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Headword: *)empedoklh=s
Adler number: epsilon,1002
Translated headword: Empedokles, Empedocles
Vetting Status: high
[Empedokles], son of Meton, though some [say] Archinomos and others Xenetos;[1] and he had a brother Kallikratides.[2] He studied first with Parmenides, and, according to Porphyry in his Philosophical History, became his beloved.[3] But others maintained that he was a disciple of Telauges, son of Pythagoras.[4] From Akragas,[5] [he was] a natural philosopher and epic poet. He flourished during the 77th Olympiad.[6] With a gold crown on his head and bronze shoes on his feet and Delphic laurels in his hands, he would go from city to city, seeking a godlike reputation for himself. When he became old, one night he threw himself into a volcano, so that his body would disappear, and thus he died, but his sandal strap was thrown back up by the volcano. He was also called Wind-preventer, because when a strong wind was oppressing Akragas he surrounded the city with hides of asses.[7] Gorgias, the rhetorician from Leontini, became his student. And he wrote two books of epic verse about the nature of things; there are about two thousand lines of verse. [He also wrote] On medical matters in prose, and many other works.
Greek Original:
*)empedoklh=s, *me/twnos, oi( de\ *)arxino/mou, oi( de\ *cene/tou: kai\ a)delfo\n de\ e)/sxe *kallikrati/dhn. h)kroa/sato de\ prw/tou *parmeni/dou, ou(=tinos, w(/s fhsi *porfu/rios e)n th=| *filoso/fw| i(stori/a|, kai\ e)ge/neto paidika/. oi( de\ e)/fasan maqhth\n *thlau/gous tou= *puqago/rou ui(ou= to\n *)empedokle/a gene/sqai. *)akraganti=nos, filo/sofos fusiko\s kai\ e)popoio/s. h)=n de\ kata\ th\n oq# *)olumpia/da. o(\s ste/mma e)/xwn e)pi\ th=s kefalh=s xrusou=n kai\ a)mu/klas e)n toi=s posi\ xalka=s kai\ ste/mmata *delfika\ e)n tai=s xersi\n e)ph/|ei ta\s po/leis, do/can peri\ au(tou= katasxei=n w(s peri\ qeou= boulo/menos. e)pei\ de\ ghraio\s e)ge/neto, nu/ktwr e)/rriyen e(auto\n ei)s krath=ra puro\s w(/ste mh\ fanh=nai au)tou= to\ sw=ma. kai\ ou(/tws a)pw/leto, tou= sandali/ou au)tou= e)kbrasqe/ntos u(po\ tou= puro/s. e)peklh/qh de\ kai\ *kwlusane/mas, dia\ to\ a)ne/mou pollou= e)piqeme/nou th=| *)akraganti/a| e)cela/sai au)to\n dora\s o)/nwn periqe/nta th=| po/lei. ge/gone de\ tou/tou maqhth\s *gorgi/as o( r(h/twr o( *leonti=nos. kai\ e)/graye di' e)pw=n peri\ fu/sews tw=n o)/ntwn bibli/a b#: kai\ e)/stin e)/ph w(s disxi/lia. *)iatrika\ kataloga/dhn, kai\ a)/lla polla/.
C5 BCE; OCD(4) s.v. Empedocles. See also epsilon 1003, epsilon 1004, and under epsilon 1001. The material of the present entry is drawn largely from Diogenes Laertius.
[1] Or "Exainetos": Inwood and others (from Satyrus ap. DL 8.53). Xenetos is cross-referenced at xi 24.
[2] Again at kappa 224.
[3] FGrH 260 F22.
[4] "Later tradition assigned to Pythagoras a son Telauges and then attempted to establish Empedocles as a successor of Pythagoras by citing this Telauges as his teacher" (Wright 1981: 19 and n.94).
[5] In Sicily; present-day Agrigento.
[6] 472-469.
[7] An incident "clearly invented as a background to Empedocles' promise to Pausanias that he will be able to check the force of harmful winds." Wright 1981: 12 and n. 53. For this material cf. alpha 1671 and delta 1376.
Inwood, B. The Poem of Empedocles. A Text and Translation with an Introduction. Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press, 1992
Wright, M.R., Empedocles: The Extant Fragments. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981
Keywords: biography; chronology; clothing; epic; gender and sexuality; geography; historiography; history; medicine; philosophy; poetry; religion; rhetoric; science and technology
Translated by: Marta Steele on 8 June 2000@15:19:00.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Minor adaptations, keywords) on 8 June 2000@20:56:16.
David Whitehead (augmented notes; added keyword; cosmetics) on 29 May 2001@08:53:03.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 3 November 2003@04:19:42.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr) on 19 November 2006@09:59:42.
David Whitehead (another tweak to tr, prompted by Dr Demetrios Betsis) on 16 March 2010@04:33:37.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 19 August 2012@04:26:52.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 27 January 2014@06:20:20.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 3 August 2014@07:44:29.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 22 November 2014@23:28:52.


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