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La zoogonie de la Haine selon Empédocle: retour sur l’ensemble ‘d’ du papyrus d’Akhmim*

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This article aims at reconstructing the most damaged part of the Strasbourg papyrus of Empedocles (fragment f-d), by taking into account all the parameters at our disposal: palaeography, metre and, of course, content. According to this attempt, Empedocles would be describing the very moment in the phase of increasing Strife when the whole-natured creatures (the ολοφυ) were split into male and female beings. Thus, the first part of the fragment becomes very similar, in its content, to fr. 62 D.-K. and to Plato’s parody of Empedocles in Aristophanes’ myth in the Symposium, while its second part emerges as containing new details of the process by which double creatures were split into two. If this reconstruction is accepted, its implication will be that Aetius’ presentation of Empedocles’ cosmic cycle as a fourfold continuous process is deeply inadequate.

Affiliations: 1: École Normale Supérieure, Département des Sciences de L’Antiquité 45 rue d’Ulm 75230 Paris Cedex 05 France, Email:


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