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Empedocles, On Nature 1.273-287

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Place, the Elements, and Still No ‘We’

image of Mnemosyne

This article presents a new, complete edition of Empedocles, On Nature 1.265-290, in particular lines 1.273-287 or a (ii) 3-17 of the Strasbourg papyrus of Empedocles, P. Strasb. gr. Inv. 1665-1666. The edition is based on two new supplements to section a (ii) grounded on doxographic testimony. These new supplements confirm that the passage is devoted to cosmology, specifically the relation between place and the elements. That in turn provides a reliable framework for a reconstruction of the remaining lines. More controversially, the reconstruction gives new grounds for rejecting the controversial variant reading συνερχόµεθα, ‘we come together’, found in two or perhaps three instances in the papyrus. If the content of the passage is consistently cosmological, these new variants must be no more than scribal errors.

Affiliations: 1: University of Edinburgh, School of History, Classics and Archaeology Dept. of Classics


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