f N oetus and th e ch am pion s o f his sect. drinkable and life-preserving.x 9) 104 . yet in subscribing to th e opinion s o f N oetu s evid en tly confess the sam e beliefs. fo r fire. and he calls it need and satiety [в 65] (the establish­ m ent o f the w orld acco rd in g to him bein g need and the con ­ flagration satiety).he says: There they are said to rise up and to become wakeful guardians o f the living and the dead. w hom I have briefly show n to be a disciple not o f C h rist but o f H eraclitus. In the fo llo w in g passage he has set d ow n all o f his own th ou g h t . is most pure and most polluted water: for fish. [в 6 1 ] A n d he explicitly says that the im m ortal is m ortal and the m or­ tal im m ortal in th e fo llo w in g w ords: Immortals are mortals. mortals immortals: living their death. Refutation o f A ll Heresies IX ix i . [в 63] A n d he says that a ju d g e m e n t o f the w orld and o f everyth in g in it com es about th ro u gh fire.that is his m eaning). dying their life.

from Ephesus.’ [в 1 2 1] W hen they asked him to w rite laws fo r them . A n d he said that H om er d eserved to be throw n o u t o f the gam es an d flo g g ed . as som e say. with sup­ porting quotations and paraphrases. W h en th ey failed to u n d e r­ stand him . H e flourished in th e sixty-ninth O lym p ia d [504/501 в с]. in which he says: Much learning does not teach sense — otherwise it would have taught Hesiod and Pythagoras. h o p in g that the d ro p sy w ould be vaporized by th e heat o f th e d u n g . W hen th e Ephesians stood ro u n d him . 105 . For they expelled Hermodorus. . the best man among them. saying: ‘Let no one o f us be best: i f there is such a man. H e asked the d octors in his rid d lin g fashion i f th ey cou ld ch an ge a rainstorm into a d ro u g h t. he said: ‘W h y a re you staring? Isn’t it better to d o this than to play politics with you ?’ In the en d he becam e a m isan th rope. H e was u n co m m on ly a rro ga n t and co n tem p tu o u s. son o f Bioson (or. Because o f this he contracted d ro p sy an d retu rn ed to the tow n. let him be elsewhere and with others. . as ind eed is clear from his treatise itself. o f Heraclitus’ thought: H eraclitus. [в 40] For he says that the wise is o n e. [в 42] H e also said: You should quench violence more quickly than arson. and again Xenophanes and Hecataeus.HERACLITUS Diogenes Laertius’ L ife also offers a summary account. leavin g th e city and living in the m ountains w h ere h e fed o n plants and herbs. he b u ried h im self in a byre. [в 44] H e also assails the Ephesians fo r e x p ellin g his frien d H erm odorus. H e says: The Ephesians deserve to be hanged to the last man. h e refu se d on the gro u n d s that the city had a lread y been m astered by a w icked constitution. every one o f them: they should leave the city to the young. o f H eracon ). [в 43] And: The people should fight fo r the law as fo r the city wall. g ra sp in g the k n o w led ge how all things are steered th ro u gh all [в 41].and A rch ilo ch u s too. B u t h e m et with no success even by this m eans an d d ied at th e a ge o f sixty . H e retired into the tem ple o f A rtem is a n d played d ice with th e ch ild ren .

so that even th e m ost stupid easily 106 . he used to say that he knew n othin g. as som e say. H e was no-on e’s pupil. T h e bo ok o f his which is in circulation is. but it is d ivid ed into th ree accounts o n e on the u niverse. w ere the follow ing. A s a sign o f his a rro gan ce A ntisth en es says in his Successions that he resigned from the kingship in fa vo u r o f his b roth er. and w hen he had becom e adu lt that he had learn ed everyth in g . a n d h e said that the sun is the size it app ears [cf в 3]. o n e theological. H is treatise gained such a high rep u tation that it actually p ro d u ced disciples. as fa r as its general ten o r goes. T h e o p h ra stu s says that because o f his im pulsive tem peram en t he w rote som e things in a half-fin ished style and others in d iffe re n t ways at d iffe re n t tim es. the reviler o f the m ob. and th e things that exist a re fitted to g eth er by the transform ation o f opposites.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY H e was rem arkable fro m an ea rly age: as a y o u n g m an. bu t said that he had inqu ired into h im self [cf в 101] and learn ed e v ery th in g from him self. so deep is its account. A ll thin gs com e about in acco rd an ce with fate. on nature. in gen eral. . rose up. Sotion reports that som e say that he was a pu pil o f X en o p h an es. written som ew hat unclearly) in o rd e r that the p o w erfu l should have access to it and it shou ld not easily be despised by the people. A ll things are full o f souls and spirits. in his book On Heraclitus. o n e political. the rid d ler. H ipp obo tu s too says this. H e sp o k e also ab o u t all the events that o ccu r in the w orld. H e also said: I f you travel every path you will not fin d the limits o f the soul. Som etim es in his treatise he expresses h im self brilliantly an d clearly. His views. [в 45] H e said th at conceit is a sort o f epilepsy. the socalled H eracliteans. an d that A risto. H e d ep osited it in the tem ple o f A rtem is (having. T im o n gives a sketch o f him as follows: A m o n g them H eraclitus the m ocker. A ll things are con­ stituted fro m fire and resolve into fire. says that h e was actually cu red o f the d ro p sy and d ied o f an o th e r disease. an d that sight is fal­ lacious [в 46].

It is gen erated from fire and it is consum ed in fire again. o thers d ark . and there is on e w orld [cf в 30]. an d these are the heavenly bodies. T h e sun and the m oon a re eclipsed w hen the bowls tu rn u p w ards.HERACLITUS understand him and gain an en la rgem en t o f soul. A n d this hap p en s by fate. co m in g ab o u t by rarefaction and cond en sation. altern atin g in fixed p eriod s th ro u g h ­ ou t the w hole o f tim e. and that w hich leads to co n flagratio n is called agreem en t and peace. h o w ever. B u t th ere are bowls in it. w ater as it solidifies turns into earth — this is the path d ow nw ards. com e abo u t in virtu e o f the d iffe re n t exhalations. that is why it gives m ore heat and light. Fire is an elem en t. T h e flam e o f the sun is the b rightest and hottest. lies in a tran slu cen t and uncontam inated region . th ou gh it is n earer the earth . O f the opposites.) A ll things co m e about th ro u g h opposition. T h e m oon’s m onthly chan ges o f sh ape com e ab o u t as its bowl grad ually turns. T h e n again the earth dissolves. F or fire as it is co n d en sed becom es m oist. his d octrines a re these. som e o f them brigh t an d p u re. an d the brevity and w eight o f his style a re incom parable. Fire is increased by the brigh t exhalations. that w hich leads to gen eratio n is called w ar and strife [cf в 80]. their hollow side tu rn ed tow ards us. Exhalations a re given o f f by the earth an d by th e sea. and as it co h eres becom es w ater. T h e ch a n g e is a path u p and dow n [cf в 60]. and ev ery th in g else fro m w ater (he refers pretty well e v ery th in g to the exh alation given o f f by the sea) . rains and w inds an d the like.this is the path upw ards. T h e brigh t exhalations gath er in them and p ro d u ce flam es. and w ater com es into bein g fro m it. D ay an d n igh t. F or the b righ t exh alatio n . the m onths and seasons and years. w hile the m oon. and it preserves a p ro p o rtio n a te d i­ stance from us. (B u t he expresses n o th in g clearly. does not travel th ro u g h a p u re region. and all things are an ex ch a n g e fo r fire [cf в go]. w hen it bursts 107 . F or the o th er heaven ly bodies a re fu rth e r aw ay fro m the earth and fo r that reason give less light an d heat. and the w orld is gen erated in acco rd an ce with it. m oisture by the others. H e d oes not indicate w hat the su rro u n d in g heaven is like. and the universe flows like a river [cf в i 2]. In detail. T h e u n iverse is finite. T h e sun .

says that C ro to n relates in his Diver that a certain C rates first b ro u g h t the book to G reece and that it was he w ho said that it w ould take a D elian d iv er not to get d ro w n ed in it. D em etrius o f Phaleron m entions him too in his Apology o f Socrates. N icom ed es. the texts are grouped roughly by subject matter. D iodotus. and that th ou gh he was scorned by the Ephesians he p re fe rre d w h at was fam iliar to him . Seleucus the g ram m arian . prod u ces night.and o f the gram m arian s. After two short passages from Stobaeus. a cco rd in g to A risto).5 . H iero n ym u s says that Scythinus the iam bic p o et attem pted to p u t his acco u n t into verse. Turnings. and as the m oisture from the d arkn ess m ounts u p it effects winter. T h o s e w ere his views. H eraclides o f Pontus. th ou gh he had th e highest rep u tation < a m o n g th e m > . w hen it has g ain ed p o w er. D ionysius . C lean th es. One World fo r A l l . Pausanias (w ho was called th e H eraclitean). and that the reliability o f purported paraphrases and quotations is often uncertain. n o r even ab o u t the bowls. (D iogen es L aertius. Let me stress again that the distinction between quotation and paraphrase is often hard to make out.1 2 . A s the heat fro m th e brightness increases it m akes su m m er. . the main themes o f which have been 108 . Lives o f the Philosophers IX 1 . oth ers Judgement. .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY into flam e in th e circle o f th e sun. D em etrius in his Homonyms says that he despised even the A th en ian s. Sp h a eru s the Stoic. D iodotus calls it A certain steera ge to the goal o f life. w h o says that the treatise is not ab o u t n atu re bu t ab o u t politics and th at the rem arks on nature a re th ere by way o f illustrations. So m e en title it Muses. h ow ever.1 5 ) The rest o f the chapter assembles the remaining fragments. T h e story ab o u t Socrates and w hat he said w hen he looked at th e treatise (having g o t it from E u ripid es. m akes d ay. o th ers On Nature. I h ave reco u n ted in the Life o f Socrates. H e gives exp lan atio n s o f the o th e r p h en om en a in the sam e way. and the o pposite exh alatio n .3 . together with some paraphrastic texts. V e ry m any p eo p le have o ffe r e d interpretation s o f his treatise: A ntisth en es. Manners. bu t he does not say an yth in g about w hat the earth is like.

HERACLITUS indicated in the passages already cited. in addition. [в 1 18] (ibid III v 6-8 ) [Despite Stobaeus’ heading. fo r it is as powerful as it wishes. в i 13 and в 1 1 6 has frequently been doubted. the authen­ ticity o f в 1 09. в 1 1 5 is universally ascribed by scholars to Heraclitus rather than to Socrates. [в 117 ] A dry soul is wisest and best. 109 .] The first group o f texts documents Heraclitus’ attitude to ordinary mortals and to other thinkers. when two texts are quoted together in an ancient source I have kept them together even i f they deal with different issues. as a city on its law . his soul moist. [в 113] Speaking with sense one should rely on what is common to all. [в 1 16] A man when he is drunk is led by a boy. [в n o ] Sickness makes health sweet and good. hunger plenty. First. weariness rest. [в 115 ] (Stobaeus. [в 114] Socrates: Soul has a self-increasing account. and it prevails. [в 109] It is not good fo r men to get all they want. And wisdom is speaking the truth and acting with knowledge in accordance with nature. in the A n th o lo g y o f John Stobaeus. в 1 12. stumbling. or purported quot­ ations.and with yet greater reliance. But assignment to these groups is fairly arbitrary. Anthology III i 17 4 -18 0 ) H eraclitus: A ll men can know themselves and be temperate. H eraclitus: O f those whose accounts I have heard. On the other hand. no-one has come so fa r as to recognize that the wise is set apart from all things. not knowing where he goes. For all human laws are nourished by the one divine. [в io8] It is better to hide folly than to make it public. and it suffices fo r all. there are two short sequences o f quotations. [в 1 1 1 ] To be temperate is the greatest excellence. [B 1 1 2 ] Thinking is common to all.

which is w hy T im o n called him ‘the reviler o f the m ob ’. thou shalt receive. and rivers o f waters in th e streets’ [Proverbs 5:16]. H eraclitus] say explicitly that m ost m en w h o th in k them selves wise follow the p o p u la r singers and *obey the laws*.4 -5) H eraclitus caustically rem arks that som e p eo p le are w ithout faith. not knowing that most men are bad and few good. an d i f thou incline thine ear.e. no d ou bt. by Solom on: ‘ I f thou desire to hear.5) T h e excellen t H eraclitus rightly exco riates the m ob as un­ intelligent and irrational. he says. (Clem ent. he says. [в 17] a cco rd in g to the g o o d H eraclitus. not knowing how to hear or even to speak [в 19] . For what sense or thought. Miscellanies II ii 8. [в 104] T h u s H eraclitus .1) T h e Ionian M uses [i. do they have? They follow the popular singers and they take the crowd as their teacher. Commentary on the First Alcibiades 2 5 6 . (ibid II v 24.1-6 ) T h e co n tem p tu o u s and the brash get little ben efit from what 110 . (ibid V ix 5 9. but they seem to themselves to do so.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY ‘L et th y fo u n tain s be d ispersed abroad . not kn o w in g that m ost m en a re bad and few goo d [cf в 104]. (Proclus. thou shalt be wise’ [Ecclesiasticus 6:33]. [в 29] m easu rin g happiness by the belly and the genitals and the m ost sh am efu l parts in us. nor do they know when they have learned. So you see that he too finds fau lt with unbelievers.he was a id ed h ere. choose one thing in return fo r all: everflowing fame from mortals. For most people do not understand the things they meet ivith. but that the best p u rsu e repu tation . For the best. but most men satisfy themselves like beasts.

[в 87] (Plutarch. indicates Heraclitus’ attitude to the scope and nature o f human knowledge. practised inquiry more than any other man. [в 129] (D iogenes L aertius. closely connected with the first. Lives o f the Philosophers V I II 6) Bias is also m ention ed b y H ip p o n ax . N evertheless. artful knavery. is H era­ clitus. [в 105] (Scholiasts A and T to H om er.HERACLITUS they hear. who regard s h u m an opinion s as ch ild ren ’s toys. a cco rd in g to H eraclitus. H eraclitu s the natural scientist pretty well shouts it o u t w hen he says: Pythagoras. [Celsus] w anted to show that this too was a 111 . Anthology l l i 16) Som e say that P ythagoras d id not leave a sin gle w ritten w ork behind him. as I said b e fo re . then. Iliad X V I I I 251) T h e orators’ Introduction ben ds all its th eorem s to this en d [sc. the lead er o f cheats. son o f Mnesarchus. and selecting from these writings he manufact­ ured a wisdom fo r himself — much learning. [в 70] (Stobaeus. while those w h o a re cred u lo u s and guileless are harm ed . who is o f more account than the others. son o f Teutames. [в 39] (ibid I 88) H eraclitus says that H om er is an a stro n om er on the basis o f this line [nam ely / fta d X V III 25> ]and [Iliad V I 488]. [в 81] (Philodem us. and the fastidious H eraclitus g ave particu lar praise to him w hen he wrote: In Priene lived Bias.they confirm H eraclitu s’ saying: A foolish man is put in a flutter by every word. On the Soul: H ow m uch better. at any rate. Rhetoric I 3 5 1S) The second group o f passages. On Listening to Lectures 40F) Iam blichus. deception] and is. T h e y a re in erro r.

a cco rd in g to H eraclitus. . Against Celsus V I xii) In all respects su p e rio r to us. d ivine wis­ d om an o th er. A n d he quotes rem arks o f H eraclitus. is p ro ved abundan tly true. For nature. w hom we especially revere and a d m ire because k n o w led ge o f him is not readily gained. Coriolanus 232D) Those who search fo r gold. [в 22] (C lem ent. [god] is especially u nlike and d iffe re n t from us in his acts. the m ajority. A lso H eraclitus. but o f d ivin e acts. Speeches V 69B) A cco rd in g to th e P yrrh on ian sceptics. w h o said: Let us not make aimless conjectures about the most important things. A n d H eraclitus o f Ephesus was parap h rasin g it w hen h e observed: 112 .2) P erh ap s g o d is not w illing that such h arm o n y should ever be fo u n d a m o n g m en. [в 86] (Plutarch. divine nature has. ‘ I f ye will not believe. [в 79] (O rigen . likes to hide itself [r 123] . X en o p h an es and Zeno o f E lea an d D em ocritu s w ere sceptics . [в 78] and in another: A man is called foolish by a god as a child is by a man. Miscellanies IV ii 4. dig over much earth and fin d little. says H eraclitus. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 73) T h u s th e p ro p h e t’s rem ark. acco rd in g to H eraclitus. escape our knowledge through lack o f faith. (T hem istius. in on e o f w hich h e says: For human nature has no insights. su rely ye shall n o t be established’ [Isaiah 7:9].EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY fiction w e [Christians] had taken fro m the G reek philo­ sop h ers w h o said that h u m an w isdom is o n e th in g. .and still m ore so the crea to r o f n atu re. [в 47] (D iogen es L aertius.

Miscellanies V xiv 14 0 . 1*3 . (Sextus Em piricus. (Clem ent. as it w ere. [в 18] (Clem ent. and sight. as th ou gh he had achieved so m eth in g g re a t and noble. [в 101a] (Polybius.fo r eyes are more accurate witnesses than ears. ‘but in the p o w er o f C o d ’ [I C o rin th ian s 2:5] w hich in itself and w ithout p ro o fs has the p o w er to save by faith alone. [в 101] and o f the proverbs at D elph i ‘ K now th y s e lf is th o u g h t the m ost divine. For philosophical men must be versed in very many things.HERACLITUS I f you do not expect the unexpected you will not discover it. Miscellanies II iv 17. Against Colotes 1 118 c ) K n o w led ge and ign oran ce are the bou n d aries o f hap piness and unhappiness. it is the m ark o f a fo reign soul to trust in non-rational perceptions. Against the Mathematicians V I I 126) W e have two n atural instrum ents. nam ely h ea rin g and sight.i. is not a little tru er .e. I inquired into myself. a cco rd in g to H eraclitus. by w hich we learn ev ery th in g and co n d u ct o u r business.5-6 ) H eraclitus rejects p ercep tio n w hen he says. (Plutarch.8) H eraclitus says. [в 35] accord ing to H eraclitus. for it cannot be tracked down and offers no passage. Histories X II x x vii 1) H ence the apostle ex h o rts us that ‘y o u r faith sh o u ld not stand in the wisdom o f m en ’ w ho prom ise to p ersu a d e you . and it is in d eed necessary to m ake m any jo u rn e y s in the search to be goo d . in these very words: Bad witnesses fo r men are the eyes and ears o f those who have foreign souls [в 107] .

[в 10] In this w ay th e stru ctu re o f the u n iverse . an d th e m ajestic heaven w hen filled with 11 4 . ([Aristotle].e.his notion o f the unity o f opposites. concurring differing.2 -3) The third group o f texts can be given the vague label 'metaphysics': these fragments begin with some general reflections on the nature o f things and then illustrate three more specific aspects o f Heraclitus’ thought . [в 80] (O rigen . E u rip id es says that th e earth w hen d ried u p lon gs fo r rain. from all things one and from one all things. his concept o f relativity. Miscellanies V i 9. his ideas about instability or flux. that all things come about in accordance with strife and with what must be. . concordant discordant. Against Celsus V I xlii) Su rely n a tu re lon gs fo r the opposites and effects h e r h ar­ m ony fro m them . 20-25) O n this top ic [i. frien d sh ip] som e seek a d e e p e r and m ore scientific accoun t. On the World 3 9 6 b 7 -8 . . [в 28a] and m o reo ver justice will convict the fashioners and witnesses o f falsehoods.was arran g ed b y o n e h a rm o n y th ro u g h the b len d in g o f the m ost opposite principles. as w hen H eraclitus says: One should know that war is common. that justice is strife. For he too learn ed from fo reign p hilo­ sop h y about the purification th ro u gh fire o f those w ho have lived evil lives.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY For the most esteemed o f men knows and guards what he believes. [в 28b] as ih e Ephesian says.I m ean. [Celsus] says that the ancients re fe r rid d lin gly to a w ar am ong the god s. o f the h eavens and the earth an d the w hole w orld . T h a t was also said by H eraclitus the O bscu re: Combinations — wholes and not wholes. (C lem ent.

H eraclitus says that opposition concurs and the fairest conn ection com es fro m th in gs that d iffe r [в 8] and e v ery th in g com es about in acco rd an ce with strife [cf.? [в 82] D oesn’t H eraclitus say th e sam e th in g. on Iliad X I V 200) T h e y say it is in d ecen t i f th e sight o f w a rfa re pleases the gods. 1 гб н ) It seem s that the ancients used the w ord bios am b igu ou sly to m ean ‘bow ’ and ‘life*. Notes on Homer. F or exa m p le. [в 48] (Etymologicum Magnum.v. the wet dries. (A ristotle. “ 5 . . Notes on Homer. w ars and battles seem terrible to us. fo r the noble d eed s please the gods. bu t to god not even they a re terrible. according to H era­ clitus. s. F or g o d m akes all thin gs co n trib ­ ute to the harm ony o f th e universe. [в 126] (T zetzes. fo r w hatever point on it you thin k o f is both a begin n in g and an en d . its function death. (P o rp h yry. Nicomachean Ethics H 5 5 b 2 -6 ) O ld H eraclitus o f Ephesus was called clever because o f the obscurity o f his rem arks: Cold things grow hot. bios) B ut the circu m feren ce o f a circle as a w hole no lo n g e r has a direction. A g ain . . (P o rp h yry.fo r beginning and end are common on the circum ference o f a circle [в 103]. в 8о]. on Iliad IV 4) D on’t you realize the tru th o f H eraclitus’ rem ark that the most beau tiful ape is u gly w hen co m p ared with a n o th e r species . B u t it is not indecen t. the parched moistens.so H eraclitus says that to god all things a re fa ir and ju st but m en have su p p o sed som e thin gs u nju st o th ers ju s t [в 102]. Notes on the Iliad p. H eraclitus the O bscu re: The name o f the bow is bios. the hot cools.HERACLITUS rain longs to fall to the earth . m an a gin g it co m m o d i­ ously .

T h e pleasures o f horses. i f w e a re to believe H eraclitus o f Ephesus w ho says that pigs wash in m ud and farm yard birds in dust o r ashes [в 37]. will seem an ap e in wisdom and beauty and ev ery th in g else? [в 83] (Plato. w e shou ld call cows hap p y w hen they dis­ co ver som e vetch to eat [в 4]. says that the soul is an exhalation. w h en co m p ared to a go d . .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY that the wisest o f m en. . Nicomachean Ethics 117633. like H eraclitus. qu o ted by Eusebius. he likened them to rivers. fra gm en t 39 Diels. like H eraclitus. Hippias Major 289АВ) It seem s that each anim al has its own p leasu re . On Agriculture V III iv 4) [Vetch] is the cow ’s favo u rite pasture. and men are d ifferent . saying: On those who enter the same rivers. For. fo r this is how they wash th eir feath ers and w ings. ever different waters flow and souls are exhaled from the moist things. . fo r the follow in g reasons. [в 12] N ow Zeno. On Vegetables V I ii 14) O n the subject o f the soul.so H era­ clitus says that d on keys w ould p r e fe r rubbish to gold [в 9] (for food is m ore pleasing to d on keys than gold). . C lean th es sets o u t the doctrines o f Zen o [the Stoic] in o rd e r to co m p are them to those o f the o th er natural scientists. H e says that Zen o. and the cow eats it with pleasure. holds the soul to be a p ercip ien t exhalation . shou ld be pu t in the p ou ltry-ru n so that the birds can sp rin kle them selves with it. Preparation fo r the Gospel X V x x 2) H eraclitus the O b scu re th eologizes the natural w orld as 116 . (A lb ert the G reat. (A ristotle. (C olum ella. H en ce H eraclitus said that i f happiness resided in bodily pleasures. but he holds th at it is percipien t. dogs. 5-8) D ry dust and ash . (A riu s D idym us. w anting to show that souls as they are ex h a led alw ays becom e new.

we are and we are not. Homeric Questions 2 4 . (H eraclitus. as H eraclitus says. (T h eo p h rastu s. [в 49a] E verything he says about n atu re is en igm atic an d allegorized .o r rath er. humans immortal. it rests. H e says: Gods are mortal.i f in d eed .HERACLITUS som ething u nclear and to be co n jectu red about th ro u gh symbols. acco rd in g to H eraclitus. and changing. no d o u b t because we sh o u ld in qu ire fo r ourselves as he h im self in qu ired an d fo u n d [cf в 101]. posits necessary exch an ges from the opposites and talks o f a path u p and d ow n [cf в 60]. On Vertigo 9) H eraclitus. dying their life. [cf в 62] A n d again: We step and do not step into the same rivers. w ho u rges us to inqu ire into [how the soul com es to be within the body].3 -5) For it is not possible to step twice into the sam e river. the barley-drink separates if it is not m o vin g [в 125]. n o r to touch m ortal substance twice in any condition: by the sw iftness and speed o f its ch an ge. (Plutarch. Enneads IV viii 1) The fourth group collects further fragments o f a religious or theological significance. (Plotinus. [в 84a] and it is weariness fo r the same to labour and be ruled [в 84b] . On the E at Delphi 392B) T h in g s which have a natural circu lar m otion are preserved and stay to g eth er because o f it . it is not again and later but sim ultaneously that it com es to g eth er and departs.he leaves us to con jectu re and om its to m ake his a rg u m e n t clear to us. it scatters and collects itself again . living their death. approach es and retires [ 8 9 1 ] . 117 .

from d ru n k en n ess o f the bo d y so m uch as from th eir d isgra cefu l d octrin es o f licentiousness. [в 127] (anonym ous Theosophia 68-69) A s a m ystical rem in d e r o f that a ffa ir. says: They vainly purify themselves with blood when they are defiled: as though one were to step in the mud and try to wash it off with mud. (C lem ent. fin d in g fau lt with those who sacrifice to the spirits.atten d to these wise w ords an d suppose 118 . since they will cu re o u r troubles and d rain o u r souls o f the m isfortu n es o f m ortal life [в 68]. H eraclitus says. and Hades is the same as Dionysus fo r whom they rave and celebrate their rites [в 15] . Why the Pythia No Longer Prophesies in Verse 397 а в) I thin k that you too know H eraclitus’ rem ark that the king w hose is th e o racle at D elphi n eith er speaks n o r conceals but indicates [в 93] . phalluses a re set up th ro u g h o u t the cities to D ionysus. a cco rd in g to H eraclitus. Protreptic И 34 5) H en ce H eraclitus reasonably called [phallic cerem onies] rem ­ edies. (lam blich us. And they pray to these statues as though one were to gossip to the houses. [в 5] T h e sam e m an said to the Egyptians: I f they are gods.not. F or i f they did not make a procession fo r Dionysus and sing a paean to the penis. (Plutarch. no longer think them gods. they would act most shamelessly. On the Mysteries I 119) The Sibyl's raving mouth. why do you grieve? I f you grieve. I thin k. not knowing who the gods and who the heroes are.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY H eraclitus o f E phesus. Any man who saw him doing that would think he was mad. speaks without mirth [в 92] o r a d o rn m en t o r p erfu m e: with th e h elp o f the g o d h er voice con tin u es fo r a thou san d years.

i 1) A m an m ay perh aps escape the attention o f the visible fire. fo r every beast is pastured by blows. how could anyone escape the attention o f that which never sets? [в 16] ' T h e n let us not w rap ourselves in darkness.3 ) 1*9 .3 ) In the fifth group come passages bearing upon psychology: most o f them deal with the linked topics o f sleep and death. ([Aristotle]. call birth d eath w hen h e says: Death is what we see awake.1 .HERACLITUS that the god h ere uses the priestess with reg a rd to h ea rin g in the sam e way as the sun uses the m oon with reg a rd to sight. [в 11] as H eraclitus says. Does not H eraclitus. On the World 4 o i a 8 . and d ie in o b ed ien ce to the ordinances o f g o d . Miscellanies V xiv 1 1 5 .fo r. [в 34] (Clem ent. fo r th e ligh t is within us. [в 32] A n d again: It is law also to follow the counsel o f one. (ibid 404 de) All anim als are born . flourish.1 . [в 33] A n d if you want to b rin g in th e saying ‘ H e that hath ears to hear.5) I know that Plato. sleep what we see abed? [в 21] (ibidV xiv 1 1 5 . Pedagogue II x 99. as H eraclitus says. su p p o rts H eraclitus w h en he writes: One alone is the arise. (Clem ent. too. like P yth agoras and Socrates in the Gorgias. you will find it exp ressed som ew hat as follow s by the Ephesian: The uncomprehending. unwilling and willing to be called by the name o f Zeus. let him h ea r’ [L u ke 14 :3 5 ]. are like the deaf: the saying applies to them — though present they are absent. when they hear. but the invisible he can n ot .

I think. initiates. young and old. awake and asleep. as we can also learn fro m H eraclitus: A man in the night kindles a light fo r himself.3) For w hom d oes H eraclitus prop hesy? F or night-prow lers. (Plutarch. F or them he th reat­ ens ju d g e m e n t a fte r d eath .o n e m ore. Consolation to Apollonius i o 6 e ) W h at is said o f sleep shou ld be u n d erstoo d also o f death. the same thing is present living and dead. fo r them he prop hesies fire. bacchants. (M arcus A u re liu s. he kindles the sleeping. sp eak in g o f m en. F or each o f them . [в 26] (C lem ent.ju s t as H eraclitus. On Superstition 166c) W e a re all fellow -w orkers to o n e en d .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY H eraclitus says that aw ake we have a com m on w orld . Protreptic II xxii 1-2 ) 120 . says that even those asleep a re w orkers an d fellow -w orkers in w hat h ap p en s in the w orld [в 75]. F or the m ystery rites practised a m o n g m en have im pious initiations [в 14]. fo r the latter change and are the former. som e know in gly and consciously. asleep each en ters a p rivate w orld [в 89] .shows the absence o f the soul.1 —2) H eraclitus seem s to a g ree with [Socrates in the Phaedo] w hen. m agicians. [в 27] (ibid IV xxii 144. revellers. o th ers u n kn ow in gly . and again the former change and are the latter. he kindles the dead. Meditations V I 42) A n d when is death not present in o u r very selves? A s H era­ clitus says. he says: There await men when they die things they neither expect nor even think of. his sight being quenched: living. Miscellanies IV x xii 1 4 1 . awake.but th e superstitious have no com m on an d n o private w orld. [в 88] ([Plutarch]. the o th er less . (C lem ent.

to rest) and they leave behind children. fo r water death to become earth. and elsew h ere that w e live th eir d eath an d th ey live o u r death [cf в 62]. and H eraclitus was rig h t in saying th at souls sm ell th in gs in H ades [в 98].1) [Food w ithout salt] is heavy an d nauseous to th e taste. Ju st as a sp id er. Table Talk 669A) O rp h e u s w rote: W ater is d eath fo r souls. [в 36] ' (C lem ent. B u t from w ater com es ea rth .2 ) H eraclitus says that fo r souls it is p leasu re o r d eath to b ecom e moist. fra g m en t 30 des Places. and m eat is co rp se o r p a rt o f a corpse. H eraclitus p u t to g eth er th e w ords fro m th ese lines and w rote som ew hat as follows: For souls it is death to become water. h e says. . . (Plutarch. . from water soul. (Plutarch. and thence soul.HERACLITUS H eraclitus is clearly b era tin g birth w hen h e says: Being bom. The Cave o f the Nymphs 10) [Souls on the m oon] a re n o u rish ed by variou s exhalations. Miscellanies V I ii 1 7 .1 . in P o rp h y ry . stan d in g in the 121 . [в 20] (C lem ent. [в 96] a cco rd in g to H eraclitus. O n the Face in the M oon 943E) H eraclitus well com pares the soul to a sp id er a n d th e b o d y to a sp id er’s web. they wish to live and to meet their fates (or rath er. (N u m eniu s. fo r corpses should be thrown out more readily than dung. and that fo r them th e fall into m ortal life is p leasu re [в 77]. Miscellanies III iii 14 . bom fo r their fates. from earth again w ater. but from earth water comes into being. ru sh in g to all th e eth er.

as it w ere. is evid en t w hen he says: The world. when som e part o f his b o d y is h u rt. that ev ery th in g will ch a n g e into fire]. w hich he calls sea. Miscellanies V xiv 10 4 .H e says in e ffe ct that.issues which are sketched more fully in the doxographical report in Diogenes Laertius’ Life. N ow that he reco gn ized that the w orld which is u n iqu ely ch aracterized by the totality o f substance is eternal. H eraclitus o f E phesus is m ost clearly o f this opinion [i. and h e is aw are that th e created w orld is the fo rm e r in a certain state. (Clem ent. H e shows clearly in the fo llo w in g w ords that they are restored again and becom e fire: Sea is dissolved and measured into the same proportion that existed at first. ofsea. O n Plato's World-Soul 1 7 v) The sixth group o f fragments and reports consists o f a few texts which bear upon the issues o f natural science . so a m an’s soul. [в 30] A n d that he believed it to be gen erated and destructible is indi­ cated by the fo llo w in g words: Tumings o f fire:first. hu rries quickly th ere as i f unable to bear the h u rt to the body to w hich it is firm ly and prop ortionately jo in e d [в 67a]. the seed. sea. com e earth and h eaven an d w hat they contain. o f creation. but it was always and is and will be.e. again. by reason and god which rule everyth in g. fire ever-living. kindling in measures and being extinguished in measures. (H isdosus. fire is tu rn ed by way o f air into m oisture. [в 31b] A n d the sam e holds fo r the o th er elem ents. H e holds that th ere is a w orld w hich is etern al and a w orld w hich is perishing. and from this. h a lf is earth. the same fo r all.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY m idd le o f its w eb.1-5 ) 122 . [в 31a] . neither any god nor any man made. h a lf lightning-flash. is aw are as soon as a fly has broken one o f its th read s and run s th ere qu ickly as th ou gh griev in g over th e cu ttin g o f the th read .

F or the sun will not overstep its measures. and all things. as H eraclitus says. [в 100] (Plutarch. a cco rd in g to H era ­ clitus. On the E a t Delphi 388DE) T h e y w ould thin k it u nreasonable if. ministers o f justice. H eraclitu s indeed says th at i f the sun d id not ex ist it w o u ld b e nigh t 123 . bu t alw ays an d co n tin u ­ ously new. Meteorology 3 5 53 13 —15) H eraclitus . [says that th e sun] ss to its size has th e b rea d th o f a h um an foot. [в 1 24] (T h eo p h ra stu s. as goods are fo r gold and gold fo r goods. . as they say. d e fin in g and arb itrating and revealin g an d illu m in stin g the ch a n g es and the seasons w hich b rin g all things. [в go] (Plutarch. then it is clear that the sun is not o n ly. new each d ay [в 6]. is like a h eap o f rubbish aim lessly piled up. otherwise the Furies. and p reserves its station. Metaphysics 7 3 1 0 -1 5 ) Each o f the planets revolves in a sin gle sp h ere . H eraclitus says. [the sun] w ere n ou rish ed in th e sam e w ay [as flam es are]. th ere is n o such th in g in the first principles bu t th e m ost b eau tifu l w o rld . (A ristotle. . as H eraclitus says. Anthology I x x v lg ) W ater m akes fo r collaboration an d frien d sh ip . [в 3] (Stobaeus. will fin d it out. On Exile 604л) T h e sun is o verseer an d g u ard ian o f these p erio d s. H eraclitus says. Platonic Questions 1007D) If. w hile the w h ole h eaven and each o f its parts all h ave o rd e r an d reason in th eir shapes and pow ers and p eriod s. as th o u g h on an island. are an exchange fo r fire and fire for all things.HERACLITUS T h e first prin ciple altern ately creates th e w o rld fro m itself and again itself from the w o rld . [в 94] (Plutarch.

(Plutarch. o r w h eth er H eraclitus rightly rebu ked H esiod. not the bear. [в 23] an d Socrates says that law w ould not have com e into being fo r the sake o f the good. since it is com p osed o f earth and air. the boundary o f bright Zeus [в 1 20] . there are some items which could be reckoned as belonging to moral and political philosophy: F or ‘T h e law is not m ad e fo r a righ teou s m an ’. opposite the bear. ([Plutarch]. [в 1 19] (Stobaeus. On the Senses and their Objects 443822-25) Finally.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY [в 99].1) H eraclitus said that a m an’s ch aracter is his fate. (Clem ent. Anthology IV xl 23) 124 . T h u s H eraclitus rightly says: They would not know the name o f justice i f these things did not exist. is the b o u n d ary o f the su n ’s rising an d setting. but we m ay say that i f the sea d id not exist man w ould be the m ost wild and destitute o f anim als. say the Scriptu res [I T im o th y 1:9]. Is Fire or Water the More Useful? 957л) I have discussed elsew h ere w h eth er o n e shou ld suppose that certain days are u nlu cky. Geography I i 6) Som e thin k that the sm oky exhalation is sm ell. Miscellanies IV iii 10.fo r the arctic circle. fo r not reco gn izin g that the n atu re o f every d ay is the sam e [в 106]. Camillus 138л) H eraclitus is better an d m ore H om eric (and like H om er he calls the arctic circle th e bear): Limits o f morning and evening are the bear and. (Strabo. w h o m akes som e g oo d and o thers bad. (A ristotle. T h a t is w hy H eraclitus said that i f all the things that exist w ere to becom e sm oke the nose w ould distinguish them [в 7].

and o f air fire.HERACLITUS W orse m en have co n q u ered better. The Control o f Anger 457D) N ext. [в 25] acco rd in g to H eraclitus. Miscellanies IV iv 16. and that m ost a re at odds with that with w hich they m ost constantly associate the account which govern s the u niverse — and that w hat they m eet with every d ay seem s fo reig n to them [в 72]. Should Old M en Take Part in Politics? 78 7c) I f we h ear that o n e sw allow does not m ake a su m m er. [в 24] (C lem ent. and en vy attacks the b eg in n er at the d o o r o f office. then surely o n e swallow should be recko n ed as w orth ten thousan d if it is well chosen.with w hich H eraclitus says it is hard to fight.that is a m ark o f g reat and victorious pow er. [в 97] accord ing to H eraclitus. F or if. R em em ber too the m an who forgets w h ere the road leads [в 71]. Letters 1 [Patrologia Graeca X X X I II 1240A]) A lw ays rem em b er H eraclitus’ view that the d eath o f earth is to becom e w ater. fo r dogs bark at those they do not know. bu t to set u p in y o u r soul a victory m on u m en t o v e r a n g e r . scarcely attacks old age. (ibid IV vii 49. and th e reverse. H eraclitus says: Gods and men honour those slain in battle. o n e m an is w orth ten thousan d i f he is the best [в 49]. it buys with soul [в 85] . fo r whatever it wants. an d that *25 . as H eraclitus says. (T h eo d o ru s P ro d ro m us. the greatest o f political ills. yet you d o so — fo r you excel all the o th e r swallows.3) Envy. (Plutarch.1) For greater fates win greater shares. and the d eath o f w ater to becom e air. (Plutarch.

Meditations IV 46) 126 . (M arcus A u reliu s. and that we should not behave like ch ild ren o f o u r parents [в 74] .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY we sh ou ld not act an d speak like those asleep [в 73] .e. in the way in w hich w e h ave been b ro u g h t up..fo r th en too we thin k w e act and speak. in plain prose.i.

PART II .

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H e was a pu pil o f X en o p h an es but d id n o t follow him . so that each year the citizens still g et the officials to sw ear that they will abid e by Parm enides’ laws’ (Plutarch. gives Parmenides’ own views about the true nature o f reality. According to Diogenes Laertius. (D iogen es L aertius. since h e cam e fro m a fam ou s and wealthy fam ily. a Greek foundation in southern Italy. but a passage in Plato (which will be quoted in the chapter on Zeno) suggests that he was bom in about 5 /5. H e was o f a noble family. It was rath er A m ein ias that he follo w ed . an d w hen he d ied he set u p a shrin e fo r him . an d h e was led to calm by A m ein ias an d not by X enophanes. followed the traditional Ionian pattern o f works O n N atu re. A substantial proportion o f the poem survives. and it is reported that ‘he organ ized his ow n co u n try by the best laws. the Way o f Opinion. son o f Pyres. the Way o f Truth. It opened ivith a fanciful prologue. after which the main body o f the work divided into two parts: the first part. Against Colotes 1 12 6 a b ).9 PARMENIDES Parmenides. came from Elea. the P yth agorean . a p o o r m an but o f g o o d ch arac­ ter. the second part. Parmenides produced one short work written in ungainly hexameter verse. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 21) The story about Ameinias has led some scholars to look (in vain) for Pythagorean elements in Parmenides’ thought. son o f Diochaitas. H e was also associated (as Sotion said) with A m ein ias. His dates are uncertain: the Greek chroniclers put his birth in 540 вс. 129 .

The axle in the axle-box roared from its socket as it blazed —fo r it was driven on by two whirling wheels on either side . an unrivalled influence on the course o f western philosophy.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY The prologue and most o f the Way o f Truth survive. X en o p h a n es’ frien d P arm enid es co n d em n ed the reason associated with belief.while the maidens. Here are the gates o f the paths o f Night and Day. Nonetheless. His meaning is rarely plain to the first glance. there are frag­ ments o f the Way o f Opinion. but the views it advocates are paradoxical in the extreme. who also offers an allegorical interpretation o f Parmenides' verses which I shall not tran­ scribe. is confessedly 'deceitful' or false. Moreover. fo r there the wise mares were carrying me. su p p o sed that the reason associated with kn ow led ge. was the crit­ erion o f truth. 11 should be said at the outset that Parmenides ’ poem is in many ways a bizarre and puzzling production. through the medium o f Plato. straining at the chariot. Parmenides had. The Way o f Truth is not intended to be deceitful. and maidens were leading the way. the Way o f Opinion. since he also g ave u p trust in the senses.* There was I being carried. T h u s at the b eg in n in g o f his OnNature he writes in this way: The mares that carry me as fa r as my heart may aspire were my escorts: they had guided me and set me on the celebrated road o f the god which carries the man o f knowledge*. The prologue is preserved by Sextus Empiricus. hastened to escort it. 130 . There are also textual uncertainties. which has w eak opinion s. . and some lines o f the poem are obscure to the point o f unintelligibility. Parmenides is never an easy writer. and he does not clearly explain why he has written these lies. He presents an account the second h a lf o f which. . daughters o f the sun. having left the house o f Night fo r the light and pushed back with their hands the veils from their heads. and a lintel and a stone threshold enclose them. an d . o r infallible reason.

and all-avenging Justice holds their alternate keys. For no evil fate was sending you to travel this road (for indeed it is fa r from the tread o f men) but Right and Justice.how what seems had reliably to be. You must learn all things.’ [28 в 1. swinging in turn in their sockets the bronze pivots. th o u g h his po etry m akes him obscure.2 8 -3 2 ] (Sim plicius. and she spoke thus and addressed me: 'Young man.1-3 0 ] (Sextus E m piricus. taking my right hand in hers. forever traversing everything. fitted with pegs and pins. companion to the immortal charioteers with the mares who carry you as you come to my house. And through them the maidens held the chariot and mares straight on the highway. nevertheless points in this d irection h im self w hen he says: «3 » . co rresp o n d in g to the d iffe re n t objects o f kn ow ­ ledge. skilfully persuading her to push back fo r them the bolted bar swiftly from the gates. both the unwavering heart o f well-rounded truth and the opinions o f mortals in which there is no true trust.PARMENIDES They themselves. I greet you. [в 1. Parm enides too. And the goddess graciously received me. Against the Mathematicians V I I 1 1 1 ) Simplicius adds two further lines: Parm enides says: You must learn all things. They flew back and made a yawning gap between the doors. who then cites a further eight lines: Plato explicitly d istin guishes d iffe r e n t types o f reason and know ledge. But nevertheless you will learn these things too .2 4 -5 5 8 .2 ) A couplet from the prologue is quoted by Proclus. both the unwavering heart o f persuasive truth and the opinions o f mortals in which there is no true trust. high in the air. are filled by great doors. Her the maidens appeased with soft words. Commentary on On the Heavens 5 5 7.

