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Headword: Empedoklês
Adler number: epsilon,1003
Translated headword: Empedocles, Empedokles
Vetting Status: high
They say that the Agrigentian Empedokles followed in the steps of Pythagoras, as Apollonius of Tyana also did. For [they say that] he associated with the gods and learned from them what in men they find pleasing and what vexing; and he also discussed nature there. Some find evidence of his divinity and conjecture mutually inconsistent opinions about him, but according to Apollonius Apollo agreed that he could come and be a god, whereas Athena and Muse[1] and other gods, whose appearance and names men no longer know, were not in agreement with his associating with them. And whatever Pythagoras taught, his disciples accepted as law and honored him as one coming from Zeus, and there was a policy of silence about his divinity; for they heard many divine and ineffable things, difficult to grasp for those who have not first learned that silence is also [a form of] speech. And that Empedokles led this life is clear from [his words] "Rejoice, I am an immortal god among you, no longer human." Also, "for I have already lived as both female and male."[2] And the ox in Olympia, which he is said to have made from pastry and sacrificed[3] -- these would be [things typical of someone] approving the views of Pythagoras.
Greek Original:
Empedoklês: ton Akragantinon Empedoklea badisai phasi tên hodon Puthagorou, hên kai Apollônios ho Tuaneus ezêlôse. xuneinai gar tois theois kai manthanein par' autôn, hopê tois anthrôpois chairousi kai hopê achthontai, peri te phuseôs ekeithen legein: tous men gar allous tekmairesthai tou theiou kai doxas anomoious allêlais peri autou doxazein, Apollôniôi de ton te Apollôna hêkein homologounta, hôs autos eiê, xuneinai d' an kai mê homologounta Athênan te kai Mousan kai theous heterous, hôn ta eidê kai ta onomata oupô tous anthrôpous ginôskein. kai ho ti apophênoito ho Puthagoras, nomon touto hoi homilêtai hêgounto kai etimôn auton hôs ek Dios hêkonta, kai hê siôpê huper tou theiou sphisin epêskêto: polla gar theia te kai aporrêta êkouon, hôn kratein chalepon ên mê prôton mathousin, hoti kai to siôpan logos. hoti de kai Empedoklês ton bion touton êskêto, dêloi to, chairet', egô d' ummin theos ambrotos, ouketi thnêtos. kai, êdê gar pot' egô genomên kourê te koros te. kai ho en Olumpiai bous, hon legetai pemma poiêsamenos thusai, ta Puthagorou epainountos eiê an.
From Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1.1; cf. pi 3121. For Empedokles cf. (epsilon 1001), epsilon 1002, epsilon 1004.
[1] Plural in Philostratus.
[2] Influenced by his first teacher, Parmenides, who speaks as a female through "Doxa".
[3] See Wright (1981) 283. Pythagoras and his followers, including E., disapproved of animal sacrifices. The Olympia reference resulted from the confusion between Empedocles with his grandfather the Olympic victor.
Wright, M.R., Empedocles: The Extant Fragments. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981
Keywords: athletics; biography; ethics; gender and sexuality; geography; imagery; philosophy; religion; zoology
Translated by: Marta Steele on 8 June 2000@15:18:13.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Fixed notes, chose keywords. Text unchanged) on 8 June 2000@21:10:26.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added note; cosmetics) on 17 June 2002@08:02:16.
Catharine Roth (fixed wrong note numbers, reported by Andrew Smith) on 10 October 2004@19:14:23.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 8 December 2005@10:19:24.
David Whitehead (modified end of translation, and n.3) on 9 December 2005@05:20:08.
David Whitehead (more of same) on 9 December 2005@07:05:59.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 19 August 2012@04:31:46.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 2 February 2017@01:32:36.


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