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Interpretative Thētas In The Strasbourg Empedocles

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Chapter Summary

The sensational publication in 1999 of very fragmentary fragments of a papyrus text of Empedocles, which inter alia added a number of fragments of new lines to the lines already known from the indirect tradition, has made a noteworthy impact on Presocratic studies. The Empedoclean cosmic stage is occupied by four divine elements, viz. Fire, Earth, Air and Water, and two divine moving forces, unifying Love (Philotēs) and divisive Strife (Neikos). A daimōn would be a lump of Philotēs, of love, as other scholars had already claimed without the support of the new fragments. The demonology thus found an anchor in the physics, and the daimōn was awarded a physical constitution. Those who want to integrate the demonology into the physics should rest content with the two lines in Ensembled of the Strasbourg papyrus traditionally attributed to Purifications.

Keywords: daimōn; Empedocles; Neikos; Philotēs; Strasbourg papyrus



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