One o f them. that it is and cannot not be. is the path o f persuasion (for truth accompanies it). that it is not and must not be — this I say to you is a trail devoid o f all knowledge. nor could you mention it. Enneads V i 8) The next surviving lines o f the poem can be patched together from two separate passages in Simplicius. [в 2. [в 1. P arm enides too tou ch ed on this doctrine inasm uch as he identified bein g and th o u g h t and d id not locate bein g in sensible objects.7—8] (P ro d u s.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY Both the unwavering heart o f well-lit truth and the opinions o f mortals in which there is no true trust. and nothing can not. the acco u n t o f w hat is. another. Commentary on the Physics 86.25-30) 132 .1—2] N ow i f w h atever ?n yo n e says o r thinks is b ein g. fo r it can be. H e said: For the same things can be thought o f and can be.1—6] And: For you could not recognize that which is not (for it is not to be done).1 1 -2 7 ) [Note that in в i .] The half-line at the end o f fragment в 2 can be completed. (Sim plicius. [в 3] (Plotinus. Commentary on the Timaeus I 3 4 5 . includes these sentences: T h a t th ere is o n e an d th e sam e acco u n t o f ev eryth in g . both metr­ ically and philosophically. I will tell you — preserve the account when you hear ti­ the only roads o f enquiry there are to be thought of: one. Simplicius and Proclus attach different adjectives to the noun ‘truth’. P arm enid es states in th e fo llo w in g words: What is for being and fo r thinking must be. th e accoun t o f w h at is. by a half-line preserved elsewhere: A t an earlier d ate. which assembles a few short quotations from Parmenides.29-30 ] an d again: But come. then th ere will b e o n e a cco u n t o f ev eryth in g . 29 Sextus. [в 6 . [в 2 .

amazed. the g rea t Parm enides w ould tes­ tify against this [nam ely the view that w hat is not is] from b eg in ­ ning to en d. [в 6. This I bid you say. can be put together from three sources. and do not let custom.1 —2] (Plato. F or havin g said: fo r it can be.4 -9 ] (ibid 117 . force you along this road. and also. that what is not is: restrain your thought from this road o f inquiry. which includes per­ haps the whole o f the Way o f Truth.PARMENIDES The second passage begins by quoting в 2 (except fo r the first line) and continues thus: T h a t contrad ictories a re n o t tru e to g eth er he show s in the verses in w hich he finds fa u lt with those w ho iden tify opposites. fo r whom to be and not to be are deemed the same and not the same. [в 6 . And they are borne along alike deaf and blind. m y boy. For from this first road o f inquiry < / restrain> you.2 —13) A continuous passage o f some sixty-six verses.1 —3] C h e a d d s:> and then from the road along which mortals who know nothing wander. directing unobservant eye and echoing ear >33 . [в 7 . and the path o f all turns back on itself. and nothing can not. The first two lines are quoted by Simplicius. Sophist 237л) Plato's quotation is continued by Sextus (though Sextus himself quotes the lines as though they were continuous with в 1): Restrain your thought from this road o f inquiry. based on much experience. by Plato: W hen we w ere boys. two-headed. much earlier. for impotence in their breasts guides their erring mind. constantly saying both in prose and in verse that: Never will this prevail. undisceming crowds.

and complete. to leave the one road unthought and unnamed (for it is not a true road). Decision in these matters lies in this: it is or it is not. now is left: that it is. [в 7. Nor is it divided. it is ungenerated and indestructible. to grow — i f it began from nothing? Thus it must either altogether be or not be. one road. Only one story. later or earlier. both to ju s tify w hat I have said about the m atter and because o f the rarity o f P arm en id es’ treatise. he writes: Only one story. whence. But it has been decided. Nor from what is will the strength o f trust permit it to come to be anything apart from itself. Against the Mathematicians V II 1 1 1 ) Sextus' quotation in turn is continued by Simplicius: A t the risk o f seem in g p rolix. Thus generation is quenched and perishing unheard of. one. all together.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY and tongue. A fte r he has d o n e aw ay with w hat is not. now is left. I w ould like to transcribe in this com m entary P arm enid es’ verses on th e o n e bein g (they are not m any). whole. being. but she holds it. one road. And on this there are signs in plenty that. and to take the other as being and being genuine. since it all alike is — neither more here (which would prevent it from cohering) nor less. For that reason Justice has not relaxed her fetters and let it come into being or perish.2 -6 ] (Sextus E m piricus. o f one kind and unwavering. 134 . did it grow ? That it came from what is not I shall not allow you to say or think —fo r it is not sayable or thinkable that it is not. nor is it i f it is ever going to be. since now it is. Nor was it. as is necessary. nor will it be. but it is all fu ll o f what is. How might what is then perish? How might it come into being? For i f it came into being it is not. A nd what need would have impelled it. continuous. but judge by reason the battle-hardened proof which I have spoken. For what generation will you seek fo r it? How.

you will not fin d thinking. equal in every way from the middle. like the bulk o f a well-rounded ball. then. and thus remains fixed there. since it all is. being and not being. in which it has been expressed. (Sim plicius. [в 8 . layin g d ow n fo r them d iffe ren t first principles. it is completed on all sides.PARMENIDES Hence it is all continuous. and true trust has thrust them o ff The same and remaining in the same state. a re P arm enid es’ verses abo u t th e o n e. which might stop it from reaching its like. For neither is there anything which is not. >35 . and changing place and altering bright colour. it lies by itself. nor anything which is in such a way that it might be more here or less there than what is. though it is hard to see where they should be inserted. equal to itself on all sides. Commentary on the Physics 14 4 . Hence all things are a name which mortals lay down and trust to be true coming into being and perishing. Therefore. Henceforward learn mortal opinions. inviolate. it lies uniformly in its limits. The same thing are thinking and a thought that it is.2 5 -14 6 . And since there is a last limit. since generation and destruction have wandered fa r away. listening to the deceitful arrangement o f my words. For powerful necessity holds it enchained in a limit which hems it around. And unmoving in the limits o f great chains it is beginningless and ceaseless. fo r what is approaches what is.i f it were it would lack everything. For it is not lacking . A fte r them he next discusses the objects o f o p in ion . since fate has fettered it to be whole and unmoving.1—52] T h ese. Here I cease fo r you my trustworthy argument and thought about the truth. For it must not be at all greater or smaller here or there. because it is right that what is should be not incomplete.2 7 ) Two other short fragments have been thought to come from the Way o f Truth. For without what is. For nothing either is or will be other than what is.

43] . Miscellanies V iii 15. saw bein g itself in that which is sep arated from all and the high est o f all beings. are yet present firmly to the mind. listening to the deceitful arrangement o f my words. neither scattering everywhere in every way about the world nor coming together. very light.in all these passages he shows that he actually supposes there to be many intelligible objects. [в 5] and elsew here: equal from the middle [в 8. And they distinguished them as opposite in form and set up signs fo r them separately from one another. [в 8. [в 4] For o n e w ho hopes. Commentary on the Parmenides 708. sees with his m ind the objects o f th o u g h t and the things to com e. in which bein g was prim arily m an ifested. Par­ m enides con tin u es thus: Here I cease fo r you my trustworthy argument and thought about the truth. (C lem en t. Henceforward learn mortal opinions. in every direction the same as itself 136 .EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY P arm enides too in his poem rid d les about H o p e in these w ords: Look at things which. like o n e with faith.25] an d again: it is indifferent to me whence I begin. bu t he was not u naw are o f the plu rality o f intelligible objects. though absent. F or it is he w ho says: For what is approaches what is.5) P arm enides.7—22) The first lines o f the Way o f Opinion are preserved by Simplicius: H avin g co m pleted his accoun t o f the intelligible realm . (Proclus. as I have said b e fo re . For they determined in their minds to name two forms. here the ethereal flame o f fire. o f which one they should not — and that is where they have erred. fo r there again shall I return. gentle. fo r you will not cut o ff fo r yourself what is from holding to what is.

2 9 -3 9 .unknowing night.PARMENIDES and not the same as the other. he com posed a cosm ology. H e has m uch to say ab o u t the earth an d th e sky and the m oon and the stars. A little later. [в 12 .2 1) Some idea o f the contents o f the Way o f Opinion can be gained from a passage in Plutarch: But Parm enides did not abolish fire o r w ater o r precipices o r . [в 8 .1-3 ] H e says that she is actually the cause o f th e god s First o f all the gods she devised Love [в 13] etc. H e says that she sends souls som etim es from ligh t to d a rk ­ ness and som etim es in the o th er d irection . dense inform and heavy. 137 . he continues by m en tion in g the active cause: The narrower [bands] are fu ll o f unmixed fire. (Sim plicius. I am com pelled to w rite at length on this po in t because people now are gen erally ign oran t o f the ancien t w ritings. and that other in itself is opposite . This whole fitting arrangement I tell you so that a mortal mind may never outstrip you. w ho is co m p os­ ing a book o f his ow n and not criticizin g a bo ok o f som eone else.pace C o lotes . and in the middle o f them. and by m ixin g the b righ t an d th e d ark as elem ents he prod u ces from them and by them all the phen om en a. (Plutarch. A fte r all. a goddess who governs all things. Commentary on the Physics 3 8 . the next with night (but a portion o f flame is emitted). Against Colotes 1 1 1 4 в c) Simplicius had earlier quoted a slightly longer version o f fragment в 12: The next with night (but a portion o f flame is emitted). and he has an acco u n t o f the origins o f men: like an old natural p h ilosop h er.5 0 -6 1] Now he calls this acco u n t a m atter o f opin ion an d d eceitfu l not because it is sim ply false but because he has m oved from the intelligible w orld o f truth into the p ercep tib le realm o f ap pearan ce and seem in g. h avin g discussed the two elem ents. he has left n o th in g o f any im portan ce unsaid.the cities o f E u ro p e and Asia.

W hat su rro u n d s them all. 138 . [в 1 2] (Sim plicius.1 3 . a ro u n d which is a fiery band. Commentary on the Physics 3 1 . T h e m oon is a m ixtu re o f both . is solid. vaporized by its m ore violent com pression. (Sim plicius. T h e air is a secretion o f the ea rth . It goes like this: Next to this are the rare and the hot and brightness and the soft and the light.1 7 ) The 'bands’ o f в 12 are described in more detail in a doxographical passage: Parm enid es says that th ere is a sequ en ce o f bands em bracin g o n e an o th er. and oth ers betw een them m ixed from ligh t an d darkness. u n d er it is a rra n g ed the fiery p a rt w e call the sky.3 -7 ) No doubt Simplicius is right to be sceptical about the authenticity o f this prose fragment. and beneath it is a fiery band. T h e eth e r su rro u n d s th em . fo r these have been separated off.air and fire. T h e sun and th e circle o f the M ilky W ay are exh alation s o f fire. (Stobaeus. Justice and N eces­ sity. So too w hat is in th e m idd le o f them all. o n e from the d en se. above everyth in g. sending female to mingle with male and again conversely male to female. o n e fro m the rare.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY and in the middle o f them. like a wall. next to the dense are named the cold and darkness and hard and heavy. and u n d e r that the regions a ro u n d the earth. Commentary on the Physics 3 1 . Sim­ plicius reports a curiosity: In the m idd le o f th e verses a sh o rt passage in prose is inserted w hich p u rp o rts to com e fro m P arm enid es him self. O f the m ixed bands th e m idd lem ost is cause o f all m otion an d co m in g into bein g fo r all o f them : this he calls the g o v e rn in g god dess and the key h o ld er. a goddess who gdvems all things. Anthology I xxii 1a) There are a few further fragments from the Way o f Opinion. For she rules the hateful birth and copulation o f all things. each group in its own way.

[ в 9] (ibid 18 0 .M elissus w hen he says that the cold becom es hot etc . and you will learn the circling works o f the round-faced moon and its nature. . and Parm enides. and you will know too the sky which encloses it — whence it grew and how necessity led and fettered it to hold the limits o f the stars.PARMENIDES Simplicius quotes the beginning o f the Way in another passage. (Sim plicius. Commentary on On the Heavens 5 5 9 . b e g in n in g his rem arks about p ercep tible objects. P arm enides and Melissus] clearly r e fe r to the generation o f p ercep tible objects . . both equal since nothing has a share in neither.th in kin g it rather. [в ю ] (Clem ent.8 -12 ) B u t they both [sc. Miscellanies V x iv 138. says he will tell how earth and sun and moon and the common ether and the Milky Way and outermost Olympus and the hot force o f the stars were impelled to come into being.. o f Christ] let w h o will listen to th e prom ises o f P arm enides o f Elea: You will know the nature o f the ether and all the signs in the ether and the bright sun’s pure torch and its destructive works and whence they came into being.18 —27) O n ce he has attained to the tru e teach in g [sc. right dow n to the parts o f anim als. wandering about the earth [в 14] - ‘39 . night-shining. there he adds: A n d again a little later: And since all things have been named light and night and things corresponding to their powers [have been named] for each. everything is fu ll alike o f light and invisible night. [в 11] A n d they have described the gen eratio n o f things that a re born and die.1) S om eone w ho d enies that red-h ot iron is fire o r that the m oon is a sun . with Parm enides. another's light.

[в 17] (G alen. On the Face in the Moon 929 а в) Two short passages from the doxography are worth quoting here. A fte r it com es the sun. [в 15] (Plutarch. so as to avoid a m ixtu re o f lan gu ages: When a man and a woman together mix the seeds o f Love. the powers fight 140 . Commentary on Hippocrates' Epidemics X V I I A 1002K) In th e books he w rote On Nature P arm enid es says that as the result o f co n ceptio n m en a re som etim es born soft o r sm ooth. For if. [Parm enides] was the first to say that the earth is spherical and lies in the m idd le [ o f the universe]. O th ers o f th e oldest g en eratio n h ave also said that the m ale is co n ceived in the rig h t p art o f the w om b. (D iogen es L aertius. only [the m oon] goes a b o u t in need o f a n o th e r’s light. as P arm en­ ides says. (Plutarch. n u m erou s th ou gh they are. the second o f which survives only in a Latin translation. I too shall p u t the point in verses fo r I h ave co m posed som e Latin verses. as close to his as I co u ld . when the seed is mixed. Against Colotes 1 1 i6 a ) O f the things in the h eavens. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 21) P arm enid es places th e M o rn in g Star first in o rd e r in the eth er (he thinks that it is the sam e as the E ven in g Star). in the left girls. P arm enides p u t it like this: In the right boys. always gazing at the rays o f the sun. two fragments on biology. a power which forms in the veins from the different bloods produces well-built bodies by preserving the blending. (Stobaeus. ben eath w hich are the stars in the fiery p art w hich he calls the sky. Anthology 1 xxiv 2e) Next.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY d oes not abolish th e use o f iron o r the reality o f the m oon. Since his G re e k is in verse.

he says. fo r it is the same thing which thinks — the nature o f the limbs — for each and every man. ev e ry ­ th in g which exists has som e kn ow led ge. [в 18] (Caelius A u relia n u s.) T h a t he m akes p ercep tio n too o ccu r by opposites in their ow n rig h t is clear from th e passage w h ere he says that corpses d o not p erceive light. (T h eo p h rastu s. so stands the mind fo r men.better and p u re r w h en it d ep en d s on the hot. he adds: Thus. bu t that th ey do perceive th eir opposites . [в 16] For he speaks o f p erceiv in g and th in kin g as the sam e th in g that is why he thinks that m em ory an d fo rgetfu ln ess d e riv e from these things th ro u gh th eir blen d in g. On the Senses 3 -4 ) Finally. Simplicius preserves three lines from the end o f Parmenides’ poem: H avin g described the w orld o f p ercep tio n . heat and sound because o f the d eficien cy o f fire. Chronic Diseases IV 9) Theophrastus gives an account o f Parmenides’ ideas about thought.cold and silence and so on. then cruelly will they trouble . for what exceeds is thought.he sex that is being bom from a twin seed. A n d in gen eral. Parm enides really said n o th in g at all ab o u t [the senses] — only that th ere are two elem ents and that kn o w led ge d e p en d s on which is excessive. . an d w hat the d isp o ­ sition will be. so th ou gh t becom es d iffe re n t .PARMENIDES and do not combine into one power in the mixed body. th ou gh this too requ ires a certain p ro p o rtio n ­ ality: For as on each occasion. these things grew and now are. 141 . For as th e h ot o r th e cold exceeds. is the blending o f the wandering limbs. according to opinion. (B u t he said n o th in g fu rth e r about what h app ens i f th ey a re equal in the m ixtu re — w h eth er o r not it will be possible to thin k.

having matured they will cease to be: and fo r each o f them men laid down a distinctive name. Commentary on On the Heavens 5 5 8 .8 -11) 142 . after this.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY and then. [в 19] (Sim plicius.

43 . th ereby gainin g control o f the sea and a cq u irin g m any su pplies fo r the prosecution o f the w ar w hich they had not previou sly pos­ sessed. a ph ilo­ sop h er who was then in com m and at Sam os. His book indeed is in effect a modified version. M elissus. all o f them preserved by Simplicius. In the battle that follow ed the Sam ians w ere victorious. in clear prose. X en o p h a n es and G orgias. In 441 в с Athens made war upon Samos and despatched a fleet to the island. persu ad ed his fellow -citizens to attack th e A th e n ­ ians. In addition. Pericles i 6 6 c d ) The Samians were eventually defeated. there are two paraphrases o f his whole argument. W hen he had sailed o ff. led some o f his ships away on an expedition. despisin g the small n u m ber o f their ships o r the in exp erien ce o f th eir co m ­ m anders. o f Parmenides’ poem. one in the essay O n M elissus. he was a follower o f Parmenides. Pericles. the Athenian commander. T h e y cap tured m any m en an d d estroyed m an y ships.10 MELISSUS Melissus came from the island o f Samos. The year o f the battle gives us the only known date in Melissus’ life: we may suppose that he flourished in the third quarter o f the fifth century. Substantial fragments o f Melissus’ work have survived. But Melissus had made a mark on history unusual in a philosopher. (Plutarch. At some point during the protracted operations. A ristotle says that Pericles h im self had ea rlier been d efeated by M elissus in a sea-battle. In philosophy. son o f Ithagen es. the other in Simplicius’ commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. It is worth transcribing the latter as a convenient introduction to the fragments. falsely ascribed to Aristotle.

F or w hat exists can ch a n g e n eith er into th e non-existent (the natural scientists a g ree on this) n o r into th e existen t (for in that case it w ould still rem ain and not be destroyed ). N o r will w hat exists be d estroyed . B ut w hat exists has not com e into bein g. B u t w hat exists is infinite. F or w hat is unique is alw ays h o m o gen eo u s with itself. th ere­ fo re . Since w hat com es into existen ce has a begin n in g. it is also changeless. T h e r e fo r e it 44 . T h e r e fo r e w hat exists is unique. has not com e into being. w hat could be said about it as th ou gh it w ere som ethin g? I f it is som eth in g. B ut i f it cam e into being. and w hat is hom o­ g en eo u s can n eith er perish n o r gro w n o r ch an ge its a rra n g em en t n o r s u ffe r pain n o r su ffe r anguish. has not got an en d. it d id so eith er fro m the existen t o r from the non-existent. F or i f th ere w ere two things they co u ld not be infinite bu t w ould have limits against o n e an o th er. A g ain . W hat exists. what does not com e into existen ce has not g o t a begin n in g. it is u niqu e. T h e r e fo r e th ere is n o t a plu rality o f existents. T h e r e fo r e it has always existed. I f so m eth in g is infinite. T h e r e fo r e it has not g o t a b egin n in g. w hat is d estroyed has an end. let alone som eth in g actually existent) o r from the existen t (fo r in that case it w ould have existed all along and w ould not have co m e into being). eith er it cam e into bein g o r it has always existed. T h e r e fo r e w hat exists. T h e r e fo r e it always has existed and will exist. B u t it is not possible fo r an yth in g to com e into bein g either from the non-existent (not even so m eth in g else which is n oth in g. b ein g indestructible.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY M elissus uses the axiom s o f the natural philosophers and begins his treatise on g en eratio n and destruction as follows: I f it is n oth in g. I f it is u niqu e. T h e r e fo r e w hat exists is infinite. F or an yth in g that u n d erg o es any ch an ge o f w h atever sort m oves fro m o n e state into a d iffe re n t one. B u t n o th in g is d iffe r e n t fro m w hat exists. F or i f it u n d e rw en t an y o f th ese th in gs it w ould not be h om o­ gen eou s. B u t w hat has n eith er b eg in n in g n o r en d is in fact infinite. and i f so m eth in g is indestructible it has not got an end.

N ow i f it is not em pty it is necessarily full. then necessarily before coming into being it would have been nothing.fo r it has n o w h ere to m ove to if n oth in g is em pty. (Sim plicius. Commentary on the Physics 1 0 3 .15 ) A ll the surviving fragments o f Melissus’ deduction are preserved by Simplicius. it is fu ll. Now i f it had been nothing it would in no way have come to be anything from being nothing. N o r can it contract into itself. O n e sh ou ld ju d g e w h eth er w hat exists is fu ll o r not by seeing w h eth er o r not it accom m odates an y th in g else: if it does not. Melissus show ed the u n gen erability o f w hat exists. So what exists does not m ove . it is not fu ll. w hat is rare is th ereb y em p tier than w hat is dense . i f it does. u sin g this com m on axiom [i. and w hat is n o th in g can n ot exist. fo r what is em pty is n othin g. and i f so it can n ot m ove not because it is not possible to m ove th ro u g h w h at is fu ll. it always existed and always will exist. n o th in g that exists is em p ty. as we say in the case o f bodies.13 -10 4 . and that is im possible. the axiom that n o th in g com es into bein g from nothing]. [30 в i ] (ibid 162 . For in that case it w ould be both ra rer and d en ser than itself. A g ain . For i f it came into being it would have a beginning (for it would at some time have begun coming into being) and an end (for it would at some time have ceased coming into being). H e writes as follows: Whatever existed always existed and always will exist. bu t because the w h ole o f what exists can m ove neith er into the existen t (fo r th ere exists n o th in g a p art from it) n o r into the non -existen t (fo r the non-existent does not exist). and it has no beginning and no end but is infinite.MELISSUS will not ch ange. R ather.2 3 -2 6 ) Melissus puts the point as follows: Now since it did not come into being but exists. For i f it had come into being. A nd i f i f neither began nor ended and always existed and always will 45 .e.bu t w hat is em p ty does not exist.

e. [в 5] (Sim plicius. Per­ haps that is w hy A ristotle said that. Melissus says: 146 . For what does not exist wholly cannot exist always. Simplicius reports the inference to uniqueness in Melissus’ own words: A n d i f M elissus entitled his w ork On Nature or on What Exists. F or given that w hat is perceptible plainly seem s to exist. Ju st as he asserts that w hat has com e into b ein g is finite in its bein g. percep tible objects. but being one it must fa il to possess a body. For he has indicated that he m eans w hat exists to be incorporeal in saying: Now i f it exists. it lias no beginning and no end.6 ) Elsewhere. so in magnitude too it must always be infinite. Commentary on the Physics 10 9 . [в 2] . i. by m agn itu de he m eans the em inen ce o f its reality. to be the things that exist.19 -110 . in d eclarin g w hat exists to be one. it must be one. . H e has m ad e this clear w hen he writes: But just as it exists always. by way o f the notion that i f it w ere not on e it w ould be lim ited against som ethin g else. [ b i o ] R ather. fo r he him self shows that what exists is indivisible: I f what exists has been divided. so h e says that w hat always exists is infinite in its being.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY exist. it is clear that he th o u g h t n atu re to be w hat exists and natural objects. From infinity he in ferred uniqueness. . [в 3] By m agn itu d e he does not m ean extension . h e su p p o sed that th ere was n o th in g else ap art from p ercep tible substances. [cf в 9] A n d he co-ordinates infinity in bein g with eternity when he says: Nothing which has a beginning and an end is either eternal or infinite. it is moving. but i f it is moving it does not exist. then i f w hat exists is u n iqu e th ere will not exist an yth in g else ap art fro m w hat is p erceptible. he says. [в 4] so that w hat does not have them is infinite.

it would not exist. how could anything which exists change its arrangement? For i f it altered in any way it would thereby also change its arrangement. for a thing that is in pain cannot exist always. N ow . then. and it would no longer be homo­ geneous. For the arrangement which previously existed is not destroyed nor does that which did not exist come into being. Nor does it move. A s for suffering anguish. nor does it have equal power with what is healthy. For i f it were in pain it would not exist wholly. Nor is it empty in any respect. M elissus says: In this way. [в 6] (Sim plicius. And since nothing is added or perishes or alters. Nor can it change in arrangement.MELISSUS For i f it is infinite it will be one. For i f it alters. For i f it underwent any o f these things it would no longer be one. and so. Now i f it were to become altered by a single hair in ten thousand years. necessarily what exists will not be homogeneous but what previously existed will perish and what did not exist will come into being. For i f it is two. Nor does it suffer pain. For what is empty is nothing. fo r the health that existed would perish and that which did not exist would come into being. but since it is not empty it has nowhere to retreat.1 7 ) B u t since M elissus w rote in an archaic style b u t n o t unclearly. being nothing. co n clu d in g his earlier rem arks and in tro d u cin g his treatm ent o f ch an ge. but they will have limits against one another. And it will not be dense and 47 . For it has no way to retreat but is fu ll. Nor would it be homo­ geneous were it to suffer pain. And it will neither perish nor grow larger nor change its arrangement nor suffer pain nor suffer anguish.1 0 . for it would suffer pain by the loss or the addition o f something. it is eternal and infinite and one and wholly homogeneous. the same argument holds as fo r being in pain. Commentary on On the Heavens 5 5 7 . let us set d ow n those archaic sentences them selves so that those w ho read them m ay m ore accu rately ju d g e a m o n g the m ore ap p rop riate interpretation s. Nor could what is healthy suffer pain. they cannot be infi­ nite. it would perish wholly in the whole o f time. For i f it were empty it would retreat into the empty part.

b ein g indivisible. For what is rare cannot be as fu ll as what is dense. and what is soft hardr and living things seem to die and to come into being from what is not alive. he continues: Now this argument is the greatest sign that there existsjust one thing. it must fail to possess a body. Now necessarily it is fu ll i f it is not empty.1 1 2 . and M elissus says: Being one.1 5 ) T h e ir u niqu e existen t. but each must always beju st what it is. M elissus.4 -7 ) The fin al fragment shows that Melissus’ book contained a critical as well as a constructive section. gave a clea rer account [than Parm enides] o f his ow n view s on [perceptible objects]. both im plicitly th ro u g h o u t his a rg u m e n t an d explicitly in the fo llo w in g passage. For Parm enides places bodies a m o n g th e objects o f op in ion . then each o f them must be such as it seemed to us at first. But i f it had bulk it would have parts and would no longer be one. You should distinguish between what is fu ll and what is not fu ll in this way: i f it yields at all or receives. and what is hard soft. [cf в g] (ibid 8 7 . but there are also the following signs.i f these things exist and we see and hear correctly. (Sim plicius. and what is cold hot. I f there existed many things. But what is hot seems to us to become cold. So i f it is fu ll it does not move. and 148 . H avin g said abo u t w hat exists that it is one an d u n g en era ted and m otionless an d in terru p ted by no em pti­ ness but is w holly fu ll o f itself. inasm uch as he w rote in prose. i f it neither yields nor receives. will not be finite o r infinite in the way bodies are. Commentary on the Physics 1 1 1 .1 5 . and they cannot change or come to be different. but what is rare thereby becomes emptier than what is dense. and all these things seem to change. they would have to be such as 1 say the one thing is. it is fu ll.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY rare. [в 7] T h a t is w hat M elissus says. But now we are saying that we see and hear and understand correctly. For i f there exist earth and water and air and fire and iron and gold and living things and dead and black and white and the other things that men say are true . it is not fu ll.

and earth and stones seem to come into being from water. A nd i f they changed. 49 . which is hard. then. [[So that it results that we neither see nor know the things that exist.MELISSUS whatever was and is now seems to be in no way homogeneous. and so are gold and stones and anything else that seems to be strong.13 ) * T he sentence enclosed in double square brackets appears here in our manuscripts o f Simplicius. what exists would have perished and what does not exist would have come into being. they must be such as the one thing is. but iron. but each would be as it seemed to be. So it is clear that we do not see correctly. In this way. is rubbed away by contact with the fingers. [в 8] Melissus thus clearly explain s why they [i. For they would not change i f they were true. Commentary on On the Heavens 5 5 8 . and that those many things do not correctly seem to exist. but it is clearly out o f place and should probably be deleted. For we said that there are many eternal things with forms and strength o f their own. i f there exist many things. (Sim plicius. fo r nothing is stronger than what is true. but they all seem to us to alter and to change from what they were each time they were seen.]]* Now these things do not agree with one another.e.17 —5 5 9 . Parm enides and Melissus] say that perceptible objects d o not exist bu t seem to exist.

Z en o was then nearly fo rty. h e asked Z en o to read again th e first hypothesis o f the first argu m en t. W h en Socrates had h eard him o u t. eager to h ear Z en o ’s w ritings . He was a friend. o utsid e the city wall in the C eram icus.he was about sixtyfive years old . w hile Parm enides h ap p en ed to be o ut. Z en o h im self read to them .alth ough P yth o do rus h im self had actually h eard Z en o b efore. and in some sense a disciple. P yth o d o ru s said. T h e r e Socrates a n d a few o th ers visited them . W h en it had b een read he said: ‘Z en o . w hen he h im self cam e back and with him P arm enid es an d A risto d e (who becam e o n e o f the thirty tyrants). Socrates was then very youn g. th en they m ust be both 150 .fo r this was the first tim e they had been b ro u g h t by them to A th en s. tall and pleasing to look at — he was said to have been P arm en id es’ lover. We know nothing about his life and a precise chronology escapes us.11 ZENO Zeno came from Elea. T h e r e was o n ly ve ry little o f th e a rg u m e n t still left to be read . P arm enid es was a lread y a very old m an. A cco rd in g to A n tip h o n . so they h ea rd ju s t a little o f th e w ritings . T h e y w ere stayin g with P yth odorus. Plato tells a story o f an encounter between Zeno and Socrates: although the reliability o f the narrative is a matter o f dispute. P yth o do rus said that Z en o and Par­ m enides o n ce cam e [to A th ens] fo r the festival o f the G reat P an athen aea. w hat d o you m ean? A r e you saying th at i f m ore things than o n e exist. o f Parmenides. w hite­ h aired bu t o f d istin gu ish ed ap p ea ra n ce . the passage is worth quoting at length.

Is this w hat y o u r a rg u m en ts a re aim in g a t . ‘So that if it is im possible fo r dissim ilar th in gs to be sim ilar and sim ilar things dissim ilar. F or i f several things d id exist.fo r dissim ilar things cann ot be sim ilar o r sim ilar thin gs dissim ilar?’ ‘Y es. so that you suppose y o u rse lf to p ro v id e as m any pieces o f evid en ce as you have com posed argu m en ts to show that th ere d o not exist several things? Is th at w hat you m ean.1 did not w rite with the intention you d escribe o n ly to hide the fact from p eo p le. alth o ugh by ch a n g in g it he is try in g to m islead us into th in kin g that he is saying so m eth in g d iffe re n t.’ said Socrates.so m eth in g which seem s to be above the heads o f the rest o f u s. first. you are goo d at chasin g an d trackin g d ow n w hat I h ave said. bu t that is im possible . Socrates.’ said Zen o. it can n ot be th at m ore things than on e exist. ‘you h ave g rasp ed p erfectly th e o verall aim o f the b ook.’ said Zeno. ‘that Z en o h ere wants to be associated with you not only by his love fo r you b u t also by his treatise. you h aven ’t seen that m y book isn’t really so very co n ­ ceited . that th ere d o not exist m ore thin gs than one? A n d d o you take each o f you r argu m en ts to be evid en ce fo r that very conclu sion. F or he has in a way w ritten the sam e th in g as you . O n e o f you says that o n e th in g exists. as th ou gh that w ere a g rea t ach ieve­ m ent. th e o th er that th ere d o not exist several things. P arm enid es. a n d each o f you expresses h im self in such a way that you seem n o t to be sayin g th e sam e thin gs at all even th ou gh you are sayin g pretty well the sam e th in gs . th ey w ou ld have im possible p rop erties. But.’ ‘ I see. Y o u have m ention ed an accidental fea tu re o f the book: in truth it is a sort o f d efen ce o f P arm enid es’ argu m en ts against those w h o try to rid icu le him on the g ro u n d s that i f th ere exists . ‘but you h a ven ’t alto geth er grasp ed the tru th ab o u t m y book.ZENO sim ilar and dissim ilar. L ik e a Spartan h o u n d . and he too p rod u ces m any im pressive pieces o f evid en ce. an d you p ro d u ce excellen t evid en ce fo r that view.’ ‘Y es.’ said Zeno. H e says that th ere d o not exist several things. You say in y o u r poem s that the u niverse is o n e.a t contesting. against ev ery th in g that p eo p le say. o r have I m isu nd erstood you?’ ‘N o .

because each percep tible item is called m any th in gs both by way o f pred ication and by b ein g divisible into parts. and Simplicius’ citations o f Zeno occur in his survey o f their dispute. aim in g to show that th eir hypothesis. T h e y re p o rt that Z en o said that he w ou ld be able to talk about w hat exists i f only so m eo n e w ould exp lain to him w hat on earth th e on e was. leads to even m ore ridiculous results.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY o n ly o n e th in g then the a rg u m e n t leads to m any absurd and co n trad ictory conclusions. the argument that 'everything is one’ and the argument f‘ rom dichotomy’. . Parmenides 127A-1 28 d) Zeno's treatise consisted o f a series o f arguments designed to show that the common sense 'hypothesis' that there are several things in existence leads to absurdity. it seem s. is Z en o ’s and that he claim s that if w hat exists has m agni­ tu d e and is d ivid ed . Later sources say that there were forty arguments in all. w hereas points a re n o th in g at >52 . .’ (Plato. A le x a n d e r seem s to have taken his o p in ion that Z en o d oes aw ay with the one fro m E u d em u s’ w ritings. A le x a n d e r says that the second a rg u m en t. than the hypothesis that only on e th in g exists. Simplicius is discussing a passage where Aristotle refers to two arguments. There are substantial fragments o f two o f those arguments. A fte r it was w ritten som eone stole it. Aristotle provides a critical paraphrase o f fou r more o f thejn. from the d icho­ tom y. The fragments are all preserved in Simplicius’ commentary on the Physics. M y book attacks those w ho say that several things exist. thus p ro v in g that the o n e does not exist . so that I co u ld not even co n sid er w h eth er it shou ld be b ro u g h t out into the ligh t o r not. It was with that sort o f am bition that I w rote it w hen I was yo u n g. The passage was understood in different ways by Aristotle’s commentators. that several things exist. then it will be m any and no lon ger one. and we possess accounts o f a further two. H e was p u zzled . For in his Physics E u dem u s says: T h e n d oes this n o t exist a lth o u g h som e o n e th in g does exist? T h a t was the p u zzle. if you exam in e it p ro p erly .

let it have been cu t in tw o . For w ere it divisible. For. he says. H e writes as follows: Parm enides had a n o th e r a rg u m en t. And i f when it is subtracted the other thing is no smaller — and will not increase when it is added again — then clearly what was added and subtracted was nothing. he shows in each case that a n yon e w ho says that several things exist falls into inconsistencies. so sm all as to have no m agn itu d e at all. no m ass. the o n e based on d ich otom y. because o f infinite divisibility. i f it were added to anything else. Thus what is added will therefore be nothing.so larg e as to be infinite in m agnitu de. [the other thing] cannot increase at all in magnitude.’ he says. does not even exist. partless and indivisible. ‘it w ould not strictly sp eak in g be o n e because o f the infinite divisibility o f bodies. and no bulk. th ere is alw ays so m eth in g in fro n t o f w hatever is taken. For i f it is o f no magnitude but is added. m oreo ver. ‘fo r if it w ere d ivid ed . he says. (T hem istius actually says that Z en o ’s a rg u m e n t establishes that w hat exists is o n e from the fact that it is continu ous and indivisible. T h e r e is on e a rg u m en t in w hich he show s that i f several things exist they are both large and sm all . A n d he shows this h avin g first show n that they possess no m agn itu d e from the fact that each o f the sev­ eral things is the sam e as itself and o n e.’ B u t Z en o seem s rath er to say that there d o not exist several things. [29 в 2] Zeno says this not to d o away with the o n e but in o rd e r to show that the several things each possess a m agn itu d e — a m agn itu d e which is actually infinite by virtu e o f th e fact that.) P orp h yry holds that the a rg u m e n t fro m d ich otom y belonged to Parm enides w ho a ttem pted to show by it that w hat exists is one. N ow it is indeed likely that Z en o a rg u ed on both sides by way o f intellectual exercise (that is why he is called ‘tw o -to n g u ed ’) and that he actually published argu m en ts o f this sort to raise puzzles a bout the one. it would not make it larger.and »53 .ZENO all (fo r he th o u g h t that w hat n eith er increases w hen a d d ed nor d ecreases w hen subtracted was not an existen t thing). which contains m any argum ents. w hich p u rp o rts to show that w hat exists is o n e th in g only and. B u t in his treatise. H ere he shows that w hat has no m agn itu de.

Z en o writes in the fo llo w in g w ords: I f several things exist. they will be finite. that e ith er som e final m agnitudes will rem ain w hich a re m inim al and atom ic and infinite in num ­ ber. B u t these consequences a re absurd. and i f it is constituted at all. . But i f they are as many as they are. as A le x ­ a n d er thinks. And in this way the things that exist are infinite. T h e r e fo r e it will not be d ivided but will rem ain one. he says. A n d why say m ore w hen it is actually fo u n d in Z en o ’s ow n treatise? For. the things that exist are infinite. T h e n let it have been d ivided everyw h ere. he proved that earlier in the sam e arg u m en t. show ing that i f several things exist the sam e things are finite and infinite. again. it is clear. A s fo r infinity in m agn itu de. F or n oth in g o f the sort is stated in the Parm enidean w ritings. it will not yet have been d ivid ed everyw h ere. [в 3] A n d in this way he has p roved infinity in quantity from the d ich otom y. it will again be constituted from noth ing.indeed it is m ention ed as Z en o ’s in A ris­ totle’s w o rk On Motion [i. but it is w orth asking w h eth er the a rg u m e n t is really P arm enid es’ rath er than Z en o ’s.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY then each o f its parts in two. and not divisible in o n e place and not in an oth er. P o rp h yry is righ t h ere to r e fe r to th e a rg u m en t from d icho­ tom y as in trod u cin g the indivisible o n e by way o f the absurdity co nsequ ent u pon division. I f several things exist. he says. A g a in . F or i f an yth in g rem ains. that n o th in g will rem ain bu t that it will d isap pear. and m ost scholars ascribe the a rg u m en t from d ich otom y to Zen o . it is necessary fo r them to be as many as they are. and so be constituted from nothing. F or h avin g first p ro ved that i f what exists had n o m agn itu d e it w ould not even exist. so that the whole thing will be constituted from infin­ itely m any minima. Since this goes on fo r ever.e. Physics аздЬд]. o r else it will disappear and be dissolved into n othin g. and neither more norfewer. since it is e v eryw h ere alike. . It is clear. if it is really divisible it will be divisible e v eryw h ere alike. that what exists will be indivisible and partless and o n e . he continues: 154 . T h u s from these considerations too it is evid en t. and again others between them. For there are always others between the things that exist.

so large as to be infinite. T h e second is the so-called A chilles. For it will have no last part o f such a sort that there is no longer one part in front o f another. he says. bu t it d iffe rs in that the additional m agnitu des a re n o t d ivid ed in half.ZENO But i f it exists. and a part o f it will protrude. And the same argument applies to the protruding part. N ow it follows from the a rg u m en t that the slow er is n o t cau gh t.n o r is any o th er m agn itu de. Now it is all one to say this once and to say it fo r ever. [в l ] Perhaps.1 8 -1 4 1 .2 9 -14 0 . W e have discussed this earlier. the a rg u m e n t from d ich otom y is Z e n o ’s. then the travellin g arrow is m otionless. Zen o’s argu m en ts ab o u t m otion w hich p ro v id e tro u ble fo r those who try to resolve them a re fo u r in n u m ber. T h is is the sam e a rg u m e n t as the d ich oto m y. 1 4 0 . T h is m aintains that the slowest th in g will n ever be ca u gh t w hen ru n n in g by the fastest. The account is concise. F or if. T h e first m aintains that n o th in g m oves because w hat is travelling m ust first reach the half-w ay point b efo re it reaches the end. For that too will have a magnitude. T h a t is false. F or the p u rsu er m ust first reach the p o in t fro m w hich the pu rsu ed set out. Zeno argu es fallaciously. as A lex a n d e r holds. (Sim plicius. Commentary on the Physics 13 8 .1 1 ) Aristotle discusses fou r o f Zeno’s arguments in the Physics. In this way i f there exist several things it is necessary fo r them to be both small and large — so small as not to have a magnitude. e v ery th in g is alw ays at rest w hen it is in a space equal to itself .6 . then. and fo r one part o f it to be at a distance from the other. an d i f w hat is travel­ ling is always in such a space at any instant. so that th e slow er m ust alw ays be ah ead o f it. it is necessary fo r each thing to have some hulk and magnitude. and the text in crucial places is uncertain. fo r tim e is n o t co m posed o f indivisible instants . and the sam e e rro r is com m itted as in the d ich oto m y (in both 155 . b u t he is not d o in g away with th e o n e but rather with the m any (by show in g that those w ho h ypoth esize them are com m itted to inconsistencies) and is thus co n firm in g Parm enides’ a rg u m e n t that w hat exists is one. 13 8 .3 -6 .

travel fo r an equal length o f tim e.because both a re alo n g­ side the a s fo r an equ al tim e. H e thinks it follow s that h a lf the tim e is equal to its d ou b le. and they m ove at equal speed. Physics 2 3 ^ 5 -2 4 0 8 18 ) 156 . H en ce the tim e is h a lf — fo r each o f the two is alo n gsid e each fo r an equ al tim e. the o th er from the m iddle. to the e ffe ct that the travelling arrow stands still.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY argu m en ts it follow s that you d o not reach the en d i f the m agni­ tu d e is d ivided in a certain way . equ al in n u m b er and in m agn itu d e to them . but nonetheless it is ca u gh t (provid ed you g ra n t that th ey can co ver a finite distance). then. F or ex a m p le. the o n e g ro u p starts from the en d o f the stadium . fo r the first с and the first в will be at o p p o site en d s at the sam e tim e (being.but h ere th ere is the additional point that not even the fastest ru n n er in fiction will reach his goal w hen he p u rsu es the slowest). It follow s that. T h o se . T h e fo u rth is the a rg u m en t about the bodies m ovin g in the stadium fro m o pposite d irections. A n d it follow s that the с has travelled past all o f them but the в past h a lf o f them . T h e fallacy consists in claim in g that equal m agnitudes m ovin g at equal speeds. and it rests u p on the falsity w e have m ention ed. a lo n gsid e each o f the b s fo r a tim e equ al to that fo r which it is alon gsid e each o f th e a s ) . T h a t is th e a rg u m en t. the o n e past a m ovin g object and the o th er past a stationary object. (A risto d e. T h e third is the on e we have ju s t stated. as they m ove past on e anoth er. let the stationary equ al bodies be a a . equ al in n u m b er and in m agn itu d e to them and equal in sp eed to the b s . It d ep en d s on the assum ption that tim e is com ­ posed o f instants. a n d let c c be those b eg in n in g from the en d . are two o f the argu m ents. as he says. A t the sam e tim e it follows that the first в has travelled past all the cs. the first в and the first с a re at the en d at the sam e tim e. fo r if that is not g ra n ted the in fere n ce will not go th ro u gh . A n d it is false to claim that the o n e ahead is not cau gh t: it is not ca u gh t while it is ahead. an equal n u m b er past an equal nu m ber. B u t this is false. let в в be those b eg in n in g fro m the m idd le. hen ce the solution must also be the sam e.

and that the infinite things are touched at infinitely not at finitely m any instants. Physics 2 io b 2 2 -2 5 ) Z en o’s a rg u m en t seem ed to d o aw ay with th e existen ce o f place. but it is possible so to touch things infinite by division. It was p ro p o u n d ed as follow s: I f places exist.ZENO Aristotle refers back to his earlier discussion o f thefirst o f Zeno’s argu­ ments: Zen o’s a rg u m en t assum es that it is im possible to traverse an infinite nu m ber o f things. o r to touch an infinite n u m b er o f things individually. th ey will be in som ething. N ow it is not possible to touch a quantitatively infinite nu m ber o f things in a finite tim e. Diogenes Laertius purports to quote a sentence o f Zeno’s. B u t . H ence it follow s that w hat is infinite is traversed in an infinite and not in a finite tim e. F or tim e itself is infinite in this way. B u t this is false. in a finite tim e.and indeed all continua — are said to be infinite in two ways: e ith er by division o r in respect o f th eir extrem ities. fo r e v ery th in g that exists is in som ethin g. but most scholars doubt his evidence: Zeno does away with m otion by saying: What is moving is moving neither in the place in which it is nor in the place in which it is not. (A ristotle. [в 4] (D iogenes L aertius. F or n o th in g preven ts the prim ary place o f a th in g fro m bein g in so m eth in g else . Zeno’s puzzle . (ibid 2 3 3 8 2 1-3 1) Later authors add nothing to Aristotle’s account o f these paradoxes. F or both lengths and lim es .but not in it as in a place.is not d ifficu lt to resolve. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 72) Two further Zenonian arguments are referred to by Aristotle and explained in more detail by Simplicius: It is clear that n o th in g can be in itself as its p rim ary place.that if places exist then they will be in som e­ th in g .

in any length o f tim e. For h e claim s that ev ery th in g that exists is som ew here. P rotagoras.’ said Zeno. (Sim plicius. ‘will there not be similar ratios between the sounds? For as are the sound­ ers so are the sounds. ‘does o n e m illet-seed .o r th e ten-th ou ssnd th p art o f a single seed?’ H e a greed . (Sim plicius. Z en o said: ‘W ell. A n d if that is the case. fo r n o th in g prevents it from having no effect at all. ‘W ell. 5 6 3 .o r the ten-thousan dth p art o f a seed . ‘ B u t. th en .is false. Physics 250319-22) H av in g ssid that if the w hole fo rce m oved the w hole w eight a certain distance in a certain tim e it does not thereby follow that h a lf the fo rce will in the sam e tim e m ove the w hole w eight h a lf — o r any part — o f the distance (nor will every part o f the fo rce w hich m oved the w hole w eight be capable o f m oving the w hole w eigh t fo r a given tim e and o v e r a given distance). . w h ere will they be? S u rely in a n o th er place . then if the bushel o f m illet-seed m akes a sou n d . then.and the tenth ou san dth p art o f a sin gle seed . B ut if places are a m o n g the things that exist.3 -6 .’ he said.that any part o f a m illet-seed m akes a sound . isn’t th ere а ratio betw een the bushel o f m illet-seed 3nd th e sin gle seed . on th e air which the w hole bushel sets in m otion.will also m ake a so u n d .17-2 0 ) Z en o ’s a rg u m e n t . Commentary on the Physics 5 6 2 . T h e r e fo r e places are in places — and so ad infinitum.’ he said. and so on.m ake a sound w hen it falls?’ P rotagoras said that it did not.14 —28) 158 . [A ristotle] thus solves the problem w hich Z en o o f Elea pu t to P rotagoras the sophist.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY w hat is in so m eth in g is in a place. Commentary on the Physics 110 8 .and that in an other. . ‘d oes a bushel o f m illet-seed m ake a sound when it falls o r not?’ W hen he replied that a bushel does m ake a sound.’ T h a t was Z en o ’s argu m en t. ‘T e ll m e. E u dem u s relates Z en o ’s view as follows: Z en o ’s p u zzle seem s to lead to the sam e conclusion. the single seed . T h e r e fo r e places d o not exist . (A ristotle.

PART III .

