Plusieurs articles consacrés à Empédocle dans la Revue de Philosophie ancienne, tome XXIII, n°2, 2005 et tome XXIV, n°1, 2006. En dépit des dates (2005, 2006) ces deux numéros sont parus en avril 2007. Je signale en particulier un article de Renaud Gagné, "L'esthétique de la peur chez Empédocle", dans le tome XXIV, n°1. Cet article remet en cause la lecture du fr. 115.3, où l'on lit traditionnellement φόνῳ, et défend la leçon des manuscrits : φόβῳ. Comme le dit l'auteur : "L'enjeu est de taille." (P. 85.)

G. Casertano (éd.), Empedocle : tra poesia, medicina, filosofia e politica, Naples : Loffredo, 2007.

Cet ouvrage fait suite à un colloque tenu à Naples les 15-16-17 décembre 2005. Il réunit 18 contributions. Nommons quelques auteurs : A. Martin, O. Primavesi, G. Cerri, M. Dixsaut, G. Casertano. Plus de détails :

J. Warren, Presocratics, Stocksfield : Acumen, 2007. Voir bibliographie.

Pénélope Skarsouli a fait un compte rendu du livre Studi sul pensiero e sulla lingua di Empedocle (voir dans la Revue philosophique de Louvain, 105(1-2), 2007, pp. 162-168.

Parution début 2008 de deux ouvrages :

(a) un ouvrage de Myrto Garani :

Empedocles Redivivus: Poetry and Analogy in Lucretius

Hardcover: 427 pages

Publisher: Routledge.

Lu sur (puis : Garani) :

Despite the general scholarly consensus about Lucretius’ debt to Empedocles as the father of the genre of cosmological didactic epic, there is a major disagreement regarding Lucretius’ applause for his Presocratic predecessor’s praeclara reperta (DRN 1.732). In the present study, Garani suggests that by praising Empedocles’ discoveries, Lucretius points to his predecessor’s epistemological methods of inquiry concerning the unseen, methods upon which he himself draws extensively and creatively enhances. In this way, he successfully penetrates into the invisible natural world, deciphers its secrets, and thus liberates his pupil from superstitious fears about death and physical phenomena. To justify this proposition, Garani undertakes a systematic analysis of Lucretius’ integration of Empedocles’ methods of creating analogies in the form of literary devices – personifications, similes, and metaphors – and demonstrates that his intertextual engagement with Empedocles’ philosophical poem is direct and intensive at both the poetic and the philosophical levels.

Voir aussi qui donne le bon titre de l'ouvrage.

(b) un ouvrage de M. Laura Gemelli Marciano à paraître en Octobre 2008 (information donnée en juin 2008) :

Die Vorsokratiker

Band 2 von 3 Bänden. Griechisch / Deutsch

Artemis & Winkler, 11/2007

Buch, 500 Seiten, Leinen mit Schutzumschlag

Voir :

Tomáš Vítek a révisé la bibliographie qu'il avait fait paraître dans son Empedoklés : II (2006, voir ci-dessous), afin de l'installer sur une page web et de la présenter ainsi au plus grand nombre. Il ajoute de nouveaux titres, il écrit en anglais (un peu plus accessible que le tchèque...), et rapporte parfois, en note, des résumés. Voir

Dans cette bibliographie, il est possible, grâce à la fonction "find" (CTRL+F), de retrouver rapidement les textes (en dehors des recueils) qui traitent d'un fragment ou d'un témoignage donné (ex. "CTRL+F B 6" pour repérer les commentaires sur le fragment 31 B 6 DK ; "CTRL+F A 70" pour repérer les commentaires sur le témoignage 31 A 70 DK).

L'outil n'est certes pas parfait, car toutes les occurrences (en dehors des recueils) ne sont pas mentionnées, mais il est déjà une aide à la recherche.

