Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article considers how the new finds have affected one's view of Empedocles, and suggests how interpretation of that material might help solve (or dissolve) some longstanding problems about the structure and content of Empedocles' writings. A basic account of the teachings of Empedocles would distinguish between two main components. On the one hand, there is a “Presocratic” physics, including a theory of principles, a cosmology, and a biology. On the other hand, there is a mythical law, clearly inspired by Orphic or Pythagorean legends, which imposes on guilty gods (called daimones) a punishment consisting in their transmigration through a series of mortal beings. The purpose of this article is to show that Empedocles has the habit of referring to divine entities of his physical system both in a physical and in a mythological way and that his uses of the word daimon form part of this twofold language.

Keywords: Empedocles, Presocratic physics, cosmology, biology, Pythagorean legends, daimones

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.