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I should stress that many o f the ascriptions implicit in the following pages are highly uncertain. a cco rd in g to A ristip p u s an d Satyrus. His dates are uncertain. He was apparently a person o f some political importance (the trad­ ition makes him a keen democrat). since the vari­ ous figures cited by our sources do not tally with one another. was [E m p ed o ­ cles’] lover. all o f them in verse. some o f them quite leng­ thy. He wrote several works. Questions o f ascription and arrangement have greatly exercised scholars. Numerous fragments o f these works survive. o f which the most important were later entitled O n N atu re and Purifications. thus: 161 . to w hom he ad d ressed On Nature. Aristotle allegedly said that he died at the age o f sixty: the remainder o f our evidence suggests that the period from about 495 в с to about 4 35 may be roughly right fo r his life-span. but little progress has been achieved.12 EMPEDOCLES Empedocles came from Acragas in Sicily. I shall translate first the passages which certainly or probably or perhaps come from O n N atu re. His family was rich and distinguished — his grandfather won a victory in the horse-racing at the Olympic Games o f 496 вс. and then the passages which certainly or probably or perhaps come from the Purifications. and in addition he may have worked as a doctor. On Nature The dedication and perhaps thefirst line o/O n N a tu re are preserved: Pausanias. but the sources rarely ascribe them to one poem rather than the other and rarely indicate the order in which they appeared within their original poem.

and you will gain many others from them. And you will stop the power o f the tireless winds which sweep over the earth and destroy the crops with their breath. 162 . Lives o f the Philosophers V I II 60) Empedocles promised Pausanias remarkable powers. since for you alone shall I accomplish all this. . and urged him to guard his knowledge carefully: A cco rd in g to Satyrus. son o f wise Anchitus. H e writes: For i f you press them into your throbbing mind and watch over them in kindly fashion with pure attentions. you will bring on compensating breezes. and again. and Em pedocles h im self p rofesses as m uch . for they themselves will increase each into its character as is the nature o f each. But should you reach out fo r things o f a different kind which among men are numberless and trifling and blunt their thoughts. And after black rain you will produce a seasonable drought fo r men.and m uch else beside . . . and after the summer drought you will produce tree-nurturing streams which live in the ether.EARLY GREEK P H IL O S O P H Y Pausanias. [в i n ] ‘ (ibid V III 59) . i f you wish. they will leave you at once as time revolves. G orgias says that he h im self was present w hen E m ped ocles p erfo rm ed m agical d eed s. Such acco rd in g to E m ped ocles is th e generation and destruction o f o u r w orld an d its com position fro m g oo d and evil. . listen . A nd you will lead from Hades the power o f dead men. [31 в 1] (D iogenes L aertius. H e says that th ere is also a third intelligible pow er which again can be m ade fro m these.in his poem s w h ere he says: What drugs there are for ills and what help against old age you will learn. these will indeed all remain with you throughout your life.

swift to die. [в 2. Table Talk 728E) Empedocles’ superior understanding depended on a proper appreci­ ation o f the sources o f human knowledge: A s fo r the view that the discern m en t o f truth does n o t lie with the senses. [в 2. [в 1 10] (H ippolytus. (Plutarch. Having seen a small part o f life. 163 . in P ythagorean fashion. for know that they all have thought and a share o f mind. Who then claims to fin d the whole? These things are not in this way to be seen by men nor to be heard nor to be grasped in their minds. and there are many wretched impediments which blunt the thought.1—8] A s fo r the view that truth is not co m p letely u nattainable but can be grasped in sofar as hum an reason reaches it. turn the madness o f these men from my tongue. to guard his doctrines within a silent mind [в 5]. and from holy mouths channel forth a pure spring. will learn no more than mortal mind attains to. since you have come here. and in gen eral. For he says: But. white-armed maiden. those m en think that silence is divine.EMPEDOCLES desiring to come to their own dear kind. [Em pedocles] writes as follows: For narrow are the devices dispersed over the limbs.8—9] In the follow in g lines he attacks those w h o p reten d to know m ore and establishes that w hat is g rasp ed th ro u g h each sense is trustw orthy p ro v id ed that reason is in ch a rg e o f it (even th ou gh he had earlier ru n dow n the reliability o f the senses). Muse o f long memory. he m akes this clear when he continues the lines ju s t q u oted : So you. persuaded only o f what each has met with as they are driven in every direction. And you. 0 gods. Refutation o f A ll Heresies V I I x x ix 2 5 -2 6 ) [Em pedocles] advises Pausanias. men rise and fly away like smoke.

She will not compel you to accept the flowers o f reputation and honour from mortals on condition that you say more than is holy with temerity. must learn.2) F or m ost p eo p le req u ire p r o o f as a p led g e o f the tru th . custom arily w ant to have p o w er o v e r the tru th by d istru stin g it. Miscellanies V xii 81. [в 133] (C lem ent. says E m pedocles. then. [в 41 ‘ For evil m en. wretched he whose beliefs about the gods are dark. But come. by which the greatest path to persuasion leads to the minds o f men. [в 132] (ibid V xiv 140. Against the Mathematicians V II 12 2 -12 5 ) F or the divine. send to me. nor let any o f the other limbs by which thought has a way be deprived o f trust. is he who has gained the wealth o f divine thoughts. A nd then indeed do you sit on the summit o f wisdom. as the assurances from our Muse enjoin. driving the well-reined chariot o f piety. it seem s. you. (ibid V iii 18. observe with every device in the way in which each thing is clear: neither hold sight higher in trust than hearing or resounding hearing above the clarities o f the tongue. a cco rd in g to E m pedocles.EA RL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y I beseech: what it is right for mortals to hear. but think in the way in which each thing is clear. not bein g satisfied with the bare security w hich com es from faith: But whereas those who are very evil when in power have no trust. once you have sifted the argument in your breast.5) With the invocation to the M use in fragment в 3 compare: 164 .3-4) Happy. [в 3] (Sextus Em piricus. cannot be approached by the eyes o f men or grasped by their hands. as the p oet from A cragas says.

cyclical history o f the universe. lest. as I reveal a good account about the blessed gods. H e says: For it is fine to speak twice o f what one should. The primary moving factors are two powers. [в 24] let m e b rin g my in trod u cto ry rem arks to th eir a p p ro p ria te end. Empedocles’ poem contained repetitions and reprises. Everything is compounded from four elements or ‘roots’. On the Decline o f Oracles 4 1 8c) ‘T w ice and thrice fo r the fin e’: a p roverb. in these lines: I f ever fo r the sake o f some creature o f a day. and Empedocles himself avows it: But. Refutation o f A ll Heresies V I I x x x i 4) O n N atu re described a complex.EMPEDOCLES T h e ju s t account which strives on the side o f Love is called the Muse by Em pedocles. The elements period­ ically unite into a divine and homogeneous Sphere. stand by me again. it pleased you that my cares should pass through your mind. Love and Strife. and the universe gradually returns to the state o f the Sphere. without beginning and without end. now. and he invokes h er to strive on his side. m ean in g that o n e should speak o ften about w hat is fine. [в 131] (H ippolytus. The Sphere then dissolves and the world is established in a series o f stages. ' (Plutarch. This is clear in the surviving fragments. I shall be th ou g h t to attach one heading to another and not complete a single path in my tales. The cosmic cycle rolls on repeatedly. Gorgias 498E) Two long extracts from Simplicius’ commentary on the Physics pro­ vide good accounts o f the general structure o f Empedocles’ cosmic history. [в 25] (Scholiast to Plato. as E m pedocles puts it. as I pray. History then reverses itself. T h e verse fro m which the p roverb com es is by E m pedocles. immortal Muse. Calliope. In the first book o f his Physics E m ped ocles talks about the o n e and the finitely m any and the p eriod ic creation and 165 .

At one time they grew to be one alone from being many. the other is nurtured and flies apart as they grow apart again. As I said before when I revealed the limits o f my words. but they hold different offices and each has its own character. double their passing away: one is bom and destroyed by the congregation o f everything. fo r learning enlarges the mind. to that extent they exist forever. unmoving in a circle. hear my words. to that extent they come into being and have no lasting life. and at another they grew apart again to be many from being one. balanced in every way. which does not deceive: these are all equal and o f the same age. And in addition to them nothing comes into being or ceases. But come. Double is the generation o f mortal things. calling her Joy by name and Aphrodite. but insofar as they never cease their continual change. now again all being carried apart by the hatred o f Strife.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY gen eration and destruction by association and dissociation in the follow ing way: I will tell a two-fold story. Her you must regard with your mind: do not sit staring with your eyes. whom no-one has seen whirling among them no mortal man. and Love among them. equal in length and breadth. and at another they grew apart again to be many from being one — fire and water and earth and the endless height o f air. now coming together by Love all into one. Listen to the course o f my argument. And these never cease their continual change. and cursed Strife apart from them. and in turn they come to power as time revolves. She is thought to be innate also in the limbs o f mortals. I will tell a two-fold story. 166 . < Thus insofar as they have learned to become one from many> and again become many as the one grows apart. At one time they grew to be one alone from being many. by whom they think thoughts o f love and perform deeds o f union.

consider these witnesses to my former words. when they decorate offerings — 167 . but in Love they come together and are desired by one another. In Anger they have different forms and are all apart. and w ater Rain and Sea. since Strife too brings them into unity. air Brightness an d H eaven. [в 17] H ere h e says that that w hich com es fro m m any . For from these comes everything which was and which is and will be trees spring up. For these themselves exist.is one. i f anything I said before was incomplete in form: the sun.fro m th e fo u r elem ents . F o r that neith er o f these com pletely passes away.EMPEDOCLES For i f they were continually being destroyed. hot to see and radiant everywhere. dark and cold. T h is is w hat he says: But come. fo r the mixture interchanges them. long-lived and highest in honour. they would no longer exist. since nothing is empty o f them? But these themselves exist. [в 21] H e gave a clear illustration o f how d iffe r e n t things co m e fro m the sam e elem ents: Just as painters. and passing through one another they become different. and passing through one another they become different at different times — and are ever and always the same. the divine bodies flooded in heat and shining brightness. is show n by the fact that they a re all equ al and o f the sam e a g e and that n o th in g com es into bein g in add ition to them o r ceases. and from earth flow forth things firm and solid. T h e m an y from which the on e derives a re plu ral . an d h e shows that it exists som etim es w hen L ove is d om in an t and som etim es w hen S trife is. H aving m entioned the m any o th er things. And what could increase this universe? and whence might it come? And where indeed might it perish.fo r L ove is not the on e. callin g fire Su n . and men and women and beasts and birds and fish that live in the water and even gods. rain everywhere. he con tin u es by sketching the ch aracter o f each o f them .

[в 26. those that are more ready to blend are made similar by Aphrodite and love one another. [в 23] H e considers these m any things. to that extent they exist forever. o n e con ­ tain in g thin gs as parad igm s an d the o th e r as copies. and not ju s t L ove and Strife.o n e intelligible and the o th e r p erceptible. In the same way. having heard the tale from a god. But know this clearly. o n e d ivin e and the o th e r m ortal. to be in the gen erated w o rld . harmoniously mixing them. In the fo llo w in g verses too you m igh t thin k he is hint­ in g at a d o u b le w orld: For they are all in union with their own parts — Sun and Earth and Heaven and Sea — which have been separatedfrom them and grown in mortal things. as is clear w hen he says that trees and m en an d w om en an d beasts have com e into bein g from them . He show ed this w hen he said that not o n ly gen erated and perish ­ able th in gs are co m posed o f these bu t so too a re the gods (unless this sh ou ld be ex p lain ed in term s o f E m pedoclean usage). as he show s when he says: In turn they come to power as the circle revolves. creating trees and men and women and beasts and birds and fish that live in the sea and even gods. and they decline into one another and increase in their allotted turn.12 — »3] H e also hints at a d o u b le w orld . 168 . But most hostile are the things which differ most from one another in birth and blending and moulded shape. unmoving in a circle. some more some less. A n d th ey ch a n g e into o n e an o th er. [в 17 . long-lived and highest in honour: so let not deceit persuade your mind that there is any other source fo r the countless mortal things we see. make from them shapes resembling all things. and.1—2] H e indicates that even w hat com es into bein g and is destroyed possesses im m ortality by way o f succession w hen he says: But insofar as they never cease their continual change.EARLY CREEK PH ILOSOPHY men well taught by skill in their art — take the many-coloured pigments in their hands.

But in fact he gives both o f them th eir a p p ro p riate fu n ction s everyw h ere.5] A n d even i f this happens everyw h ere. includin g the fo llo w in g verses: Earth. (Sim plicius. as we can see from his w ords in th e Physics. anchored in the perfect harbours o f Aphrodite. either a little more earth or less where they were more. air E ther.3] and allotted con gregatio n and flyin g apart. [в 98] B e fo re these lines he refers in o thers to the activity o f both [Love and Strife] in the sam e things. as is show n by the first pass­ age I set dow n: At one time they grew to be one alone from being many. Commentary on the Physics 15 7 . strife-born an d u naccustom ed to union with o n e another. [в 22. happened together with Hephaestus and Rain and shining Ether. roughly equal to them. H e calls fire H eph aestu s and Su n and Flam e. H e also su pposed that gen eration takes place in virtu e o f som e association and dissociation. nevertheless in­ telligible things are m ad e sim ilar by L ove w hereas p e rce p ­ tible things are o verp o w ered by S trife and torn fu rth e r ap art and in the blen d in g o f th eir birth they subsist in sh apes w hich are m oulded and copied .2 0 ) Most think that a cco rd in g to E m ped ocles L o v e a lo n e m ad e the intelligible w orld and S trife alon e the p ercep tib le w orld.EMPEDOCLES quite unaccustomed to come together and deeply dismal *at their strife-birth because they were bom in anger * [в 22] H e shows that they a re h arm on ized even in m ortal things.1 —2] See also his rem ark to the e ffe ct that g en eratio n and d estru c­ tion are nothing but there is only mixing and interchange o f what is mixed [в 8. w h ere he says that A p h ro d ite o r L o v e is a cause o f th e creative co m p o ­ sition o f this w orld too. and at another they grew apart again to be many from being one. as follows: 169 . H e says this in m an y places. And from them came blood and different forms o f flesh. w ater Rain. [в 1 7 .2 5 -1 6 1 . but in the intelligible w orld th ey a re m ore u nited and are made similar by Aphrodite and love one another.

innumerable types o f mortal things pour forth. but coming together at willfrom different directions. T h e lines a re these: The sun. not suddenly.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY When Strife reached the lowest depth o f the vortex. For from these comes everything which was and which is and will be trees sprang up.in all o f them . long-lived and highest in honour. but in Love they come together and are desired by one another. 170 . dark and cold. As they mingle.3 -12 ] A little fu rth e r o n h e says: In turn they come to power as the circle revolves. and men and women and beasts and birds and fish that live in the water. innumerable types o f mortal things pour forth. in the lines w h ere he gives the characteristics o f each o f the fo u r elem ents and o f S trife and L ove. still aloft. but parts o f it remain in the limbs. fo r not completely does it all yet stand out at the furthest limits o f the circle. hot to see and radiant everywhere. [в 2 1 . And at once become mortal those things which formerly learned to be immortal. he clearly refers to the m ixtu re o f both . interchanging their paths. flooded in heat and shining brightness. fitted with every sort o f shape. and even gods. in her all these things come together to be one thing only. a wonder to see. rain everywhere. and parts have stepped out. In Anger they have different forms and are all apart. so ever pursues the gentle. And as it ever runs out ahead. [в 35. immortal onrush o f complete Love.3—17] H ere he clearly says both that m ortal things w ere constructed by L ove and that S trife d id not yet all stand outside the areas w h ere L o v e pred om in ated . and mixed those which formerly were unmixed. A g a in . and from earth flow forth things firm and solid.o f S trife and o f L o v e . But many stand unmixed among them as they blend those which Strife holds. the divine bodies. and Love comes to be in the middle o f the whirl. As they mingle.

but insofar as they never cease their continual change. Certain lines in the passages show that Empedocles was aware o f the Parmenidean objections against generation and change. For these themselves exist. they are completely subdued. unmoving in a circle. and passing through one another they become men and the other kinds o f animals. as th ou gh he w ere talking to an u n lettered king. until. fastens n ext on E m pedocles: Another thing I will tell you: there is no birth fo r any mortal thing. Thus insofar as they have learned to become one from many and again become many as the one grows apart. But there is only mixing and interchange o f what is mixed but men name these things birth. Some further fragments have a Parmen­ idean background. h e rem oved 171 . now by Love coming together into one arrangement. Commentary on the Physics 3 1 . it bein g clear that at d iffe r ­ en t tim es and fo r d iffe r e n t p eriod s now S trife and now L ove dom inates. to that extent they come into being and have no lasting life.8) The remaining fragments can best be read as supplements to and expansions upon the texts quoted by Simplicius in these two passages. [в 26] T h u s both the o n e-from -m an y (which com es ab o u t because o f Love) and the m an y-fro m -o n e (which o ccu rs w hen S trife predom inates) a re located by him in this su blu n ary w orld too in w hich m ortal things a re fo u n d . (Sim plicius.3 1 —34. and that he hoped to have evaded them. Against Colotes 1 1 1 1 f ) [Em pedocles] was so fa r from u psettin g w hat exists and figh tin g against the ap pearan ces that h e d id not even banish the expressions fro m o rd in a ry lan gu age: rath er. now again each carried apart by the hatred o f Strife.EMPEDOCLES and they decline into one another and increase in their allotted turn. [в 8] (Plutarch. to that extent they exist forever. nor any cursed end in death. T h e n Colotes. having grown together as one.

rath er. n o r with destruction but only with co m p lete d estruction.e. as 1 said earlier. N ow I d o not think that E m ped ocles is here upsetting o u r m od e o f expression . but I myself also subscribe to the convention. and when they have separated off. H e shows this m ost clearly in the follow ing verses: Fools — they have no far-ranging thoughts: they suppose that what did not exist before comes into being or that something may die and perish entirely. [в 15] T h o se a re th e w ords not o f o n e w ho d enies that those w ho h ave b een bo rn and a re livin g exist. then people call this coming into being. but that before they were made men and after they are dissolved they are nothing. this they call wretched fate. bu t rath er o f on e who 172 . in these lines: When they come into the air mixed in the form o f a man or o f a kind o f wild beast or o f a plant or o f a bird. T h e r e E m p ed o­ cles says: No man wise in these things would suppose in his mind that while men live — what they call life — for so long do they exist and experience ill and good. [в 9] C o lotes h im self cites these lines but does not notice that E m pedocles did not d o away with m en and beasts and plants and birds. the fo llo w in g passage m ight lead you to accuse him o f excessive kindness. which som e call birth. w hich he says a re p ro d u ced as the elem ents mix. [в 11 ] T h e s e a re verses o f o n e w ho shouts alo u d to all w ho have ears that h e is not d o in g aw ay with co m in g into b ein g but only with co m in g into b ein g from w hat does not exist. They do not call things as they should. he is in substantial d isagreem en t o v e r g en eratio n from the non-existent. and h avin g pointed o u t th eir m istake to those w ho call this association and dissociation birth and wretchedfate and evil death [в 10]. destruction into w hat does not exist. he did not disallow the use o f the custom ary expressions fo r them . I f you wish som eth in g gen tler than that savagely sim ple d en u n ciation .E A RL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y the h arm fu l factual m isu n d erstan d in g w hich they cause and then restored them to cu rren t use. i.

[в 14] For what prevents them from bein g carried into o n e an o th e r’s places and fro m m ovin g rou n d sim ultaneously. On Melissus. nor yet overfull. o n e into the place o f an o th er. E m pedocles [derives everyth in g] fro m fo u r elem ents: Hear first the fou r roots o f all things: bright Zeus. even if it is quite im possible both fo r w hat d oes not exist to com e into bein g and fo r w hat exists to perish . and n o th in g is em pty . w ater. so as to be o n e. havin g adm itted all this nam ely that from what does not exist nothing can come into being. and fo r what exists to be destroyed is impossible and unaccomplishable — for it will always remain wherever anyone may fix it [в 12] . (Plutarch.he says: No part o f the universe is empty: whence. and so m eth in g else always ch a n g in g into that o f the first? (ibid 9 7 б Ь г з -з о ) The four 'roots’ or elements are described more than once. ([Aristotle]. air) while o th ers com e and have com e into b ein g from them . might anything come? [в 13] A n d when they have been associated to g eth er into a single form . Against Colotes 1 1 1 3 a d ] A gain . the o th er into that o f an o th er. Xenophanes. life-bringing Hera.EMPEDOCLES thinks that both those w ho have not yet been born and those who have alread y d ied exist. Gorgias 975336—b6) Sim ilarly. he says that in no respect is it empty. Aidoneus. then. 173 . earth. w hy sh ou ld not som e things nevertheless be gen erated and o th ers eternal. as E m pedocles says? For he too. E m pedocles says that all the things that exist a re always continuously m ovin g as they associate.nevertheless he says that som e things a re etern al (fire.

ether ether. Commentary on the Odyssey I 321) Love and Strife are generally presented as the twin causal powers in the universe: T h e crea to r and m aker o f the gen eratio n o f all generated things is d ead ly Strife. binding everything in a circle.L ove and Strife. T h e y r e fe r to E m pedocles. as E m pedocles says: Come and I will tell you *. who waters with her tears the mortal fountains. [в 37] B u t these are additions. / think. fo r fire increases by fire and earth increases her own form.ex cep t by way o f addition. . [в 38] (Clem ent. (H ippolytus. w h o says o f fire swiftly upward [в 51]. On Generation and Corruption 333335—Ьз) It is better to think o f the e th er as co n tain in g and binding everyth in g . nor ever.* from which all the things we now see came to be: earth and the billowy sea and the damp air and the Titan ether.3) Som e think that [the w ord anopaia] is used instead o f ‘u p w ard ’. Refutation o f A ll Heresies V II x xix 9 -10 ) *74 . (Eustathius. (A ristotle. [в 16] A n d w ho are these two? . [в 6] (Sextus Em piricus.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY and Nestis. will boundless eternity be emptied o f these two. Against the Mathematicians X 315) T h e r e will be no such th in g as grow th a cco rd in g to E m p ed o­ c l e s . E m ped ocles says o f both that they are im m ortal and u n gen erated and never had a b egin n in g o f g en ­ eration — he writes as follows: For they are as they were before and as they will be. while the ch a n g e and d ep a rtu re o f g en ­ erated things from the w orld and the establishm ent o f the O n e is the w ork o f Love. . Miscellanies V viii 48. and w hat grow s is not th ou gh t to grow in this way.

while those that a re m ixin g m ake m ortal anim als and plants. (Sim plicius. busily making forms. It is clear too that som e o f the elem ents rem ain unm ixed by Strife. . .e. chancing upon such a fluidity in the hands o f Cypris . [в 87] A n d ex p lain in g w hy som e see better by d ay an d o th ers by night. yet both a re said to be p ro d u ced by both. . as a p p ears from the follow ing verses: I f your trust was at all deficient on any o f these matters — how when water and earth and ether and sun were blended.1 -3 ] . . since w hat is m ixin g is again dissolved.EMPEDOCLES Perhaps even th ou gh S trife p red om inates in this w orld and Love in the S p h ere. channelling this account from that: when Strife reached the lowest depth . [в 3 5 . gave it to swift fire to harden. Commentary on On the Heavens 5 2 9 . [в 73] A n d again: Those which are dense inside but loose outside. [в 86] and a little later: Aphrodite. fitting them with pegs o f affection.H e is sp eakin g about the things in this w orld . [в 75] I have set dow n these verses from the first few I hit u pon. he says: When first they grew together at the hands o f Cypris.2 1 -5 3 0 . hen ce th e vortex exists even w hen L ove predom inates. H ere it is m ade clear that in the creation o f the w orld S trife draws back and L ove p red om inates w hen it comes to be in the middle o f the whirl. A n d sp eakin g about the creation o f these co rp oreal eyes. when she had moistened earth with rain. [в 71 ] A n d a little later: So then Cypris. .1 1 ) 175 . and the forms and colours o f mortal things came into being as many as there are now. . [в 35. T h e r e is no reason why we should not set d ow n som e o f E m pedocles’ verses which m ake this clear: B u t ! shall return to the path o f songs which I traced before. [в 95] . o f the vortex.4] i. fitted together by Aphrodite. he says: From which divine Aphrodite fashioned tireless eyes.

So too is it with plants and fish o f the watery halls and beasts o f the mountain lairs and flying gulls. [в 27. H e writes as follows: This is plain in the bulk o f mortal members: somtimes by Love they all come together into one. divided by evil Conflicts. limbs which the body acquires when life is thriving at its peak.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY F or E m p ed ocles says that h ere too [i. In gen eral. in the su blu nary world] L ove and S trife p red om in ate by turn s o ver m en and fish and beasts an d birds. (Plutarch.an d fo r this reason th e b o u n d ed b o d y is m ad e o f both. Meteorology 3 8 ^ 3 1 -3 8 2 3 3 ) E u dem u s takes it that the p erio d o f m otionlessness occurs u n d e r the d om in an ce o f L ove d u rin g the S p h e re. The Primary Cold 952л) [Friendship] collects and com pacts and conserves. b rin gin g m en to g eth er by conversation and g oo d will — as when rennet pegs and ties white milk. gluing barley with water [в 34] . On Having Many Friends 95A) T h e m oist causes the d ry to be b o u n d ed .1] 176 . w ater is adhesive and retentive.19 ] anc* to w ater as tenacious Love [в 19]. Em pedocles alluded to this every tim e he refe rre d to fire as cursed Strife [cf в 17. as E m ped ocles said in his Physics. h o ld in g and g lu in g by its m oisture. and each is a sort o f g lu e fo r the o th er. Empedocles sometimes ascribes causal powers to the elements themselves. (Plutarch. sometimes again. as the ancient scholars noted. [в 20] (Sim plicius.9—18) But.e. where neither the swift limbs o f the sun are discerned. each wanders apart along the shore o f life. Commentary on the Physics 1 124. he sometimes invokes theforce o f necessity and he sometimes appears to allow room in the universe for chance events. [в 33] as E m ped ocles says. fire divides and separates. w hen e very­ th in g has been collected togeth er. (A ristotle.

one after another.29] and again w h ere he m akes necessity th e cause o f w h at com es into being: There is an oracle o f necessity. [в 1 16] (Plutarch. Commentary on the Physics 118 3 .she loves the M uses fa r m ore. PA^jtcs 196320-24) 177 . 1 . in this way it is held fast in the close covering o f Harmony. without a d d in g any explan­ ation? T h a t is what Em pedocles appears to say in the line: In turn they come to power as time revolves. [в 17. [ в 1 1 5 . . but often otherwise. which was laid down fo r them in turn by the broad oath .3—4] W hen Strife has again b egu n to p red om in ate. h e says in his cosm ogony that Then it happened to be running in this way. I sh ou ld say. E m ped ocles says this too o f the p red o m in a n ce o f Strife: But when Strife had grown great in the limbs and rose to office as the time was completed. then again m otion occurs in the S p h ere: For all the limbs o f the god shook. A t all events.2 8 -1 18 4 . as he says.EMPEDOCLES but. [в 27. than E m p ed ocles’ G ra ce an d hates intolerable necessity. (Sim plicius. (Aristotle. sealed by broad oaths. Table Talk 7 4 5 D ) E m pedocles says that air does not alw ays sep arate o f f to the highest point. [в 3 1 ] W hat is the d iffe re n c e betw een sayin g 'becau se th at is its nature’ and saying ‘by necessity’. but as ch an ce has it.2 ] For he says that each pred om in ates in turn because o f necessity and these oaths. [в 3°] N ow [Aristotle] says that to say this w ithout any ex p lan a tio n is sim ply to say that ‘that was its n a tu re’. rejoicing in its pleasant rest. [в 53] A n d he says that the parts o f anim als are m ostly fo rm ed by chance. a rounded Sphere.18 ) Necessity is unm usical. an ancient seal o f the gods. . Persuasion m usical . eternal.

Commentary on the Physics 3 3 0 . (Sim plicius. [в 75. [в 98. T h u s he says in his cosm ogony that Then it happened to be running in this way.2] Y o u co u ld p ro d u ce m an y o th e r exam p les o f this sort from E m ped ocles’ Physics. . does not m erit m uch atten tion. as each happened. .2] A n d he says that m ost o f the parts o f anim als com e about by chance. [в 59. [в 53] and elsew here: . . l] an d again: Gentle flame chanced on a little earth.. w ho seem s to use ch an ce only in sm all m at­ ters. happened together . w hile eth er. not h avin g exp lain ed what ch an ce is. but often otherwise [в 53] .EA RLY GREEK PH IL O SO P H Y E th er was carried u p w ard s not by S trife but.as E m ped ocles says that fire does not always sep arate o f f upw ards but as ch an ce has it.3 1-3 3 1.and som etim es he says that fire is naturally carried upw ards. such as: Thus by the will o f chance all things think. [в 54] (Aristotle.16 ) The divine and homogeneous Sphere is described in several frag­ ments. On Generation and Corruption 334a 1—5) T h a t [the early n atural scientists] had som e notion o f things h a p p e n in g by chance is show n by the fact that they som etim es use the w ord . [в 104] B u t E m ped ocles. 178 . [в 103] an d a little later: And insofar as the most flne-textured things happened to fa ll together. but often otherwise. as he som etim es says. h e says. . sank with long roots into the earth. roughly equal to them. as w hen he writes: Earth. as i f by ch an ce Then it happened to be running in this way. [в 85] and elsew here: Chancing upon such a fluidity in the hands o f Cypris.

in his criticism o f the stories o f a n th ro p o m o rp h ic god s told by th e poets. separating ev ery th in g heavy and e v ery th in g light. no feet. no generative organs: it was a Sphere. [в 29] (H ippolytus.EMPEDOCLES A bo u t the form w hich the w orld has w hen it is b ein g arra n g ed by L ove h e says this: There are no two limbs branching from its back. rejoicing in his pleasant rest. equal to itself from all directions. On the Face in the Moon 926E) The development o f the world included a bizarre phase in which monstrosities o f various sorts came into being: [Aristotle] asks w h eth er th ere co u ld n o t then h ave been a »79 . rushing xvith rapid thought over the whole world. (Plutarch. [в 28] (Stobaeus. fc f в 2 7 . no swift legs. a rounded Sphere. Anthology I x v 2) T h a t is why the wise m an o f A cragas. Refutation o f A ll Heresies V I I x x ix 13) But he. no two branches spring from his back. nor the sea. o r rather stir u p the old T ita n s and the G iants against natu re.1-10 ) B ew are that you d o not in trod u ce E m ped ocles’ S trife. Commentary on On Interpretation 2 4 9 . where neither the bright form o f the sun is seen nor the shaggy power o f the earth. no hairy genitals: he is merely a mind. holy and wonderful.1—2] as E m pedocles says. no feet. o r lon g to see that m ythical and fe a rfu l chaos an d h o rro r. [в 134] (A m m onius. no swift legs. from all directions equal to himself and completely boundless. said — sp eakin g in the first instance about A p o llo (with w hom his argu m en t was prim arily con cern ed ) but also in the sam e way about all the god s For no human head is fitted to his limbs.

6 -7 . . 180 . so ever pursues the gentle. and parts have stepped out. o f the sort which E m pedocles says cam e about in the reign o f Love: Here many neckless heads sprang up. as it separated.2—3] a n d m any o th er thin gs . begging for foreheads. [ в 5 7.10 -1 3 ] So in this w orld the lim bs. still ‘sin gle-m em b ered ’ from the dissociation o f S trife. devoid o f shoulders.w hen L ove achieved co m p lete p red om in an ce o ver Strife these things came together as each happened. [в 57. . But when. [в 3 5 . he says. Em pedocles has these lines: Come now. w an d ered about and desired to m ix with o n e an oth er.1 ] . nor is it ill-informed.how co u ld these signify mixtures. 1 0 -1 2 . hear how the shoots o f men and pitiable women were raised at night by fire. but parts o f it remain in the limbs. and eyes wandered alone. god mingled more with god . A nd as it (he m eans Strife) ever runs out ahead. . immortal onrush o f complete Love.EARLY GREEK PH IL O SO P H Y d iso rd erly m otion which p ro d u ced m ixtures . B u t p erh ap s E m pedocles does not m ean that these things com e about u n d er the p red om in ­ a n ce o f L ove (as A le x a n d e r th ou gh t) but rather at the time w hen S trife does not yet all stand out at the furthest limits o f the circle. [в 59] T h u s E m ped ocles said that the fo rm e r p h en om en a occu r in the reign o f L o v e not in the sense that L ove was alread y p re ­ d om in an t bu t in the sense that she was about to p red om inate an d was still sh ow in g u n m ixed an d single-lim bed things. Commentary on On the Heavens 5 8 6 . 29“ 587-4. when th ey a re certain ly not exam p les o f m ixtures from which natural objects a re co m p ou n d ed ? . and many others in addition to these were continuously bom. B u t how co u ld a ‘neckless h ea d ’ and the o th er things d escribed by E m ped ocles in th e lines: Naked arms strayed about. . 12-26) In the secon d book o f his Physics. thus —fo r my story does not miss the mark. . b efo re discussing the articulation o f m ale and fem ale bodies. . (Sim plicius.

a re 181 . having a portion o f both water and heat.th e lumberers with countless hands [в 60] and the man-faced oxen.w ater. oil. [в 61. W h ere the solid parts and the channels. [в 62] (Sim plicius. fitted with dark limbs. d if­ feren t in the b len d in g o f their fo rm s but co n n ected by the unity o f their bodies. bu t stones too. says that som e hybrid s w ere g en era te d . [в 61] (A elian . etc. Empedocles’ 'physics’ and his ‘chemistry’ depend on a theory o f effluences and channels: C o n sid er the m atter. Against Colotes 1 123B) Within the natural world. and bron ze and iron .e. double-chested man-faced oxen arose. the hollow and th e d en se parts.EMPEDOCLES First. H e called the channels hollow and th e solid parts d ense. i.and m any o th ers m ore d ram atic . th en . Fire sent them up. T h e s e are his words: Many grew double-headed. and they showed as yet no desirable form in their limbs. and again ox-headed men — creatures mixed partly from male partly from female form. w ho also speaks o f the p ecu li­ arities o f anim als.fo r not only anim als and plants and earth and sea.channels an d solid parts a re m in gled . wishing to come to its like.29—382.2] (Plutarch. nor any voice. The Nature o f Animals X V I 29) T h e s e things . Commentary on the Physics 3 8 1. h avin g with E m p ed ocles reco g ­ nized that there are effluences from all things that have come into being [в 89] . Scientific Explanations 91 6 d) E m pedocles said that in all su blu nary things . continu ously give o f f n u m erou s streams. .3) E m pedocles the natural scientist.a re like the m onsters o f E m ped ocles they lau gh at . nor member native to man. (Plutarch. whole-natured forms sprang up from the earth.

13 -2 1) A varied d iet sends fro m itself into the mass o f the body n u m erou s qualities and gives to each part w hat is app rop riate. [в 40] (Plutarch. but with oil it will not. [в 93] as E m p ed ocles said. (Plutarch. as beans and p u rp le o r nitre an d sa ffro n seem to m ake a m ixed dyeThe gleam o f bright saffron is mixed with dark purple.g. [в 90] (Plutarch. . [в 91] A n d a p p lyin g this to all bodies.EA RL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y com m en su rate in such a way as to pass th ro u gh o n e an oth er. o r because he orbits in a collected mass o f fire.g. w ater and wine). Table Talk 663л) D iffe re n t thin gs a re a p p ro p riate and fitting to d iffe re n t things. . so that th ere occurs w hat E m ped ocles described: thus sweet grasped sweet and bitter set upon bitter. sharp went to sharp. he said they d o not mix (e. w ater and oil). On the Face in the Moon 920c) A p o llo is called Eleleus because he turns [elittesthai] rou n d the earth . bu t w h ere th ey a re incom m ensurate. and hot rode on hot. fo r he says water is more suited to wine. On the Decline o f Oracles 433B) The remainingfragments o f O n N atu re describe the natural world. he attem pted to explain the sterility o f m ules. as E m ped ocles says: 182 . Astronomy E m p ed ocles expresses th eir d iffe re n c e charm ingly: sharp-arrowed sun and gentle moon. ([Philoponus]. I group them here under seven thematic headings. Commentary on the Generation o f Animals 1 2 3 . he said that m ixin g and b len d in g take place (e.

so the light. o rb itin g n ear her. Why the Pythia No Longer Prophesies in Verse 400B) T h e general view hold s that the m oon is nearest. Em pedocles: She observes the holy circle o f her king opposite her. Saturnalia I xvii 46) T h e m oon h e rse lf is invisible then. On the Face in the Moon 929c) Just as sounds w hen reflected g ive an ech o d u lle r than the original voice. an d she o ften hides th e sun and m akes it d isap p ear she cuts o ff his rays. [в 4 1] (M acrobius.1 5 ) 183 . On the Face in the Moon 925B) ‘H oly [ages]’ : this is taken fro m the co m p o u n d euages o r pan­ ages. and the blows o f ricoch etin g missiles strike with less violence. [в 44] (Plutarch.1 3 . as he travels above. [в 45] (A chilles. having struck the broad circle o f the moon. [в 43] flows weakly and dim ly to us. collected together. [в 47] (Anecdota Graeca [ed. [в 46] as E m pedocles puts it. which is p ro d u ced about the earth by th e reflection o f h eaven ly light. [в 42] (Plutarch. Introduction to Aratus 16) [T h e m oon] pretty well tou ches the ea rth a n d . (ibid 929E) Y o u Stoics lau gh at E m ped ocles w h en h e says that the sun. B ekker] 1 3 3 7 . he orbits the great heaven. since th ey say that it is actually a fra g m en t from the sun — so Em pedocles: In a circle round the earth she winds.EMPEDOCLES Hence. * turns like the track* o f a chariot. and casts a shadow on the earth as great as the breadth o f the bright-eyed moon. another’s light. (Plutarch. again shines back on Olympus with fearless face. as E m pedocles says.

g. T h a t is w hy E m ped ocles criticized them . [в 39] (A ristotle. Platonic Questions i o o 6e) In th e d ark a ir o f deserted. [в 48] (Plutarch.26-28) W h y does w ater look w hite on the su rfa ce but black in the depths? Is it because d ep th is the m oth er o f blackness inas­ m uch as it blunts and w eakens the rays o f th e sun b efo re they d escen d . as E m ped ocles says: Earth makes night by standing in the way o f the light. . as the tongues o f many mouths have vainly poured forth. . . On the Heavens 294321-28) T h e r e a re stream s o f fire u n d e r the earth . [в 52] (Proclus. blind-eyed night. can receive the w hiteness o f the light? T h is is the view that E m ped ocles assents to: In the bottom o f the river the shadows make the colour black. so that th ey n eed not take the trouble to look fo r an exp lan atio n [o f w hy the earth is at rest]. Scientific Explanations 39) 184 . seeing little o f the whole . Commentary on the Timaeus 118. . because it is im m ediately a ffe c ­ ted by the sun . [в 94] (Plutarch. [в 49] as E m ped ocles puts i t . w h ereas the su rface. (Plutarch. X eno­ p hanes o f C o lo p h o n ). saying: I f the depths o f the earth are boundless and the ether immense.EA R L Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y Part o f the earth blocks th e su n as it travels ben eath it and. and the same is seen in hollow caverns. Table Talk 720E) The Earth Som e say that the region below the earth is infinite (e. as E m ped ocles says: Many fires bum beneath the threshold.

that when he says that sea is ea rth ’s sweat [в 55].is com m on to all seasons.the sp rin g blending . Generation o f Animals 73 18 1-6 ) E m pedocles says that This is why pomegranates are late-fruiting and apples exception­ ally sweet. as E m ped ocles o r so m eo n e else says: Iris brings a wind or a great rainstorm from the sea. [в 56] (H ep h aestion. [в 80] (Plutarch. Allegories in the Iliad X V 86) Botany I f the air continu ously fa vo u re d the trees. 3nd th e so-called seeds which they p ro d u ce a re not sem en but em bryos — E m pedocles puts this well w hen he says Thus tall trees first lay olives. forced by the rays o f the sun. he has said so m e­ th in g illum inating. they flourish throughout the year with abundant fruit. then p erh a p s even what the poets say w ould not seem u n r e s s o n a b le -a s E m p ed o ­ cles says that. (Aristotle. Handbook I iii 4) Poseidon is su m m on ed by Iris w ho calls him e ith er to th e sea o r to the gods. like E m ped ocles. [в 78] (H e supposes that a certain b len d in g o f the s ir . everg reen an d ev er-fru itin g [в 77]. (A ristotle. [в 50] (T zetzes.) (T h eo p h ra stu s.EMPEDOCLES It is equally absurd fo r an yon e to think. [в 79] For what is laid is an em bryo. Meteorology 357325—26) E m pedocles: Salt was compacted. thanks to the air. Table Talk 683D) 185 . Causes o f Plants I xiii 2) [Plants] rep ro d u ce fro m them selves.

[ в 7 4 ] (Plutarch. . Deipnosophists 3 3 4 B ) A s fo r anim als them selves. This is found in shell-fish. . . o u r fin e craftsm an as P in dar called him . E m ped ocles w rote: Leading the unmusical tribe o f fertile fish . heavy-backed sea-dwellers — yes. . [в 83] (Plutarch. you cou ld not find any crea tu re o f land o r air as prolific as all the creatu res o f the sea are. bu t he arran g ed them as the needs o f bodies d em an d ed . and in limpets and stone-skinned turtles.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY C o n co ction seem s to be a sort o f rottin g. W ith that in m ind. sharp-arrowed hairs bristle on their backs. and as fo r hedgehogs. did not ev ery w h e re send fire u p a n d ea rth d ow n . as Em pedocles indi­ cates w h en h e says: Wine from the bark is water that has rotted in the wood. [в 81] (Plutarch. E m p ed ocles says. where you will see earth dwelling on top o f flesh. [ в 7 2 ] (A th en aeu s. Table Talk 685F) Y o u see that g o d . On Fortune 98D) 186 . says E m ped ocles. Scientific Explanations 9 12 c) Zoology I am aw are that E m ped ocles the natural scientist used the word kamasenes to co ver all fish in gen eral: How the tall trees and fish [kam asenes] o f the sea . [ в 7 6 ] (ibid 61 8b ) Som e anim als a re a rm o u red with h orn s an d teeth and stings.

in the left girls. . b u t non eth eless they are all the sam e by an alogy. Generation o f Animals 764b 1 5 -18 ) I f m ale and fem ale a re d ifferen tia ted d u rin g gestation. part in a man’s . i f they meet with cold . In the first book o f th e Physics h e says: Kindly earth in her well-made hollows received o f the eight parts two o f bright Nestis and four o f Hephaestus. . .EMPEDOCLES Biology E m pedocles. . wonderfully fitted together by the glue o f Harmony. by placin g S trife an d L o v e a m o n g th e principles as causes o f fo rm . [в 96] (Sim plicius. . [в 82] (A ristotle. p art in the fem ale and part in the m ale. as E m pedocles says poured into pure places. I su ppose. as E m ped ocles says But the nature o f the members is separated.16 -2 4 ) I am talking o f bones and hair and e v ery th in g else o f that sort. as E m ped ocles says: The same are hair and leaves and the thick feathers o f birds and scales on strong limbs. P arm enid es p u t it like this: In the right boys. And they became white bones. . [28 в 17] 3nd E m pedocles ssys this: For in the warmer part was the male portion [в 67] 187 . [в 65] (ibid 723 3 2 3 -2 5 ) O th ers o f the o ld er g en eratio n have also said that th e m ale is conceived in the righ t p s rt o f th e w om b. some grow as women. by the ratio in which each is m ade. [в 63] (A ristotle. Meteorology 387b 1-6 ) T h e body o f the sem en can n ot be separated. d efines fo rm . Commentary on the Physics 3 0 0 . . fo r h e m akes flesh and bo n e and the rest by a certain ratio. T h e y have not got a nam e in com m on.

n a rro w er than th e parts o f the flesh bu t broad er than those o f th e air. Em pedocles says the sam e o f hum ans: And on him came desire. and w hen it m oves u p th e air flows outside the bo d y an d exhalation occurs. [в 68] (A ristotle. E m ped ocles eith er m isu nd erstood this o r else used a p o o r m etap h o r w hen he said that On the tenth day o f the eighth month comes white pus. 188 . Phoenician Women 18) M ilk is concocted blood . Whenever the gentle blood rushes from them the bubbling air rushes down with a wild swell. Scientific Explanations 9 17 c ) [E m pedocles] ssys that inhalation and exhalation occu r because th ere are certain vessels w hich contain blood (but are not fu ll o f blood) and w hich h ave chann els lead in g into the extern a l air. since the blood naturally m oves u p and d ow n . Generation o f Animals 77 73 8 -10 ) W h en the sows live 3nd fee d to g eth er with the hogs it puts them in m ind o f sex and stim ulates th eir desire. [в 64] (Plutarch. not rotten blood .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY — and fo r that reason m en a re d a rk and m ore m asculine and m ore hairy. (G alen. w hen it m oves dow n the air flows in and inha­ lation occu rs. Commentary on Hippocrates’ Epidemics X V I I A 1002 к) E m pedocles the natural scientist allegorizes and speaks o f the divided meadows o f Aphrodite [в 66] w h erein th e g en eratio n o f ch ild ren takes place. *reminding him through sight*. so that the blood remains inside but channels are cut to give easy exit to the ether. H ence. H e m akes an an alo gy with what h ap p en s in a clepsydra: Everything inhales and exhales like this: all have bloodless tubes o f flesh stretched over the surface o f their bodies and at their mouths close-packed holes pierce right through the outer surface o f the skin. (Scholiast to E u ripid es.

love by love and strife by mournful strife. h e says this: As when someone. As when a girl plays with a clepsydra o f shining bronze when she covers the neck o f the tube with her pretty hand and dips it into the soft body o f shining water. intending a journey. prepares a light. H e says: For by earth we see earth. controlling the surface. fitting a lantern as protection against all the winds. and by fire flaming fire. as the air enters. Just so. it exhales again. the air outside eagerly keeps the moisture within at the gates o f the harsh-sounding strainer. On the Soul 40 4b ! 1—15) Em pedocles seem s to thin k. Just so with the gentle blood pulsing through the limbs — whenever it rushes back inside. A t any rate. as the air leaves. the water enters in proportion. it exhales again in equal quantity. by ether bright ether. by water water. until she releases her hand. but it is held back by the mass o f air which presses from within on the close-packed perforations until she uncovers the compressed stream.EMPEDOCLES and when it runs back. a stream o f air at once comes down swelling and surging. 189 . and when it runs back. the reverse o f before. [в 109] (A ristotle. a flame o f flashing fire through the winter night. as I said b e fo re . when she holds the water in the depths o f the bronze. Then again. that som etim es we see w h en ligh t leaves th e eyes. On Respiration 4 7 3 5 1-4 7 4 3 5 ) Perception E m pedocles [says that the soul] is co m posed o f all th e elem ents and that each o f them actually is a soul. A nd then. water runs out in proportion. the neck and channel being blocked by a mortal hand. no moisture enters the vessel. [в l oo] (A ristotle.

[в 101. and illuminates the ground with its tireless rays: so then the ancient fire. som etim es by efflu en ces fro m the objects seen.1] pick u p the efflu en ces w hich the beasts leave on the m atter? (Plutarch. but let thefire pass through inasmuch as it isfiner-textured. bu t w hen it is d ead the smell ceases to flow. Problems 22.as it w e re settin g his seal on it . . On the Senses and their Objects 437b23-438a5) A s E m ped ocles says. inasmuch as it is finer-textured. and they hold back the deep water which flows around. as is clear fro m the case o f anim als an d fro m the facts ju s t m en­ tioned. Geography V III v 3) D o h o u n d s. [в 102] (T h eo p h ra stu s. Scientific Explanations 9 1 7 E ) W h y d o h o u n d s not sm ell the tracks w hen th e h are is dead? . B u t again at the en d o f his w o rk E m ped ocles . . F or th e sm ell is not left beh in d. W h en it is alive they p erceive it becau se the sm ell is con tin u ­ ously given o f f by th e anim al. lies in ambush in the round pupil.2] ([A lexan d er].speaks as th o u g h this w ere the cause: Thus are all things allotted breath and smell. in the way in which E m ped ocles says it leaves from its paws in the soft grass.EA RL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y which stops the breeze when the winds blow.7) B rea th in g is a cause o f sm ell not in itself bu t accidentally. but the light passes through to the outside. [в 84] Som etim es he says we see in this w ay. from both [nam ely eyes] comes a single vision. (A ristotle. [в 10 1. [в 88] (Strabo. imprisoned in the membranes and fin e tissues. as E m ped ocles says. tracking with their nostrils the fragments o f animal limbs. On the Senses 22) 190 .