Je m'emploierai, en collaboration avec Tomáš Vítek, à faire évoluer et mettre à jour cette bibliographie. Toutes les contributions et remarques d'amélioration sont les bienvenues (

᾿Εμπεδοκλῆς - Empédocle


Cette page est destinée à recevoir les "chroniques" anciennement présentées à la page et

Dans la page "home", la règle est de se limiter à une dizaine de chroniques. Au fil du temps, les anciennes chroniques sont transférées ici, en ARCHIVES (classées du plus ancien au moins ancien).

Quelques pages du site "empedocles.acragas" :

Contact :

Mise à jour : 30/ 04/ 2018.


Deux ouvrages de Tomáš Vítek, parus en mars 2007 (datés 2006) : Empedoklés : II. / Zlomky ; Empedoklés : III. / Kommentář.

Ci-dessous : un résumé en anglais, rédigé par l’auteur, de Zlomky (= fragments). Et le résumé d’Empedoklés I. / Studie, paru en 2001.

Empedoklés : I. / Studie, Prague : Herrmann & Synové, 2001.


Chap. 1 — In this chapter doxographies concerning the life of Empedocles are analyzed: his role and meaning as a politician, poet, physician and magician. My conclusion is that practically all his functions and pieces of information about him derive both from his own fragments and the universal typology of a miraculous man. We know nothing about the life of the real Empedocles, although he is a historic person undoubtedly.

Chap. 2 — I analyze the three main influences on Empedocles –Pythagoras, Orphism and Parmenides – and consequently I refute all accusations of him as a copyist or plagiarist by dint of a comparative analysis of the common passages and motives. Empedocles was an original thinker and the essential source for many forms of later mysticism, cosmogonies, zoogonies or theories of perception: blaming him for imitating is a typical petitio principii, because reducing him to a pupil or a copyist of some pre-Socratic celebrity is an underestimation of him and at the same time overestimation of influences and other external factors. Further, I investigate the original number of verses (Diogenes Laertius, Suida) and the ostensible gap between Pert physeos and Katharmoi. Subsequently I analyze the most important personalities of the doxographers, and their veracity.

Chap. 3 — Here the four elements are depicted: their divine character and their attitudes to gods. I scrutinize the number of rhizomata (4 or 5) and the relation between aer and aither (identity or difference) and I categorize them into three levels: 1) gods as the laws and principles, 2) elements, and 3) senses. Then I follow inner connections between them and I try to eradicate the conception of elements as material particles since this essentially distorts the whole teaching of Empedocles.

Chap. 4 — This chapter deals with Philotes–Neikos and once again differentiates them according to three aspects: 1) two sides of one God (-dess), 2) two complexes of specific rules, principles and laws, and 3) two names for merging and differentiating processes in the world and in man. Nevertheless, Philotes and Neikos are not one-dimensional and mutually antagonistic but bilateral and complementary. Aristotle is mistaken because each of them compounds and separates simultaneously but on different levels and different directions.

Chap. 5 — In this chapter Sphairos is shown and presented, on three levels again: 1) the unmanifest God (Phren Hiere), 2) the inner structure and order of the universe (Fate), and 3) this world on the basis of an analogy with the scattered vegetative gods (Adonis, Osiris). Therefore, Sphairos is not a simple and mindless mixture of atoms but a pattern for the functioning of the universe because every single thing helps to accomplish Sphairos's destiny.

Chap. 6 — This chapter tries to reconstruct Empedocles' cosmogony. The central metaphor is that of the whirlpool which pregnantly expresses the binarity of the world (Philotes and Neikos) and the transition (some kind of a bridge) between the immaterial and material. The creation of the universe, the world and its beings, are arranged according to the same pattern. Only one cosmogony exists in one period of the cosmos.

Chap. 7 — In this chapter I attempted to reconstruct Empedocles' zoogony. There are four phases of zoogony which each of four rhizomata gradually dominates and provides it with its own character. Only one zoogony in four phases exists in one period of the cosmos. The universe is an animal which is constructed analogically as an embryo in the uterus. This picture suggests a vision of universal nature, which parallel I illustrate by comparison with other visionaries.

