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Headword: Ἐμπεδότιμος
Adler number: epsilon,1007
Translated headword: Empedotimos, Empedotimus
Vetting Status: high
This man wrote about the physics of hearing; [Julian] the Apostate speaks about him in the works entitled Kronian: "for our part we [speak] trusting in Empedotimus and Pythagoras, both in what Heraclides of Pontus took from them when he said 'and a little earlier [...]' and our renowned soothsayer Iamblichus [sc. also] showed".[1]
Greek Original:
Ἐμπεδότιμος: οὗτος ἔγραψε περὶ φυσικῆς ἀκροάσεως: περὶ οὗ λέγει ὁ Παραβάτης ἐν τοῖς ἐπιγραφομένοις Κρονίοις: ἡμεῖς δὲ Ἐμπεδοτίμῳ καὶ Πυθαγόρᾳ πιστεύοντες, οἷς τε ἐκεῖθεν λαβὼν Ἡρακλείδης ὁ Ποντικὸς ἔφη καὶ μικρῷ πρότερον καὶ ὁ κλεινὸς ἡμῖν ἔδειξε καὶ ἱεροφάντωρ Ἰάμβλιχος.
This is Julian fr. 161 Bidez, quoted again at iota 437. Empedotimos is also mentioned in one of Julian's Letters (89b, line 186: 'Socrates and Dio [Chrysostom] and the great Empedotimos'), and by other writers such as Damascius and Proclus.
Nevertheless, some modern scholars doubt his existence; cf. the summary in Schneider & Goulet. The doubters regard him as a literary creation, in Heraclides' dialogue called (probably) On the soul; so e.g. RE Suppl.IV (1924) col. 269. There, Empedotimus of Syracuse is the counterpart of Er the Pamphylian in Plato's Republic, in that both have revelatory visions.
As to the name Empedotimos itself, F. Wehrli and H.B. Gottschalk have suggested that it is a fusion-construct, by Heraclides, of Empedocles and Hermotimus (of Clazomenae, a Pythagorean philosopher of the C6 BCE mentioned by Aristotle, Pliny the Elder, Plutarch and Lucian, amongst others).
For a recent discussion, unimpressed by the arguments against the historicity of Empedotimos (who does bear a name independently attested as that of real individuals), see Kupreeva 96-99.
[1] Heraclides [eta 461] fr.92 Wehrli, 53 Schütrumpf. The Suda's words καὶ μικρῷ πρότερον might (as here, and cf. iota 437) be presented as being quoted from Heraclides. The main reason for thinking so is that otherwise Julian would seem to be guilty of the egregious error of dating Heraclides (C4 BCE) later than Iamblichus (C3/4 CE: iota 27).
Schneider, J.-P., and R. Goulet. "Empedotimos." In Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques. Vol. III.
Kupreeva, I. "Heraclides' On Soul(?) and its ancient readers", in Fortenbaugh, W.W. and Pender, E. (eds.), Heraclides Ponticus (Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities 15: New Brunswick & London 2009) chap.5
Keywords: biography; medicine; philosophy; religion; science and technology
Translated by: Marta Steele on 8 June 2000@15:47:41.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented and modified notes; added keyword; cosmetics) on 25 September 2002@08:52:54.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 25 August 2004@12:02:52.
David Mirhady (updated reference) on 2 September 2008@18:28:03.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 19 August 2012@05:00:28.
David Whitehead (modified tr; expanded notes, with more bibliography) on 27 December 2015@09:48:12.
David Whitehead (corrected my note, at CR's prompting) on 3 February 2017@03:05:16.


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