[в 107] T h a t is why w e think especially with o u r blood. . th ey su p p o sed that th o u g h t was p ercep tio n and perception an alteration . T h u s E m ped ocles says th at o u r th ou gh ts ch a n g e as o u r con d ition changes: For men's wisdom grows in relation to what is present. [в 106] A n d elsew here he says that: Insofar as they become different. F or h aving en u m erated the ways in w hich we reco gn ize each th in g by its like. On the Senses 1 o) Purifications The Purifications were addressed to the citizens o f Acragas. [в 108] (A ristotle. Empedo­ cles’ own city. ign o ra n ce on dissim ilars. to that extent always does their thought too present different objects. 17.2 1 ) T h o u g h t d ep en d s on sim ilars. Metaphysics 1009b 1 2 .1 3 . and by these they think and feel pleasure and pain. at the en d h e ad d s that fro m these all things are fitted together and constructed. T h a t is w hy H eraclides calls . (T h eo p h ra stu s. His candid greeting to them survives: H eraclides says that th e w om an w ho d id not b rea th e was in such a state that h er body rem ained w ithou t b reath and w ithout a pulse fo r thirty days. in Stobaeus. . [в 105] (P o rp h yry. Anthology I x lix 53) In gen eral. fo r in this the elem ents o f the parts are best blen d ed . as th ou gh th in kin g w ere the sam e as o r sim ilar to p erceivin g.EMPEDOCLES Thought E m pedocles seem s to treat th e blood as th e o rg a n o f u n d e r­ standing: Nourished in a sea o f churning blood where what men call thought is especially found — for the blood about the heart is thought fo r men.

no longer mortal. caring fo r good deeds. knowing no ill. 4 .1 . I travel. [в 1 1 2 . Universal History X III lxxxiii 2) G ram m arian s a re blind in these m atters . [в 1 12 . honoured by all. Whenever I enter a thriving town I am revered by men and women. as is fitting. Lives o f the Philosophers V III 61) E m ped ocles says [ o f the A cragantines]: Honourable harbours fo r strangers. others for diseases o f every sort request to hear a healing word. Against the Mathematicians I 302-303) A n d it com es u p o n m e to praise h igh ly the A cra ga n tin e poet w ho hym ns faith in these words: My friends. 1 travel. [в 112. asking where lies the path to gain: some want prophecies.3] (D iodorus.and also with regard to the verses w ritten ab o u t them . honoured by all.2 .4 -5 ] A n d again: But why do I attack them as though I were achieving something great i f I prove superior to much-perishing men? [в 113] G ram m arians and o rd in a ry read ers will suppose that the p h ilosop h er said this fro m boastfulness and contem pt fo r o th er m en . They follow me in their thousands. (Sextus Em piricus. but hard indeed 192 .1 1 ] (D iogen es L aertius. E m ped ocles says: Greetings: an immortal god. let alon e to a m an o f Em pedocles’ stature. greetings: an immortal god. I know that there is truth in the stories which I shall tell. garlanded with bands and fresh ribbons. relyin g also on the fo llo w in g lines: 0 friends who live in the great town o f yellow Acragas on the heights o f the citadel. no longer mortal.EARLY GREEK P H IL O S O P H Y [Em pedocles] both a d o cto r and a seer.so m eth in g which is alien even to o n e m oderately versed in p hilosoph y.

(Plutarch. a fugitive from the gods and a wanderer. a jo u r n e y abroad. On Exile 6 0 7 с e) There is a more detailed description o f the same events in Hippolytus’ account o f Empedocles’ philosophy.EMPEDOCLES fo r men and unwanted is the onrush o f trust to their minds. [в 114] (C lem en t. h avin g ex ch a n g ed not Sardis fo r A th en s. it cannot recall o r rem em b er from what honour and from what height o f bliss [в 119] it has fallen. and their subsequent punishments. m y frien d s. bu t th e h eaven s an d the m oon fo r earth and an earth ly life. F or it is not blood. earth -born an d m ortal. W h en it is tied to the body. 3. Such is the road I now follow. the soul flees an d w and ers. A n d then it com plains an d su ffers like a feeb le w ilting plan t i f h ere it is m oved a little way fro m one place to anoth er. 13] H e then shows from his ow n case that not ju s t h e h im self but all o f us a re im m igrants h ere and stran gers an d fu gitives. The introduction to the story is preserved by Plutarch: E m pedocles at the b eg in n in g o f his p h ilosop h y says by way o f p reface that: There is an oracle o f necessity.6 .1. [в 1 15 .1) The main theme o f the P urifications was the fa ll o f the spirits from an original state o f blessedness. A n d what is m ost tru e. an ancient decree o f the gods. 5 . Miscellanies V i 9.and h e calls birth by the gentlest o f term s. n o r b len d ed b rea th (he says) w hich provides the substance and principle o f o u r souls: fro m these the body is co m p o u n d ed . bu t the soul has com e h ere from elsew h ere . d riven by the d ecrees and laws o f th e god s .one o f the spirits who have been allotted long-lasting life he shall wander thrice ten thousand seasons awayfrom the blessed ones. that whenever anyone errs and defiles in fear his dear limbs . n or C orin th fo r L em nos o r Scyros. . (The lines quoted by Plutarch are 193 . .

[в 1 15.) T h ese. . .by S trife.7 -8 ] fo r th e souls ch a n g e fro m b o d y to bo d y. the sea spits them up onto the threshold o f the earth. h e says. he says. pursues souls to the sea. the earth into the rays o f the bright sun.4 -5 ] (he call souls ‘lon g-lastin g spirits’ because they are im m ortal an d live lo n g lives) — he shall wander thrice ten thousand seasons away from the blessed ones. в 115. altered and punished by S trife an d not allow ed to rem ain in unity. he calls g o d th e o n e an d its unity in w hich he existed b efo re bein g torn aw ay by S trife and co m in g to be am o n g the m any things h ere in the w orld o f S trife. he says m ust w an d er and become in time all sorts o f mortals. H e says: < . changing the painful paths o f life. [в 1 15 . and the sun hurls them into the whirls o f the ether: each receives them from another: all hate them. E m pedocles m eans the crea to r o f this w orld. [в 1 15 . I trusted in mad Strife [в 1 15.9 -12 ] T h is is the p u n ish m en t w hich th e crea to r visits on them . the souls u n d e rg o ev ery p u n ish m en t at th e h an d s o f S trife as they ch a n g e fro m b o d y to body: The ethereal power.6] (H e calls blessed those w ho a re g ath ered to g eth er by L ove fro m the m any into the unity o f th e intelligible w orld.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY usually amalgamated with those in Hippolytus and turned into the single fragment. a fugitive from the gods and a wanderer.14] . For. R ath er. th en . > whoever having erred swears a false oath — one o f the spirits who have been allotted long-lasting life [в 1 1 5 .e.) A b o u t his ow n birth E m ped ocles speaks as follows: Among them am I too now.13 ] i. [cf в 1 15. F or this is the sentence and the necessity im posed on souls w hom S trife tears fro m the one an d creates and prod u ces. m ad and d isturbed an d unstable. like a sm ith resh a p in g iro n and takin g it fro m the fire to p lu n g e it 194 .

w hen ce the crea to r hu rls th e souls into the sea. . T h e fate o r natu re which d eterm in es the m etem psychosis itself is called by E m pedocles a spirit w hich wraps in an unrecognizable garment o f flesh [в 126] *95 . Such bein g the dispositions m ad e by fatal S trife in this divided w orld. Refutation o f A ll Heresies V I I x x ix 14 -2 3 ) After the fall. led by h er. F or e th er is fire. she soon hastens to lead them fro m the w orld and to fashion them ap p ro p riately fo r the o n e. acco rd in g to E m pedocles. Empedocles here embraces the Pythagorean notion o f metempsychosis. lab ou rin g to en su re that everyth ing. H e says: There is an oracle o f necessity. so he m eans: ‘fro m w ater to land. he m eans the fo u r m ortal g o d s (fire. and by the god s.12] T h u s o u r souls a re hated and to rtu red and pu n ish ed in this world. an ancient decree o f the gods. w ho is g o o d and w h o takes pity o n th eir lam entation and on the d iso rd erly and vile arran gem en ts o f m ad Strife. as it continu ously destroys and pu lls ap art the w ork o f Love. com es to unity. eternal. the spirits thus undergo various incarnations. (H ippolytus. and the sun hurls them into the whirls o f the ether: each receives them from another: all hate them.1 . as I said. [в 1 1 5.by necessity he m eans the ch a n g e fro m o n e to m an y by S trife and from m any to o n e by L ove. w ho are u n g en e ra ted and etern ally at w ar w ith o n e another: S trife and Love. T h is. Em pedocles u rg ed his follow ers to abstain from all living things. the earth into the rays o f the bright sun. sealed with broad oaths [в 1 1 5 .1 o . air) a n d the two im m ortals. from land to air’. and then g ath ered to g eth er by L ove. fo r he says that the bodies o f the anim als we eat are the dw elling-places o f p u n ished souls.2 ] . w ater. earth . acco rd in g to E m pedocles. . is the greatest law fo r the o rd e rin g o f the universe. A n d h e teaches those who h ear these w ords o f his to exh ib it self-control in their dealings with w om en so that they m ay not becom e fellow w orkers and fellow -labou rers in the en terprises w hich S trife creates.EMPEDOCLES in water. and earth is the land. T h is is w hat he says: .

in Stobaeus. sleeping on the ground. w e shall be blessed here an d m ore blessed w h en we have left h ere. (H ippolytus. [в 147] as E m p ed ocles’ philosophical poem puts it. . not possessing hap­ piness fo r a p eriod o f tim e bu t bein g able to rest fo r eternity at the same hearth and table as the other immortals. Anthology I xlix 60) E m pedocles says that the best m ove fo r a h um an is to becom e a lion. [Em pedocles] assents to the idea o f m etem psychosis. and a laurel. highest in honour. and laurels among fair-tressed trees. [в 146] (Clem ent. Miscellanies IV xxiii 150. relieved o f mortal pains. The Nature o f Animals X II 7) A b o ve all. (P orphyry. i f into a plant. and E m pedocles clearly agrees with him w hen he says: 196 .EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY and gives the souls th eir new cloth ing. But life in this world now is miserable: H eraclitus evid en tly vilifies gen eratio n . mountain-laired. T h is is w hat he says: Among the beasts they become lions.1) I f we live in a holy and ju s t fashion.3) The cycle o f incarnations thus ends in a return to blessedness. tireless. [в 127] (A elian. saying: For already have I once been a boy and a girl and a bush and a bird and a silent fish in the sea. [в 117] H e said that all souls ch a n g e into every sort o f anim al. Refutation o f A ll Heresies I iii 2) E m ped ocles too says that the souls o f th e wise becom e gods. and then they arise as gods. T h is is w hat he writes: In the end they are seers and hymn-writers and doctors and princes among earth-dwelling men. (ibid V xiv 122. i f d eath chan ges him into an anim al. .

as the sam e man says. Speed and Slowness. Beauty and Ugliness. i f h e escapes earthly things an d the pleasureless country [в 12 1. [в 1 15 . from what conflicts and what groans were you bom.13 —14] B u t he ascends and resum es his old con d ition . The Cave o f the Nymphs 8) For m an descends and leaves the place o f h appiness. [в 121. d eclared that the w orld was a cave o r cavern . F or in E m pedocles the pow ers that gu id e souls say: We have come to this roofed cave. as soon as he is born . unhappy ones. [в 122] (Plutarch. as M en an d er says. 1 trusted in mad Strife. as Em pedocles the P yth agorean says: a fugitive from the gods and a wanderer. [в 1 1 8] A n d again: For from living things he made corpses. and a fte r them Plato.2] T h o se who fall into this place wander in the darkness on the meadows o f Ruin. [в 121.4] (H ierocles. bloody Discord and soft-faced Harmony. changing their forms.1-2 ) T h e P ythagorean s. where are Slaughter and Rage and the tribes o f other Plagues. Commentary on the Golden Verses X X I V 2) It is not true. poor race o f mortals. B u t it is rath er as E m ped ocles says: two fates o r spirits take o ver and govern each o f us w h en we a re born there were Earth and far-seeing Sun. [в 1 20] (P orphyry. desirable Truth and black-eyed Obscurity.EMPEDOCLES / wept and I lamented as I saw the unfamiliar place. [в >25] A n d again: Alas. that By every m an a spirit stands. On Tranquillity o f M ind 474 в с ) *97 . A g o o d g u id e fo r his life. [в 1 24] (ibid III iii 1 4 .1].

also indi­ cates his view s on sacrifices w hen he says: Among them was no god Ares. L ove whom they worshipped with holy statues and painted animals and subtly perfumed oils. says the sam e: For that reason. w h en h e tells o f the birth o f th e gods. Sleep and Wakefulness. But with the fo u l slaughter o f bulls their altars were not washed.8] (P o rp h yry. T h e y must rep resen t the d ifferen ces a m o n g things.he is clearly h in tin g at the variety o f things. vegetarian] o ffe rin g s n atu re and every sense o f the h u m an soul was pleased - 198 . Motion and Rest. Silence and Speech*.e. much-garlanded Greatness * and Lowliness.1-7 ] .custom s w hich even now a re still p reserv ed a m o n g som e p eo p le. with offerings o f unmixed myrrh and o f pungent frankincense.e. [в 145] (C lem en t. bein g as it w ere traces o f the truth. you will never relieve your heart from wretched pains. Theology 17) Y o u r own p oet. nor was Zeus king. On Abstinence II 21) B y such [i.EARLY GREEK PH ILOSOPHY A fte r th at com es the birth o f the so-called T itan s. (C o rn u tu s. but Cypris was queen — i. nor Cronus. [в 123] a n d m an y o thers . Protreptic II xxvii 3) The Purifications appears also to have contained a description o f a Utopia or a Golden Age: E m pedocles. nor Poseidon. pouring libations o f yellow honey on to the threshold [в 12 8 . nor Tumult. E m ped ocles o f A cragas. troubled by cruel evils. [в 128. F or Em pedocles en u ­ m erates them in scientific term s Birth and Death.

even in the absence o f com m u n ity and com pacts .8 -10 ] (ibid II 27) E m pedocles bears witness to this w hen he says o f [Pythagoras]: Among them was a man o f immense knowledge who had obtained the greatest wealth o f mind. . On Accentuation in General fragm en t) The story o f the fa ll and the doctrine o f metempsychosis had impli­ cations for practical ethics. [в 130] (Scholiast to N ican d er. (H ero d ian . Theriaca 452) In the second bo ok o f E m p ed ocles’ Purifications o n e can find the alpha lon g. . with closer set roots beneath and fewer [m anoterois] branches. [в 27a] (Plutarch. Life o f Pythagoras 30) For reason. Philosophers and Princes 7 7 7 c ) E m pedocles uses the w ord [ktilos] o f tam e an d g en tle things: A ll were gentle and amenable to men. but this was the greatest defilement among men: to bereave o f life and eat the noble limbs. A s everyon e som ehow surm ises. [в 129] (P o rp h yry. and kindness glowed. T h is is w hat E m pedocles says ab o u t not killing *99 . as is clear fro m a critical com parison .fo r he uses manoteros as th ou gh it w ere tranoteros: O f those which. [в x 2 8 . always m akes a m an consistent with h im self and u nblam ed by h im self and full o f peace and g oo d will tow ards h im self there is no faction and no fateful conflict in his members. . . both beasts and birds. For when he stretched out with all his mind he easily saw each and every thing in ten or twenty human generations. which leads to virtu e by way o f ph ilosop h y. thrive . th ere is by n atu re a com m on ju stice and injustice.EMPEDOCLES But with the fo u l slaughter o f bulls their altars were not washed. an exceptional master o f every kind o f wise work.

EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY

an im ate creatu res: it is n o t th e case that this is ju s t fo r som e
an d n o t ju s t fo r others,
but, a law fo r all, through the broad
air it endlessly extends and through the boundless light, [в 135]
(A ristotle, Rhetoric 13731)6^-9, 14 -1 7 )
P yth agoras an d E m p ed ocles an d the rest o f the Italians say
th at we h ave a fellow ship n o t o n ly with o n e an o th er and with
th e g o d s bu t also with th e irration al anim als. F or th ere is a
sin gle spirit w hich p erva d es th e w hole w orld as a sort o f soul
an d w hich unites us with th em . T h a t is why, i f we kill them
and eat th eir flesh, we com m it injustice and im piety, inasm uch
as we a re killin g o u r kin. H en ce these philosophers u rg ed us
to abstain fro m m e a t . . . E m p ed ocles som ew here says:
Will you not cease from ill-sounding slaughter ? Do you not see
that you tear at one another in the carelessness o f your thought?
[в 136]
And:
A father lifts his son who has changed his shape
and slaughters him as he prays, the fool, while he cries pitifully,
beseeching his sacrificer. But he, d eaf to his cries,
slaughters him in the halls and prepares a fo u l feast.
In the same way a son takes his father, children their mother:
they bereave them o f life and eat their dear flesh, [в 137]
(Sextus E m piricus, Against the Mathematicians IX 12 7 -12 9 )
Since no-on e is w ithou t sin, we can o n ly atone fo r o u r earlier
sins ab o u t fo o d by later pu rification s. T h a t will h ap p en if we
keep the h o rro r before o u r eyes and cry aloud with Em pedo­
cles:
Alas that the pitiless day did not first destroy me
before I contrived with my lips the terrible deed o f eating flesh.
[в 139]
(P o rp h yry, On Abstinence II 31)
It seem s that o n e sh o u ld not only, with E m pedocles,
keep altogether from the leaves o f the laurel, [в 140]
bu t also sp are all o th er trees.
(Plutarch, Table Talk 646D)
200

EMPEDOCLES

T h e m istake about not eatin g beans seem s to h ave arisen
because in a poem o f E m pedocles, w ho follow ed th e teach in gs
o f P ythagoras, the fo llo w in g verse is fo u n d :
Wretches, utter wretches, keep your hands from beans, [в 141]
(A u lu s G ellius, Attic Nights IV x i 9)
[Gellius’ discussion o f the prohibition on bean-eating is quoted in fu ll
in Chapter / 5 .]
The last fou r short fragments are o f uncertain location and import.
T h e teach in g o f Plato’s d octrines requ ires, first, a sort o f p u ri­
fication, i.e. train in g from ch ild h o o d in the a p p ro p ria te sub­
jects. For a cco rd in g to E m ped ocles, we sh ou ld
cut with long-bladed bronze from five springs, [в 143]
and wash ourselves; and Plato says that th e pu rification com es
from five branches o f study.
(T h e o o f S m yrn a, Mathematics 15 .7—12)
[M etap h or m ay involve a transferen ce] fro m species to species:
e.g.
drawing o ff life with bronze [в 1 38]
or
cutting with long-bladed bronze [c f в 143],
w h ere ‘d ra w ’ is used to m ean ‘cu t’ an d ‘cu t’ to m ean ‘d ra w ’,
both b ein g fo rm s o f tak in g away.
(A ristotle, Poetics 1 4 5 7 Ы 3 -1 6 )
T h e sam e [gram m atical construction] is also fo u n d in E m p ed o ­
cles w hen h e says:
Him neither the roofed halls ofsceptre-bearing Zeus . . .[ в 142]
(H ercu lan eu m p a p y ru s 10 12 , co lu m n X V II I)
In all things I have th o u g h t E m p ed ocles’ p h rase,
to abstain from evil [в 144],
im portant and divine.
(Plutarch, The Control o f Anger 464B)
201

13
FIFTH-CENTURY
PYTHAGOREANISM
Pythagoras’ followers in south Italy appear to have organized them­
selves into secret societies - a sort o f freemasonry. They practised some
communal way o f life; for

[Pythagoras], a cco rd in g to T im ae u s, was the first to say that
frien d s’ possessions a re held in com m on and that frien d sh ip is
equality. A n d his pu pils contrib uted th eir goods to a com m on
store.
(D iogenes L aertius, Lives o f the Philosophers V I II 10)
Pythagoras was revered, and a ll Ihings were aUributed to him: the
Pythagorean phrase 'He said it himself became a proverb. The
Pythagoreans practised no ordinary silence and their esoteric views
were not divulged to ordinary men.
The society is said to have had some political ambitions and interests.
In the middle o f the fifth century disaster struck
A t that tim e, in the region s o f Italy w hich w ere then called
G re a t G reece, th e P yth ago rean m eetin g places w ere b u rn ed
d o wn and gen eral constitutional u nrest en su ed - a not unlikely
event, g iven th at the lead in g m en in each state had been thus
u n ex p ected ly killed. T h e G reek cities in these region s w ere
filled with blood sh ed and revolution an d turm oil o f every
kind.
(Polybius, Histories II x x x ix 1-3 )
202

FIFTH-CENTURY PYTHAGOREANISM

The Pythagoreans who survived dispersed, some o f them eventually
settling in mainland Greece.
At an early stage, Pythagoras’followers divided into two groups, the
acusm atici or Aphorists and the m athem atici or Scientists.
T h e r e w ere two fo rm s o f his p h ilosoph y; fo r th e re w ere
two kinds o f p eo p le w ho practised it, th e A p h o rists a n d the
Scientists. T h e A p h o rists w ere allow ed by the o th ers to be
P ythagorean, bu t th ey d id not allow that the Scientists w ere
Pythagoreans, sayin g that th eir w o rk d eriv ed not fro m P yth ag­
oras but fro m H ippasus. (Som e say that H ipp asus cam e fro m
C ro to n , o thers that he cam e fro m M etapontum .)
T h e ph ilosoph y o f th e A p h o rists consists o f u n p ro v e n and
u n argu ed aphorism s that o n e sh o u ld act in such an d su ch a
way, and they attem pt to p reserve the o th er th in gs [Pythag­
oras] said as th ou gh they w ere d ivin e doctrines. T h e y d o not
claim to say an yth in g on th eir ow n b eh alf, n o r d o th ey think
that they o u g h t to say a n yth in g, bu t they ho ld that those o f
their n u m ber are best fitted fo r w isdom w ho possess the m ost
aphorism s.
A ll these so-called aphorism s a re d ivided in to th ree kinds:
som e o f them indicate w hat so an d so is, o th ers w hat is m ost
such and such, o th ers w hat o n e m ust o r m ust not do.
T h o se w hich indicate w hat so an d so is a re o f th e fo llo w in g
sort. W hat a re the Isles o f the Blessed? - T h e sun an d the
m oon. - W hat is the oracle at D elphi? - T h e tetractys, w hich is
the h arm ony in w hich th e Sirens sing.
W hat is m ost such and such: W h at is m ost ju st? - Sacrific­
ing. - W hat is m ost wise? — N u m b er (and secon d ly, w hat
assigned nam es to things). - W hat is m ost wise o f th e things
am ong us? - Medicine. - W hat is most fine? - H arm ony. - W hat
is most pow erful? - W isdom . — W hat is most good? — H ap­
piness. - W hat is m ost tru ly said? - T h a t m en a re w retch ed . . .
T h e aphorism s in d icatin g w h at sh o u ld o r sh o u ld not be
d on e are o f the fo llo w in g sort. O n e m ust h ave ch ild ren (fo r
one m ust leave servants o f the god s in o n e ’s place); o n e m ust
p u t on o n e’s rig h t shoe first; o n e m ust not w alk a lo n g the
highw ays o r d ip things in th e fon ts o r wash in th e bath -h ouse
203

EARLY GREEK PH IL O SO P H Y

(fo r in all these cases it is u n clear w h eth er o n e ’s fellow s are
pure). A n d others such as: D o not help a n yon e to p u t dow n a
b u rd en (fo r o n e m ust not becom e a cause o f idleness), but help
him to take it up. D o not h ave in tercourse fo r the p u rp ose o f
sirin g ch ildren with a wom an w ho w ears gold . D o not speak in
the d ark. P ou r libations to the god s fro m n ear the hand le o f
the cu p — fo r the sake o f the om en and so that no-one will
d rin k fro m the sam e place. D o not have an im age o f a god as
a seal on y o u r rin g lest it b e pollu ted ; fo r it is a likeness w hich
o n e sh ou ld set u p in o n e ’s h ouse. D o n o t prosecu te y o u r own
w ife; fo r she is a su pplian t (that is w hy at w edd in gs w om en are
led fro m the hearth and a re g ra sp ed by th e rig h t hand). Do
not sacrifice a w hite cockerel; fo r it is a su ppliant, sacred to the
M onth (which is w hy it signifies the hour). G ive no advice
w hich is not fo r the g oo d o f the receiver; fo r advice is sacred.
L ab o u r is g oo d : pleasu res o f every sort a re bad; fo r those who
h ave com e fo r pu n ish m en t m ust b e p u n ished. O n e should
sacrifice and ap p ro a ch the tem ples w ithout shoes. O n e m ust
not tu rn aside into a tem ple; fo r o n e m ust not treat the gods
as digressions. It is g oo d to stand fast, receive w ounds in the
fro n t, and so die: the op p o site is bad. H um an souls e n ter all
anim als e x cep t those w hich it is rig h t to sacrifice; that is why
on e m ust only eat those sacrificial anim als w hich it is p ro p er to
eat and no o th er anim al.
Som e o f the aphorism s a re o f this sort. B u t the m ost exp an s­
ive o f them a re co n cern ed with sacrifices o n various occasions
a n d how they should be p e rfo rm e d , with the o th er ways o f
h o n o u rin g the god s, with o u r rem oval fro m this life, and with
burials an d how w e m ust be b u ried . In som e cases a reason is
a d d ed - fo r exam p le, that you m ust have ch ildren in o rd e r to
leave beh in d an o th e r servan t o f the god s in y o u r place. B u t
o th ers h ave n o reason a n n ex ed to them . O f th e additions,
som e will be th o u g h t to h ave been n atu rally attached, others
to be fa r-fetch ed - fo r exam p le, not to break bread because it
is disadvan tageou s with rega rd to th e ju d g e m e n t in H ades.
T h e con jectu ral explan ation s a d d ed to such aphorism s a re not
P yth ago rean bu t com e fro m certain outsiders w ho m ake soph ­
isticated attem pts to attach conjectu ral reasons to them . For
204

FIFTH-CENTURY PYTHAGOREANISM

exam p le, in the case ju s t m ention ed (why you m ust not break
bread), som e say that you shou ld not d ivide w hat b rin gs p eo p le
togeth er (in the old days, a fter the fo reig n fashion, all frien d s
cam e tog eth er o v e r a sin gle lo a f o f bread), o th ers that o n e
must not m ake such an om en at th e b eg in n in g by b rea k in g
and cru m b lin g it.
N ow all the aphorism s w hich deal with w hat to d o and w hat
not to d o focus on the divine, and that is th eir sou rce. T h e
whole o f their way o f life is o rd e re d with a view to fo llo w in g
god. T h is is th e rationale o f their philosoph y. F or th ey th in k
it absurd fo r m en to look fo r the g o o d fro m any so u rce o th e r
than the gods: it is as i f you w ere living in a m on arch y and paid
service to som e su bordin ate a m o n g the citizens, ig n o rin g the
ruler o f all - that, they think, is ju s t w hat m en actually do. F or
since god exists and is sovereign o ver everyth in g , it is clear that
on<?must ask fo r the g oo d from the so vereign ; fo r ev ery o n e
gives good things to those w hom they love an d in w hom they
delight, and the opposite to those to w hom they a re disposed
in the opposite way.
(lam blichus, On the Pythagorean Way o f Life 8 1-8 7 )
There are numerous other accounts o f the Pythagorean aphorisms, and
o f the modes o f behaviour which they accompanied. One o f the earliest
is in Herodotus:
[T h e Egyptians] d o not take w oollen th in gs into th eir tem ples
o r bury them with them : that is not holy. In this th ey a re in
agreem en t with those w ho a re called O rp h ics and P yth ago r­
eans. F or it is not holy fo r o n e w ho partakes in these rites to
be buried in w oollen clothes. T h e r e is a sacred story told about
this.
(H ero do tus, Histories II 8 1)
lamblichus' main source is likely to have been Aristotle. We know that
Aristotle also wrote on Pythagorean dietary practices. There was an
ancient controversy over this issue. Here is one text on the subject:
A false opinion o f lo n g stan d in g has gain ed g ro u n d and
205

to r e fe r to the vegetable. because they soothe an d gen tly relieve the bowels. the fo llo w in g verse is fo u n d : Wretches. [31 в 141] F or m ost p eo p le h ave su p p o sed that the w ord ‘beans’ is bein g used.the opin ion that Pythagoras the philo­ so p h er d id not eat m eat and also abstained from beans (for which th e G re e k is kuamoi). F ollow ing the sam e o p in ion C icero said th e fo llo w in g in the first bo ok o f his On Divination: . w h o follow ed the teachings o f P yth agoras. T h e m istake about not eatin g beans seem s to have arisen because in a p oem o f E m pedocles. fo r h e said that it was both so o th in g and laxative . B u t the m usical sch olar A ristoxen u s. says in his bo ok about P ythagoras that P yth agoras ate no vegetable m ore freq u en d y than beans. B u t those who have co n sidered E m p ed ocles’ poem s m ore closely and in a m ore scholarly way assert that in this passage the w ord ‘beans’ signifies 206 . utter wretches. A lex is the poet. as it n orm ally is. w ho was his frien d . a p a in fu l fo o d : so as P ythagoras en jo in ed 1 too u rge. H e seem s to have a cq u ired his in form ation fro m the P yth ago rean X en oph ilus. an e x cee d ­ ingly ind u striou s rea d er o f old texts an d a pu pil o f A ristotle the p h ilosop h er. T h e sam e A risto x en u s also reports that [Pythagoras] used to eat su ck in g pigs and ten d er y o u n g kids. in his com ­ ed y The Pythagorean Woman. T h u s C icero . T h a t is why it is th o u g h t that the P yth agor­ eans a re fo rb id d en to eat beans which cause considerable flatu lence an d a re thus inim ical to those w ho seek peace o f m ind. F ollow ing this o p in ion the poet C allim ach u s w rote: K e ep y o u r hands from beans. T h e s e are his very words: P yth agoras esteem ed the bean above all o th er vegetables. keep your hands from beans. an d fro m certain o th er o ld e r m en who w ere closer in tim e to P ythagoras. So Plato bids us g o to bed with o u r bodies so com posed that th ere is n o th in g w hich m ay m ake the m ind stray o r be d isturbed .that is w hy h e m ad e p a rticu lar use o f it. also m akes th e rem ark about anim als.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY increased in strength .

— A prison diet! D o all the wise m en 207 • .A h . b u t h e kills them first and then th ey’re n o lo n g er alive.ridiculed the Pythagorean way o f life. covertly and sym bolically in the P ythagorean style.T h e P ythagorean s.B ut E pich arides eats dogs. and th ey’re the o n ly ones w ho d o n ’t d rin k w ine. because they are the cause o f p reg n a n cy [the Greek. T h e ir d aily bread is this: o n e plain lo a f each.1 3 ) Such practices were easily mocked.) B ut in his Table Talk Plutarch says that th e P yth ago rean s also abstain from m ullet. H ence in this verse E m ped ocles w anted to restrain p eo p le not from eatin g beans bu t fro m sexual in d u lgen ce. o r so w e h ear. T h a t’s all. A lexis in The Men from Tarentum: . . too. but eat the rest. (A u lu s G ellius. ‘to be p reg n a n t’. . Plutarch. (T h e sea-nettle is a sea crea tu re w hich w e call a sea-urchin. sea-nettle. is fa n cifu lly co n n ected with kuamos] and p ro v id e th e im petus to h u m an rep ro d u ctio n . and a cu p o f water. kuein. eat no fish n o r an y th in g else alive.FIFTH-CENTURY PYTHACOREANISM the testicles: they w ere called beans. Here are two samples. A little fu rth e r on h e says: Pythagorism s and fine argu m ents an d close-ch op ped thou ghts feed them . that they d id not abstain fro m eatin g anim als (excep t fo r a few sorts o f flesh). Attic Nights I V xi 1 . heart. and h e’s a P yth agorean . says in the first bo ok o f his On Homer th at A ristotle w rote the very sam e about the P yth ago rean s — nam ely. Several fourth-century comedies — like Alexis’ T h e P yth agorean W om an . Since the point is su rp risin g I have w ritten o u t P lutarch’s ow n words: A ristotle says that the P ythagorean s abstain fro m wom b. and certain o th er things o f that sort. w ho has considerable au th o rity in scholarly m atters.

to thin k that its prin ciples w ere the principles o f all the things that exist.N o: these a re lu x u rio u s co m p ared to oth ers. fo r w alking ab o u t at daw n w ithout any shoes. soul and m ind such and such. cham ber-pots. h avin g been b ro u g h t u p in it. The most important passage comes from Aristotle. an d Phaon and P h yrom achu s an d Phanos: they d in e e very fo u r days on a sin gle cu p o f bran.E A R L Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y live like this an d s u ffe r such pains? . fo r en jo y in g thym e a n d vegetables. bats. blackbirds. th e so-called P yth ago rean s tou ch ed on m athem at­ ics: th ey w e re the first to b rin g it fo rw a rd an d . fo r w ith stand in g the heat an d ch a tterin g a t noon. that ju stice is such and such a m odification o f nu m bers. F or d rin k in g w ater th ey ’re fro gs. an d so on fo r p retty well ev ery th in g else (and they also saw that th e m odi­ fications and ratios o f harm o n ies d ep en d on num bers): since. im agin e you can see T ith ym a llu s o r Philippides. and since they th o u g h t they o b served in num bers m any sim ilarities to the things that exist and com e into bein g (m ore so than in fire an d ea rth an d water) — fo r exam p le. (A th enaeu s. {ibid 238CD) Among the Scientists or m ath em a tid are Hippasus and Philolaus. caterpillars. d u st-d ou d s. Here I shall cite a few texts o f a more general nature about the mathematical side o f Pythagorean philosophy. fo r stayin g o u t o f d oors all w inter. fo r not bein g w ashed. fo r not sleep in g at all. who have chapters o f their own. Deipnosophists i 6 i b c ) In The Pythagorean [A ristoph on] says: A s fo r g o in g h u n g ry and not eatin g anythin g. Since nu m bers a re by n atu re the first o f these. o p p o rtu n ity so m eth in g else. A t the sam e tim e as [L eu cip p u s an d D em ocritus] and earlier than th em . 208 . fo r not u sin g o r seein g olive oil. D o n ’t you know that M elan ipp id es is o n e o f th em . cicadas. cranes.

F o r exam p le. an d that the whole heaven was h arm o n y and n u m ber. . evid en tly believe that nu m ber is a first p rin cip le both as m atter fo r ex istin g things and as th eir p rop erties and states. resting . straight — cro o k ed . and com e in co-ordin ate pairs: lim it— infin­ ite. they collected an d fitted together. Later 209 . they su pposed that the elem ents o f num bers w ere the elem ents o f all the thin gs that exist. they say that the bodies m ovin g in the heavens a re ten in nu m ber. th ey hold that the elem ents o f nu m ber are the even and the o d d . an d that the w hole heaven .even .left. o n e . since the n u m b er ten is th ou g h t to be p e rfe c t an d to in clu d e the w hole n atu re o f nu m bers. B u t they seem to ran ge th e elem ents u n d e r the head o f m atter.o b lo n g . is num bers. H ow [these principles] sh o u ld be collected u n d er the types o f cause I have d escribed they d o not clearly articulate. o n e o f these b ein g finite and the o th er infinite.FIFTH-CENTURY PYTHAGOREANISM then. as I h ave said. Metaphysics 9 8 5b 23-g8 6a26. I have given a m ore detailed acco u n t o f these th in gs else­ w here: h ere my aim is to g rasp in the case o f the P yth ago rean s too what first principles they posit and how th ey fit into the causes I have described. fo r that reason th ey in ven t the co u n ter-earth as the tenth. an d since o n ly n in e are apparen t. too. (A ristotle. all oth er things a p p ea re d to have been m od elled o n n u m ­ bers in their nature. g o o d bad. fo r they say that th ey a re in h eren t in the substances w hich a re co m posed an d fash ioned fro m them .m oving. light — d arkness. rig h t . N ow they. an d i f th ere was any­ th in g m issing a n yw h ere they ea gerly m ad e add itions so that the w hole o f th eir th eo ry shou ld be con n ected . m ale — fem ale. square . g 8 6b4 -8 ) Aristotle says that the Pythagoreans ‘touched on’ mathematics. that th e n u m b er o n e d erives fro m both elem ents (it is both even an d odd) and nu m bers d eriv e from the nu m ber one. O th er m em bers o f the sam e school say that th e princip les are ten in num ber.quantity. w hile n u m bers seem ed to be th e first things in the w hole o f natu re. odd . . E very th in g in num bers and h arm onies that co h ered with th e p rop erties and parts o f th e heavens and with the w hole o f th e created w orld.

the sq u are on the h ypoten use is equ al to the squares on the o th er two sides’ : i f we listen to those w h o like to reco rd the ancien t history o f the subject we shall find them ascribing this th eorem to P ythagoras and saying that h e sacrificed an o x on its discovery.1-9 ) The story is not generally believed. is the theory o f the M usic o f the Spheres: It is clear fro m this that to say th at [the h eaven ly bodies] pro­ d u c e a h a rm o n y as they m ove. T h e n since в с and d e are p arallel.e. two rig h t angles. they applied numbers to astronomy. i.EARLY CREEK PH ILOSOPHY authors ascribe considerable mathematical achievements to them. T h e n angles d a b . and indeed most scholars are now inclined to think that the Pythagoreans contributed little to the technical side o f mathematics. c a e . Here.e. (ibid 4 2 6 . в а с . According to Aristotle. For example: E u dem u s the Peripatetic ascribes to th e P ythagorean s the d iscovery o f this th eorem (that ev ery trian gle has internal an gles equ al to two rig h t angles). th eir sou n d s b ein g concordant. (Proclus. is a clev e r and in gen io u s th eo ry b u t is nevertheless untrue. H ence the three an gles o f the trian gle a re equ al to tw o rig h t angles. so d a b is equ al to a b c an d e a c to a c b . In the chapter on Philolaus we shall rediscover the ‘counter-earth’. L et в а с be a d d ed in com m on . b a e .1—16) The mast celebrated piece o f Pythagorean mathematics is the theorem still known as Pythagoras’ theorem: ‘ In a righ t-an gled trian gle. Commentary on Euclid 3 79 . and he says that they p rove th e prop osition in this w ay: L et а в с be a trian gle. the altern ate an gles a re equ al. and let d e be d raw n th ro u g h a parallel to в с . an gles d a b . in another extractfrom Aristotle. are equ al to th e th ree an gles o f the triangles a b c . Som e th in k that w hen bodies o f such a size m ove they must p ro d u ce a sou n d since this h ap p en s with bodies h ere even th o u g h th ey a re not o f th e sam e m ag n itu d e an d d o not m ove 210 . i.

Positing this. they say that as the heavenly bodies m ove in a circle they p ro d u ce a co n co rd an t sound. (A ristotle. and th e stars o f such n u m b er and such size. T h e P ythagoreans locate it am o n g p ercep tible objects (fo r they d o not m ake num bers separate). (A ristotle.FIFTH-CENTURY PYTHAGOREANISM with such speed. have the ratios o f the concords. as th o u g h th e h eavens actually inhale the void w hich d istin guishes n atural things and is a sort o f separation an d distinction o f con tigu o u s things. Physics 203a 1—8) T h e P ythagoreans too said that void exists. W h en the sun and the m oon. 211 . and say that the sp ace outsid e the heavens is infinite. su p p o sin g that the infinite exists in itself as a substance and not as an attribute o f so m eth in g else. T h u s m en are in the sam e case as blacksm iths w hom habit m akes im pervious to the sound. an d su p p o sin g that th eir speeds. A ll those w ho a re th o u g h t to have m ad e a significant co n tri­ bution to [natural ph ilosophy] h ave given som e acco u n t o f the infinite. fo r the void separates their natures. Since it seem s unreasonable that we d o not h ea r this sound. Som e. and that it en ters the heavens fro m th e infinite breath. like the P yth ago rean s and Plato. T h e y hold that this o ccu rs first a m o n g num bers. ju d g in g by th eir distances. and all posit it as a sort o f first p rin cip le o f the things that exist. {ibid 21 зЬ22—27) A ristotle in the fo u rth bo ok o f the Physics writes. they say that the cause lies in the fact that the noise is with us from the m om en t o f o u r birth so that it can n ot be distinguished by re feren ce to a co n trary silence (fo r so u n d and silence a re d iscrim in ated by referen ce to one another). it is im possible that they shou ld not p ro d u ce a sound o f im m en se m agnitu de. On the Heavens 290b 12 -2 9 ) It is worth adding four further passages from Aristotle here. m ove at sp eed . three on cosmogony and one on the soul. m ake it a p rinciple in its ow n right.

which together add up to ten. ju s t as p eo p le a rra n g e nu m bers into squares and oblongs. A r e th ey b ou n d aries (3 s points a re o f m agnitudes)? . and that it en ters the h eavens fro m the infinite breath. that the n u m b er o f horse) . On the Soul 404316-20) The Aphorists and the Scientists seem to approach one another in the field o f number mysticism. F or som e o f them said that the m otes in the air are soul. Ten is the perfect number: it contains the important musical ratios. (Stobaeus. as th ou gh the h eavens inhale.EARLY GREEK PH IL OSO P H Y T h e P ythagorean s too said that void exists. W e h ave said how they can be seen to m ove continu ously even if th ere is a co m plete calm.^ ) A t the centre o f the numerology was the tetrsctys or 'group o f four'. Some Pythagoreans played the numbers game in an extravagantly detailed form: T h e y d id not even d ete rm in e in w hat way nu m bers зге causes o f substances and o f th eir bein g.h e m od elled the shapes o f plsn ts with p ebbles. (A ristotle. A n d in th e first b o ok o f On the Philosophy o f Pythagoras he writes that th e heaven s a re o n e an d that fro m the infinite they take in tim e an d b reath and void which distinguishes the places o f each th in g fo r ever. consisting o f the first fou r numbers. and it can be arranged to form a perfect triangle: о о о О О О о о о The Pythagoreans allegedly swore 212 о . Anthology I x v i i i i c ) W h at the P ythagorean s say seem s to have the sam e m eaning. others that w hat m oves them is soul.T h is is how E u rytu s d eterm ined w hat was the n u m b er o f w hat (this the n u m b er o f m an. Metaphysics ю д г Ь в . (A ristotle.

sou rce o f the roots o f ever-flo w in g nature.C E N T U R Y P Y T H A G O R E A N ISM By him w ho h an d ed to o u r gen eratio n th e tetractys. (lam blichus.F I F T H . On the Pythagorean Way o f Life 162) 213 .

but they m ad e the first prin ciple fire. and w hen they w ere struck they m ad e a concord. Hippasus’ name is associ­ ated with musical theory: A certain H ippasus constructed fo u r bron ze discs in such a way that they all had equal d iam eters but the thickness o f the first was o n e and a th ird tim es that o f the secon d. First. Simplicius treats him as a conventional Presocratic cosmogonist: H ippasus o f M etapontu m and H eraclitus o f Ephesus also said that [the universe] is u niqu e. and twice that o f the fo u rth . and 2:1. It seems likely that he was active in the middle o f the fifth century. (Scholium to Plato. His birthplace is variously reported. in m otion. perhaps a rebel. and resolve them into fire again.4) We are ill-informed about the more distinctively Pythagorean aspects o f Hippasus' thought. Phaedo i o 8 d ) The story plainly means to ascribe to Hippasus the discovery o f the fundamental musical ratios. o n e and a h a lf tim es that o f the third. Commentary on the Physics 23. and our sources record no dates fo r him.14 HIPPASUS Hippasus was a Pythagorean. and finite.33-24. this b ein g the sin gle u n d erly in g nature. and he is said to have been the first o f the Pythagorean m athem atici or Scientists. 3:2. Two stories are worth setting down. 4:3. (Sim plicius. 214 . an d they p ro d u ce the things that exist from fire by cond en sation and rarefaction . H e was an unorthodox Pythagorean. though neither o f them deserves fu ll credence.

it has twelve faces. w hen it exten d s into a sp h ere. I quote two short passages: A bo u t H ippasus they say that he was o n e o f the P yth agorean s but that because he was the first to publish an d con stru ct the sphere o f the tw elve pen tagon s he d ie d a t sea as an im pious m an. a lth o u g h everyth in g belongs to T h a t M an (that is how they r e fe r to Pythagoras. H e acquired the repu tation fo r d isco verin g it.) O th ers said that it was the m an w ho spoke ab o u t irrationality and in com m en sura­ bility who su ffered this fate. Some scholars have supposed that these two geometrical discoveries were indeed made by the Pythago­ reans and had some philosophical importance for them. On the Pythagorean Way o f Life 88) Som e say that the divinity p u n ish ed those w ho m ad e P yth ago ­ ras’ views public. each o f which is a regular pentagon. (ibid 247) The dodecahedron is the fifth o f the five regular solids. (lam blich us.HIPPASUS The second story concerns the alleged mathematical achievements o f the Pythagoreans. (T h e vigintangle is the d o d eca h ed ro n . other scholars are sceptical. n ever calling him by his nam e). 2*5 . or incommensurable with its sides. F or the m an w ho revealed the construction o f the vigin tan gle perish ed at sea as an im pious m an. The reference to irration­ ality and incommensurability is again geometrical: the diameter o f a square is irrational. o n e o f the so-called five solid figures. then there is no fraction o f the form n/m which gives the length o f the diameter. i f each side is one unit long. that is to say.

When the Pythagorean school in Croton was destroyed and its members dispersed. however. [44 в l] (D iogen es L aertius. The contrast with ‘limiters’ makes the variant translation preferable. Recently. One o f Philolaus’ works was later called O n N atu re. The opening sentence is preserved: D em etrius in his Homonyms says that P hilolaus was the first o f the P yth agorean s to publish an On Nature. Many scholars have regarded all o f them as spurious: numer­ ous Pythagorean forgeries were put together in the ancient world. o f which many survive. and some at least o f the passages are widely thought to be genuine. but it is clear that Philolaus flourished in the latter part o f the fifth century вс. We possess several passages purporting to come from Philolaus' ■writings. he retired to mainland Greece. These events cannot be dated with any precision. It begins as follows: Nature in the world was connected from things unlimited and things limiting. Lives o f the Philosophers V I II 85) [The Greek word here translated by 'unlimited’ is elsewhere given as ‘infinite’.] 216 . there has been a swing in scholarly opinion. In this chapter I shall omit the texts which are uncontroversially spurious and include only those which the new consensus is inclined to accept. both the whole world and everything in it. He was a Pythago­ rean.15 P HI L O L A U S Philolaus was probably bom in Croton in the 4 70s. spending some time in Thebes.

[в 6a] The magnitude o f a scale is a fourth and a fifth. odd and even (and a third. And since the subsisting principles were neither similar nor homogeneous. but things dissimilar and neither homogeneous nor equally matched must necessarily be linked by a connection i f they are to be held together in the world. even-odd. it is thus clear that the world and the things in it were connected together from both limiting and unlimited things. coming from unlimited things. Now since it is evident that existing things come neither from limiting things only norfrom unlimited things only. despite the different title. On the World: It is necessary that the things that exist should all be either limiting or unlimited or both limiting and unlimited. some. and between middle and third there is a tone. probably come from O n N atu re. and o f each form there are many shapes which each thing in itself signifies. from the middle to the bottom a fifth. matters stand thus: the essence o f things. The facts too make this clear: some o f them. limit. coming from limiting things. mixed from both). from the third to the top a fifth. From Philolaus. both limit and do not limit. from the bottom to the third a fourth. being eternal.P H 1L O L A U S Stobaeus transcribes a sequence o f passages which. A fourth is 3:4. are evidently unlimited. A fifth is greater than a fourth by a lone. a fifth 2:3. an 217 . Now similar and homo­ geneous things had no need at all o f a connection. both the limiting things and the unlimited things. [в 2] And all the things that are known have a number —fo r without this nothing could be thought o f or known. [в 5] On nature and connection. it would therefore have been impossible fo r them to have been arranged had not a connection supervened (in whatever way it may have done so). But they cannot be only unlimited. coming from both limiting and unlimited things. [в 4] Now number has two proper forms. fo r from the top to the middle is a fourth. and nature itself admit o f divine and not o f human knowledge — except that it was not possible that any o f the things which exist and are known by us should have come into being unless there subsisted the essence o f the things from which the universe was constituted. some.