Chap. 8 — Here I inquire Empedocles' theory of perception. I find the information of Aristotle and Theophrastus untrustworthy because they do not give any congruent and uncontradictory notion of the doctrine and, moreover, they contradict their own propositions. The four rhizomata correspond to the four senses: Empedocles shows the four main functions of the body (breathing, seeing, hearing, and tasting) as a demonstration of the activity of the elements (their principles). The rhizomata are a bridge between the inner and external world and at the same time between the human and divine.

Chap. 9 — This chapter is devoted to the daimon and the divine. Daimon is the divine part of man and repeats the fate of Sphairos. The only salvation seems to be to constitute a type of a perfect microsphairos: sexually (for a moment), intellectually (philosopher) or — and mainly — by serving other people (physician, ruler, poet — B 146, DK). Daimon, like everything else in the universe, helps to create and annihilate this world because he functions not only as God in man but as man in God as well.

Chap. 10 — In the last chapter I deal with the central power of Empedoclean doctrine, i. e. with the goddess Aphrodite who rules every sphere of the divine and human worlds. I demonstrate these phenomena on examples taken from literature and philosophy (Euri­pides, Parmenides) as well as from the actual cult of the goddess. Subsequently, I identify her as the very marked type of the Great Mother by means of comparisons with goddesses of the kind (Persephone, Kybele, Isis, Kali, Ishtar). I end my work with the suggestion that the whole of Empedocles' teaching might be but a form of revelation and epiphany of the Great Goddess Aphrodite.

Empedoklés : II. / Zlomky, Prague : Herrmann & Synové, 2006.


The second volume of my study on Empedocles includes a Greek-Czech edition of all testimonies, the immediate contexts of the verses, B fragments and the newly found Strasbourg papyrus. It is preceded by an introduction in which I explain my editorial method and summarize the history of the Empedoclean scholarship, including the his­tory of editions dating back to the 16th century. There follows a detailed morphological, stylistic and metrical analysis of the Empedoclean language. Attached is briefly annotated bibliography covering the period 1520-2005 (ca. 800 titles) which I intended to be as complete as possible.

My edition is formally based on the edition of H. Diels (PPF, FVS). I have accepted Diels’ distinction between the A and B fragments as well as their numbering. Despite many objections to this arrangement and despite the fact that the division of the fragments into two poems has in my opinion not been proven, I have retained the text in the traditional form in order to prevent confusion. However, I have considerably enlarged the material, esp. in the case of A testimonies and contexts. I have also included almost all spurious B fragments that earlier editors attributed to Empedocles.

The extant fragments of Empedocles’ text are very defective. Verses were usually tran­scribed from second- or third-hand versions, often incorrectly or from incorrect sources, adjusted to contexts in which they were quoted or modified in order to highlight the tradent’s interpretation. Modern editors have sought to reconstruct the original form of the text, sometimes perhaps to the detriment of some specific features of the Empedoclean language. Their textual interventions are often problematic, or even superfluous and counterproductive: forced unification of morphological and dialectical inconsistencies, substitution of unusual words and phrases by more comprehensible synonyms, terms with different meanings or more aesthetically convenient and archaic Homeric and Hesiodic expressions, deletion of tolerable hiatuses, risky interpolations of verses into a continuous text (B 17.9, B 84.9, B 112.3), unsubstantiated interconnections of fragments (B 27, B 57, B 76, B 115), inventions of new verses on basis of their supposed paraphrases arc among the most important examples. Since the more recent editions approach the text more cautiously than the earlier ones did, one would expect that they reflect the original more precisely, but problems detected by the Strasbourg papyrus indicate that that might not be the case.