Table Talk 718E) T h e P yth ago rean s say that reason [is the stand ard o f truth] not reason in g en era l. bu t m athem atical reason. turns an d elevates the m ind w hich is p u rifie d and gen tly released fro m p erception . when n u m bers a re serially sq u ared . F or that is the case th ro u g h o u t the Sacred Discourse. has a certain a ffin ity to it (fo r like is naturally a p p re h e n d e d by like). (Sextus E m piricus. [в 7] (Stobaeus.9 -16 ) A ll th e so-called m athem atical sciences a re like sm ooth flat m irrors in w hich traces and im ages o f intelligible truth are reflected . the one.EARLY GREEK P H IL O S O P H Y octave i :2. no less plausible results follow by n a tu re and not by con ven tion . (Plutarch. a fifth is three tones and a semi-tone. in the middle o f the sphere is called the hearth. w hich. bein g the o rig in and native city o f the others. Thus the scale is five tones and two semi-tones. B u t it is above all g eo m etry w hich. and th e ph ilosoph y o f the P yth ago rean s uses these h an gin gs to conceal the m ysteries o f its d ivin e dbctrines. Commentary on Nicomachus’ Introduction to Arithmetic 19 . and in the w hole o f Pythagoras’ tea ch in g a b o u t the gods. Against the Mathematicians V I I 92) E lsew h ere th ere will be occasion to in qu ire fu rth e r how . inasm uch as it considers the n atu re o f th e universe. a fourth is two tones and a semi­ tone. as Philolaus too used to say. Commentary on Euclid 2 2 . a cco rd in g to Philolaus.2 1-2 5 ) 218 . as Philolaus says. [в 6b] The first thing to have been connected. in Philolaus’ Bacchae. (Iam blichus. (Proclus. Anthology I xxi 7-8 ) The arithmetical remarks in в 4 and в 5 fin d echoes in the following reports: Plato teaches us m any rem arkab le d octrin es about the gods by m eans o f m athem atical form s.

as fa r as th eir concepts are con cern ed .8—14) Philolaus. bein g moist an d w arm . Commentary on Euclid 130.C ron u s. A res and D ionysus. It began to come into being from the middle. T h a t is w hy Philolaus brings them to unity u n d er a sin gle angle. Commentary on Nicomachus’ Introduction to Arithmetic 7 . {ibid 1 6 7 . plausibly assigned the a n g le o f a trian gle to fo u r gods . T h u s Philolaus m ade the a n g le o f a triangle sacred to som e.18 —25) Philolaus’ Bacchae: The world is one. but they a re united with o n e an other. F or there will be nothing that can have any knowledge at all i f all things are unlimited. on the o th er h and .P H 1L O L A U S A m o n g the P ythagorean s w e shall find d iffe r e n t an gles assigned to d iffe re n t gods. is a sym bol). assigning the sam e an gle to d iffe re n t god s and d iffe r e n t angles to the sam e god s acco rd in g to th eir d iffe re n t pow ers. an d so on. both are infinite and th e re fo re n o t cap able o f bein g scientifically a p p reh en d ed . (lam blichus. and from the middle upwards and downwards in the same way. (Proclus. too. w hile H ad es conserves the whole o f earth y life and D ionysus supervises m oist w arm creation (o f which wine. is exten d ib le to infinity bu t only finitely divisible . w h ether they d eriv e fro m the h eavens o r fro m the fo u r segm ents o f the zodiac. plurality. F or C ro n u s provid es all th e m oist cold substances. H ades.1 -1 4 ) There are a few further fragments: M agnitude is divisible to infinity bu t only finitely exten d ible.th ou gh by n atu re. that o f a square to others. since h e includes in their scope the en tire fo u rfo ld o rd e rin g o f the elem ents above. and what is above the middle is the opposite way about from what 219 . A res all the fiery natures. A ll these are distinct with rega rd to th eir secon d ary actions. [в 3] as Philolaus says.

except that they are reversed.3 ) In g en era l [the Pythagoreans] thin k that w ell-being and jo y d ep e n d on health. On Falling Down While Addressing People 9) 220 . [в i 7] (Stobaeus. navel. T h e r e are fo u r first principles o f rational anim als. genitals: Head o f thought. w hich is located and orbits opposite the co u n ter-earth (that is w hy the p eo p le on that earth are not seen by those o n this one). On the Scientific Beliefs o f the Philosophers 895E) Philolaus also had something to say on biological matters. h eart. Som e o f them — Philolaus included actually called the tetractys. For to those below the lowest part is like the highest. [в 13] ([Iam blichus]. heart o f soul and perception. fo r each has the same relation to the middle. genitals o f depositing o f seed and generation.17 -2 6 . and so on. and th ird the earth we inhabit. which has already appeared in Chapter /3: P hilolaus the P yth ago rean says that fire is cen tral (fo r this is the h earth o f th e universe).brain . navel o f rooting and first growth. heart that o f animal.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY is below. w hich they th in k com pletes the p erfect n u m ber. genitals that o f all together (for all shoot and sprout from seed). Brain signifies the first principle o f man. navel that o f plant. their m ost solem n oath. the co u n ter-earth second. In addition to a short fragment it is worth offering two paraphrastic reports. Anthology I x v 7) Compare here the notion o f the ‘counter-earth’. and they d e n y that health d ep en d s eith er on w ell-being o r on jo y . ([Plutarch]. (Lucian. the first princip le o f health. Theological Arithmetic 2 5 . as Philolaus says in his On Nature .

which bear on ethics. as h e arg u es from such considerations as these. a n d it is w hat constitutes < a n im a ls > . It is w orth reco rd in g P hilolaus’ w ords. F or it is called p h legm from the verb phlegein [to b u rn ]. Sem en is hot. and then exp els it as th o u g h p ayin g o f f a debt. w hich is hotter. i. N ow it desires the ex tern a l air in o rd e r that. by d raw in g in breath from outside. should be cooled by it. (A nonym u s L on din ensis. H e says that blood is tu rn ed thick w hen th e flesh is com pressed internally. but since what constitutes anim als has no sh are in co ld ­ ness and the place in which < it is d e p o site d > has n o sh are in coldness. < T h e sam e> m an m akes a p arad oxical rem ark on this subject: he says that bile is not fo u n d n ear th e liver and yet th at it is a d isch arge o f the flesh. < th e w o m b > .X I X 1) Finally there are two passages. < w h a t is sim ilar to so m eth in g has th e sam e p o w er as w hat it is sim ilar to > . clearly the anim al that is b ein g con sdtu ted will also be o f the sam e sort. o f different purpose. he says. Medical Writings X V I I I 8 . co n trib u to ry causes a re excesses o f heat o r fo o d o r co o lin g an d d eficiencies < o f these o r > o f things like them . h e supposes that it is by n atu re hot. the place into w hich sem en is d eposited. w hile m ost say that p h legm < is c o ld > . T o establish this he uses th e fo llo w in g argu m ent: im m ediately a fte r birth the anim al d raw s in the extern al air. T h e constitution o f o u r bodies. H e says that p h legm is co m p o u n d ed fro m u rine. fo r the P yth ago rean says this: 221 . d ep en d s on these things. an d h en ce inflam in g agents inflam e by sh arin g in p h legm .PHILOLAUS Philolaus o f C ro to n says that o u r bodies a re co m p o u n d e d from heat.e. is h o tter an d sim ilar to it. which is cold . and that these a re the first p rin cip le o f diseases. its b o d y. F or th ey have n o sh are in coldness. T h e s e he su pposes a re the first p rinciples o f diseases. H e says that diseases o ccu r becau se o f bile an d blood and p h legm . A n d again. H e says that bile is a d isch arge fro m th e flesh. and that it becom es thin w h en the vessels in the flesh a re en larged .

Eudemian Ethics 1225330-33) 222 .o r else th e actions based on such th ou gh ts and feelin gs . but.EARLY GREEK P H IL O S O P H Y The old theologians and prophets testify that the soul has been yoked to the body as a punishment and that it is buried in it as though in a tomb. [в 14] (C lem ent. as Philolaus said. som e reasons a re too stron g fo r us. (A ristotle .a re not in o u r po w er. Miscellanies III iii 17.1) C ertain th o u g h ts and feelin gs .

p rod u ces very sim ilar results. son o f Orchomenes. his first tragedy being produced at Athens in about 450. came from the Aegean island o f Chios. H e com posed m an y poem s an d traged ies an d also a ph ilo­ sophical treatise en titled Triad. and in som e copies it is en titled Triads. and there is nothing more or less than these three things. Ion) We have at most one other piece o f information about Ion’s philosophi­ cal thought. Ion has already been quoted in connection with Pythagoras. O f each one thing the excellence is threefold: intelligence and power and fortune. Lexicon s. but he deserves a brief chapter o f his own. C allim achu s says th at its auth orsh ip is d ispu ted. Plutarch may well be referring to the T r ia d when he reports that Ion the poet.16 ION OF CHI OS Ion. but he spent much o f his life in Athens where he was a friend o f many leading political and literary figures. In it h e w rites thus: This is the beginning o f my account: all things are three. On the Fortune o f the Romans 3 1 6 D ) 223 .v. [36 в l] (H arp ocratio n . says that fo rtu n e. (Plutarch. in the w ork he w ro te w ithout m etre and in prose. alth o u gh a th in g m ost dissim ilar to wisdom . in the plu ral (accord ing to D em etrius o f Scepsis an d A p o llo n ides o f Nicaea). H e was bom in about 485 в с and died in about 425. In his lifetime he was celebrated as a poet and a drama­ tist.

Here is one extract: 224 . Aristotle regarded him as a tawdry thinker: ‘O n e w ould not p rop ose to place H ip p o am ong these m en because o f the p o verty o f his th o u g h t’ (Metaphysics 98433). Commentary on the Physics 23. But a fragment o f his work survives. and his biological speculations had some connection with his view o f the first principle o f things. d y in g things d ry up. T h u s T h a le s. and all fo o d is ju ic y (each th in g is n aturally nou rish ed by that fro m w hich it is constituted).2 1-2 9 ) Hippo seems to have written at some length on biological matters. son o f Exam yes. (Sim plicius.17 HIPPO Hippo’s dates are unknown. T h a t is why th ey su p posed th st w ater was the first p rin cip le o f everyth in g and d eclared that the earth rests on water. F or heat lives by m oisture. w ho is actuslly th o u g h t to have been an atheist. som e assert that it is finite. Simplicius gives a brief report o f Hippo’s view on the under­ lying nature o f things: O f those w ho say that the first p rin cip le is o n e and in m otion ([Aristotle] calls them n atural scientists in the n arrow sense). and H ip p o. Cratinus attacked him fo r impiety. and at same point he won the epithet ‘atheist’. B u t w ster is the first principle o f nstu rai m oisture sn d conserves all m oist things. and he deserves a page or two. a M ilesian. hut he was lampooned by the comic poet Cratinus in the 42 os and was therefore presumably active in the latter part o f the fifth century. th e seeds o f all things are moist. T h e y w ere led to this view by the evid en ce o f p ercep tio n . said that the first p rin cip le is w ater.

I f they were. Homer refers to 'Ocean. Now all waters that are higher than the sea come from the sea. T h a t is w hy old m en are d ry and have w eak p ercep tio n — because they lack m oisture. the anim al ceases to p erceiv e and dies. Medical Writings X I 2 2 -4 2 ) The surviving fragment is preserved in a scholium or note in the Geneva manuscript o f Homer’s Iliad. W hen this m oisture is in an a p p ro p ria te con d ition . when it d ries up. For the wells from. the water would come not from the sea but from somewhere else.bu t he d oes not nam e the diseases w hich com e about. H e says that it ch a n g es eith e r to bein g m ore m oist o r to bein g d rie r o r to b ein g th icker tex tu red o r to bein g th in n er tex tu red o r in o th er directions. In the sam e way the soles o f the feet d o not have any perceptio n because th ey h ave n o sh are o f m oisture. But in fact the sea is deeper than the waters. Iliad X X I 195) 225 . which we drink are surely not deeper than the sea is. and that fresh water com es from this. [38 в l] H om er said the sam e as this. from which flow all rivers and all seas and all springs and the deep wells’. (G en eva scholium on H o m er. th e anim al is healthy. H ippo: A ll drinking waters come from the sea. The scholium quotes the opinion o f the scholar Crates on these lines: T h e n in the third book [o f his Homeric Studies. In an o th er bo ok the sam e m an says that w hat h e calls m oist­ ure ch anges th ro u g h excess o f heat and excess o f cold an d in this way introduces diseases. T h is is how he explain s diseases . (A nonym u s L on din ensis.HIPPO H ip p o o f C ro to n thinks that th ere is an a p p ro p ria te m oist­ ure in us in virtue o f w hich we perceive an d by w hich w e live. Crates] says that the later natural scientists also a g reed that the w ater w hich su rrou nd s the earth fo r m ost o f its exten t is O cea n . T h a t is as fa r as he goes on these points.

H e spent much o f his life in Athens. o f every other stuff. The surviving fragments o f Anaxagoras’ book deal almost exclus­ ively with the most general and abstract part o f his thought. the enterprise which the Milesians had carried out in the age o f intellectual innocence. Such is the general conception o f things which the fragments convey. which appears to have offered a complete account o f the natural world on the old Mile­ sian model. H e was called a follower’ o f Anaximenes. not particulate. Anaxagoras is said to have written only one book.18 ANAXAGORAS Anaxagoras was bom in Clazomenae on the coast o f Asia Minor in about 500 не. where he was associated with Pericles. the leading statesman o f the age. H e fled Athens and settled in Lampsacus in the Troad where he died. and with Euripides. however small. They can be supplemented from the doxography. and cannot. Anaxagoras' stuffs are continuous. the writer o f tragedies. an honoured guest. M ind then worked on the mass. The dates o f his stay in Athens are disputed: it is perhaps most probable that he came to the city in 480 and remained there until about 430 when he was tried on trumped up charges and condemned. Anaxago­ ras’ universe began as an undifferentiated mass o f stuff. The cosmic development does not. which gives cursory information about Anaxagoras’ more particular scientific theories. Simplicius is again our chief source. produce any ‘pure’ stuffs . and the articulated world developed. in 428. Here the fragments are presented in the 226 . in the post-Parmenidean period. Most o f what currently pass as fragments o f Anaxagoras are modem reconstructions based on distinct passages in Simplicius. and there can be little doubt that he was attempting to revive.every stu ff always contains a ‘portion’ or ‘share’.

he says. separate o f f fro m a sin gle m ixtu re.ANAXAGORAS disjointed form in which they are preserved. [в 2] A n d a little later: This being so. In the first book o f th e Physics A n a x a g o ra s says that u n ifo rm stu ffs. fo r air and ether covered all things. For it is impossible fo r them to be more numerous than all. it would share 227 . not even any colour was patent. For i f it were not by itself but had been mixed with some other thing. [59 в l ] A n d a litde later: For air and ether are separating o ff from the surrounding mass. A nd when all things were together. And what surrounds is infinite in quantity. H e m akes this clea r in th e first b o o k o f the Physics at the b eg in n in g o f w hich he says: Together were all things. fo r this was prevented by the commixture o f all things — o f the wet and the dry and the hot and the cold and the bright and the dark and much earth present therein and seeds. none was patent by reason o f smallness. all things b ein g p resen t in all and each b ein g ch a racterized by what predom inates. [в 4b] H e m akes it clear that n o n e o f the u n ifo rm stu ffs co m e into bein g o r is d estroyed but that they a re alw ays th e sam e: These things being thus dissociated. infinite in qu antity. in no way like one another. For o f the other things too. [cf в 4a] But before they separated off. being both infinite —fo r in all things these are the greatest both in quantity and in size. one should believe that in everything that is combin­ ing there are present many things o f every sort and seeds o f all things having all kinds o f shapes and colours and savours. and it has been mixed with no thing but is alone itself by itself. but all are always equal. infinite in quantity. but it gives a proper picture o f the evidence. O n m ind he has written as follows: M ind is something infinite and self-controlling. infinite both in quantity and in small­ ness —fo r the small too was infinite. when all things were together. This introduces some repetitiveness. none is like any other. [в 5] So m uch fo r the m ixtu re and the u n ifo rm stu ffs. one should recognize that all things are neither fewer nor more numerous.

For it is the finest o f all things and the purest. as with us. and the hot from the cold. o n e intelligible and the o th er (derivative fro m it) percep tible. i f it had been mixed with any. *which always exists. [в 1 2] T h a t h e su pposes a tw o-fold w orld . and it possesses all knowledge about everything. now assuredly* is where all the other things also are — in the surrounding mass and in the things that have associated and in the things that have separated off. and it has the greatest strength. is alike. and it will revolve yet more widely. h e continues: and the m en possess inhabited cities and constructed goods. as I have said earlier. A ll mind. A nd the dense is separating o ff from the rare. and the earth grows many things o f every sort 228 . And mind controls all those things. but each single thing is and was most patently those things o f which it contains most. as xvith us.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY in all things. so that it revolved in the first place. And first it began to revolve in a small area. and there is a sun present among them and a moon and the rest. And mind arranged everything — what was to be and what was and what now is and what will be . both great and small.and also this revolution in which revolve the stars and the sun and the moon and the air and the ether which are separating o ff But the revolution itself made them separate them off. And mind controlled the whole revolution. both great and small. A nd mind recognizes all the things which are commingling and separating o ff and dissociating. and the bright from the dark. and the things commingled with it would have prevented it from controlling anything in the way in which it does when it is actually alone by itself. and the dry from the wet. For in everything there is present a share o f everything. and m en were compacted and the other animals that possess soul. And there are many shares o f many things. but nothing completely separates o ff or dissociates one from another except mind. which possess soul. [в 14] N ow h a vin g said that: There are present in everything that is combining many things o f every sort and seeds o f all things having all kinds o f shapes and colours and savours. and it is revolving more widely. Nothing else is alike. is clear both from what w e have a lread y cited an d fro m th e follow ing: M ind.

there is no smallest. w hich h e uses m ore th an o n ce. 229 . [в 3] For i f everyth in g is in e v ery th in g an d e v ery th in g separates o f f from everyth in g. he says. Commentary on the Physics 1 5 5 . and it is equal to the small in quantity. (Sim plicius. and it has been mixed with no thing. but mind is something infinite and self-controlling. as with us’. then fro m w hat is taken to be th e sm allest thin g som ethin g sm aller will be separated o ff. And again o f the large there is always a larger. an d w h at is taken to be the largest has been separated o f f fro m so m eth in g larger than itself.ANAXAGORAS for them. bu t ‘a sun and a m oon. but all things possess a share o f everything. but there is always a smaller.2 1 -1 5 7 . [cf В 12] Elsew here he puts it like this: Now since there are equal shares o f the great and o f the small in quantity.2 4 ) A t the very beg in n in g o f his bo ok [A n axagoras] says that things w ere infinite: Together were all things. as th ou gh h e m eant a d iffe re n t su n an d m oon. the most useful o f which they gather into their houses and use. n o t ‘u se d ’. [c f в l] A m o n g the principles th ere is n eith er a sm allest n o r a largest: For o f the small. fo r h e said n ot ‘the sun and th e m oon are p resen t to them as th ey a re to us’. B ut in relation to itself each thing is both large and small. B u t w h eth er that is so o r not d em an ds fu rth e r en qu iry. H e does not think that it is p ercep tib le and ea rlier than o u rs in tim e. nor can they be separate. as is shown by the sen ten ce ‘the m ost u seful o f w hich th ey g ath er into their houses an d use’ — fo r he said ‘use’. [в 4a] T h e p hrase ‘as with us’. [в 11 ] A n d again: Other things possess a share o f everything. For what is cannot not be. H e says clearly that: In everything there is present a share o f everything except m ind— and in some things mind too is present. infinite both in quantity and in small­ ness. shows that he is hinting at a n o th e r w orld ap art fro m o urs. for this reason too all things will be in everything. N o r is he re ferrin g to a presen t state o f affa irs sim ilar to o u rs with o th er houses.

too. that separat­ in g o u t com es about by m otion. [в 7] (T h a t he th o u g h t them lim ited inform h e m akes clear by saying that m ind know s th em all. [в 6] A n a x a g o ra s also stipulates that each o f th e perceptible uni­ fo rm stu ffs com es about and is ch aracterized in virtue o f the com position o f sim ilars. to say that m ind attem pts to dissociate them but can n ot d o so. [cf в 12] H e seem s. and everything that mind 230 . [cf в 4b] P erh aps by ‘in fin ite’ h e m eans w h at is u n grasp ab le and u n k n ow ab le to us. infinite both in quantity and in small­ ness — fo r the small too was infinite.EARLY GREEK PH ILOSO PHY Since there cannot be a smallest. Commentary on the Physics 16 4 . Commentary on On the Heavens 60 8. equal in quantity in the larger and smaller. things cannot be separated or come to be by themselves. (Sim plicius.21-28 ) [Aristotle] was n o t r e fe rrin g to A n a x a g o ra s. B u t it is plain that he does use it. becau se h e m akes no use o f it in g en era tin g things. [cf в l] And: One should believe that all things were present in the whole.14 -1 6 5 .p erh ap s. h e says. fo r this is ind icated by th e phrase so that we do not know the quantity either in word or in deed o f the things that are separating off. F or this is w hat A n a x a g o ra s says: A nd when mind began to move things. none was patent by reason o f smallness. but as they were in the beginning so too now are all things together. things were separating o ff from everything that was being moved. even th o u g h A n a x a g o ra s placed m ind a m o n g th e first principles . since he says that gen era tio n is n o th in g b u t sep aratin g o ut. In all things there are many even o f the things that are separating off. F or he says: But each single thing is and was most patently those things o f which it contains most.5 ) A n a x a go ras says at th e b eg in n in g o f his treatise: Together were all things. And when all things were together. an d that m ind is responsible fo r th e m otion.) (Sim plicius. a cco rd in g to A le x ­ a n d er.

but is alone itself by itself. infinite both in quantity and in small­ ness. in no way like one another. For M ind. one should believe that all things were present in the whole.ANAXAGORAS moved was dissociated. when all things were together. sep arate fro m the things that a re b e in g a rra n g ed and b elo n g in g to a d iffe r e n t o rd e r from the thin gs bein g a rra n g e d .2 7-3 0 x. infinite in quantity. (Sim plicius. A n a x a g o ra s says this: This being so. h e con ceived o f them in an intellectual d is­ sociation on w hich the dissociation about us has been m od ­ elled. the revolution made them dissociate fa r more. [в 13] [Aristotle] d id not m en tion A n a x a go ras because A n a x a g o ra s d id not m ake m ind an en m attered form (which is w hat he is investigating here) bu t a cause o f dissociation an d a rra n g e ­ m ent. For in the first b o o k o f On Nature.as w h en he says: Together were all things. one should believe that in everything that is combin­ ing there are present many things o f every sort and seeds o f all things having all kinds o f shapes and colours and savours. is something infinite and self-controlling. [cf в 12] A n d he ad d s the reason fo r this. fo r this was prevented by the commixture o f all things — o f the wet and the dry and the hot and the cold and the bright and the dark and much earth present therein and seeds. Commentary on the Physics 3 0 0 . shortly a fte r the beginn in g.) Secondly. and it has been mixed with no thing. First. [cf в x] A n d again he says: But before these things separated off. A nd as they were moving and dissociating. [в 4b] (A nd this totality will be th e o n e existin g th in g o f Parm enides. and men were compacted and the other animals that possess soul. he says. not even any colour was patent.that his m ind seem s not to m ake the fo rm s but to dissociate them w h en th ey exist. And 231 . they a re g ath ered togeth er in an intelligible unity .10 ) A n axago ras o f C lazo m en ae seem s to have co n ceived o f all the form s in th ree d iffe r e n t ways. P erhaps this is an o th e r reason why [A ristotle] d id not m ention A n a x a g o ra s . This being so.

their speed is similar in speed to none o f the things that now exist among men. this. [в 4a] T o som e h e will no d o u b t seem not to be contrastin g a gen erat­ ive dissociation with an intellectual o n e b u t to be co m p arin g o u r habitation to o th er places o n th e earth. but is certainly many times faster. T h is is w hat he writes: The Greeks do not have a correct notion o f generation and destruction. he holds that all things a re in all things first in respect o f intelligible unity. because it will not have occurred with us only but also elsewhere. (ibid 1 7 5 .1 5 ) In th e first b o o k o f the Physics A n a x a g o ra s plainly says that g en eratio n and destruction a re com bination and dissociation.18 -3 5 . but they are 232 . and the earth grows many things o f every sort fo r them.2 1) W h en A n a x a g o ra s says: One thing neither separates o ff nor dissociates from another [cf в 12] because e v ery th in g is in ev eryth in g . is not based on kn ow led ge. n o r w ould h e have called the things there seeds o f all th in gs an d shapes.EA RLY GREEK P H IL O S O P H Y the m en possess inhabited cities and constructed goods. fo r no things are generated or destroyed. [в 9] A n d i f this is his con ception . (Sim plicius. C o n sid er w hat he says a little later on w hen he com pares the two: Л5 these things thus revolve and are separating o ff by force and speed (the speed produces the force). neither the hot from the cold nor the cold from the hot [в 8] (fo r th ere is n o th in g p u re by itself). as with us and they have a sun and a moon and the rest. an d th ird ly in respect o f p er­ ceptible conjunction s and th eir g en eratio n s and dissolutions. ThisI have said about the separating off. secon dly in respect o f intellectual consubstantiality. says A ristotle. as with us. an d elsew here: They have not been cut o ff by an axe. B u t he w ould not h ave said o f o th e r places that they h ave a sun and a m oon and th e rest. as with us. Commentary on the Physics 3 4 . the most use­ f u l o f which they gather into their houses and use.1 1 .

[c f в 12] A n d a little later he says: The dense and the wet and the cold and the dark congregated here where now is the earth. [cf в 16] (ibid 17 8 . bu t not d irectly (as in the case o f uniform stuffs). A t any rate. and dissociated from things that exist.was assum ed in o rd e r to en su re that n o th in g com es into bein g from w h at does not exist..that ‘to g eth er w ere all things’ and that g en eratio n takes place in virtue o f alteration (or com bination an d dis­ sociation) . and he says that o th er things. earth from the water. And the dense is separating o ff from the rare.as d o th e co lo u r opposites. and the dry from the wet. For sw eet and bitter. e . i f the elem ents a re first principles. (ibid 16 3 . and the rare and the hot and the dry and the bright moved out to the farther part o f the ether. and stones are compacted from the earth by the cold. 233 . and the bright from the dark. and the cold from the hot. A n a x a g o ra s says in th e first bo ok o f his Physics: For water is separated o ff from the clouds. m o re co m p o u n d than these. on the hypothesis o f the elem ents d o not in h ere prim arily in th e elem ents. [в 15] A n d he says that these o rigin al an d very sim ple things are separatin g o ff. [в 17] A ll this .18 -2 6 ) Perhaps A n a x a go ras posited the co m p ou n d s. A nd fo r this reason they would be correct to call generation commingling and destruction dissociation.ANAXAGORAS commingled.g . F or he says: In this way from these as they separate o ff earth is compacted. earth from the water. the secon d ary on es in h erin g because o f th e p rim ary ones. an d n o t the sim ple and origin al qualities as elem ents w hen he said: But the revolution itself made them separate off.3 3 -17 9 . but on the hypothesis o f un ifo rm stu ffs they in h ere p rim arily and in th eir ow n righ t .1 0 ) Perhaps all the opposites a re actually in th e elem ents. O r p erh ap s even in the case o f u n ifo rm stu ffs som e opposites a re p rio r to others. for water is separated o ff from the chuds. som etim es b ecom e com pacted like co m p o u n d s and som etim es separate o f f like the earth.

EARLY GREEK PH IL OSO P H Y and stones are compacted from the earth by the cold. cou ld h air com e into bein g fro m w hat is not hair. o u r sight will not be able to d iscrim in ate th e g ra d u a l chan ges even th o u g h th ey exist in nature. A ll this is false . an d then p o u r fro m o n e to the o th e r d ro p by d ro p . black an d white.13 -2 3 ) Some scholars have found a further fragment in the following text: A n a x a g o ra s hit u pon the old d octrin e that n o th in g com es into b ein g fro m w hat is not. F o r in the sam e seed th ere a re hairs and nails an d veins an d arteries an d ten d on s and bones. Commentary on the Physics 15 5 . o r flesh fro m w hat is not flesh? [в 10] A n d he says this not o n ly o f bodies but also o f colours. A n d he posited the sam e fo r w eights. And these move out further than the water. the only author apart from Simplicius who preserves any o f Anaxagoras’ words is Sextus Empiricus. an d d id aw ay with gen eratio n . F or he said that all things have been m ixed with o n e a n o th e r and that as they g ro w they dis­ sociate. h e says. F or i f we take tw o colours. says: We are not capable o f discerning the truth by reason o f their feebleness. T h e d istin gu ish ed natural scientist A n a x a g o ras. [в 21] an d h e o ffe r s as a p r o o f o f th eir u ntrustw orthiness the gradual ch a n g e o f colours. (Sextus E m piricus. intro­ d u c in g d issociation in its place. [c f в 16] (Sim plicius. but as they gro w they gra d u a lly dissociate. F or how .fo r how can op posites co-exist? (Scholiast to G re g o ry o f N azianzus [Patrologia Graeca X X X V I 9 11 BC]) In fact. attacking the senses fo r th eir w eakness. fo r black is p resen t in w hite and w hite in black. b elievin g that the ligh t was com m ingled with th e heavy an d vice versa. an d they a re invisible because o f the sm allness o f th eir parts. Against the Mathematicians V I I 90) D iotim us said that [D em ocritus] su pposed th ree standards: fo r 234 .

he d id n ’t ascribe to it any exp lan atio n s fo r the a rra n g in g o f things but fo u n d exp lan atio n s in air and e th er and w ater and m any o th er absurdities. Metaphysics 984b 15—18) Socrates had the same view when he first read Anaxagoras’ book: I on ce heard som eone rea d in g fro m a bo ok o f A n a x a g o ra s and saying that it is m ind w hich arran g es an d is responsible fo r everyth in g. [в 2 1 a] as A n a x a go ras says . (A ristotle.why it com es into bein g o r perish es o r exists .ANAXAGORAS the ap p reh en sion o f w hat is u n clear the stan d ard is the a p p a r­ ent. On the details o f Anaxagoras’ views we are less well informed. . N ow . So i f an yon e w anted to d isco ver the exp lan atio n o f anyth in g . som eone said that ju s t as in anim als so in n atu re m ind is p re ­ sent and responsible fo r th e w orld and its w h ole o rd erin g : he a p p eared as a sober m an co m p ared to his p red ecessors w h o spoke at random . in th e best way possible. ^ (Plato. T h is exp lan atio n d elig h te d m e an d it seem ed to m e som ehow to be a goo d th in g that m ind was responsible fo r everyth in g .an d D em ocritus praised him fo r this. Here 235 .h e would have to d isco ver how it is best fo r it to be o r to be acted u pon o r to act . V I 1 140) One o f the most celebrated parts o f Anaxagoras' philosophy was his conception o f the controlling power o f mind in the universe. Phaedo 97 в с . According to Aristotle. in a rra n g in g things.I th o u g h t that in that case m ind. an d place each. this sp len d id h o p e was d ashed. m y frien d . (ibid. 98 в с) S ocrates' disappointment was echoed later by A ristotle and by A ristotle ’5 pupil Eudemus. w ould a rra n g e them all. fo r what appears is the sight o f what is unclear. fo r as I co ntinu ed rea d in g 1 saw that the m an d id n ’t use his m ind at all . .

EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY are. His treatise. p o in tin g to the heavens. acco rd ­ in g to A n a x a go ras. w h o su d d en ly rose u p and tied to g eth er all that had b e fo re been in disarray. h e rd in g them to g eth er and d o in g what we will with them . two short samples. [в 21b] (Plutarch. and was the first to p u t m ind in ch a rg e o f m atter. H e was a fo llo w er o f A n a x im en es. begins as follows: A ll things were together. A p o llo d o ru s in his Chronicles says that he was born in the seventieth O lym ­ piad [500-497] an d that he d ied in th e first year. so that h ere n o th in g d ep en d s on fo rtu n e but ev ery th in g on p lan n in g and fo resigh t. o f Clazom enae.and also fo r his gen ero sity inasm uch as he ced ed his inheritan ce to his frien d s. h e rep lied : ‘B e q u iet . and to have lived to be seventy-tw o. B u t by e x p erien ce and m em ory an d w isdom and skill. which is written in a pleasant and lofty style. an d T im o n in his Silli says this about him : A n d th ere. T h e M ind (fo r he had a m ind). w e use them . F or w h en they accused him o f n eglectin g it h e said: ‘T h e n w h y d o n ’t you look a fter it?’ In th e en d he went into retirem en t and spent his tim e in scientific study. Deipnosophists 57D) A n a x a go ras. a stout hero. giv in g no th o u g h t to politics. Then mind came and arranged them. H e was rem arkab le fo r his g o o d birth an d his wealth . [в 22] (A th en aeu s. W h en som eone asked him i f he had no care fo r his co u n try. is A n a x a g o ras. H e is said to have been tw enty w hen X erxe s invad ed G reece [480 в с ]. first.1 have the greatest care fo r m y co u n try ’. they say. In all o th e r respects w e are m ore u n fo rtu n ate than the beasts. o f the eighty236 . takin g their h on ey and their m ilk. son o f H egesibu lu s (or o f E ubulus). and then the bulk o f Diogenes Laertius’ life o f Anaxagoras. [cf в l] H en ce h e was n icknam ed ‘M in d ’. On Fortune 98F) A n a x a g o ra s in his Physics says that w hat is called b ird ’s m ilk is th e w hite o f the e g g .

fem ales fro m th e left. and that the m oon is inhabited and also contains hills and ravines. like fire. S h o o tin g stars are. T h e y say that he p red icted the fall o f the m eteorite which occu rred at A eg osp o tam i . fo r ju s t as g o ld is co m p o u n d ed from gold-dust.’ W h en som eone com plained that h e was d y in g in a fo reig n co u n try. 237 . says in the Phaelhon that the sun is a g o ld e n clou d .and it d id . th ey say he replied: ‘Y es. th e m iddle. th e u p p er.’ h e replied: ‘N o . W h en he was g o in g to O lym p ia h e sat dow n u n d e r a m ackintosh as th o u g h it w ere g o in g to rain . as it w ere. later they acqu ired a tilt. L ig h tn in g is friction in the clouds. C o m ­ ets are conjunctions o f planets which em it flam es.’ A sk ed fo r w hat en d he had been b orn . T h e y say that he stayed th ere fo r thirty years. H e began to p h ilosop h ize in A th en s in the archon sh ip o f Callias w hen he was tw enty. H e said that the sun is a fiery lu m p . la rg er than th e P eloponnese (but som e ascribe this to T an talu s). ‘Y o u have been ex iled from the A th en ia n s. H eavy bodies. M ind is the first p rin cip le o f m ovem ent. A t first the heaven ly bodies m oved as th o u g h in a rotu n d a so that the pole which is always visible was d irectly o v e r the earth . A n im als w ere g en era te d from the moist. ligh t bodies. he said: ‘F o r the study o f the sun an d the m oon and the h eavens. and its m oistu re is vap o rized by the sun. W h en som eone asked him i f the m ountains at L am psacus w ou ld e v e r becom e sea. w ater and air.’ W hen he saw the tom b o f M ausolus.ANAXAGORAS eigh th O lym p iad [428]. T h e u n ifo rm stu ffs a re first principles. sparks shaken from th e air. he said: ‘A rich tom b is the im age o f a substance tu rn ed to ston e. and later fro m o n e an o th er. T h u n d e r is a clash o f clouds.th ey h ave been exiled from m e.’ W h en som eone said. F or in this way the sea rests on the earth . which is flat. the hot and the earth y. w ho was his p u p il. Males com e from the righ t. E arth qu akes a re a subsiding o f a ir into the earth .h e said that it w ould fall fro m the sun. T h e M ilky W ay is a reflection o f light from stars which a re not illum in ated by the sun. W inds o ccu r w hen the air is rarefied by the sun. T h a t is why E u ripid es. like earth. i f tim e d o esn ’t g ive o u t. so the u niverse is co m bin ed fro m sm all u n ifo rm bodies. a cco rd in g to D em etrius o f P haleron in his List o f Archons. occu py the low er regions.

Sotion. Pericles’ political op p o n en t.’ H e was fre ed . in his Suc­ cession o f Philosophers.a cco rd in g to Favorinus in his Miscellaneous Inquiries . H e is th o u g h t som eh ow to h ave been hostile to D em ocritus 238 . he said o f th e co n d em n atio n that ‘ N atu re lo n g ago co n d em n ed both them an d m e’. bu t h e co u ld n o t b ea r the sham e and killed him self. W h en he was told both o f the con d em n atio n and o f th e d eath o f his ch ild ren . T h e y said they had none.’ (Som e ascribe this to Solon . others to X en o p h o n . and that he was co n d em n ed to d eath in absentia. A n axago ras was also th e first to publish a book with d iagram s. Pericles arrived and asked them if they had any ch arge to b rin g against him fo r his way o f life. and o f his ch ild ren that ‘ I knew th ey w ere m or­ tal w hen I fa th ere d th em . So m uch fo r his trial.’ H e seem s to h ave been the first . ‘Y e t I am his p u p il.’ h e said. and that A n a x a g o ra s said that th e w hole heavens w ere constituted o f stones — they are held u p by the rapid rotation an d they fall to earth w hen it slackens. and that w h en his pu pil Pericles co n d u cted his d efen ce he was fin ed five talents an d exiled . ‘T h e n d o not yield to cal­ um n y an d kill him . T h is th eory was taken fu rth e r by his frien d . Silenus says in the first bo ok o f his Histories that the m eteorite fell from the sky in the archo n sh ip o f D em u lus.EARLY GREEK PH IL OSO P H Y h e rep lied : ‘T h e d escen t to H ades is the sam e w h ere v er you start fro m . w ho was th e first to occu py h im self with th e p o et’s ideas on n atural science. that the ch a rg e was not o n ly im piety bu t also M edism . D iffe re n t stories a re told about his trial. in his bo ok On Old Age. so that it was pity rath er than ju d g e m e n t w hich freed him.to have said that H om er’s p oetry is a b o u t virtu e an d vice. says that h e was co n d em n ed fo r im piety by C le o n because he said that th e sun was a fiery lum p.) D em etrius o f P h aleron . H iero n ym u s. Satyrus in his Lives says that the case was b ro u g h t by T h u cy d id e s. says that he b u ried them with his ow n hands. H erm ip p u s in his Lives says that he was incarcerated in the prison to await his d eath . says that Pericles led him to th e co u rtroo m feeb le and thin fro m disease. M etro d o ru s o f Lam psacus. b u t listen to m e and free him . in th e secon d bo ok o f his Miscellanies.

’ T h e custom is still observed. (D iogenes L aertius.ANAXAGORAS because he was not able to have conversation with him . Lives o f the Philosophers II 6 -1 4 ) 239 . W h en the m agistrates o f the city asked him w hat h e w ould like to be d o n e fo r him . In the end he retired to L am psacus an d d ied th ere. he said: ‘L et the ch ildren have a holid ay each yea r in the m onth o f m y d eath .

His fath er was A p o llo d o ru s o r. Here. are the two fullest ancient accounts o f his thought. B u t he too seem s to have touched upon ethics. A n d that things a re ju s t o r ign ob le not by n atu re bu t by convention. T h e o rig in o f m ou o n is th e sep aratin g o f f from one 240 . Yet he deserves a brief mention: he was the first native-born Athenian philosopher. for he philo­ sophized about laws and about the noble and the just. and he made at least one strik­ ing. H e was a pupil o f A n a x a g o ra s and a teach er o f Socrates. a cco rd in g to som e. then. the son o f A p o llo ­ d oru s. remark (on the subject o f ethics). hot and cold . he was a pupil o f Anaxagoras and a teacher o f Socrates. Lives o f the Philosophers II 16) A rch ela u s was o f an A th en ia n fam ily. H e sp oke o f th e m ixin g o f m atter in the sam e way as A n a x a g o ra s (and sim ilarly with the first principles o f things). A rch elau s cam e from A th en s o r M iletus. an d that anim als w ere g en era ted fro m the m ud. (D iogen es L aertius. and he was called a natural p h ilo so p h er — in d eed n atu ral philosoph y actually e n d ed with him . H e was the first to b rin g natu ral p h ilosoph y fro m Ionia to A th en s. and apparently original.) H e said that th ere a re two causes o f gen eratio n .19 ARCHELAUS Archelaus was a minor figure in the history o f Greek philosophy. but he m aintained that th ere is a m ixtu re p resent in m ind from the start. w h en Socrates in trod u ced the subject o f eth ­ ics. and no fragment o f his works has survived. (Socrates too k this o v e r from him and was su pposed to have in ven ted the subject because he d evelo p ed it to its height. M idon.

H e says that the heavens are tilted. O n the subject o f anim als. som e m ore slowly and others m ore quickly. he says that. som e sm aller). H e o ffe r s as evid en ce fo r its hollow ness the fact that the sun does not rise an d set at the sam e tim e fo r everyo n e . the cold at rest. w h ere the hot an d th e cold w ere m ixin g. and that in this way the sun sheds light on the earth and m akes the air tra n sp a ren t and the earth dry. and it lies at the m iddle. M en w ere sep arated fro m the o th er anim als and established leaders an d laws and skills and cities and the rest. Refutation o f all Heresies I ix 1-6 ) 241 . H e says th at m ind is inn ate in all anim als alike.so m eth in g w hich w ou ld be bo u n d to occu r w ere the earth level. L a te r th ey cam e to rep rod u ce from o n e an o th er. h igh at the circu m feren ce and hollow in the m iddle. the fo rm e r o f w hich travels u pw ard s w hile the latter rem ains below. it was first in the low er part.ARCHELAUS an oth er o f the hot and the cold: the hot is in m otion. F or at first the earth was a m arsh. being the m erest fraction o f the u niverse. < T h e a ir > g iven o f f by the co n flagratio n < su p p o rts the e a rth > . o f which the greatest is the sun and the second the m oon ( o f the rest som e are greater. T h e y w ere short-lived. all o f them h avin g the sam e way o f life inasm uch as th ey w ere nourished by the m ud. A s w ater liquefies it flows into the m idd le w h ere it bu rn s and becom es air and earth . T h u s the earth is at rest and com es into existen ce fo r these reasons. fro m it as it is first burned o f f com es the substance o f the h eaven ly bodies. (H ippolytu s. that m an y anim als in clu d in g m en a p p ea re d . as th e ea rth grew w arm . fo r each o f th e anim als uses its m ind.

and to transcribe the one short fragment which is all that survives o f Leucippus’ writings. then. will be presented more fully in the next chapter under the name o f Democritus. and both are equally causes o f the things that com e into being. The atomist philosophy. he said that it was 242 . Democritus overshadowed his master in the later tradition.20 LEUCIPPUS Leucippus is a shadowy figure: his dates are not recorded. Here it is enough to cite one o f the few doxographical passages which speak specifically o f Leucippus. he held that b ein g no m ore exists than non -bein g. We are rarely in a position to separate the contributions o f Democritus from those o f Leucippus. Democritus o f Abdera. For w h ereas they m ade the u n iverse o n e and m otionless and u n g en e ra ted an d lim ited. conjunc­ tively. F or su p p o sin g that the substance o f the atom s is solid and fu ll. and even his birthplace is uncertain. which was elaborated in fa r greater detail by his pupil and successor. the atom s. and d id not allow an yon e even to in q u ire into w hat does not exist. A g ain . he posited infinite and eter­ nally m ovin g elem ents. to 'Leucippus and Democritus’. as it seem s. an d an infinite quantity o f shapes a m o n g them (because th ere is no m ore reason fo r them to be thus than thus) su p p o sin g that gen eratio n and ch an ge are u n failin g a m o n g the things that exist. L eu cip p u s o f Elea o r o f M iletus (both places are m entioned in conn ection with him ) shared P arm en id es’ philosophy but did not take th e sam e path as P arm enid es an d X en o p h an es about the things that exist but rath er. H e was the first to develop the theory o f atomism. The Greek historians o f philosophy rarely dis­ tinguish between the views o f the two men: they often refer. the opposite one.

LEUCIPPUS bein g and that it was carried about in the void.4 -15 ) Leucippus: e v ery th in g h appens in acco rd an ce with necessity. L eucippus: he says in On Mind: No thing happens in vain. [67 в 2] (Stobaeus. w hich he called non-being and w hich he says exists no less than being. Anthology I iv 7c) 243 . and necessity is the sam e as fate. but everything fo r a reason and by necessity. Commentary on the Physics 2 8 . (Sim plicius.

a y o u n g m an w hen A n a x a go ras was o ld . and to the Red Sea. In a fragment o f uncertain authenticity he allegedly writes: I came to Athens and no-one knew me. None o f Democritus' writings has survived intact. (D iogenes Laertius. and there are. So he was b o rn . Although Plato fails. however. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 36 = 68 в 1 1 6) H e hirnself offered a little chronological information: A s to his dates. he was. he was highly regarded by Aristotle. to Persia. in the 244 . A n d he says that The Little Worldordering was com posed 730 years a fte r the ca p tu re o f T ro y . to mention his name. moreover. M uch o f Epicurus’ work. so that by way o f Epicureanism Democritus has had a lasting effect on western science and philosophy. Little is known o f his life. H e is supposed to have learned from Leucippus and from Anaxagoras and from Philolaus. remarkably. was preserved. a cco rd in g to A p o llo d o ru s in his Chronicles. He was the most prolific. and ultimately the most influential. He is said to have travelled to Egypt. and his fundamental ideas were taken up and developed by Epicurus in the fourth century вс. o f the Presocratic philosophers: his atomic theory may be regarded from a certain point o f view as the culmination o f early Greek thought. bein g forty years y o u n g e r than him . very few fragments bearing on what we now think o f as the central and most important part o f his thought. as he hirnself says in The Little Worldordering.21 DE MOC R I T US Democritus was bom in Abdera in the north o f Greece.

o r . H e also m entions. and o f O en o p id es (whom he m entions).DEMOCRITUS eightieth O lym p iad [460 -457 в с ] . Terrestrial Causes. Tritogeneia (so called because fro m h e r co m e th ree things which con serve all hum an affairs). On Nature (one book). On the Senses (som e p u t these to g eth er u n d er the title On the Soul). On Manliness o r On Virtue. On Colours. he says. may be gained from the list o f his books which Diogenes Laertius preserves: His books w ere catalogu ed and a rra n g ed in tetralogies by T h rasyllu s in the sam e way as he a rra n g ed Plato’s w orks. w ho is a g reed to have been a co n tem p o rary o f Socrates. Atmospheric Carnes. Ethical Commen­ taries. a cco rd in g to T h rasy llu s in his w ork entitled Prolegomena to the Reading o f the Books o f Democritus. Cosmography. and o f the breadth o f his professional interests. On the Disposition o f the Wise M an. o n e yea r o ld er than Socrates. On M ind. So he will have been a co n tem p o rary o f A rch elau s. {Well-being is lost. On the Nature o f M an o r On Flesh (two books). the p u p il o f A n axagoras. being. in conn ection with their beliefs about the o n e. T h e se are about nature. On the Planets. On Images o r On Providence. Causes Concerned with 45 . his w orks on natural science are: The Great World-ordering (which T h eo p h ra stu s says was w ritten by Leucippus). His ethical works are these: Pythagoras. Causes Concerned with Fire and Things in Fire. Buttresses (which su p p o rts th e p r e ­ vious works).) T h e se are his ethical w orks. in the third yea r o f the seventy-seventh O lym p iad [470/469 в с]. The Horn o f Amaltheia. On Logic o r The Rule (three books). (ibid IX 4 1) Some idea o f Democritus’ productivity. (N ot integrated into th e catalogu e are the follow ing: Heavenly Causes. On Flavours. On the Things in Hades. P ar­ m enides and Z en o as b ein g particu larly celebrated in his tim e and also Protagoras o f A b d era. The Little World-ordering. On Different Shapes. On Contentment. On Changing Shape.

On the Great Year o r Astronomy (a calendar). Geometry. Secondly come the texts which record Demo­ critus’ views on knowledge and scepticism. On Magnets. On Irrational Lines and Solids (two books). On Fever and Coughing Sicknesses. Miscellaneous Causes. Such a re his literary w orks. Causes Concerned with Animals (three books). (D iogen es L aertius. On Euphonious and Harsh-sounding Letters. Finally. Such are these. Description o f Rays o f Light. Circumnavi­ gation o f the Ocean. which describe the atomic theory. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 4 5 -4 9 ) The remainder o f this chapter is divided into fou r sections. On the Beauty o f Verses. 246 . On History. Description o f the Poles. On Homer o r Correct Language and Glosses. On Song. On Verbs. the longest sec­ tion is given to the ethical fragments. Tactics and Fighting in Armour. T h ese are the non-integrated works. T h e s e a re the m athem atical w orks. The relative lengths o f the four sections are determined by the amount o f available material: they do not reflect the importance which Democritus . On Painting. On Farming o r Farm­ ing. Planispheres. Som e o rd e r separately the fo llo w in g works fro m the Commentaries: On the Sacred Writings in Babylon.might ascribe to the different aspects o f his thought. Names. MedicalJudgement. On Diet o r Dietetics. Description o f the Heavens. On Poetry. his technical w orks a re these: Prognosis. Geography. On Those in Meroe.EA RL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y Sounds. Contest o f the Waterclock.) T h e mathematical works are these: On Different Angles o r On Contact o f Circles and Spheres. T h e o th er books w hich som e ascribe to him a re eith er com ­ pilations o f his w orks o r else a greed to be by others. There follows a short section on Democritus’ scientific and literary studies. First comes a selection o f texts. Legal Causes. Artefacts o r Problems. th e literary w orks are the follow ing: On Rhythms and Harmony. On Geometry. Chaldaean Account. Numbers. Phrygian Account. Causes Concern­ ing Appropriate and Inappropriate Occasions.o r w e . none o f them fragments o f Democritus. Causes Concerned with Seeds and Plants and Fruits.

dissolution. H e speaks o f gen era tio n and o f its co n ­ trary. we are obliged to rely on second-hand reports. fo r som e o f them a re u neven. H e calls place by the nam es ‘vo id ’. T h e atom s stru ggle and are carried about in the void because o f th eir dissim ilarities and th e o th er d ifferen ces m en tion ed . I f the sam e atom s en d u re. bein g im passive. H e explain s how the substances rem ain to g eth er in term s o f the ways in w hich th e bodies en tangle with and grasp hold o f o n e a n o th er. A n extract fro m A ristotle’s w ork On Democritus will show what the view o f these m en was: D em ocritus thinks that the n atu re o f etern al things con­ sists in small substances.ju s t as Em pedocles and H eraclitus seem to think. distinct from them and infinite in extent. as fro m elem ents. som e convex. and as they are carried about they collid e an d are bo u n d togeth er in a bin d in g w hich m akes them touch and be contigu ou s with o n e an o th e r but w hich does not g e n u ­ inely p ro d u ce any o th er single n a tu re w h a tever from them . fo r it is utterly silly to thin k that two o r m ore things could ev er becom e one. not o n ly in conn ection with anim als but 247 .DEMOCRITUS I Atomism For Democritus’ most celebrated doctrine. From them . and others have in n um erable o th er d ifferen ces. his atomism. and that they possess all sorts o f form s and all sorts o f shapes and d ifferen ces in m agnitu de. it is clear that [the Dem ocriteans] too will say that the w orlds are a ltered rath er than d estroyed . H e thinks that the substances a re so sm all that they escape o u r senses. infinite in quantity. So h e thinks that th ey hold on to o n e a n o th e r a n d rem ain togeth er u p to the tim e w hen som e stro n g e r fo rce reaches them fro m their en viro n m en t and shakes them an d scat­ ters them apart. and fo r them he posits a place. ‘n o th in g ’ an d ‘infin ite’. som e h o o k ed . ‘so lid ’ and ‘bein g’. and each o f the substances he calls ‘th in g ’. som e con cave. he was able to g e n era te and co m p ou n d visible and p ercep tible bodies.

the void n o n -bein g (that is w hy they say that b ein g no m ore exists than n on -bein g . ‘con ­ tact’ and ‘m o d e’ .w h ere rh ythm is shape. (A ristotle. and n d iffe rs from z in position.and in general with all p ercep tible bodies. T h e y say that the d ifferen ces a re th ree in n u m b er .30-295. o rd e r. Commentary on On the Heavens 294. contact is o rd e r and m od e is position. (Sim plicius. and these a re the m aterial causes o f the thin gs that exist. F or they say that bein gs d iffe r only by ‘rh yth m ’. w hen he says that a w hirl o f ev ery kind o f fo rm s was separated o f f fro m th e w h ole [в 167] but does not say how an d by w hat cause. and position. o n e o f which 248 . calling the o n e ‘b ein g ’ and the o th er ‘n o n -bein g’. they too. [A ristotle. Metaphysics g8 5 b4 -2 o) Aristotle’s fin al remark is echoed by Simplicius: D em ocritus too. T h e letter a d iffe rs fro m N in shape. A n d ju s t as those w h o m ake the u n d erly in g substance sin gle gen erate o th er things by its p rop erties. n egligen tly om itted to in qu ire into it. and o f these th e fu ll and solid is bein g. seem s to g en era te it spontaneously an d by chance. a n d iffe rs fro m n a in o rd er. fra gm en t 208] (Sim plicius.because void no m ore exists than body). so these m en say that the d ifferen ces [am ong the atom s] are the causes o f the o th er things. In the sam e way [L eu cip p u s’] associate D em ocritus o f A b d era posited th e fu ll and the void as first principles. A s fo r m otion (w hence and how existin g things acqu ire it). like the others. m akin g th e rare and the dense origin s o f th e p rop erties.22) The excerpt from Aristotle’s lost essay on Democritus can be sup­ plemented from his extant M etaphysics: L eu cip p u s and his co llea g u e D em ocritu s say that the full and the void a re elem ents.2 3 -2 6 ) The same commentary contains a brief doxographical section which adds a little to what we learn from Aristotle.shape. Commentary on the Physics 3 27.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY also in connection with plants and w orlds .

Against the Mathematicians V I I 1 1 6 . an d in the oth er case. barley with barley.d oves with doves. and each o f the shapes w h en arran ged in a d iffe r e n t co m p ou n d prod u ces a d iffe r e n t co n ­ dition. m ode . cranes with cranes.1 1 8 ) 249 . and ro u n d pebbles as roun d pebbles. they reasonably un d erto o k to accoun t fo r all prop erties and substances and fo r how and by w hat cause they com e into bein g. as th ou gh the sim ilarity in things contain ed som e sort o f fo rce fo r collecting things togeth er.w hich is to say. and so with the o th er irrational anim als. as I h ave a lread y said. T h u s since the principles are infinite. D em ocritus is th o u g h t to h ave p ro ­ d u ced confirm ation o f this o p in ion an d Plato to have tou ch ed on it in his Timaeus.15 -2 7 ) Democritus' idea that ‘like is moved by like’ is illustrated in the following passage: T h e r e is an ancien t opin ion w hich. F o r in the one case the w hirlin g o f the sieve separately a rra n g es lentils with lentils. T h e y them selves give this as the exp lan atio n o f the infinitude. F or anim als. F or by nature like is m oved by like and things o f the sam e kind a re carried tow ards o n e an o th er. fo r he posits the atom s as m atter fo r th e things that exist and g en erates e v e ry ­ th in g else by th eir d ifferen ces.DEMOCRITUS he called b ein g and th e o th er non -bein g. w h eat with w heat. oval pebbles a re fo rced into the sam e place as oval pebbles. shape and position an d o rd e r. (ibid 2 8 . as we can see fro m seeds that are bein g rid d led and fro m pebbles on th e sea-shore. D em ocritus bases his a rg u m e n t on both anim ate and inanim ate things. Sim ilarly in the case o f inanim ate things. h e says. has long been cu rren t a m o n g the n atural scientists to the e ffe ct that like recognizes like. (Sextus Em piricus. co n ­ tact. A n d they say that th e quantity o f shapes in the atom s is infinite because th ere is n o m ore reason fo r them to be thus than thus. c o n g re ­ gate with anim als o f the sam e kind . T h e s e a re three: rh yth m . by the m otion o f the waves. [в 164] T h a t is D em ocritus’ view. T h a t is w h y they say that only those w ho m ake the elem ents infinite p ro d u ce a reasonable accoun t o f things.

F or i f it is d ivid ed into two o r m ore parts the w hole is no sm aller o r la rg e r th an it was b e fo re . and be com posed . (A fte r all. Sim ilarly. it will e ith er consist o f points an d its com pon ents will have no m agn itu d e. The following Aristotelian pass­ age does not purport to represent Democritus’ actual arguments. and the division is possible. as it w ere. bu t we su p p o sed it divisible everyw h ere. So i f it is by nature ev ery w h e re divisible.) N ow since the bo d y is ev ery w h e re divisible. fro m n oth in g and the w h ole b o d y w ould be n o th in g b u t an ap p earan ce. su ppose it to have been d ivid ed . so that even i f all the points are p u t to g e th er they will not m ake any m agnitu de. is created w h en the b o d y is bein g d ivid ed . then it m igh t be so d ivided at o n e and th e sam e tim e even i f the div­ isions w ere not all m ade at the sam e tim e. W hat will be left? A m agnitu de? T h a t is n ot possible. but it is generally supposed to be an adaptation o f Democritean material. and in this way som e bo d y escapes fro m the m agni­ tude. n o th in g im possible w ould result. For w h en the points w ere in contact an d w ere a single m agnitude and w ere togeth er. W hat I m ean will be clear as we p ro ­ ceed.EA RL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y The texts so fa r cited do not explain w hy Democritus thought that the world consisted o f atoms and void. T h e r e is a d ifficu lty i f o n e supposes that th ere is a bo d y o r m agn itu d e w hich is divisible ev ery w h e re an d that this division is possible. D em ocritus seem s to h ave been p ersu ad ed by app rop riate an d scientific argu m en ts. and i f this w ere to h ap p en no im possibility w ould result.n o th in g im possible will h ave com e about. I f som e sawdust.w h eth er at success­ ive m id-points o r by any o th er m ethod . th en i f it is d ivid ed . even th o u g h no-on e w ould actually so d ivid e it. B u t i f there is to be n o b o d y o r m agn itu d e left an d yet the division is to take place. i f it is m ad e o f points it will not be a quantity. th ey d id not m ake th e w h ole at all larger. F o r w hat will th ere be that escapes the division? I f it is divisible everyw h ere. the sam e a rg u m e n t applies: how is this bo d y divisible? 250 . fo r th en th ere will be so m eth in g that has not been d ivid ed . i f it w ere d ivid ed a thousand dm es into a thousan d parts. o r else they will be n o th in g at all so that it w ould com e to be.

an d th ereb y th ro w ­ in g life into confusion . A g ain . necessarily th ere a re indivisible bodies a n d m ag n i­ tudes. T h e n w hat is th ere ap art from the division? E ven i f it has p rop erties. and the m agn itu d e consists o f points o r contacts with such and such a p rop erty? B u t it is absu rd to th in k that a m agnitu de consists o f w hat a re not m agnitudes. i f I d ivid e a lo g o r an yth in g else and th en p u t it togeth er. how is the bo d y dissolved into these an d how does it com e into bein g fro m them ? A n d how a re they se p ar­ ated? So i f it is im possible fo r m agn itu des to consist o f contacts o r points. At the same time it was a theory which appeared to have strongly sceptical implications. A g ain . T h is is so at w h atever point I cu t the log. all these things follow .DEMOCRITUS P erhaps it is not a b o d y b u t a separable fo rm o r p ro p e rty which escapes. w here will these points be.b i 6 ) II Knowledge Democritus’ atomism was the framework within which he tried to understand the nature o f the world. B u t D em ocritu s is so fa r fro m th in kin g that each subject is n o m o re such-and-such than so-and-so that 251 . [Colotes] first accuses [D em ocritus] o f saying that each o bject is no m ore such-and-such than so-and-so. On Generation and Corruption 3 i 6 a i 3 . and a re they m otionless o r m oving? A n d a single contact always involves two things. so that th ere is som ethin g a p a rt fro m the contact an d the division an d the point. It is best to approach this topic by setting down the passages in which Plutarch records and criticizes two objections made against Democritus by Epi­ curus’ pupil Colotes. (A ristotle. it is again a unit o f the sam e size. So it has potentially been d ivid ed e v e ry ­ where. I f on e posits that any body o f w hatever size is ev ery w h e re divisible.

For D em ocritu s’ claim . tru th a m o n g the things that exist lyin g in the fact that th ere a re atom s and void. because o f their hardness. by convention hot. an d h e holds that an yon e w ho sticks by this a rg u m en t and uses it can n ot even thin k that he is h im self a m an and alive. D em ocritus som etim es does away with w hat appears to the senses and says that n o th in g o f this sort appears in truth but only in o p in ion . H ence no co lo u r can em erge from things w hich a re colourless. he says.1 1 1 i a ) The most important text is found in Sextus Empiricus. (ibid 1 1 1 0 F . Against Colotes 1 i o 8 f . F or he says: By convention sweet and by convention bitter. the atoms n eith er are a ffected n o r ch an ge. etc. has m isunder­ stood D em ocritu s’ words: w hen he lays it dow n that things no m ore exist than n othin g. W hen th ey a p p roach o n e a n o th er o r collide o r a re en tan gled . the aggre gates appear as w ater o r fire o r plants o r m en.i ш д л ) A n d even m ore in his second accusation [Colotes] fails to notice that he drives E picu rus ou t o f life a lo n g with D em ocritus. 252 . indivisible an d indestructible.E ARL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y h e attacked P rotagoras the sophist fo r saying ju s t this and w rote m any persuasive things against him . and also qualityless and im passive. C olotes. h avin g not the slightest acquaintance with these w ritings. are carried about scattered in the void. It contains most o f the fragments which bear on the issue. an attack on the senses. w hile from the things that exist n o th in g can be generated in virtue o f the fact that. but all things really are w hat he calls these indivisible form s and n o th in g else. in reality the void an d th e atom s [cf в 125] .was. he m eans body by ‘things’ and the void by ‘n o th in g ’. B u t w hat does D em ocritus say? — T h a t substances infinite in quantity.by con ven tion co lo u r and by convention sw eet and by convention co m pou n ds. (Plutarch. and no n atu re o r soul from things w hich are qualityless and im passive. ind icating that the latter too has a sort o f n atu re an d existen ce o f its own. F or th ere is no gen eration fro m w hat does not exist.

T h e s e a re his words: There are two forms o f knowledge. the o n e by way o f the senses he nam es d ark . ascribing reliability to it with reg a rd to the d iscrim ination o f truth. but our belief in each case is a changing o f shape. To the dark belong all these: sight. T h e o n e by way o f the u n d erstan d in g he calls g e n u ­ ine. [ b i o ] A n d in On Ideas he says: And a man must recognize by this rule that he is removed from reality. objects o f perception are th o u g h t an d believed to exist but they d o not exist in truth .only atom s and void do. The dark. [в 8] Now in these passages h e does aw ay in e ffe ct w ith all know l­ ed ge.> . . setting the g en u in e above th e d ark . a lth o u g h he u n d ertakes to ascribe reliable p ow er to the senses. smell. even if it is o n ly the senses which he explicitly attacks. [в 11a] T h e n . separated from this < . hearing. . by convention colour: in reality atoms and void. touch. d e n y in g that it is u n errin g with rega rd to the d iscern m en t o f w hat is true.DEMOCRITUS by convention cold. [в 6] and again: This argument too shows that in reality we know nothing about anything. But in the Rules he says that th ere a re two form s o f kn o w led ge . he is fo u n d nonetheless co n d em n in g them . [в 9] A n d again he says: That in reality we do not know how each thing is or is not has been shown in many ways. one by way o f the senses and the o th er by way o f th e u n d e r­ standing. [в 7] and again: Yet it will be clear that to know how each thing is in reality is a puzzle. one genuine and the other dark. [cf в 125] T h a t is to say. taste. In his Buttresses. F or he says: We in reality know nothingfirmly but only as it changes in accord­ ance with the condition o f the body and o f the things which enter it and o f the things which resist it. he con tin u es thus: 253 .

my frien d .and D em ocritus praised him fo r this). w hich he calls gen u in e kn o w led ge. as A n a x a go ras says [59 B 21a] . on e p rin cip le is to know w hat the investigation is abo u t’ [Plato. . [в 117] (D iogen es L aertius. Phaedrus 273B]). it is the p a s s io n s . [c f в 125] A n d again: In reality we know nothing —fo r truth is in the depths. w ho does away with qualities w h ere he says: By convention hot. [в l lb] So a cco rd in g to D em ocritus. Lives o f the Philosophers IX 72) Several other texts refer to Democritus’ celebrated claim that 'by conven­ tion colour' etc. by convention sweet. fo r w hen he had b rou gh t ch arges against the senses. E veryo n e knows that the greatest ch a rg e against any argu m e n t is that it conflicts w ith what is evid en t. it is the co n cep t (‘fo r in every case. o f choice and avoidance. F or argu m en ts cannot even start w ithout self-eviden ce: how then can they be credible if th ey attack that fro m w hich they took th eir beginnings? D em ocritus too was aw are o f this. by convention bitter: in reality atoms and void. fo r investigation. saying: By convention colour. by convention cold: in reality atoms and void. reason. (Sextus Em piricus. he had the senses rep ly to th e intellect as follows: 254 .> . .fo r that w hich we find congenial is to be chosen and that w hich we find alien is to be avoided . D em ocritus. is the stand ard o f truth. Against the Mathematicians V I I 13 5 -14 0 ) Diogenes Laertius expresses the same sequence o f thoughts more briefly: A cco rd in g to som e.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY When the dark can no longer see more finely or hear or smell or taste or perceive by touch. X en o p h an es an d Z en o o f E lea and D em ocritus w ere sceptics . B u t D iodm us said that he su pposed th ree standards: fo r the ap p reh en sion o f w hat is u n clear the stan d ard is the ap p aren t (fo r w hat a p p ears is the sight o f w hat is u n clear. . . *but somethingfiner* < .

The Elements according to Hippocrates I 4 1 7 . in clu d in g o u r own bodies and th eir p rop erties and perceptions. (G alen. [в 125] So one should co n d em n the unreliability of an a rg u m e n t which is so bad that its m ost persuasive p art conflicts with the eviden t propositions fro m which it took its start. h aving no natural w hiteness o r blackness o r any o th er colou r w hatever.4 1 8 k ) D em ocritus w ent w ro n g in a m an n er u n w orth y o f h im self when he said that in tru th o n ly the atom s a re existen t. bein g sm all bodies. not only shall we not be able to d isco ver th e tru th .this is ju s t w hat he said him self. says D em ocritu s. [cf в 125] A n d he thinks that it is fro m the co n g regatio n o f atom s that all the p erceptible qualities com e to be . D em o ­ critus. by convention bitter.they a re relative to us who perceive them . F or a cco rd in g to y o u r theory. (G alen. all the rest bein g by custom . On Medical Experience X V 7 -8 ) A ll these people p resu p p o se that the prim ary elem en t is qu al­ ityless. and in these m eetings they dissociate and again associate with o n e an oth er and fro m this they m ake all co m p ou n d s. ‘relatively to us’. callin g the atom s ‘things’ and void ‘n o th in g ’. do you lake your evidence from us and then try to overthrow us? Our overthrow is your fall. T h is in turn h e calls ‘in reality’. For. but in tru th ev ery th in g is things and n o th in g .DEMOCRITUS Poor mind. we 255 . by convention colour. ‘not in virtue o f th e n atu re o f the things them selves’. will be this: M en thin k that th ere are w hite things and black things and sweet things and bitter things. So the sense o f his theory. and eith er en tan gle with o n e a n o th er o r strike and reb o u n d . lack qualities. by convention sweet: in reality atoms and void. d eriv in g the w ord fro m ‘real’ w hich m eans ‘tru e’. and no sw eetness o r bitterness o r heat o r cold o r in general any o th er quality w hatever. and in n atu re th ere is n o th in g w hite o r black o r yellow o r red o r bitter o r sweet. T h e void is a sort o f space in w hich all these bodies m ove u p and d ow n fo r the w hole o f tim e. F or by the term ‘by convention’ he m eans som eth in g like ‘by cu stom ’. taken as a w h ole. N ow all the atom s.

fo r th ere is no m ore reason for this to be tru e than fo r that . they say that what a p p ears in perception is o f necessity true. then it will also be 256 . it should be stressed that not everything in Democritus sits well with the sceptical musings o f the last pages. F or i f every im pression is tru e. (A ristotle. an d in d eed thin gs d o not seem always the sam e to the perceptio n o f a single individual. fra gm en t 6 11 ) Aristotle offers a brief and puzzling analysis o f what he took to be Democritus' error: M any o th e r anim als receive co n trary im pressions to ours from the sam e things. So it is unclear which o f them is tru e o r false. In gen eral.i5 ) Finally.> (D iogen es o f O en o an d a . T h a t is why D em ocritus says that eith er n o th in g is tru e o r to us at least it is u nclear. . because they take u n d erstan d in g to be p ercep tio n and p ercep tio n to be alteration. Miscellanies IV xxiii 149.EARLY GREEK PH IL O SO P H Y shall not be able to live. [в 33] (Clem ent. because o f the reversal . . takin g no precau tion against fire o r d eath < . W e know that w hat is h ard to acqu ire is unnecessary and that w hat is necessary G o d has g en ero u sly m ad e easy to acquire.3-4) And the writings attacking Protagoras (to which Plutarch refers) con­ tained the first occurrence o f an influential argument against relativ­ ism: Y o u can n ot say that every im pression is tru e.as D em ocritus an d Plato show ed in th eir reply to P rotagoras. H en ce D em ocritus well says that Nature and teaching are similar. and h e briefly adds the reason: fo r teaching changes a man’s shape and nature acts by changing shapes. Metaphysics io o g b 7 .they are on a par.

they d o so not in sofar as they a re d iffe r e n t but in sofar as they have som eth in g the sam e in com m on).fo r like is not altered by like. Given his views on knowledge and sensible qualities. Against the Mathematicians V I I 389-390) III Scientific and Literary Studies D em ocritus.and alteration in g en era l . so they say. and if.DEMOCRITUS tru e that not every im pression is tru e (since that is an im pression). So w e can take him in e ith er way.takes place by b ein g a ffe cte d . he wrote at length on scientific topics. it is im possible fo r thin gs that a re not the sam e to be a ffected (even i f things w hich a re d iffe r e n t h ave an effect. Democritus was concerned to understand and explain the varied phenomena o f the world o f nature. B u t i f p erceiv­ i n g . as he says. Preparation for the Gospel X I V x xvii 4) Like his predecessors. I f he m akes p erceiv in g co m e ab o u t by alteration. The following two passages are only a representative sample. we should not be surprised to fin d that he devoted much attention to the nature o f sense-perception. As the catalogue o f his writings shows.alth o u gh his exp lan atio n s w ere fu tile and groundless inasm uch as h e started fro m an em p ty prin cip le and an erro n eou s hypothesis. (Dionysius. D em ocritus does not state w h eth er p ercep tio n takes place by opposites o r by likes. His ideas on this subject were described in detail by Theophrastus. then it w ou ld seem to take place by likes. (Sextus E m piricus. but h e talks o f reflection in a 257 . H e attem pts to accoun t fo r each o f the senses in turn . then he w ould seem to have it take place by things that are d iffe re n t . used to claim that he w ou ld rath er d iscover a single causal exp lan atio n than becom e k in g o f the Persians [в i 18] . in Eusebius. H e has sight o ccu r by reflection . and thus it will be false that ev ery im pression is true.

that is the m ost accessible p art since it is the em ptiest. by m aking em ptinesses in i t . T h a t is w hy it is viscous an d sticky. they flow to g eth er into the stom ach . F or w hen these en ter the body th ey clo g and stop th e vessels an d p reven t the shapes fro m flo w in g togeth er. rath er. but w hat is m oist lets it pass th ro u gh .fo r each th in g best recognizes w hat is akin to it. and w hen these a re m oistened an d m ove o u t o f o rd e r.fo r w hat is m ost em p ty is m ost easily heated. T h a t is w hy they heat the body. T h a t is w hy they rela x th e b o d y com pletely w ithout d o in g so violently o r quickly passing th ro u gh all o f it. T h e reflection d oes not take place im m ediately in th e pu p il. their constituent atom s] a re a n g u la r and crin kled and small and fine.p rovided that the ex tern al in tegu m en t is e x trem ely fine and dense. and b ein g ro u g h and a n g u la r they g ath er and hold things togeth er. which are moist. W hat is dense does not receive it. T h e y d isturb the o th er shapes because as they pass th ro u gh they m ake the o th ers d rift about and m oisten them . the inter­ nal parts are as sp on gy as possible and em pty o f any dense and stro n g flesh an d also o f any thick and oily liquid.E A RL Y GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y special way. sm ooth. and the vessels lead in g to the eyes a re straigh t and d ry so as to take the sam e sh ap e as the objects im p rin ted . w h ere the rou n dn ess also contains crinkles. S o u r flavo u r is constituted by large shapes with m any angles an d as little rou n d n ess as possible. Salty fla vo u r is constituted by la rg e shapes w hich are not 258 . is reflected in the eyes. Sw eet flavo u r is constituted by ro u n d shapes which a re not too sm all. w hich is solid and has a d iffe re n t colou r.e. For because o f th eir asperity they qu ickly pass th ro u gh every­ w h ere. (T h eo p h ra stu s. T h a t is w hy they also settle the bowels. T h e n this air. the air betw een the eye and the seen object is im prin ted w hen it is com pressed by w hat is seen and what sees (fo r th ere are always efflu en ces co m in g o f f everything). rou n d ed shapes. B itter fla vo u r is constituted by sm all. T h a t is why m oist eyes a re better at seein g than h ard eyes . On the Senses 49-50) F lavours are sharp if th eir shapes [i.

but th ere a re m any in each the sam e flavour contains sm ooth an d ro u g h . F or this too m akes no little d iffe re n c e . and the rest. because salt rises to the su rface . and biology: C o n sid er the way in w hich [C hrysippus] answ ered th e p u zzle which D em ocritus stated in such a vivid and scientific fashion: I f a cone is cut by a plan e parallel to its base. ro u n d e d and sharp. w hat sh o u ld we think o f the surfaces o f the segm ents . T h e y a re not ro u n d .DEMOCRITUS rou n d ed *n o r yet u n even bu t a n g u la r and crin kled * . red u cin g them to th e shapes.i f they w ere small and w ere struck by the shapes about th em .a re they equ al o r unequal? I f unequal. fo r it will acquire a n u m ber o f step-like notches o r rou gh nesses. bein g a n g u la r. H e treats the o th er pow ers o f each th in g in the sam e way. the segm ents will be equal and the con e will plain ly have acquired the prop erties o f a cylin d er. because they d o not en tan gle with o n e an o th e r .and that is u tterly 259 .h e calls uneven those w hich en tan gle and intertw ine with o n e an o th er. and it relaxes because it is sm all and ro u n d ed and a n g u ­ lar. they w ould m ix with the w hole. since it will consist o f circles which are equal and not u n eq ual . (ibid 6 5 -6 7 ) The next few pages contain one or two passages which testify to Democritus’ other scientific and literary interests.so too has the condition in w hich it finds us. These included math­ ematics. T h is is what he has said about flavours. geography. O f all the shapes n o n e is p u re and unm ixed with any others. because w hat is salty is rou gh while what is ro u n d ed is sm ooth. For that is what the a n g u la r is like. T h e shape which p rep o n d era te s has a very great influ en ce with rega rd to o u r p ercep tio n and its ow n effect . P un gent flavo ur is sm all. they will m ake th e co n e irreg u la r. if equal. T h e y a re not u n even . bu t not uneven.that is w hy it is friable. since som etim es the sam e th in g has opposite effects and opposites the sam e effect. heats by its ro u g h ­ ness. ro u n d ed and an g u la r. For the p u n g en t. T h e y are large.

On Common Notions 1 0 7 9 E ) L ater D em ocritus a n d E u d o x u s and o th ers w rote u p circum ­ navigations an d jo u r n e y s ro u n d the earth. its length b ein g o n e an d a h a lf tim es its bread th . g o in g o u t to fo ra g e in d ivid u ally and livin g o f f the most palatable herbs a n d th e fru it w hich grew wild on the trees.in the natural and social history o f man. a m an o f wide experien ce. (A gath em eru s. A late source contains a striking passage which has generally been thought to reflect Democritean ideas (even though it does not explicitly mention Democritus). since 260 . and thus gath erin g together because o f fear. was the first to ap p reciate that the earth is elon gated . T h e old thinkers p ictu red th e inhabited ea rth as ro u n d . but g ra d u a lly th ey articu lated th eir expression s. placin g G reece in its cen tre an d D elp h i in the cen tre o f G reece (for D elph i holds the navel o f th e earth). . as a ro p e a n d a b ran ch fo r the fru it which is being g en era te d an d co m in g to be. T h e y say that the first m en lived an an arch ic and anim al sort o f life. Su ch g ro u p s cam e into existen ce th ro u g h o u t the inh abited w o rld . and by establish­ in g sym bols a m o n g them selves fo r e v e ry sort o f object they m ad e the in terpretation in each case intelligible to on e an o th er. since th ey w ere attacked by w ild anim als. On Love fo r One’s Offspring 4 9 5 E ) Democritus also had a strong interest in his own species .EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY absu rd. (Plutarch. as D em ocritu s says [в 148].fo r first th e navel grow s in the wom b. [в 155] H ere [C hrysippus] declares that D em ocritus is ig n o r a n t . . an d not all m en had the sam e lan gu age. Geography I 1-2 ) T h e w om b accepts the seed w hich has fallen into it and protects it as it takes roo t . T h e sou nd s they m ad e had no sense a n d w ere con fused . they h elped o n e a n o th e r (instructed by th eir ow n self-interest). D em ocritus. T h e n . they slowly cam e to recog­ nize o n e a n o th e r’s shapes. as an a n ch o rag e against rollin g and d riftin g . (Plutarch.

O n ce fire and o th e r utilities w ere recogn ized . stretching up their hands to the place we Greeks now call the air. Universal History I viii 1 -7 ) The following texts represent different aspects o f Democritus’ anthropo­ logical studies. Against the Mathematicians V I I 265) D em ocritus righ tly says that: A few o f the wise men. tried to exp lain th e co n cep t [o f m an] but co u ld g et no fu rth e r than an a m a teu r assertion. saying: M an is what we all know. its reason.DEMOCRITUS each g ro u p o rg a n ized its expression s as ch an ce had it. A n d not k n o w in g h ow to harvest wild p ro d u ce. th ey had not th e slightest conception o f cultivated p ro d u ce. they took re fu g e in caves d u rin g the w in ter.’ [в 30] (C lem ent. w ho is co m p ared to the voice o f Z eu s and w h o speaks in this way about all things. the crafts and w hatever else can b en efit co m m u n al life w ere slowly d iscovered . and he is king o f everything. said: 'Zeus is held to be all things. N ow the earliest m en lived laboriously. an d its keenness o f m ind. H ence m any o f them d ie d in w in ter fro m co ld an d fro m lack o f food. D em ocritus. th ey knew noth ing o f d w ellin g-places o r o f fire. and he knows everything and bestows and takes away. L ater. g ra d u a lly instructed by e x p e rie n c e . [в 165] (Sextus E m piricus. they d id not lay aside any fru its against need. (D iodoru s. and th e g ro u p s w h o first cam e into existen ce w ere the fo u n d ers o f all th e d iffe r e n t races. H ence there are lan gu ages o f ev ery type. and stored those fruits that cou ld be p reserved . F or in g en era l it was n eed itself which instructed m en in ev eryth in g . n o n e o f the utilities o f life h avin g been d iscovered : they w ore n o clothes. a p p ro p riately in tro d u c­ in g kn o w led ge o f each th in g to a crea tu re w hich was wellequ ip p ed and w hich had assistants fo r ev ery p u rp o se in its hands. Protreptic V I lxviii 5) 261 .

(Plutarch. fo r the w ord is shadow o f the d eed . o f th e swallow in b u ild in g. alth o u gh D em ocritus asserts [в 154] that we are th eir pupils in all the m ost im portan t things . and he explain s this by saying that it was not separated o f f by necessity but cam e into bein g from su perflu ity. (Dio o f Prusa. On Homer [Discourses liii] 1) Y o u r sons sh o u ld be kept aw ay fro m bad lan gu age. On Preserving Health 129л) Perhaps we a re foolish to ad m ire anim als fo r their learning. (Plutarch. a m an w ho was not only the m ost scientific o f the ancients but also the m ost in dustrious o f all those o f w hom we have rep o rt. Miscellanies V I xviii 168. having a divine nature. On Music IV xxxvi) D em ocritus sim ilarly says: What a poet writes with enthusiasm and holy inspiration is very fine. [в 21] im p lyin g that it is not possible to p ro d u ce verses so fine and wise w ithout a d ivin e o r su p erh u m an nature. an d to treat these things as signs o f w ind and rain . [в 18] (C lem ent. On the Intelligence o f Animals 9 7 4 A ) D em ocritus. a cco rd in g to D em ocritus. o f the song-birds (the swan and the nightin gale) in singing.2) D em ocritus says this ab o u t H om er: Homer. . (Plutarch. On Educating Children 9F) 262 . fashioned a world o f words o f every sort. (Philodem us.o f the sp id er in w eavin g and healin g.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY It is absu rd to pay ca refu l attention to th e caw in g o f rooks and th e crow in g o f cocks and to pigs ro o tin g a m o n g the rubbish. as D em ocritus puts it [в 147]. says that m usic is a y o u n g art. .

They are puzzling on two counts.w hy d id w e ren a m e Aristocles ‘Plato’ and T y rta m u s ‘T h e o p h ra s tu s’ i f nam es are natural? From the absence o f sim ilar fo rm s . th ere fo re nam es are not natural. w hich he also calls w ell-being. I shall first set doxvn the remaining scattered fragments and then transcribe the collected items. is the goal in life fo r m en both y o u n g > an d old. in his w ork On the Goal. the second equipollence. and th e fo u rth anonymy. T h e A bd erites too say that th ere is a goal o f action. Secondly. not to nature. says th at it is con ten tm en t. T h ird ly . c f в i 88] T h is. Most o f the fragments are preserved in two collections. A p o llo d o tu s 263 . or to what extent that theory (i f it existed) was connected to Democritus’ atomism. D em ocritus. it is in many cases uncertain whether or not the ascription to Democritus is trustworthy. [в 26] (Proclus. H ecataeus holds that the goal is self-sufficiency. he says. an d he tried to establish this by fo u r argum ents: From hom onym y: d iffe re n t things are called by the sam e nam e.20—7.w hy d o w e say ‘to th in k ’ from ‘th ou g h t’ w h en we d o not d eriv e an yth in g fro m ‘j u s tic e ’? T h e r e fo r e nam es a re d u e to chance. it is not clear to what extent the fragments rep­ resent the remains o f a system atic moral theory. H e calls th e first a rg u m e n t polysemy.DEMOCRITUS D em ocritus said that nam es a re con ven tion al. < th e third metonymy>. and vice versa. First. [в 4.6) I V M oral Philosophy Numerous purported fragments o f Democritus' moral and political philosophy survive. from the changes o f nam es . Commentary on the Cratylus 6. and he o ften rem arks: For joy and absence o f joy is the boundary < o f advantage and disadvantage. From polyonym y: d iffe re n t nam es will fit o n e an d the sam e thing. which is im possible i f nam es a re natural.

On Afflictions o f M ind and Body 5 0 0 D E ) D em ocritus u rg es us to be instructed in the art o f w ar.ju s t as he would blame the careless user i f a tool or utensil were in a bad condition. [в 159] ([Plutarch]. and that i f you open y o u rse lf u p . О M an. w ithin you will find a large and varied storehouse and treasury o f evils. D em ocritus. which is o f the greatest im portan ce. N au siphanes that it is u n ru f­ fledness — an d he says that this was called im perturbability by D em ocritus.EARLY GREEK PH IL O S O P H Y o f C yzicu s that it is am u sem ent. w hich is a sou rce o f g rea t and glo rio u s things fo r m en. (Plutarch.4-5) T h e d isp u te betw een b o d y and soul o v e r th e passions seem s to be an old one. [в 127] (H ero d ian . says: I f the body were to take the soul to court for the pains and suffer­ ings it had endured throughout its life. p rod u ces m any diseases and afflictions by n atu re from within itself and receives m any that strike it fro m w ithout. internal and native springs. (Clem ent. Against Colotes 1 126л) W h en a m an lives in his ow n o p in ion and thinks not ill but well o f h im self as a reliable witness and sp ectator o f w hat is good. (Plutarch. Miscellanies II x xi 130. and had ruined and ravaged other parts by its pursuit ofpleasures . On Accentuation in General 4 4 5 .9 -1 1 ) L et us then say to ourselves that y o u r b o d y. ascribing u nhappiness to the soul. then i f he were to be on thejury fo r the case he would gladly cast his vote against the soul inasmuch as it had destroyed some parts o f the body by negligence or dissipated them by drunkenness. then he show s that reason is a lread y n o u rish ed and rooted 264 . which d o not flow in fro m o utsid e bu t have. and to seek o u t labour. On Desire and G rief 2) D em ocritus: M en enjoy scratching themselves — they get the same pleasure as those who are having sexual intercourse. as D em ocritus says [в 149]. as it w ere.

[в 171] H e calls happiness conten tm en t. It is constituted by d istin gu ish in g and dis­ crim in ating a m o n g pleasures. I cite them in the order in which they appear in the A n th o lo gy.DEMOCRITUS within him an d . (II iv 12: c f в 51) D em ocritus and Plato both place happiness in the soul. Pedagogue I ii 6. as D em ocritus says [в 145]. cu res the diseases o f the body. [в 170] Happiness does not dwell in herds. is accustom ed to take its pleasures from itself. ( H i 12 = в 169) Dem ocritus: Reason is a powerful persuader. D e m o ­ critus writes thus: Happiness and unhappiness belong to the soul. and wisdom clears the soul o f passions. o rd e rli­ ness. nor yet in gold: the soul is the dwelling place o f a man’s lot. a cco rd in g to D em ocritus. (Plutarch. w ell-being.2) Stobaeus’ A n th o lo g y is the source fo r the first o f the two collections o f ethical fragments. Progress in Virtue 81 a ) M edicine. h arm o n y. I cite all the texts which are ascribed to Democritus (or to ‘Dernocrates’ or to ‘Democ’): many ascriptions are at best dubious. ' 265 (П vii 3i) . D em ocritus: Do not be eager to know everything lest you become ignorant o f everything. and this is the noblest an d m ost advantageous th in g fo r m en. (Clem ent. tranquillity.

(II X V 33 = в 53a) 266 . Neither in the past nor now do the gods bestow these on men. but it is possible. when one does not know how to manage the good or to keep it resourcefully. fa r chance rarely fights with wisdom. [в 173] A contented man who is led to deeds which are just and lawful rejoices night and day and is strengthened and free o f care. [в 176] (II ix 1 -5 ) D em ocritus: Many men perform the foulest deeds and practise the fairest words. but we may avoid the bad. [в 172] idem : For men bad things spring from good. and then again it is bad —for there is danger o f drowning. It is not just to count such things bad: they are good. set straight most things in his life. to use good things fo r bad ends too. and a man o f intelligence will. but they come upon them themselves because o f the blindness and folly o f their minds. [в 174] The gods. byforesight. finds all his deeds joyless when he remembers any o f them. both in the past and now. deep water is useful fo r many purposes. (II viii 16 = в 1 19) D em ocritus: From the same sources from which good things come to us we may also draw bad. So a device has been discovered: teaching people to swim. give men all things except those which are bad and harmful and useless. for anyone who wishes. she conquers the greater forces o f hope. [в 175] Fortune offers many gifts.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY D em ocritus: M en fashioned the image o f chance as an excuse fo r their own thoughtlessness. and he is afraid and he reproaches himself. but is unstable: nature is self-sufficient: that is why. but the man who pays no heed to justice and does not do what he ought. For example. being smaller but stable.

[в 59] 267 . fo r it is this which gives birth to the pleasures from which badness originates.a sense o f shame.> (II x x x i 66 = в 182) Democ: Neither skill nor wisdom is attainable unless you learn. . a refuge fo r the unfortunate. [в 179] idem : Education is an ornament fo r the fortunate. for it is precisely from this that shame usually originates. (II xv 40 = в 177) D em ocrates: Indulgence is the worst o f all things with regard to the education ofyouth. [в 180] idem : The use o f exhortation and the persuasion o f reason will appear a stronger inducement to virtue than law and necessity. .DEMOCRITUS Dem ocritus: One must emulate the deeds and actions o f virtue. not the words. [в 178] idem : < .> children who are given free rein will learn neither letters nor music nor gymnastics nor yet — what most sustains virtue . while one who has been led to duty by persuasion is unlikely to do anything improper either in secret or in public. (II x v 36 = в 55) D em ocritus: Fine words do not hide fo u l actions nor is a good action spoiled by slanderous words. For even one who is unwilling is often prevented < . For one who has been kept from injustice by law is likely to do wrong in secret. That is why a man who acts uprightly from wisdom and knowledge is at the same time both courageous and right-thinking. [в 181] (II x x x i 5 6 -5 9 ) Dem oc: Learning produces fine things by labour: fo u l things come tofruit spontaneously without labour. . .

this will come about i f he does not take his pleasures in mortal things. [в 183] idem : Those who contradict and babble on are ill-equipped fo r learning. fo r perfection o f soul rights wickedness o f body.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY idem : There is surely intelligence among the young and lack o f intelli­ gence among the old. the rulers.7 3 ) D em oc: Frequent association with the wicked increases a disposition to vice. [в 189] (III i 45-47) 268 . [в 188] It is best fo r a man to live his life with as much contentment and as little grief as possible. the wiser. (II x x x i 94 = в 185) D em ocritus: Similarity o f mind makes friendship. [в 85] ‘ ' (II x x xi 7 1 . (II xxxiii 9 = в 186) D em ocritus: It is fitting fo r men to set more store by their souls than by their bodies. ( I l l i 27 = в 187 = в 36) D em ocritus: It is fitting to yield to the law. fo r it is not time that teaches good sense but timely upbringing and nature. (II x x x i 90 = в 184) Dem oc: The hopes o f the educated are better than the wealth o f the ignor­ ant. [в 47] D em ocritus: The boundary o f advantage and disadvantage is joy and absence o f joy. but strength o f body without reasoning makes the soul no better at all.

because o f his desire. ( I ll ii 36 = в 192) 269 . That is why you must not seek certain things and must be content with others. to set himself to do some pernicious deed that the laws forbid.DEMOCRITUS D em ocritus: One should avoid even speaking o f evil deeds. giving little thought to things that are envied and admired. ( I l l i 91 = в 190) D em ocrates: One should refrain from wrong-doing not because o f fear but because o f duty. comparing your own life with that o f those who do worse and deeming yourself blessed. ( I l l i 210 = в 191) Dem ocritus: To praise and to blame what one should not are both easy. For i f you hold fast to this judgement you will live in greater contentment and will drive away those not inconsiderable plagues o f life. and souls which move across large intervals are neither stable nor content. and you must observe the lives o f those who are badly off. so that what you have and what belongs to you may seem great and enviable and. Thus you must set your judgement on the possible and be satisfied with what you have. jealousy and envy and ill-will. ( I l l i 95 = в 4 1) D em ocritus: For men gain contentment from moderation in joy and a meas­ ured life: deficiencies and excesses tend to change and to produce large movements in the soul. considering what they suffer. you may not suffer in your soul. For one who admires those who possess much and are deemed blessed by other men and who dwells on them every hour in his memory is compelled always to plan something new and. when you reflect on what they undergo. but each is a mark o f a wicked character. by no longer desiring more. and not dwelling on them in your mind. in faring and living so much better than they do.

though they hate life.EARLY GREEK P H IL O S O P H Y Dem ocritus: It is the mark o f good sense to guard against future injustice. fearing death. [в 196] Fools are shaped by the gifts o f fortune. fearing death. ( I l l iii 46 = в 194) D em ocritus: Images are by their dress and adornment magnificent to observe. [в 207] Rightful love is longing xvithout violence fo r the noble. [в 206] Many who have learned much possess no sense. want to grow old. and o f insensibility not to defend oneself when it has occurred. [в 202] In fleeing death men pursue it. reputation and wealth are not safe pos­ sessions. ( I l l iii 43 = в 193) D em ocritus: Great joys come from contemplating noble works. [в 205] Fools. those who understand such things by the gifts o f wisdom. [в 73] 270 . [в 197] *That which is in need knows how much it needs: he who needs does not recognize the fa c t* [в 198] Fools. [в 204] Fools. although it is more beneficial than what is past. but they are empty o f heart. [в 77] (III iv 69-82) D em ocritus: One should choose not every pleasure but that concerned with the noble. they squander. [в 199] Fools live without enjoying life. wish to live from fear o f Hades. [в 203] Fools give no pleasure in the whole o f their lives. [в 195] Forgetting one’s own misfortunes generates boldness. [в 200] Fools desire longevity but do not enjoy longevity. desire life. [в 201] Fools desire what is absent: what is present. [в 64] Without intelligence.

( I ll vii 74 = в 216) D em ocritus: To be good is not to refrain from wrongdoing but not even to want to commit it. [в 210] Temperateness increasesjoys and makes pleasure greater. [в 32] (III vi 26-28) D em ocritus: Courage makes misfortunes small. [в 208] For those brought up in self-sufficiency there are never any short nights. ( I l l vii 21 = в 213) D em ocritus: The courageous are not only those who conquer their enemies but also those who are superior to pleasures: some men rule cities and are slaves to women. [в 209] Fortune provides a rich table. [в 62] 271 . fo r a man rushes out o f a man. ( I l l vii 25 = в 214) Dem ocritus: The glory o f justice is confidence o f judgement and imperturb­ ability: the prize o f injustice is fear o f disaster. [в 2 1 1 ] (III v 2 2 -2 7 ) D em ocritus: Some men rule cities and are slaves to women. being most honourable. [cf в 214] Sleeping during the day indicates a diseased body or a troubled soul or idleness or lack o f education. temperateness a self-sufficient one.DEMOCRITUS A father’s temperateness is the greatest precept fo r his children. [в 212] Coition is mild madness. ( I l l vii 31 = в 215) D em ocritus: Imperturbable wisdom. is worth every­ thing.

EARLY GREEK PH IL O SO P H Y

D em ocritus:
Only those who hate injustice are loved by the gods, [в 2 17]
(III ix 29-30)
D em ocritus:
When wealth comes from bad activity it makes the disgrace more
conspicuous.
( I l l x 36 = в 218)
D em ocritus:
It is a waste o f labour to offer advice to those who think they possess
sense, [в 52]
idem :
Desire fo r money, i f it is not limited by satiety, is fa r heavier than
extreme poverty; fo r greater desires create greater needs, [в 219]
D em ocritus:
E v il gains bring loss o f virtue, [в 220]
(III x 42-44)
D em ocritus:
Hope o f evil gain is the beginning o f loss.
( I l l x 58 = в 221)
D em ocritus:
The excessive accumulation o f money fo r one’s children is an
excuse fo r avarice which displays its peculiar character, [в 222]
idem :
Whatever the body needs can readily befound by everyone without
trouble or misery: the things which need trouble and misery and
make life painful are craved not by the body but by misapprehen­
sion o f judgement, [в 223]
(III x 64 -65)
Dem ocritus:
The desire fo r more destroys what is present - like Aesop’s dog.
( I ll x 68 = в 224)

272

DEMOCRITUS

Demotfritus:
One should tell the truth, not speak at length.
( I l l xii 13 = в 44 = в 225)
Dem ocritus:
It is better to examine your own mistakes than those o f others.
[в 60]
D em ocritus:
Frankness is a mark o f liberty, but discerning the right occasion
is hazardous, [в 226]
(III xiii 4 6 -4 7 )
Dem ocritus:
To praise someone for noble deeds is noble; fo r to praise for bad
deeds is the mark o f a cheat and a deceiver.
( I l l xiv 8 = в 63)
D em ocritus:
The thrifty behave like bees, working as though they are to live for
ever, [в 227]
idem :
The children o f the thrifty who are ignorant are like those dancers
who leap over knives — they are killed i f they fa il to land on the
one place where they should rest their feet (and it is difficult to
land on the one place, fo r there is only room fo r their feet there).
In the same way they too, i f they fa il to acquire their father’s
careful and thrifty character, are likely to be destroyed, [в 228]
idem:
Thrift and fasting are good: so too is extravagance on occasion:
it is the mark o f a good man to recognize the occasion, [в 229]
(III xvi 16 -19 )
D em ocritus:
A life without feasts is a long road without inns.
( I l l xvi 22 = в 230)
Dem ocritus:
A man o f sound judgement is not grieved by what he does not
possess but rejoices in what he does possess.
( I l l xvii 25 = в 231)

273

EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY

D em ocritus:
O f pleasant things those that occur most rarely give most joy.
[в 232]
idem :
I f you exceed the measure, what is most enjoyable becomes least
enjoyable, [в 233]
(III xvii 3 7-38 )
D em ocritus:
Men ask fo r health in their prayers to the gods: they do not realize
that the power to achieve it lies in themselves: lacking self-control,
they perform contrary actions and betray health to their desires.
( I l l xviii 30 = в 234)
D em ocritus:
For those who get their pleasures from their bellies, exceeding the
measure in food and drink and sex, the pleasures are brief and
short-lived, lasting as long as they are eating or drinking; but the
pains are many. For they always have the same desire for the same
things; and when they obtain what they desire, the pleasure swiftly
departs, there is nothing good in them but a briefjoy, and they
need the same things again.
( I l l xviii 35 = в 235)
D em ocritus:
It is hard to fight against anger: to master it is the mark o f a
rational man.
( I l l x x 56 = в 236)
D em ocritus:
Ambition is always foolish: with its eye on what harms its enemy
it does not see its own advantage.
( I l l x x 62 = в 237)
D em ocritus:
For one who compares himself to his betters ends with a bad
reputation.

(Ill xxii 42 = в 238)
274

DEMOCRITUS

D em ocritus:
Oaths made under compulsion are not kept by bad men once they
have escaped.
( I l l xxviii 13 = в 239)
D em ocritus:
Voluntary labours make it easier to sustain involuntary labours.
[в 240]
idem:
Continuous labour becomes lighter by custom, [в 2 4 1 ]
(III x x ix 6 3 -6 4 )
Dem ocritus:
More men are good by practice than by nature, [в 242]
idem :
Actions always planned are never completed, [в 81 ]
(III x x ix 6 6 -6 7 )
D em ocritus:
A ll labours are more pleasant than rest when men achieve what
they labour fo r or know that they will achieve it. *But ifyou shun
them and fail, everything* is both painful and miserable.
( I l l x x ix 88 = в 243)
D em ocritus:
Even when you are alone, neither say nor do anything bad: learn
to feel shame before yourself rather than before others.
( I l l x x x i 7 = в 244)
D em ocritus:
It is greedy to say everythine: and to want to listen to nothing.
...............................
( I l l x x x v i 24 = в 86)
Dem ocritus:
One should either be or imitate a good man.
( I l l xx x v ii 22 = в 39)

275

EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY

Dem ocritus:
I f your character is orderly, your life too will be well-ordered.
( I l l xxxv ii 25 = в 61)
D em ocritus:
A good man pays no heed to the censures o f the bad. [в 48]
idem :
Envious men pain themselves as though they were their own
enemies, [в 88]
(III xxxviii 4 6 -4 7)
D em ocritus:
The laws would not forbid each o f us to live at his own pleasure
i f one man did not harm another; fo r envy makes the beginning
o f strife.
( I l l xxxviii 53 = в 245)
D em ocritus:
Mercenary service leaches self-sufficiency in life; fo r bread and a
straw mattress are the sweetest cures foi hunger and exhaustion.
[в 246]
idem :
To a wise man the whole earth is accessible; fo r the home country
o f a good soul is the whole world, [в 247]
(III xl 6 -7 )
D em ocritus:
The law means to benefit the life o f men: it can do so when they
themselves mean to fare well - for to those who obey, it indicates
their own virtue, [в 248]
idem :
Internecine strife is bad fo r both parties; fo r victor and van­
quished suffer the same destruction, [в 249]
(IV i 33-34)
D em ocritus:
From concord come great deeds, and from concord states can fight
wars - and in no other way.

(IV i 40 = в 250)
276

DEMOCRITUS

D em ocritus:
Poverty in a democracy is preferable to what is called prosperity
among tyrants — by as much as liberty is preferable to slavery.
[в 251]
One should think it o f greater moment than anything else that the
affairs o f the state are conducted well, neither being contentious
beyond what is proper nor allotting strength to oneself beyond the
common good. For a state which is conducted well is the best means
to success: everything depends on this, and i f this is preserved
everything is preserved and i f this is destroyed everything is
destroyed, [в 252]
It is not advantageous fo r good men to neglect themselves and
look to other things; for their own affairs will go badly. But i f
anyone neglects public affairs he comes to have a bad reputation,
even i f he steals nothing and commits no injustice. For even i f he
takes care and does no wrong, there is still a danger that he will
get a bad reputation — and indeed fare badly: wrong-doing is
inevitable and forgiveness is not easy fo r men. [в 253]
When bad men gain office, the more unworthy they are the more
heedless they become and the more they are filled with folly and
rashness, [в 254]
When those in power take it upon themselves to lend to the poor
and to aid them and to favour them, then is there pity and no
isolation but companionship and mutual defence and concord
among the citizens and other good things too many to catalogue.
[в 255]
(IV i 4 2 -4 6 )
Dem ocritus:
It is better for fools to be ruled than to rule, [в 75]
idem:
Justice is doing what should be done, injustice not doing what
should be done but turning away from it. [в 256]
idem:
In the case o f certain animals, it stands thus with killing and not
killing: one who kills those who do or wish injustice suffers no
penalty, and to do so conduces more to well-being than not to do
so. [в 257]

277

EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY

One should kill at any cost anything that offends against justice;
and anyone who does this *will in every society have a greater
share o f contentment and justice and boldness and property.*
[в 258]
As I have -written about dangerous beasts and animals, so I think
one should act in the case o f humans too: one should kill an enemy
in accordance with the traditional laws in every society, in which
law does not prohibit it: it is prohibited by the sacred customs o f
different countries, by treaties, by oaths, [в 259]
Anyone who kills a highwayman or a pirate should be free from
penalty, whether he does it by his own hand, by issuing an order,
or by casting a vote, [в 260]
"
(IV ii 13 -18 )
D em ocritus:
It is hard to be ruled by an inferior.
(IV iv 27 = в 49)
D em ocritus:
One should avenge injustices to the best o f one’s ability and not
pass them by; fo r to do so is just and good, not to do so is unjust
and bad. [в 261]
D em ocritus:
.
Those who do deeds worthy o f exile or imprisonment or who are
worthy o f punishment should be condemned and not acquitted;
anyone who acquits them contrary to the law, judging by gain or
by pleasure, acts unjustly — and this must lie heavy on his heart.
[в 262]
idem :
Those who *worthily fu lfil the greatest offices* have the greatest
share o f justice and virtue, [в 263]
idem :
Feel shame before others no more than before yourself: do wrong
no more i f no-one is to know about it than i f all men are: feel
shame above all before yourself and set this up as a law in your
soul so that you may do nothing unsuitable, [в 264]
idem :
M en remember wrongs better than benefits. And that is just; for

278

DEMOCRITUS

as those who repay their debts should not be praised whereas those
who do not should be blamed and suffer, so too is it with rulers.
For they were elected not to do wrong but to do right, [в 265]
There is no means, as things are now constituted, whereby rulers
may be protected from injustice, even i f they are very good men.
< . . .> These things too, I think, should be so arranged that one
who commits no injustice, even i f he severely examines doers o f
injustice, should not come under their power: rather, a statute, or
something else, should protect those who do what is just, [в 266]
(IV v 4 3 -4 8 )
D em ocritus:
Ruling is by nature appropriate to the superior.
(IV vi 19 = в 267)
Dem ocritus:
Fear produces flattery: it does not gain good-will.
(IV vii 13 = в 268)
D em ocritus:
Boldness is the beginning o f action: fortune controls the end.
(IV x 28 = в 269)
Dem ocritus:
Use servants like parts ofyour body, one fo r one task and another
fo r another.
(IV x ix 45 = в 270)
D em ocritus:
I f a woman is loved she is not blamed fo r lust.
(IV x x 33 = в 271)
D em ocritus: D em ocritus said that o n e w ho is lucky in his sonin-law gains a son, o n e w ho is u nlu cky loses a d au g h ter.
(IV xxii 108 = в 272)

279

EARLY GREEK P H IL O S O P H Y

D em ocritus:
A woman is fa r sharper than a man when it comes to foolish
counsels.
(IV x x ii 199 = в 273)
D em ocritus:
To speak little is an adornment in a woman - and it is best to be
sparing with adornments, [в 274]
D em ocritus:
To be ruled by a woman is the fin al insult fo r a man. [в 1 11]
(IV xxiii 38-39)
D em ocritus:
H aving children is dangerous: success is fu ll o f trouble and care,
failure is unsurpassed by any other pain.
(IV xx iv 29 = в 275)
D em ocritus:
I think one should not have children; fo r in the having o f children
I see many great dangers, many pains, few advantages — and
those thin and weak, [в 276]
idem :
Anyone who has a need fo r children would do better, I think, to
get them from his friends. He will then have a child o f the sort he
wishes - f o r he can choose the sort he wants, and one that seems
suitable to him will by its nature best follow him. There is this
great difference: here you may choose among many as you will
and take a child o f the sort you need; but i f you produce a child
yourself there are many dangers —fo r you must make do with the
one you get. [в 277]
idem :
M en think that, by nature and some ancient constitution, it is a
matter o f necessity to get children. A nd so, it is plain, do other
animals too; fo r they all acquire offspring by nature and not with
any useful end in view — when they are bom, the parents suffer
and rear each as best they can, and they fear fo r them as long as
they are small, and i f they are hurt they grieve. Such is the nature
o f all living creatures; but for men it has been made a custom that
some gain actually comes from offspring, [в 278]
(IV xxiv 3 1 -3 3 )

280

(IV x x ix 18 = в 57) Dem ocritus: Just as among injuries cancer is the worst disease. and they compete with one another. but to do so as a result o f wrong­ *doing is the worst o f all things. in grace o f character. [в 283] 281 . > (IV x x x i 49 = в 281) D em ocritus: Money when used with sense promotes generosity and charity: when used with folly it is *a common expense*. . [в 279] idem: It is possible. [в 282] idem : It is not useless to make money.but far less.DEMOCRITUS D em ocritus: You should share your goods with your children so fa r as possible. so in goods <. without spending much money. and at the same time care for them lest they do any mischief with what they have in their hands. [в 280] (IV x x v i 2 5 -2 6 ) D em ocritus: For beasts. For common expenditure does not grieve us as much as private. good breeding consists in bodily strength: fo r men. nor common acquisition content us . [в 78] (IV x x x i 12 0 -1 2 1 ) Dem ocritus: Poverty and wealth are names fo r lack and satiety. For then they become at the same time fa r more thrifty with their money and keener to acquire it. to educate your child­ ren and to build a wall and a protection about their goods and their persons. so one who bcks is not wealthy and one who does not lack is not poor.

but you must be on your guard so that even when fortune strikes you and leads you to excess by your beliefs. (IV x xxiv 62: c f в 297) D em ocritus: You must recognize that human life is fra il and brief and con­ founded by many plagues and incapacities: then you will care fo r moderate possessions and your misery will be measured by necessity. suffer for their whole lives in troubles and fears. misfortune being discontent with many. whether as an individual or in concert with others. telling false stories about fear after death. nor choose activities beyond your own power and nature. For a modest cargo is safer than a great. a little will seem much to you. aware o f the wretchedness o f life. (IV x x xiv 65 = в 285) D em ocritus: Fortune is being content with moderate goods. (IV x x x ix 25 = в 3) 282 .EARLY GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y D em ocritus: I f you do not desire much. for a small appetite makes poverty as powerful as wealth. [в 284] (IV xxxiii 23-24) D em ocritus: Those who seek good things fin d them with difficulty: bad things come even to those who do not seek them. (IV x x x ix 17 = в 286) D em ocritus: I f you are to be content you must not undertake many activities. you put it aside and do not attempt more than you can. (IV x x xiv 58 = в 108) D em ocritus: A ll men.

no less than your body. fo r no hope o f relief remains. [в 58] D em ocritus: The hopes o f the unintelligent are irrational. may suffer disease. [в 287] Your house and your life. (IV xliv 64 = в 289) D em ocritus: Drive out by reasoning the unmastered pain o f a numbed soul. [в 290] idem: It is important to think as you should in times o f misfortune. [в 201] (IV xliv 6 7 -7 0 ) D em ocritus: The hopes o f those who think aright are attainable: the hopes o f the unintelligent are impossible. [в 288] (IV xl 2 0 -2 1) Dem ocritus: It is irrational not to accommodate yourself to the necessities o f life. [в 46] idem: It is a mark o f the temperate to bear poverty well. (IV xlviii 10 = в 293) 283 .DEMOCRITUS Dem ocritus: Shared poverty is harder than private poverty. [в 42] idem: Magnanimity is bearing wrongs lightly. [в 292] (IV xlvi 18 -19 ) D em ocritus: Those who take pleasure in the disasters o f their neighbours do not understand how the affairs o f fortune are common to all — and they lack any joy o f their own.

or i f not. Although some are certainly not by Democritus. (IV Iii 40 = в 297) We also possess a long list o f maxims ascribed in the manuscripts to 'Democrates'. but strength o f body without reasoning makes the soul no better at all. it seems best to translate the list as a whole and to let it stand as an Appendix to the fragments o f Democritus. fashioning false stories about the time after death. I f anyone listens to these maxims o f mine with intelligence. not to do wrong with him. (IV I 76 = в 296) Dem ocritus: Some men who do not know how mortal nature dissolves but are aware o f the wretchedness o f life spend their whole lives in troubles and fears. [в 35] It is fitting for men to set more store by their souls than by their bodies. but it is uncertain i f young men will reach old age. (IV 1 22 = в 295) D em ocritus: Age is a general mutilation: it retains everything but everything is defective.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY D em ocritus: Strength and shapeliness are the good things o f youth: temperance is the flower o f age. the human. fo r perfection o f soul rights wickedness o f body. Some o f these are certainly Democritean and many others may derive ultimately from Democritus. he will do many deeds worthy o f a good man and he will leave undone many bad deeds. (IV 1 20 = в 294) D em ocritus: Old men were once young. [в 36 = в 187] H e who chooses the goods o f the soul chooses the more divine: he who chooses the goods o f the body. Now a completed good is better than one which is still to come and is uncertain. [в 38] 284 . [в 37] It is noble to prevent a wrong-doer.

[в 59] It is better to examine your own mistakes than those o f others. [в 61] 285 .DEMOCRITUS One should either be a good man or imitate one. [в 57] The hopes o f those who think aright are attainable: the hopes o f the unintelligent are impossible. [в 53a] The unintelligent come to their senses by suffering misfortune. [в 49] A trtan completely enslaved to money will never bejust. [в 39] M en flourish neither by their bodies nor by their wealth but by uprightness and good sense. [в 48] It is hard to be ruled by an inferior. [в 56] For beasts. [в 43] One should tell the truth. [в 51 ] It is a waste o f labour to offer advice to those who think they possess sense. [в 53] Many perform the foulest deeds and practise the fairest words. [в 44] A man who does wrong is more wretched than one who is wronged. [в 41 ] It is important to think as you should in times o f misfortune. the wiser. not speak at length. [в 55] It is those well-equipped fo r it who recognize and emulate the noble. [в 50] Reason is often a more powerful persuader than gold. [в 45] Magnanimity is bearing wrongs lightly. [в 42] Remorse for fo u l deeds is the salvation o f life. good breeding consists in bodily strength: for men. [в 47] A good man pays no heed to the censures o f the bad. [в 46] It is fitting to yield to the law. not the words. [в 52] Many do not learn reason but live in accordance with reason. [в 40] Refrain from error not out o f fear but out o f duty. in grace o f character. the rulers. [в 58] Neither skill nor wisdom is attainable unless you learn. your life too will be well-ordered. [в 60] I f your character is orderly. [в 54] One should emulate the deeds and actions o f virtue.

[в 82] Happy is the man who has property and sense. [в 71] Violent appetite fo r anything blinds the soul to everything else. [в 83] One who does shameful deeds should first be ashamed o f him­ self. [в 75] Silly people are taught not by reason but by misfortune. the latter is the mark o f a man in his senses. for to praise for bad deeds is the mark o f a cheat and a deceiver. [в 74] It is better fo r fools to be ruled than to rule. [в 66] Trust not everyone but the reliable: the former is foolish. [в 67] M en are reliable and unreliable not only on the basis o f what they do but also on the basis o f what they wish. The cause o f error is ignorance o f what is better. [в 72] Rightful love is longing without violence for the noble. [в 78] It is wretched to imitate bad men and not even to wish to imitate good. [в 70] Inopportune pleasures give birth to pains. [в 73] It is pleasant to get nothing which is not to your advantage. [в 62] To praise someone fo r noble deeds is noble.EARLY GREEK P H I L O S O P H Y To be good is not to refrain from wrong-doing but not even to want to commit it. [в 84] 286 . [в 76] Without intelligence. [в 68] Goodness and truth are the same fo r all men: fo r different men different things are pleasant. reputation and wealth are not safe pos­ sessions. fo r he uses it nobly on what he should. [в 81 ] Cheats and hypocrites are those who promise everything and do nothing. [в 64] One should cultivate much sense. [в 65] It is better to plan before acting than to repent after. [в 63] Many who have learned much possess no sense. not o f a man. [в 79] It is disgraceful to busy yourself over the affairs o f others and neglect your own. not much learning. [в 8o] Actions always planned are never completed. [в 6g] Immoderate desire is the mark o f a child. [в 77] It is not useless to make money. but to do so as a result o f wrong­ doing is the worst o f all things.

. [в 102] A man who loves no-one seems to me to be loved by no-one. [в 98] A man who has not a single good friend does not deserve to live... [в ю о ] Many avoid theirfriends when theyfa ll from wealth to poverty. [в 96] Many who seem to be friends are not: many who do not seem to be are.. [в 86] ..... [в 92] When doing a favour keep watch on the receiver lest he prove a cheat and return evil for good. [в 97] The friendship o f one intelligent man is better than that o f all the unintelligent.... [в 90] Do not suspect everyone . [в 94] Honours count much with the wise who understand that they are being honoured.. [в 104] 287 .. [в 85] It is greedy to say everything and to want to listen to nothing. [в 99] A man whose well-tried friends do not long stand by him has a graceless character. [в 93] Small favours at the right lime are very great for those who receive them. [в 89] ' Enmity among kin is fa r worse than enmity among strangers. “ One should be on guard against bad men lest they lake their opportunity. [в 91 ] You should accept favours only i f you expect to give greater favours in return. [в 95] A generous man is not one who looks to a return but one who has chosen to confer a benefit.. [в 103] Old men are charming i f they are wily and earnest... [в 88] ■ Your enemy is not he who wrongs you but he who wishes to. [в 87] Envious men pain themselves as though they were their own enemies.but be prudent and safe..DEMOCRITUS Those who contradict and babble on are ill-equipped fo r learn­ ing what they should.. [в 101] Equality is everywhere noble: excess and deficiency do not to me seem so...

[в 108] Those who like fault-finding are not well-equipped for friendship.EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY Beauty o f body is an animal attribute i f there is no sense behind it. but those who agree with us over what is advantageous. (D em ocrates. The world is change: life is opinion. in times o f bad fortune nothing is harder. [в 113] It is better to be praised by another than by oneself. life is our entrance: you came. it is fitting that we should not laugh at human misfortunes but weep at them. [в 107] Being men. [в 114] I f you do not understand the praise. [в i n ] It is a mark o f a divine mind to think always o f what is fine. you will err neither secretly nor in public. suppose that you are being flattered. Great harm is done to the unintelligent by those who praise them. [в lo g ] Let not a woman argue: that is terrible. [в 110] To be ruled by a woman is the fin al insult fo r a man. [в 105] In times o f good fortune it is easy to fin d a friend. Maxims 1-86) 288 . you saw. [в 115 ] The world is a stage. [в 106] Not all our kindred are our friends. [в 107a] Those who seek good thingsfin d them with difficulty: bad things come even to those who do not seek them. [в 112] I f you believe that the gods observe everything. A little wisdom is more honourable than a reputation fo r great folly. you went away.

from w hich.) Theophrastus wrote a monograph on Diogenes. together with the various parodies o f his views found in the comic playwrights.22 DIOGENES OF APOLLONIA The Presocratic Diogenes. T h a t is w hat T h eo p h rastu s says ab o u t D iogenes. a n d th e b o o k o f his entitled On Nature. H e is said to have been the last o f the Presocratic natural philosophers: that remark. w ro te fo r the m ost p art in a m u d d led fash ion. infin ite and eternal. which I h ave seen. (Sim plicius. B u t N icolaus records that he posited as the elem en t so m eth in g b etw een fire and air. som etim es fo llo w in g A n a x a go ras and som etim es L eu cip p u s. as it conden ses an d rarefies an d ch anges its prop erties. clearly says that it is air from w hich ev ery th in g else com es into bein g. the first o f several ancient philosophers to bear that name. suggests that he was active in the 430s and 420s. th e o th er fo rm s com e into b ein g. Commentary on the Physics 2 5 . H e too says that the n atu re o f the u niverse is air. His general line o f interpretation emerges from the following short passage: D iogenes o f A p o llo n ia. (There is no evidence fo r a more precise chronology. came from a town called Apollonia — either Apollonia in Crete or Apollonia on the Black Sea.1-9 ) The opening words o f O n N a tu re are twice cited by Diogenes Laertius: 289 . p erh a p s th e last o f those w ho stu d ied these subjects.

w hich is the only o n e o f his w orks w hich I have seen. has follow ed N icolaus. as he h im self reco rd s in his b o o k On Nature. w h ere he says that he has w ritten against the n atural scientists (whom he h im self actually calls sophists) and that he has com posed a Meteorology (in w hich he says he has discussed th e first prin ciple and also the n atu re o f m an). become different at different times and return to the same thing. that all existing things are alterations o f the same thing and are the same thing. B u t N icolaus in his treatise On the Gods reco rd s that h e d eclared the elem ent betw een fire and air to be the first prin ciple. For i f the things that now exist in this world . Lives o f the Philosophers IX 57: c f V I 81) Most o f our information about Diogenes' thought derives from Sim­ plicius. th o u g h t that h e had in 290 . in a word. alteringfrom some one thing. an d P orph yry. being different in its own peculiar nature. posited air as the prim ary elem ent. like A n a x i­ m enes. then they could in no way mix with one another.earth and water and air and fire and the other things that plainly exist in this world i f any one o f them were different from any other. who describes it in the course o f a long discussion o f the dis­ agreement among earlier interpreters o f Diogenes. In On Nature. [64 в 1] (D iogen es L aertius. [в 2] I too. unless they were so constituted as to be the same thing. Im m ed iately a fte r th e p re fa ce he writes as follows: It seems to me. M ost scholars say that D iogenes o f A p o llo n ia. the m ost learn ed o f ph ilosoph ers. This is quite clear. nor indeed could plants grow from the earth. h e p rop oses to show in m any ways that th ere is m uch intelligence in th e first p rin cip le w hich he posits. But all these things.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY T h is is how his book begins: When beginning any account it seems to me that one should make the starting-point incontrovertible and the style simple and digni­ fied. and were not the same thing changed in many ways and altered. or animals or any­ thing else come into being. nor could benefit or harm accrue to one from another. N ow you sh ou ld know that this D io gen es w ro te several w orks. w h en I read those first rem arks.

And there is not a single thing which does not share in it. however. and that by this everyone both is governed and has power over everything. inasmuch as they breathe. since he says th at these w ould not m in gle with o r ch an ge into on e a n o th e r i f som e o n e o f them . B u t next. you will find to be disposed in the finest possible way [в 3] . But this heat is not similar in different animals (for it is not even so in different men) but it differs . h a vin g a p ecu liar nature o f its ow n. as will have been shown clearly in this treatise. and all other things. in addition to these there are the following important indications. and there are many . Yet none o f the things that alter can become absolutely similar to any other 291 . Without intelligence it could not have been so distributed as to preserve measures o f all things— o f summer and winter and night and day and rain and wind and good weather. For it is this which seems to me to be god and to have reached everything and to arrange everything and to be in everything.infinitely many other alterations in it both o f flavour and o f colour. [в 4] T h e n a little later he ad d s clearly: And it seems to me that that which possesses intelligence is what men call air. Humans and other animals. and i f this departs. and i f th e re w ere not som e o n e th in g u n d erly in g them all. H e says: Again. For it is multiform: hotter and colder. i f you are willing to apply your intelligence. h a vin g show n that th ere is m uch intelli­ gen ce in this first p rin cip le — fo r.D IO G E N E S OF A P O L L O N I A m ind as the com m on substrate so m eth in g o th e r than th e fo u r elem ents. The souls o f all animals are indeed the same — air hotter than the external air in which we exist but much colder than the air by the sun. drier and wetter. And this is fo r them both soul and intelli­ gence. more stable and with a swifter motion. he says. w ere th e first prin ciple.h e continues by u rg in g that hu m an s and o th e r anim als d ep en d fo r th eir life an d th eir soul and th eir intelligen ce on this first prin ciple w hich is air. o f w hich all w ere alterations. but to such an extent that they are still like one another.not greatly. But no one thing shares in it in the same way as any other: there are many forms both o f the air itself and o f intelligence. live by the air. they die and their intelligence is lost.

(The text is in some places uncertain. and knows many things. but by it some things come into being and others disappear. One o f these is called the spleenvessel. he nevertheless asserts that it is eternal: And this itself is an eternal and immortal body. into the legs. a little higher up. Commentary on the Physics 15 1. passing through the chest under the armpits. and upwards into the head past the collar-bones through the throat. the other the liver-vessel. and others. and they all get the rest o f their intelligence from the same thing. Neverthe­ less. one to the right and the other to the left. eternal and immortal. They extend through the belly along the backbone. vessels extend throughout the whole o f the body. There are two very large ones. Each o f them divides at its extremity.EARLY GREEK PH IL OSO P H Y without becoming the same thing. [в 7] A n d elsew here: But this seems to me to be clear— that it is great and strong. From these. It is n o tew orthy that. while he says that o th er things com e into bein g by virtu e o f alterations in it.) D iogen es o f A p o llo n ia gives the fo llo w in g account: The vessels in men are as follows. each on its own side. from the right vessel to the right and from the left to the left. so too are the animals multiform and many. it is by the same thing that they all live and see and hear..2 0 -15 3 . [в 5] N e x t he shows that the seed o f anim als is also breath-like and that acts o f in telligence o ccu r w hen th e air to g eth er with the blood p ervad es the w h ole body th ro u gh the vessels (here he gives a precise anatom y o f the vessels). (Sim plicius. each into the hand on its own side. [в 8] So m uch fo r D iogenes. and it is not clear whether Aristotle’s quotation is always verbatim. then. Thus inasmuch as the alteration is multiform. and they resemble one another neither in shape nor in habits nor in intelligence because o f the multitude o f the alterations. one into the palm. one branch going into the thumb. he plainly says qu ite clearly that w hat m en call air is the first principle. the largest two passing into the heart near the backbone itself. 292 .2 2 ) Aristotle preserves Diogenes’ ‘precise anatomy o f the vessels’. H ere.

Those which extend into the head through the throat appear large in the neck. descending in the direction o f the sole o f the foot and thence extending into the toes. these are fine. Each ends at the ear. [в 6] (A ristotle. next to the large vessel on each side and a little smaller than it. From each o f them. History o f Animals 51 ^ 3 0 . Others extend from these under the breasts.D IO G E N E S OF A P O L L O N I A . a little less thick than the former. where it ends. The vessels are broader as they first leave the belly. Many fine vessels divide from them in the direction o f the belly and theflanks. Others extend under the skin and through the flesh into the kidneys. vessels extend under the shoulder-blades and into the hands. another passes inside the thigh. The thickest part o f the blood is absorbed by thefleshy parts. many-branched vessels pass into the rest o f the hand and the fingers. that which overflows into the regions just mentioned becomes fine and hot and frothy. These extend through the throat inside. many vessels divide o ff into the head. The largest o f them extends down the back o f the thigh and is seen to be thick. those from the right towards the left and those from the left towards the right. from the right vessel into the liver and from the left into the spleen and the kidneys. These are the vessels which are lanced when anything causes pain beneath the skin — it is the liver-vessel and the spleen-vessel which are lanced when anything causes pain in the belly. with which most o f the vesselsfrom the head itself connect. and they are seen alongside the spleen-vessel and the liver-vessel.5 1 2b 11) Finally. Other finer ones extend from the first vessels. and end in the case o f males in the testicles and in the case o f females in the womb. Then they extend past the knee into the shin and the foot (just like those which extend into the hands). These are called the spermatic vessels. the way in which air affects our mental lives may be illus­ trated by a passage from Theophrastus’ account o f Diogenes’ psycho­ logical views: 293 . Those which extend into the legs divide at the junction and extend throughout the thighs. and from them fine. There is another vessel in the neck. From each o f them. and then become finer until they change from the right to the left and vice versa. a little smaller in size. Other vessels extend from each o f these through the spinal marrow into the testicles.

w hen th e air is in an u nn atural condition and d oes not m ix. fo r it is very so ft and rare and all the vessels lead into it. F or because the air does not g o th ro u g h o u t the b o d y we can n ot u n d erstan d things. th ere is pleasu re. fo r m oisture inhibits the m ind. T h e y a re p ro n e to a n g er. T h a t is w hy th e to n gu e p rovid es a ve ry larg e n u m b er o f signs in the case o f the sick . T h a t is w hy w h en w e a re asleep o r d ru n k o r fu ll we th in k less. In add ition to their fo o d . a re co m p letely incapable o f thinking. fo r they can n ot u n d erstan d o n e an o th er. H en ce they digest their fo o d quickly bu t a re them selves stupid. Sim ilarly with co u ra g e and health an d their opposites. W e th in k by air that is p u re and d ry . bein g in a n atural cond ition and p ervad in g the w hole body. B irds breath e p u re air. th ere is pain. F or they contain a g rea t quantity o f m oistu re with the result that [the air] can n ot pass th ro u g h th e w hole body but is secreted in the chest. O n the Senses 4 3 -4 5 ) 294 .and indicates the colou rs o f o th er anim als (fo r th eir varieties and characters a re all reflected in it) . a n d the blood settles and becom es w eaker and thicker. T h e r e is a sign that m oistu re destroys the m ind in the fact that the o th er anim als have w eaker intellects. Plants. T h a t is also th e cause o f fo rg ettin g . th eir m ou ths and ton gu es contrib ute to this.EARLY CREEK PHILOSOPHY Pleasure and pain com e ab o u t in the fo llo w in g way. . because they are not hollow and d o not take in air. (T h eo p h ra stu s. T h e to n g u e is the best ju d g e o f pleasure. and in g en era l im petuou s an d volatile because th e air is m oved in la rg e r quantities from sm all bodies. A sign o f this is the fact that w h en w e try to rem em b er som eth in g th ere is a constriction in the chest and w hen w e su cceed it is d ispelled and we a re relieved o f the pain. W hen the air in considerable quantity m ixes with the blood and lightens it. but th eir n a tu re is like that o f fish. fo r th eir flesh is firm an d th e b reath d oes not pass th ro u gh the body but com es to a stop in the belly. T h e sam e cause accounts fo r the fact that infan ts are stupid. H en ce they a re d u ll an d stupid. fo r they b rea th e air fro m the earth and the fo o d they take is m oister. .

theologian and scholar.’) and the location o f his m ain activities (preced ed by an arrow). T h e letter ‘Q ’ in square brackets indicates that the sou rce is h im self known to us only indirectly. then his place o f birth (p reced ed by the letter ‘b . the letter ‘L ’ in square brackets indicates that the sou rce w rote in Latin (all sources not so stig­ m atized w rote in G reek).o f those o f his works which are m ost pertin en t to the study o f the Presocratics. Peripatetic philosopher. fou rth ly. T h e sources are listed in alphabetical o rd e r. the dates o f the source.w here apposite . teacher o f Thom as Aquinas Alexander o f Aphrodisias: flourished c. T h e length o f a note is not p rop ortio n al to the im p ortan ce o f its subject. Achilles: third century a d (?). an o n ym ou s and pseudonym ous works bein g collected at the end. thirdly. T h e list also includes the m ost im portan t o f the sources w ho are now available to us only indirectly th ro u gh quotation in later authors. an indication . —> Rome. wrote The Nature of Animals and Miscellaneous Inquiries Agathemerus: first century a d (?). a hint o f his intellectual allegiances. b. first. astronom er Aelian: second h alf o f second century a d . author o f acute com m entaries on Aristotle 295 .Appendix THE SOURCES T h e follow in g telegra p h ic notes are d esign ed to co n vey som e m inim al idea o f each o f the authorities w ho a re q u oted in the course o f this book. T h e most im portan t sources a re in trod u ced by bold type. geograph er Albert the Great: a d 1200-1280. T h e notes gen erally give. —» Athens. 200 a d . Praeneste.

is an encyclopaedic farrago in the form o f table-talk Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: a d 121-18 0 . writer on agriculture 296 . Athens ( ? ) . Educated as a G reek. com ­ m entator on Aristotle Apollodorus [Q]: second century в с . friend o f the Em peror Augustus. Rome. and at Pella. He was inter­ ested in the history o f philosophy and science. —> Alexandria. A rpinum . his Deipnosophists . associate o f Aristotle. b. scholar. scholar and polymath. 200 в с. author o f philosophical handbooks Athenaeus: flourished c. His Miscellanies com pares G reek and Christian thought. T arentu m . b. Stagira. Num idia. b. An unsurpassed polymath — scientist. —> Rome. gram m arian. —» Alexandria. his On Birth­ days was written in 238 Marcus T ullius Cicero [L]: 106-43 BC! b. —> Athens (also worked at Assos. unsystematically but with a wealth o f quotation Columella [L]: first century ad . Pupil o f Plato. b. with interest in Pythagoreanism Anus Didymus [Q]: first century b c / a d . Cadiz.appen d ix : the sources Ammoniiis. b.Professors at the Dining Table . he converted to Christianity and became the first Christian philosopher. keen and learned philosopher Clement o f Alexandria: a d c . —* Alexandria. —» Athens. medical trans­ lator o f Soranus (second century ad) Calddius [L]: fourth century a d . b. foun d er o f the Peripatetic school o f philosophy. politician. biographer. Naucratis in Egypt. his Meditations occasionally allude to the Presocratics Caelius Aurelianus [L]: fifth century a d . C yrene. b. musical theorist. 215. b. — » Rome. pupil o f Proclus. Em peror and Stoic. eminent poet and scholar Censorinus [L]: third century a d . his lost Chronicles are a major source for Presocratic chronology Apollonius: second century в с (?). historian. 150-c. philosopher. statesman. b. leading literary figure o f his age. orator. b. where he tutored A lexand er the Great). fifth century a d . Christian philosopher and author o f influential com m entary on Plato’s Timaeus Callimachus: third century в с . com piler o f Marvellous Stories Aristotle: 384-322 в с. Alexandria. Athens. several o f his surviv­ ing works (notably the Physics and the Metaphysics) contain invaluable inform ation about the Presocratics Aristoxenus: fourth century в с .

b. Damascus. it contains simplifications. scholar. em inent doctor and medical writer who was trained as a philosopher. 390-c.* A lexandria. is derivative. —* A lexandria. wrote. his Preparation for the Gospel includes many quotations from otherwise lost works o f pagan philosophy Eustathius: twelfth century a d . b. P ergam u m .a ppen d ix : the sources Lucius Annaeus Cumulus: first century a d . his Attic Nights. —» Athens. author o f a Universal Histury Diogenes Laertius: third century a d ( ? ) . b . T h e w ork. in ten books. N othing is known o fh iso w n life. is a miscellany o f essays on literary. 40-c. 540. Bishop o f Caesarea. Bishop o f Alexandria Eudemus [Q]: fourth century в с . 129-c. his num erous writ­ ings make frequent reference to earlier philosophy Aulus Gellius [L]: second century a d . b. confusions and some nonsense. Archbishop o f Thessalonica. b. b. —* Rome. pupil o f Aristotle. 310 в с . political figure. from Rome. But it remains a valuable source. friend o f the poet Persius Damascius: a d c. used by Simplicius Eusebius: a d c. Constantinople. Friend o f the Em peror Trajan. many o f whose writings are Stoic-Cynic homilies Diodorus: first century в с . . a com m entary on H om er Galen: a d c. am ong much else. 340. historical and philosophical subjects Harpocration: second century a d (?). Rhodes. —* Athens. author o f allegorizing interpretations o f Hom er 297 . H erad ea on the Black Sea. Epicurean philosopher who had his views carved on stone Dionysius [Q]: third century a d . Prusa in Bithynia. prolific author. N eoplatonic philosopher Dio o f Prusa: a d c . —* Alexandria and Rome. pupil o f Plato: litterateur and lightweight philosopher Heraclitus: first century a d (?).—> Rome. b.c . 458-c. 260. both for the Presocratics and for later G reek philosophy Diogenes o f Oenoanda: second century a d . leading orator. A gyrium in Sicily. written in Athens. but he survives in his Lives o f the Philosophers. Stoic philosopher. literary scholar Hephaeslion: second century a d . literary scholar Heraclides [Q]: c. 200. 120. voluminous author. philosopher and historian o f science. —* Athens.

W rote at length on Pythagoreanism Isocrates: 436-338 в с .» A lexandria. b. author o f com m entaries on Plato and A ristotle (higen: a d c . G adara. b. A lexandria. from Athens.appen d ix : the sources Herodian: second century a d . leading orator. the ‘father o f history’ Hierocles: flourished early fifth century a d . 250. many o f whose works survive am ong the Herculaneum papyri John Philoponus: flourished in the sixth century a d . 120-c. —» A lexandria. his Saturnalia contains literary. Neoplatonist philosopher. fierce controversialist.—» Caesarea. Samosata in Syria. Neoplatonist philo­ sopher. scholar. —* Naples. author o f com m entaries on A ristotle Plato: 428—348 в с . in ten books. Chalcis. Christian. author o f com m entary on the so-called ‘Golden Verses’ o f Pythagoras Hippolylus: a d c. scientific and philosophical discussions Nicolaus o f Damascus: first century в с . Epicurean philo­ sopher. chosen as ‘anti-Pope’. b. 420 в с . Halicarnassus. contains much inform ation about pagan philo­ sophy Hisdosus: flourished a d c . Athens. A lex a n d ria. 185-c. . political com m ent­ ator. His Refutation of All Heresies. —» Alexandria. Platonico-Pythagorean philosopher Olympiodorus: sixth century a d . b. wrote on Plato’s psychology lamblichus: a d c . travelled widely. 185. b. pupil o f Porphyry. 18 0 -2 3 5. 485-c. Christian Neoplatonist. his Against Celsus contains frequent allusions to pagan philosophy Philodemus: first century в с . educational figure Lucian: a d c . exiled to Sardinia. from Apam ea in Syria. scholar and author o f com ­ mentaries on A ristotle Numenius [Q]: end o f second century a d . b. b. philosopher o f all-pervasive influence. 325. —» Rome. works on linguistics and literary theory Herodotus: c. most influential o f early Christian theologians. Neoplatonist philo­ sopher. his works often allude to the Presocratics 298 . —> Syria. 250-c. prolific author o f satirical sketches Macrobius [L]: early fifth century ad .—►Rome. —* Athens. 1100.

are rem arkable for their learning. Egypt. —» Constantinople. Most o f his works are lost. M egalopolis. Constantinople. pupil o f Plotinus. novelist and multifarious author Theophrastus: 3 7 1-2 8 7 в с . N eoplatonic philosopher. biography. Neoplatonist philosopher and volum inous author Proclus: a d 412—485. leading philosopher o f his age (founder o f Neoplatonism). philosophy). —» Rome. Had a profound influence on the historiography o f G reek philosophy. literary criticism. —» Constantinople. b. leading geographer Themistius: a d 317-388. b. 120. b. pagan. several o f his ‘moral essays’ contain quotations from and allusions to the Preso­ cratics Polybius: c. 200—c. —* Athens. dis­ cussing various pre-Aristotelian theories. b. his Anthology. from Stobi in Macedonia. A risto tle’s leading pupil and successor. is a collection o f excerpts from earlier Greek authors arranged by subject-matter Strabo: 64 в с . Neoplatonist philosopher (an enemy o f Philoponus). his Outlines of Pyrrhonism and Against the Mathematicians contain much inform ation about earlier philosophers Sim plicius: flourished c. —» Rome (as a prisoner o f war). survives 299 . all written towards the end o f his life. 305. m ajor figure in sceptical philosophy. C haeronea. com ­ mentator on A ristotle Theo o f Smyrna: early second century a d . b. his com m entary on Euclid contains inform ation about the early history o f G reek mathematics Sextus Empiricus: second century a d (?). —* Athens (529-534 in Persia). his commentary on the Physics is the single most im portant source for Presocratic philosophy John Stobaeus: fifth century a d . the essay On the Senses. m atching his m aster in the range o f his inter­ ests. trained in Alexandria. 25. T y re . whose works he edited. 500-540 a d .a d c. his Enneads contain occasional allusions to Presocratic thought Plutarch: a d c . His com m entaries on A ristotle. Lesbos. leading historian Porphyry: a d 234-c. b. —» Athens. 205-270. —* Rom e. Platonist and m athem a­ tician TheodorusProdromus: twelfth century a d . —» Rome. renow ned orator. a man o f learning and letters (history. in four books. 45 -c. 115 в с . b. Am asia in Asia Minor.appen d ix : the sources Plotinus: a d c.

scholar. Problems: late compilation o f ultimately Peripatetic material [Arislolle]. late essay on alchemy [Philoponus]. —» Rome. 118 0 . Christian compilation o f pagan material bear­ ing on oracles. a d 1 1 10-c. b. etc Pseudonym ous works [Alexander]. A lexandria. polymath. a d 1100 H erculaneum papyrus no. date unknown [Aristotle]. Consolation to Apollonius: date uncertain [Plutarch].appen d ix : the sources Thrasyllus [Q]: first century a d . dating from first century в с (?) [Aristotle]. per­ haps by a contem porary o f lamblichus [Olympiodorus]. the contents o f which contain material from the fourth century в с Theosophia: a d c . Miscellanies: fragm entary doxographical notes [Plutarch]. prolific author Anonym ous works Anecdota Graeca: title (Unpublished Greek Texts) given to various miscellaneous collections o f often anonym ous texts Etymologicum Magnum: encyclopedic dictionary. Is Fire or Water the More Useful? [Plutarch]. 500. eleventh century a d [Plutarch]. astrologer to the Em peror Tiberius. Xenophanes. found on papyrus. Problems: Peripatetic compilation o f uncertain date [lamblichus]. satirical poet o f sceptical bent John Tzetzes. Theological Arithmetic: essay on number-mysticism. com piled c. On Desire and Grief: fragm ent o f uncertain origin 300 . On Melissus. Phlius. second century в с Epicurean Anonymus Londinensis: ‘nam e’ given to the unknown author o f a m edi­ cal text. On the Divine and Sacred Art of the Philosopher’s Slow. catalogued the works o f Plato and Dem o­ critus Timon [Q]: c.—>Constantinople. b. 320-c. 1012: fragm ents o f work by (?) Demetrius o f Laconia. 230 в с . Commentary on the Generation of Animals: perhaps written by Michael o f Ephesus. Corgias: essays o f exposition and criticism. On the World: b rie f sum m ary o f Aristotelian philosophy.

a ppen d ix : the sources [Plutarch]. T h ese notes vary greatly in value and in date. Many manuscripts o f ancient authors have scholia in their margins. Phoenician Women [tragedy. 410 вс] G regory o f Nazianzus [Bishop. second century в с (?)] Plato 301 . T h is book has cited scholia to: Euripides. probably from second century a d Scholiasts Scholia are notes. On the Scientific Beliefs of the Philosophers: superficial but valuable com pilation. a d 330-390] Hom er Nicander [didactic poet. c.

Allen (eds). R. is printed in G. К. 1962. T h is list mentions a few o f the m ore accessible items. S. Hadas and J. Fraenkel. C . Barnes. 1985) and a selection o f G reek texts. The Presocratic Philosophers (Cam bridge. Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Berlin. trans. The Presocratics (Bristol. Diels and W. The Presocratics (London. 1969) Most o f the G reek texts are collected in H. Some o f this can be found in D. 1982 [2nd edition]) A larger and m ore literary treatm ent can be found in H. 1975) 302 . A History of Greek Philosophy (Cam bridge. 1975) T h e re is a learned and sane discussion o f all aspects o f Presocratic thought in the first three volum es o f W. Furley and R. 1965. and M.FU RTHER READING T h e literature on the Presocratics is extensive. 1952 [10th edition]) T h e re is a useful anthology M. Raven. Hussey. Studies in Presocratic Philosophy (London. J. E. Schofield. M. E. and much o f it is for­ midably technical. W right. The Presocratic Philosophers (London. G uthrie. Early Greek Poetry and Philosophy. together with translations and com­ mentary. 1970.J. Willis (O xford . K irk. 1972) A larger and m ore philosophical treatm ent can be found in J. T h e best b rief and general introduction to the subject in English is E. 1983 [2nd edition]) Much o f the best work on the subject has appeared in article form. K ranz .

The Presocratics (Garden C ity N . Zeno’s Paradoxes (Indianapolis Ind... Schofield. 303 .). Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism (Cam bridge Mass. R. 1928) Further bibliography can be found in G uthrie and Barnes.). P. Gallop. Kahn. An Essay on Anaxagoras (Cam bridge. Burkert. 1970) T h ere are helpful notes on Empedocles in M. The Greek Atomists and Epicurus (O xford . D.. Parmenides o f Elea (T oronto.. Empedocles-the Extant Fragments (New Haven C onn. Bailey. W right. M ourelatos (ed. 1972) T h ere is a new edition. H. 1984) For Zeno see the various essays collected in W. i960) On Heraclitus see C. Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology (New Y ork. Kahn. H. Salmon (ed.FURTHER READING A. 1979) For everything to do with Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism consult W. o f Parm enides D. C . with com m entary. 1980) O n the Atomists it is still necessary to refer to C. 1974) On the Milesian philosophers there is an outstanding study С.Y . The Art and Thought of Heraclitus (Cam bridge. 1981) For Anaxagoras see M.

.

>37-38.SUBJECT INDEX Air. 257 (see also Love. 282 C han ge. 226. 7 5 . 2 3 5 >2 4 4 Astronom y. 24 5­ 289 Anaxim ander. 147. 68-69.289-92 . Monsters. 169. 37. 290 (see also G eneration. 46-48. 152. 85. 11. 72. 81.1 7 . 77-80. Eclipse. 2og. 242-43. 166. 226-39. 66. 74. 171—7 2 . 266. 225 Death. 74. 259-60 Colotes. 9 7-98 . Motion) C hrysippus. 230 Anaxagoras. T h e . 66 C roton. 77. 182-84. 181-82 3 °5 .9 8 . 238-39. 25 Earth. 7 7 . 11. 170. Zoology) Botany. 11. 244—88 Diogenes o f Apollonia.4 4 -4 6 . 290 Aphorism s.1 1 9 . 2 6 -3 1 . 78. 132. 15. 292-93 (see also Evolution. 187-89. 236. 223. 24. 1 7 -18 . T h e . 86. 240-41. 12. 240 Atoms. 234-35. 11.7 7 Anaxim enes. 244. 62. 11. 143. 137. Reproduction. 79 . 67-68. 227. 15. 9 0 . 86. 11. 24 7-51 (see also Indivisibility) Babylonia.9 1 . 107-108. 222. 216. 24 °. 22. 78. 177 -7 8 . 244 Aristode. 125. 135. 10. Moon. 172 (see also Immortality) Dem ocritus. 254-55 Cosm os. 252-53. Necessity. 62. 124. 15. 18—19 Croesus. 232-33 Earth. 185-86 Causation. 226. Strife) C hance. 26. 112. 265-88 Archelaus. 9 2> lo 9 * 125-26. 78. 246-47. 25.2 1 . 3 6 -3 7. 59. 73 -74 . 235. 241 (see also Earth. 139. 72 Effluences. Sun) Athens. 219-20. 140. 7 9 .2 5 1 -5 2 Colours. 17. 1 1 6 . 242. Planets. 28&-94 D oxography. 65-66. 184-85 Eclipse. 89. 78. 246 Biology. 225. 17. 46. 237-38. 48-49. Alcm aeon. 72. 63. 37 89-92 Alexander. 66. 7 1­ 7 6 .7 7 . 13.

179 (see also Change) 235 Euripides. 2 7 1. 244 Elements. 170. 93. 134. 153. 84. 104. 132. 12 2 -2 3 . 227.2 59-60 (see also Mathematics) Gods. 55. 248. 146. 90-91 (see also Death. 210. 214—15 H ippo. 137. 46.225 H om ogeneity. 170 -71 (see also Immortality) Ethics. 266 (see also Myth. 64. Fire. 165-66. 108. 161—201. 85. 147. Vegetarianism ) Eudem us. 86. 82. 3 8 -3 9 .9 7 . 1 1 0 . 173-74 . 103. 62 Magnet.6 3 . 278 Know ledge. 1 2 . 252 Eternal recurrence. 9 3 . 226. 158. 9 1. Metempsychosis) Indivisibility. 124. 260 G eom etry. 1 5 . 63. 245. 224-25 H om er. 111. 7 1 .2 50 ­ 5 1 (see also Atoms) Infinity. Earth. 193. 258-59 Fossils. 229-30 Ion o f Chios. 21. 14. 143. 72. 88. 19. 218. 104. 247 Hesiod.6 6 . Water) Empedocles.2 3 2 -3 3 (5 ^ also Change. 44. 5 5 . INDEX G olden A ge. 254 Fate. 2 1 6 -17 . 248. 6 4 . 74 -76 . 277.8 2 .1 1 . 114. 5 9 . 17 1. 242. 167. 66. 11. 105. 14. 11. Ritual) Immortality o f the soul. 90. Existence) G eography. 74. 270.4 1 . 205.69. 146 -47. 188-89. 174 -77 Lydia. 86. 2 1 8 -1 9 . 66. 1 7 3 . 7 1. 1 1 .9 5. 105. 16 8 -71. 134. 5 5 -5 6 . 166-67. 114. 1 3 1.SUBJECT Egypt. 179.6 7 . 15. 260-61 (see also Monsters) Existence. 75. 77. 84. 1 6 -1 7 . lo 5 >24 °> 263-88 (see also Aphorism s. 162 Health. 152 -53. 211 Evolution.2 14 Flavours. 9 5 . 18. 122. 198 G orgias. 95. Scepticism) Leucippus. 153 -5 4 . 7 1 . 220-21 (see also Medicine) Heraclitus. 247 Epicharm us. 11. 2 1-2 2 . 214. 124 . 241. 196. 20. see Necessity Fire. 143. 124 Hippasus. 210.5 7 . 154. 2 1 1 .6 °. 6 4-65 . 29 ° (see also Air. 106-107. 57. 144. 72. 99 G eneration. 143. 100-126. Principles. 203. 145. 219. J ustice.8 2 ­ 83. 101 Love. 64 . 2 5 1 -5 7 (see also Perception. 119. 289 Logos. 82-83. 100. 68-69.2 6 7 . 196. 261.4 3 . 73. 5 6 -57 Epicurus. 223 Justice. 166. 145-46. 169. 137. 7 4 -7 5 . 132-33. 237 Eurytus.

256. 163-64. 238 Persia. 121. 217. 263. 2 1 1 . 147-48. 105. 180-81 Moon. 245. 249. 7 1 . 21. 12. 162 Monism. 205 Parmenides. 72. 66. 55-60 (see also Ritual) Nature. 208-209. 141. 189-90. 216-22 . 2 10 -11 Myth. 140 Plato. 133-34. 22-24 Relativity. 114. 81. 148-49. 28. 145.20 3-20 5 Rivers. 11. 202-203. 1 2 -1 4 (see also Nature) Place. 89. 62 Pherecydes. 194-96 (see also Eternal recurrence) M eteorology. 226 Mind.2 2 . INDEX Pericles.. 13 1.20 0 .59. 129. 93. 214. 226. 26—29 307 . 236. 78 Miletus. 233-34. 89.120 .«87. 107. 217 Opposites. 4 0 -4 1. 216-222 Physics. 44. 65.1 1 9 . 294 Rainbow. 188-89 Ritual. 252. 72 -73 . 215. 215 Pythagoreans. 11. 155­ 57 (see also C hange.2 1 . 23». 23 0 -31. 163.6 1 -6 2 . 67. 135. 11. 98 Rationality. 86-87. 11. 90. 157-58 Planets. 2 1 8 -1 9 (see also Geom etry. 143. 290 Principles. 143. Numbers) Meaning. 197.4 0 . ю з 104. 77. 12. 107. 161. 37. 153-54. 75. 139. 20 -2 1. 79. 138— 39. 150-52. 183 Motion. 65.1 4 —1 5 . 218. Thought Pythagoras. 25. 1 2 . 256 Psychology. 1 1 1 . 17. 260 Respiration. 77. 65. 16 1-6 2 . •93.118 . 1 1 4 -1 5 . 81­ 88. 242. 63. 257. 9 1-9 2 . 158. 15—16. 245. 220. 1 0 . 262-63 Medicine. 202. 136.1 1 . 112. 82-83. 113. 209. 227 O rpheus. 201. 177.SUBJECT Mathematics. 74 7 5 77. 209. 19-20 Necessity. 187-88.243 Numbers. 153— 54. 202. 197. 201. 88. 14 0 -4 1. Void) Music. 254. 227-28. 94—95. 224. 115—16 Reproduction. 43—44. 139-40. 129-42. 235. see Unity Monsters. 8 4 . 85. 1 1 6 -1 7 Scepticism. 22. 245 Perception. 7 1 . 265 Politics. 11. 2 5 1 -5 7 (see also Knowledge) Simplicius. 86. 93. 89. 58 Philolaus. 244. 4 3 -4 9 Metempsychosis. 277 Porphyry. 214­ 15.96. 66. 192 (see also Health) Melissus. Soul. 240 (see also Soul) Miracles. 9 6-97. 290 (see also Elements) Protagoras. 210. see Perception. 2 1 7 -1 8 Music o f the spheres. 14.

108. 21. 9. 134.7 4 . 98. 15 0 -5 2 . 132. 222. 145 Unity. 112. 75. 123-24. 6 1 . 88. 254 Zeno. 10. 245 Solidity. T h ough t) Strife. 1 5 1-5 5 Vegetarianism . 17.9 3 . 264. 145. 66. 290 (see also Mind) T hrasyllus. 247 Soul. 67. see Gods T h o u g h t. 254 Zoology.1 2 . 240. 12 1-2 2 . 184. 89. Perception. 106.7 7 (see also War) Sun. 2 77-78 V oid. 11. 100. 12. 9 7-98 . 66. 254—55 (see a^° Motion) W ar. 233 X enophanes. 82. 205­ 208.SUBJECT Socrates. 136. 22. Mind. 146-47. 147. 155. 109. 106. 67. 290 (see also Death. 183 T hales. 79. 224­ 25. 120. 66.6 7 . Immortality.7 0 . 245 INDEX T im e. 112. 150­ 58. 102. 12. Metempsychosis. 264 W ater. 122.2 2 4 T h eo lo gy. 58. 4 1. 16 8 -71. . 15. 13. 15. 129. 72. 242. 186 . 141. 6 3 . 248. 148.7 1 . 11. 2 1 1 . 36. 114. 220. 7 4 . 119. 145. 173. 102. 107. 116. 166. 198-201. 64. 11. 245.2 3 5 .7 2 . 102. 212. 284. 130. 191. 22. 38. 93-99.

222.1 5 7 . 116. 256. 294328-34. g85b23д86аг6. Metaphysics д 8 з Ь 6 -и . 247-48. 63. 187. I4 0 7 b i4 ~ i8 .5 1 * b i 1. 208. 3 8 7 b i-6 . 98. 7 7 7 a 8 -io . 188. 2 9 5 b n —16. 116 [Alexander]. io o g b i7 —2 1 . io o g b i2 —13. 2 3 3 3 2 1 -3 1 . . 250­ 5 *. History of Animals 5 1 ^ 3 0 . io o g b 7 —15. 2 1 1 . 2 3 g b 5 240a 1 8 . 294321—28. »57I *13b22—27. 986330-34. 333*35-^ 3. 292— 93. 187. 2 9 4 b i3 .6 3 . 2 10 b 22 25. Theosophia 68-69. 116.7. 118 Apollonius. 334a l . Geography 1 1. 250319-22. On Generation and Corruption 3 i6 a i3 ~ b i6 . 188-89. 225. Poetics I4 5 7 b i3 ~ i6 . 200. Meteorology 335a i 3—*5> . 79. Nicomachean Ethics 115 5 6 2 -6 . 212. 248. 98 4 b i5-i8 .INDEX T O QUOTED TEXTS Achilles. Medical Writings X I 22-42. 201. X V I ag. 176.1 5 5 -5 6 . 101 . 190 Ammonius. 117633. On Vegetables VI ii 14. On the Heavens 2 g o b i2 — 29.2 2 1 anonymous. 985b4. 177— 78. 196.2 3: 3 5 7 3 2 5 -2 6 . 174.O n the Senses and their Objects 4 3 7 Ь* 3 —4 3 8 а 5 .1—10. 1176 3 5-8 . 75. 2 11. g86b4-8.i o . 181 Agathemerus. 58. Physics 196320-24. 179 Anecdota Graeca I 33 7*13 -15. 90. 184. 191. 158. 115. io g 2 b 8 . 209. 74. i87.i3 . Fragments 208. 2 1 0 -1 1 . On Respiration 4 7 3 ^ -4 7 4 3 5 . X V III 8 -X IX 1 . 260 Albert the Great. 183—84 Anonymus Londinensis. 203bl3~30. Problems 22. 235. i o g i b 4 . 189-90. Commentary on On Interpretation 249.5> 178.2 i. 16. Marvellous Stories 6. • 9 9 : 1 3 7 3 b i 4 ~ * 7 . Rhetoric I3 73 b 6 -g . 183 Aelian. 63. 1 1 -2 . 191. 1 8 5 :3 8 ^ 3 1 38233. 7 6 4 ^ 5 —1 8 . Introduction to Aralus 4. 76. гозЬ б—11. 73ia i_ 6> *85. 20331-8.* o . 9 8 3 ^ 7 -2 7 . 85 Aristotle. Eudemian Ethics 1225330-33. 71. Generation of Animals 723323— *5. The Nature o f Animals X II 7.

1. 198 1*9 Arius Didym us.2. I V iii 10. 164. Gorgias 9753 36 b6. 310 . 236-39. 124. V iii 15. II iv 17.1 -3 . 119. Deipnosophisls 57D . I X 3 6 . V I 42. V x ii 81. 265.3—4. 40 ia8—11. 121. V I I I 83. IX 15. Miscellanies II ii 8. On the World 3961*7-8.1 -2 . 6 5-67. V i 9 . Theology 17. 207-208. 108. 4 0 5 8 19 -2 1. 9 0 -91. V III 8. Lives of the Philosophers I 21-28 .1 2 .5-6. 129. 118. V III 36. I V x x ii 14 1 . 263-64. 240. I X 4 1 . I 120. III iii 14 . 262. 140.8. 192 Diogenes Laertius. 256. 1 1 1. 64 [Aristotle]. V x iv 1 1 5 . I V iv 16 . 83. 96. On Agriculture V III iv 4.5.1.1.4-5. 120 Damascius.7 . 4 118 7—8. Meditations IV 46. I V x x ii 144. V x iv 140. II x 99. 174. 202. 58. V I ii 1 7 . 189. IX 1 -3 .1 .1. 113. 116 C ornutus.3.2. Universal History I v iii 1 . 92. V III 59. V II iv 22. 110. 114.7 0 :1 8 8 . 4041*11-15. 15 Marcus Aurelius.3. Protreptic II x x ii 1—2. V I I I 6.1.3.2. fragm ent 191. 526A .5. 208. I I 6 -14 . 198.1 . V i 9 .5. V I Ix v iii 5.9 5 . I 119 . V x iv 122.6 4 . 139.2. 216. 334B.5. 16 1B C . 119. 2 2 1-2 2. 114. 125. 173. V III 4—5 . IV v ii 49. 120. II x x x iv 5. Commentary on the Timaeus c c x lv i *79. On Melissus. IX 18. 114. Pedagogue I ii 6. 238CD.3. II x x v ii 3. 86­ 87. X v i 1 -3 .2-3. V v iii 48. 976b23~30.1. IX 1. I V ii 4. I I I iii 1 7 . Xenophanes.1 ­ 2. Problems 916833—37. 196-97. On Birthdays I V 7. Chronic Diseases I V 9. 93. 186. II 22. II I 10 .6 7 . V III 85. V I ii 16.1 . III iii 1 4 . II x x i 130. 122. 262 Diodorus. 125-26. V I x v iii 168. V I I I 6 0 . 125. V iii 18. V x iv 138. 110. I 3 3 -4 0 . 5 8 Democrates. 244. 9 1-9 2 Callim achus. 136. 124. V ix 59. 116 Athenaeus. 87. 85 Censorinus. V x iv 104.1-3 . V I I I 10. 106-108. 196. On the Soul 404816-20. 3g6b20-25. 140-41 Calcidius. 82. I X 5 . V I I I 6 i. 212. 105. fragm ent 39.1 6 1 — 62. 1 1 2 -1 3 . 82. 110.INDEX TO QUOTED T E X T S 443822-25. V x iv 140.1. 192-93. 12°. 196. I V x x iii 150 . И v 24.1. 120.4-5. I I 16. X I I I lx x x iii 2. 89. On First Principles Caelius Aurelianus. V x iv 1 0 9 . 164. 73 Clem ent. 173. 1 1 1 . 119.1—5. 19 1-9 2 . H I iii 2 1 . 164.1.5 7 . 100.2 . 121. *2 4 .8 2 .60— 62. 82. 112. 90. On Homer [Discourses liii] 1. 261 Colum ella. Maxims 1—86. 162. 284­ 88 Dio o f Prusa. IV x x iii 149 . IX 21. 236.3-4. 260-61. 405829b i .

84 Harpocration.v. 205-207. Commentary on Hippocrates’ Epidemics X V I I A ю о а К .3 . I I 123. 112 Diogenes o f O enoanda. 1 1 1 . Commentary on the Odyssey I 321. 197 Hippolytus.17 -2 2 . 257. 114 . 255-56 Etymologicum Magnum s. 3“ and Sacred Art of the Philosopher’s Slone 25. 219. Busiris 28-29. 215.17-2 6 . 102-104 Hisdosus. 196. On Double Quantities 16 . 240-41. 174. II 81. 88. I 7 5 -4 “ 5 >62. Homeric Questions 24. V I I xxiX »3 .4 6 .2. 220 Isocrates. IX 57. 165. 140. 174 Galen. I v ii 1-9 .x g . On the Divine Singularities of Language 9 36.9 9 . Attic Nights I V x i 1 . 220 Macrobius. 7 1 .v.INDEX TO QUOTED TEXTS 205. X V x x a. 1 170. 185 Heraclitus. 162. 218. I V 9 5-96 . I v i 1—7. Commentary on the Golden Verses X X IV 2.1 3 .9 5 ^ 1 1 x x x i 4. ago.IX 4 5 .3. 95. IX 7a.7 2 . bios. 77—78. Handbook I iii 4. • 9 4 . 264. Preparation for the Gospel X IV x x v ii 4.22-24. 83-84 Hesiod. IV x i 9. 213. 254-55 Aulus Gellius. 182-83 N um enius.5. 255. fragm en t 30. 98 Herculaneum Papyrus 1012 X V III. 1 *5 Eusebius.8-25. 121-22 2 4 4 -4 5 .3—5. On the Pythagorean Way of Life 81—87. 79 O rigen. Ion. 62. 94 Herodotus. 254. 201 lam blichus.98. On Medical Experience X V 7—8. 19. Commentary on the Iliad X I 84. 162-63. 1 17. 946. On Lucian. On the Mysteries I 119 . 215 [lamblichus]. V I I x x ix 9 -1 0 . 86. 201 Herodian. On Accentuation in General 4 4 5 . 98. fragm ent. V II x x ix 14 -2 3 . I ix 1 -6 . The Elements according to Hippocrates I 4 1 7 —418 K . 62. 44. IX 73. 247. 199. I x iv 2—6 . 157. On Falling Down While Addressing People 9.1 2 . Theological Arithmetic 2 5 . 116 Eustathius. 118. fragm ent 6 II. 121 [Olym piodorus]. 223 Hephaestion. 203—205. V I x lii.* 7 9 . Theogony 10 4-138 . Histories I 74. Commentary on Nicomachus’ Introduction to Arithmetic 7.18 -20. s.4 9 * 2 4 5 . IX ix l . Refutation of All Heresies I iii a. Against Celsus V I x ii.21— 25. On Plato’s World-Soul 17 V . 187-88. V I I x x v iii 25—26. Saturnalia I x v ii 46. 56 H ierodes.9 -11.

925В. 132 Plutarch.O n the Decline of Oracles 418 C . 123. 98F. 79. 1 1 1 6 A . 139-40. 252. 262. Commentary on the Physics 125. 165. 730DF. 199. 84 Plotinus. 184. 264. The Primary Cold 947F. On Common Notions 1079E. 392B. 184. 123.13— s i . 9 5aA . 1 118 C . On Abstinence II a i . Miscellanies fragm ent 179. 121. Hippias Major 89AB . Philosophers and Princes 7 7 7 C . 929E. 143. 464B. X II x x v ii 1 . 176. 123-24 Polybius. On Superstition 166C. 262. 39. 140. II 31. Scientific Explanations 912E. 125. 186. 264. 121. 895E. 30. 90. 111 Philoponus. 182. 1 1 1 1 F . V i 8. 685F. 198 -gg. On Tranquillity of Mind 474B C . 197. 10. 171. 683D. On Having Many Friends 9 5A . 745D. On the Intelligence of Animals 974A . 746B . 183. 183. 200. 123 . 179. 264. On the Face in the Moon 920C. 193. Notes on . 989C. On Fortune 98D. 86. II 87. 73. 433B. 9 17 C . 1 1 1 . 1007D. 188. Histories II x x x ix 1—3. 889F. 1 1 14 B C . Progress in Virtue 81 A . 183. The Cave of the Nymphs 8. Life of Pythagoras 19. 11 13 A D . ig 7 . The Control of Anger 457D . 916D .87-30. 1 18 -1 g [Plutarch]. lg g . 186. On Listening to Lectures 40F. 1 7 1 -7 3 . 121. Platonic Questions 1006E. 202. 986E. 1 15­ 16. Should Old Men Take Part in Politics ? 78 7C . Pericles 166CD . On Afflictions of Mind and Body 500DE. 83. 201. 176. 223. 235. 1 3 7 . 265. 66gA . 184. 163. Is Water or Fire the More Useful? 9 5 7 л . 79. 261-62. 989AB. 118. 236. 117. 181.1 1 3 Porphyry. 198. 112 . 252. 113. m o F — 1 1 1 1 A .INDEX TO QUOTED TEXTS Philodemus. On the Scientific Beliefs of the Philosophers 876A B. On Music IV x x x v i. ig o . On the E at Delphi 388DE. 607CE. 150-52. 97 [Philoponus]. 112 6 A . Against Colotes 110 8 F -110 9 A . 181. 182. 312 262. Rhetoric I 3 5 »S. On Love for One’s Offspring 495E. 185. 120. 117. 220. 120. 1123B .8. Why the Pythia No Longer Prophesies in Verse зд7Л В . 218. 7aoE. 7a8E. On Exile 604A. Republic 600AB. 186. 98BC. 74. Phaedo 9 7B C . 9 17E . 260.O n Preserving Health 129A . Consolation to Apollonius 106E. Coriolanus 232D. 124. 73. Enneads IV viii 1. 125. 186. 183. 646D. Table Talk 618A . 181—82 Plato. On the Fortune of the Romans 316D . 718 E . 94. 200. Commentary on the Generation of Animals 123. Parmenides 187A —ia8 D . 943E. 177. Camillus 138A. On Educating Children gF. 909D. 259-60. On Desire and Grief 2. 74. 235. 400B. 9 11 A . 663A. 404DE. 182.

3 -7 .14 -18 .20­ 25 1. 97-98. 586.2 9 -3 8 2 . 1 5 7 .3 1 .» 6 5 *5 >229­ 30.2 0 . 1 4 4 .20-7.26-23. 252—54. Iliad X V I II 251. 97.1 1 . 5 6 3 -l 7 .1 5 . 130.8 9 0 -9 2 .18 0 5 8 6 . 2 3 1-3 2 . 147-48. 192. X 3 » 3 . 5 5 7 -*4 - 558.3 3 . 178. 144-45.4-15.8 -12 .1—14. I 302-303. 210. 2 3 .2 1. 139.1 4 1 . 165. 133.6 . 42 6. 16 2 . 152.75: * 5 5 -* 3 . 96. 95.13 9 . 289. 1 3 8 :3 1 .15 -2 7 . 300.10. 5 5 8 .16-24. Theriaca 452. 300.15 . Commentary on On the 3«3 48.14 8 -4 9 . 234.145­ 46. 1 1 7 . 214.6 4 . V II 90.2.13 .18 -2 7 .21-29 . X X X V I 91 iB C .1 5 4 . V I I 126. Commentary on the Cratylus 6.1 0 . 137­ 3 8 :3 1. V I I 13 5 -14 0 . 23 0 -31.214: * 4 -1 3 —*5.2 0 -15 3 . 5 5 7 -1 0 . to Euripides. 18 0 .1 1 2 . V I I 49. X 315. >73774 Simplicius. Phaedo 108D. 200.24. 1 1 8 3 . 2 8 . 15 7 .2 . 165-69.8 . 163-64.2 5 -3 0 . Iliad X X I 195.6 . Commentary on the First Alcibiades 2 5 6 . 3 5 2 .17 8 .33­ 179. 219. 5 5 8 . 15 1.4 7 .1 1 0 . 136. 227-29.14 5 . 5 8 6 . 176.6 1. 232.9 -18 .5 8 . 248. Gorgias 498E.1 1 . i « 4 *»4 . 219. 234-35. 2 3 . 180. Against the Mathematicians I 289. 262-63. 233. 562.1 7 * >4 6 .34 .1 1 .11-2 7 .13 -10 4 . 94. 3 8 1. to Hom er. 28 . Iliad Heavens 2 g4 . 1 1 1 . 234. 13 1-3 2 .3 4 . 218. IX 12 7 -12 9 .* o .18 -2 6 . 225. 230.1-6 .1-4 .2 2 .3 .2 5 -16 1.6. Commentary on the Physics 22.3­ 6.29­ 39. Sextus Empiricus.3 2. * 3 -3 3 —* 4 -4 .* 3 . 110.1 3 -1 7 . 874-^7. 1 12 4 . 261. 132. 224. 138.18 -3 5 . 115 Proclus. V II 92. 256­ 57. 248-49. 184 Scholiasts.INDEX TO QUOTED TEXTS Homer Iliad I V 4. 101. 131. 74. X 18 -1 9 . 2 3 2. 113.6 4 . Commentary on the Parmenides 70 8.6 -7.3-6.7-22.6 5 .5 5 .1 7 5 .1 6 .1 9 . 16 9 -7 1.27­ 301. 188. 5 5 9 .3 4 -3 4 . 16 7 .2 7 .1 8 -1 4 1 . V II 13 2 -13 3 . 110 8 . 180.1 3 . 26. 111. 210. 249. 3 4 .9 . 38. »5 7 . 13 8 . 13 6 -3 7:8 6 .3 1 -3 3 1 . Commentary on Euclid 2 2 . 180.13 4 -3 5 . 1 7 5 . 1 0 9 . 250.88. V I I 389-390.2 8 -1 18 4 . 1 4 0 . V I I 12 2 -12 5 . 1 3 0 . IX 144. Phoenician Women 18. to G regory o f Nazianzus. 587*12—26.3 0 -29 5.3 4 . to Plato.20. 115 .23-26.2 9 -3 3 . * 5 5 -**“ 157.8 -14.2.1 8 . 608.2 5 -14 6 . 187. 16 3 .1 5 .21—28.2 3 -2 7.21.133 .24 7- X IV 200.14 -2 8 158. V II 1 1 1 . 327.2 9 -14 0 . V II 265. to Nicander.17 6 -7 7 . 3 3 0 .9 -16 . V I I 1 1 6 -1 1 8 . * 3 3 .1 -1 6 .8 . 218.2 3 -2 6 .17 -5 5 9 .2fr28.4 2 . IX 19 3 . 155 . 3 1 .10.15 2 -5 4 .10 -12 . V I I 140. 10 3 . 3 7 9 .1 1 .18 0 -8 1.6 4 .1 5 .2 1 -5 3 0 . II 8.9 5 . * 5 -1 . 5 2 9 . 199. 57.29­ 587-4. Commentary on the Timaeus I 3 4 5 .1-9 . 2 9 9 . 242-43.1 1 . 148. >5 8: 7 3 * * 3 -3 3 .

271. 25-26. 109. IV x x ix 18. 276. II I iii 43. Causes of Plants I 30. 275. 276. 283. IV 1 76. II I x v ii 25. 21. 257 ­ 58. 271. On the Senses 3-4. 281. 277. 272. x x x iv 62. II x v 36. 281. x x iv 3 1 -3 3 . 274. 282. 272. 279. IV x x x iv 58. I x v 276. 43. 274. '9 5 -9 6 . III x v i 1 6 -1 9 . IV Iii 40. 243. I x x iv *e.7 -12 . III x x ix 6 6-67. 7 1. IV x l 23. 275. I x v iii ic . 266. IV II I i 4 5 -4 7 . II i 12. x x x i 49. 267. II I i 95. III x v iii 35. 123. Anthology I iv 7c.7 3 . 140. 266. IV v i 19. On Vertigo 88. I x lix 53. 269. III v ii 25. II v iii 16. III 1 5 . IV x 28. IV i 33-34. II I x v iii T heophrastus. 265. I V x x x i 120­ II x x x i 7 1 . 273. Metaphysics 7 a i o III x x ii 42. 265. III i 210. 268. IV x x iv 29. III x x x i 7. III ix 29-30. III x V III v j . III 126H . IV x liv 269. 124. IV x x iii 38-39. 9 . Speeches V 69B. IV x x x ix 17. 280. Geography 1 1 6 .2 7 9 . 124. II x v 33. 2 7 1-7 2 . 265. 284. 273. I x lix 60. 34 . 280. 270­ 10. IV 1 20. 271. 191. Allegories in the Iliad X V 275.INDEX TO QUOTED TEXTS Stobaeus. 179. III v ii 74.50 . III 1 174 -18 0 . 125 III x v ii 37-38 . 283. 10. 191. 273. IV i 42-46. 273. IV x x x iv 65. x iii 2. 90. 272. IV iv 27. 282. 3 3 . II x v 40. III x x x v ii 22. 141. I V x x x iii 23-24. 13. II iv 12. III x x 56. Mathematics III x iii 4 6 -4 7. 277-78 . 268. 13 -18 . IV 5 6 -59 . 283. III v i 26-28. 276. 281. III x 6 4-65. III v IV x lv i 18—19. II 281-82. 268. 276. IV x x x iii 9.1 2 . I x x v lg . I V x ix 45. 115 x x x v iii 53. 272. T heo d oru s Prodrom us. 275. III i 27. 268. III x x ix 9 >.» '7 Tzetzes. 190. IV x l 20 -21. IV 1 1 1. 279. II I v 22—27. 274. 6 5-6 7. 269. III x ii 13. 267. II v ii 3i. IV i 40. 275. Them istius. 217—18. x x x ix 25. 185. 279. III 284 v ii 3 1 . 271. III x x 62. IV 1 22. 279. 190 36. 94. IV x x v i 25— 267. 276. II i 16. 270. 279. III x x ix 63-64. 275. II I x iv 8. x x ii 199. 275. III x x v iii 15. 274. 283. 294 . 271. I x x i 7—8. III x 68. II ix 1—5. Letters X X X III 1240 A . 185. I I x x x i 66. IV x liv 6 7-70 . I V v 43-48. 282. III vii 284. IV x lv iii fr-8. II I ii 36. IV v ii 13. 22. 280. 282. 272. 273. 269. I x x ii 1a. Notes on the Iliad x x x v iii 4 6 -4 7. 273. IV x x 123. 138. 270. I v iii 2. 268. III iv 69-82. 274. III x 58. 64. 283. 112 T h e o o f Sm yrna. 109. 267. III x 42 -44. III 86. III i 9 1. IV ii 7. 278-79. 274. II x x x i 94. 280. 2 1 1 . 278. 268. III iii 46. 219-20. I x v 2. II x x x i 26. IV 266. II x x x i 12 1.2 0 1 x v i 22. 284. II I x x x v ii 25. 281. 258-59. Strabo. 282. 49 .4 5 . III x x x v i 24. 270. III x l 6 -7 . IV x x ii 108.

275. 262. 286. 286. 14.2 2 9 -3 0 . 264. 104. 66. 75. 236 Anaxim ander 12 B.284. 79.2 6 4 . 286.2 8 5 . 253. 285. 287. 285. 7. 286. 285. 262. 69. 10.2 6 6 . 107. 48. 287. 229. 17. 253-54. 252. 232. 5 1. 37. 63. 288. 285. 287. 288. s . 1. 287. 286. 231. 270. 287. 285. 232-33. 119 . 286. 169. 287. l l 6 . 288. 259-60. 286. 286. s ib . 287. 261. 46. 6 1. 288. 285. 230. 21a. 288. 287. 287. 59. 2 7 1. s i . 109. 287. 270. 85. 285. 262. 86. 43. 53. 105. 287. 268. 288. 99. 81. 1 7 1 . 97. 286. 9 . 233. s s . 286. 288. 90. 16. 93. 1 1 5 . 273. 56. 253. 100. 229. a6. 285. 232. 64. 38. 265. 7 1 . 84. 235. 285. 231. a. 76. 280. 114 . 230. 265. 227. 79. 288. 265. 254. 281. 248. 80. 273. 147. 50. 276. 286. 7 . 15 4 . 286. 234. 282. 233. 14 9 .2 6 1. 227. 277. 287. 4 1. 285. 287. 267. 79 Democritus 68 B.INDEX T O DIELSKRANZ B. 287. 273.253. 288. 70. 88. 107a.2 6 6 . 68. 1 1 1 . 45. i . 288. 281. 285. 48. 25 4 -5 5. 230-31. 229. 36 . 8. lk . 278. 227-28. 30. 260. 287. 253. 33 . 286. 285. 83. 4. 232. 3 9 . 101. 257. 73. 164. 231. 49. 2 4 9 :16 5 . 96. 275. 53a. l l 8 . 287. 173 . 6. 75 Anaxim enes 13 B. 175. 230. 285. 287. 253.286. 74. 103. 283. 288. 54. 3. 1 1 . 159 . 47. 2 3 '-3 2 . 35 .28 6. 287. 268. 1. 286. 44. 6a. 285. 155. 228-29. 3 . 15. 58.256 . 118 . 285. 263. 267. 94.286. 276. 7a. 98. 79. 265. 55. 167. 17 4 . 268. 60. 4. 286. 6 . 9a.2 6 4 . 270.28 5. 269. 113 . 10. 145. 286.286.284. 27 • . 9. 87. 127. 285. 106. 227. 1a. 3. 8. 283. 5a. 125. 89 Anaxagoras 59 B. 172. 236. 2 6 -3 1. 233­ 34. 276. 9 1. 108. 282. 272. 286. 77. . 285. 266.28 4. 57. 285.2 7 5 . 78. 89. 287. 286. 285. 38. 236. 264. 228. 285. 253. s i . 244. 40 . 229. 264. 65. 233. 82. 230. 283. 234. 148. 95. 1. 5> 227. 266.T E X T S Alcm aeon 24 B. 285. 67. 288. *8. 110.284 . 170. 286. 285. 266. 13.2 6 2 . 287. lo a .

38. 276 * 4 9 . 55. 104. 179. 280.INDEX TO DIE LS -K RA NZ B. 78.1 8 6 . 185. . 19. 81. 190. 273 273 273 229. 271 217. 80. ' 7 ° . >7 3 ! * 4 . 272 220. 175. 245. 290. 180. 186. i . 201. 281. 280 281. 188. 175. 228. 292 Empedocles 31 B. 174. 47. 2 7 3 273 23*. 276 * 5 3 . 2 7 4 274 * 3 5 . 53. 180. 210. 187. 188. * 4 *. 98. 174. 187. >68. 293 283. * 3 9 . 185. 176. 188. 34. 5. 46. 178. 175. 180. 63. 180. *7 3 . 28. 180. 18 1:4 9 . 207. 60. 295. 225. 6 1. 265. 56. 266. 24. 163-64. 27a. 179. 7 2 . 272 226. 277 * 5 4 . 279. 278 263. 270 205. 173-74. 274 280. 262. 66. 179. 169. 278 264. 180. 287 283. 292-93. 174. 180.T E X TS 266 267 267 268 268 268 269 270 270 270 270 270 271 271 271 272 272 176. 286. 271 214. 278 261. 39. 164. 76. 274 * 3 7 . *5 ’ 172. 287 D iogenes o f Apollonia 64 B. 165. 18 1:4 0 . 180. 79. 43. 213216. 7 1 . 282. 219. 180. 272 221. 190. 185. 222. 283 281. 11. 270 208. 272 223. 292. 180. 187. 186. 268 186. 281 281. 267 185. 277 * 5 *. *3 1. 185. 17. 2 7 4 274 238. 291. 178. 251. 186. 282. 29. 187. 165. 236. 181. 273 178. 169. 95.l8° . 177. 171. 172. 175. 281. 276 *50. 172. 270 200. 198. 267 180. 172. 175. 187. 182. 2 7 5 *4 4 . 2.269 «9 3 . 896. 102. >7 5 . 270 209. 242. 271 218. 181. 73. 84. 37. * 5 9 . 89. 274 2 3 4 . 2 9 1-92. 204. 105. 181. 285. 180. 4. 25. 176. 88. 64.270 202. 3. 269 19 4 . 286 282. 1887-89. jo . 170. 20. 190. 100. 1. 291. 4 1. 22. 178. ' 7 6 . ' 7 3 : * 3 . 177. 178. 3. 2 7 4 275 275 276 276 277 277 278 278 278 267 270 *73 276 *79 282 *85 288 291 179. 270 206. 289 283. 4. 189-90. *76. 178. 178. 283. 294. 180. 267 183. 68. 7. 44. 178. 169. 6. 83. 268 264. 180. 6. 174. 199. 96. 74.1 7 7 : 3 3 . 5 1. 94. 82. 50. 170 -7 1.278 260. 277 280. 166-67. 290. 177. 280.2 72 2 7 9 . 67. 277 * 5 5 *56. 278—79. 93. 270 *9 9 . 279. 59. 8. 179. 189. 185. 277 *58. 90. 167. 248. 181. 48. 187. *9 2 . 163. 86. 271 2 79 . 275 * 4 3 . 278 280. »9 5 . 35.2 70 197.2 7 5 * 4 7 . 292 283. 188 »9 °. 180. 3 0 . 21. 284. 270 203. 75. 276 246. 16. 284 282. 26. 297. 87. 186. 45. 177. 184. 272 227. ». 65. 27. 42. 1 7 7 : 3 1 . 85. 2 3 3 . 168-69. 275 240. 269 2 7 9 . 5. 101. 182.268 1 9 1 . 162. 2 7 9 . 268 279. 271 212. 180.290 283. 275 280. 180. 273 230. 9. 8. 23> 167-68. 77. 57. 54. 266 267 182.270 196. 268 284. 283. 175. 271 215. 62. 163. 52. 168. 277 2 5 7 . 9 1. 272 224. 271 2 11. 103. 180. 12.

197. 120. 122. 103. 120. 10. 103. 6. 109. 4. 116 . 2. 146. 121. log. 118. 107. 104. 12. 140­ 41. 146. 65. 119. 59. 123. 138. 2. 4. 34. 216. 3. 112. 189. 102: 5 1. 115. 6. 147. 114. 133. 109. 16. 66. 124. 121. 104. 32. 101. 11. 68. 18. 7. 135. 145. 67a.3 1 .KR ANZ B . 120. 140. 10 5:4 4. ' 47. 110 . 133. 121.*9 7 . 24. 8. 125. 1 . 104.' 9 6 . 140.4 7 >. 108. 123. 146 Parm enides 28 B. 1 1 1 . 106. 33. 124. 118. 102. 106. 121. I 7 118. 191. 111 H ippo 38 B. 102: 52. 1 13.2 0 1.4 7 . 106. 125. 113 . 109. 121. 1 . 8. 115. 17.«39: *°>39. 102: 53. 12 5 :7 4 . 10 5:4 3. 62. 10. 119. 107. 123. 78.38. 104. 125. 116. 127. «9 8 . 201. 112 :4 8 . 196. 27. 104.8 2 . 112. 123. 105. 87. 23. 193. ng: 35116. 1. 104. 106. 1 0 5 :4 1 . 139. 2 0 . 117. 116. 9 1. 119. 120. 123. 101. 30. 7. 39. lo g . 114. 83 Leucippus 67 B. 1 1 1. 148. 191. * 3 - 55- 137. 116. 200. 162. 134. 133. 113. 18. 200. l . 39. 1 17. 136. 63. 201.9 9 ­ 139. »*8. 107. 113 . 117. 93. 192. 120.5 . 196 Heraclitus 22 B. 120. 2. 198. 13 2 :4 . 81. 134. 3. 200. 9 5 . 102. 83. 146. 197. 109. 1 2 5 :7 2 . 197. 120. 2. 177. 1. 104. 114. 107. 117. 98. 1 1 5 :4 9 . *2. 192. 112. 107. 145. 118. 107. 1 13. ‘94196. 105. 120. 6 1. 1. 5. 119. 145­ 46. 9. 109. 96. 122. 225 Ion o f Chios 36 B. 107. 137. 82. 1 1 1 . 7 1 . 119. 14.5 6. 6. 80. 125. 115 . 133. 35. 146. 3*7 . I06. 200. 115. 134. 21. 117. 102: 54. 165. 82. 67. 89. 97.INDEX T O D 1 E LS. 4 . 146. 109.* ° 3 . 103. 131.1 3 0 . 8. 6o. 1 18. 201. 99. 199. i g i . 133. 106. 110. 131. 130. lO ia . 104. 117. 115 . 3 3 . 46. 105:42. 12 5 :8 6 . 119 . 1 4 8 -4 9 :9 . 109. 122. 88. «34. 1 10. 110.35. 142. 125. 179. 1 19. 162-63. 223. 58 Philolaus 44 B.37 : 9. 105. 1 2 5 :7 3 . 124. 79. l l 6 . 100. 187. 141. I 15. 83. 113.«4«: *6. 118. 108. 19. 164. 4. 14 3 . 164. 201. 1 3 6 . 198. 19. 217.48. 13 2 :3 . 1 1 1 . 197. 77 . 129. 118. 118. 126. 5 8 ю з . 109. 3 7 ­ 1 1 1 :4 0 . 47. 112 . 15. 70. 1 16 :8 4 . 85. 92. 135. 75. 28. 109. 17.121. 123. 197. 1 1 7 . 114 . 1 1 1. 206. 101. 31. • 9 5 ! ‘ * 7 .2 . 115. 192-93.io 3 ! 5 7 . 7. 103: io 3 . зб. 112. «39. 123. 5.T E X T S i g i . 243 Melissus 30 В. 110. 144. 136. 124. 1 IO. 193. 200.«36. 1 11.*5. “ З: 3 6. 137. 136.«39'. 11 4 . i s i . 90. 123. 199. 14 1. 1 3 2 . 50. 109. 141-42 Pherecydes 7 B. 64. 132. 133-34. 109. 112. 117. 94. 1. 197. 45. 125:49 a. 124. 102. 112. I 15.

14. l . 10. 31. 154. 97. * 6 .9 6 . 94. 4 . 98. 157 l8 >9 4 . 28. * 3 . 2 l8 . 4 .9 3 . 222. *9. 9 6. 17. a. »*• 95. 7. 9 5 .9 5 . 30. 15. 3. 98. 155. 219 -20 Xenophanes 21 B. 1 4 . 8 . 36. 33. 98. 32. 2 1 7 : 6 . 3. 34. 153. 1 1 . 2 1 7 ­ 18. 2 1 7 : 5 . 98. 7. *5 *9 5 . 318 . 35. 9 7 . 95. 9 5 . 98. * 5 .INDEX TO DIELS-KRANZ B -TEXTS 3 . * 4 . 220.2 1 9 . 82. 9 8. 94. 3 7 . 13. 9 7 ‘.9 5 . 3 8 . 9 4 Zeno 29 B.

K . B u t the e ffo rt is alw ays w o rth w h ile. S .99 N.F P E N G U I N (Q j C L A S S I C S Ea r l y G r e e k P h il o s o p h y T R A N S L A T E D A N D E D IT E D W I T H A N IN T R O D U C T IO N B Y J O N A T H A N B AR N ES In p a vin g the w a y fo r P la to and A risto tle .9 5 ISBN 0 -14 -0 4 4 4 6 1-0 9 78 40 чччб .9 5 U . G ST ) CAN. the en ig m atic and h au ntin g epigram s o f H eraclitu s — these are ju st som e o f the riches to be found in this co lle ctio n o f the w ritings o f the early G reek p h ilo sop h ers.95 (i n cl. $ 21. Z e n o ’s e x tra o rd in a ry and d istu rbing p a ra d o x es. $ 7. the preS ocratics w ere the true creato rs o f W estern p h ilo so p h y . $ 1 0 .Z. the p re-S o cra tics w ere d oing som eth in g new and p ro fou n d ly im p o rta n t. £6. T h e c o v e r sh o w s a d eta il o f a m o s a ic c o n ta in in g a fig u re th o u g h t to represent A n a x im a n d e r h o ld in g a sun dial in th e R h ein isch es L a n d esm u se u m . the a to m ic th eo ries o f D em o critu s th a t so strikingly an ticip ate co n tem p o ra ry physics. In forging the first tru ly scien tific v o cabu lary and offerin g ratio n al argu m en ts fo r th eir view s. they also posed the q u estions th a t have rem ained a t the cen tre o f p h ilo sop hy to this day. Trier. Jo n a th a n B a rn e s’s m asterly In tro d u ctio n show s h ow the m o st skilled d etective w ork is often needed to re co n stru ct th e ideas o f these th in kers fro m the surviving fragm ents o f their w o rk . Philosophy U . A .