The text presented here is based on efforts of all previous editors whose work I stu­died carefully and with respect. When dealing with a difficult passage, I (unlike J. Bollack, for example) did pot feel obliged to follow the manuscript reading at any cost, but on the other hand, I did not accept (traditional or modern) corrections that did not strike me as quite necessary or justified, either. Only rarely and with hesitation I have proposed my own emendations or additions (B 9.1, B 23.2, Pap. Strasb.); rather I preferred to support some of existing solutions. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of my edition is its rather extensive apparatus criticus in which I register almost all manuscript variants (including those that do not affect the meaning of the phrase) and all textual emendations known to me (including those I find unnecessary or improbable). In significant cases of controversy I, like M. Marcovich in his edition of Heraclitus, appended a listing of the most important representatives to each of textual variants to demonstrate their frequency. For every fragment and testimony I attempted to collect all immediately relevant primary and secondary sources, although in the case of testimonies and contexts of B fragments I realized it only selectively. I have consulted several critical editions of every work that quotes Empedocles’ verses or mention his doctrine, but it must be emphasized that I have not seen any manuscript personally and I was not capable to screen all existing editions of the quoting authors. Therefore I did not manage to verify either all proposed corrections or to discern exhaustively between their actual authors and their exponents.

Empedocles’ vocabulary is largely Homeric, often there are Homeric quotations or allusions that, of course, serve to express and develop his own ideas. It is very typical for Empedoclean terms and parables to have several meanings simultaneously; in the specific contexts and perspectives they can indicate different meanings without lacking basic sense or semantical validity of other occurrences (μονίη, φύσις, γυῖον etc.). This polysemous language is more imaginative than conceptual that is why every interpretation has to take always into account their literal meanings (παλάμη, χεῖν, ῥίζωμα, πηγνύναι, πόρος). Another specificity of the Empedocles’ verses, i.e. an intentional vagueness of his poetic style (unexpressed subjects, undefined time, highly ambiguous syntax), is balanced by the principle of symmetry, which is also the organizing element of his philosophical system. This correspondence shows that Empedocles did not only mean to describe the way of cosmic elements, but to embody it in the structure and form of his poetry. Even his meter, otherwise relatively conservative, partly reflects the ambition to demonstrate meaning by form (e.g. the activity of Strife is sometimes expressed in dactylic, whereas the activity of Love in trochaic verses). In a word, Empedocles did not understand the poetic form as an irrelevant embellishment or a didactic aid, but as an integral part of his philosophy.

Il est désormais possible de consulter et de télécharger gratuitement à partir de Google « recherches de livres » trois ouvrages majeurs consacrés à Empédocle :

F.W. Sturz, Empedocles Agrigentinus, 1805

S. Karsten, Empedoclis Agrigentini carminum reliquiae, 1838

H. Stein, Empedocles Agrigentinus, 1852

Pour trouver, par exemple, l’ouvrage de Sturz :

entrer l’adresse :

entrer dans la fenêtre de recherche de Google quelques repères et valider (« entrée ») :

Sturz Empedocles Agrigentinus 1805

Cliquer sur le titre de l’ouvrage (Affichage du livre entier).

Bien d’autres textes anciens (avant 1865) peuvent être consultés par Google « recherches de livres ».

BMCR a mis en ligne un compte-rendu du livre de Carlos Megino Rodríguez, dont le titre est : Orfeo y el orfismo en la poesía de Empédocles.

Voir Voir aussi ce compte-rendu, sur la page web

En décembre 2005, Maïa Todoua a présenté et soutenu une thèse (dans le cadre de l’Université Paris IV - Sorbonne) dont le titre est :

La conception de la Genèse dans la philosophie présocratique : Parménide et Empédocle.

Le Directeur de thèse était M. Jacques Jouanna.

Voici les principaux fragments étudiés : frr. 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 35, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 115.

Stamatellos, Giannis, Plotinus and the Presocratics: A Philosophical Study of Presocratic Influences in Plotinus' Enneads, Albany (New York) : Sunypress, 2007. B 115 (pp. 166-168), B 120 (p. 167), B 134 (p. 38). L'ouvrage est consultable, partiellement, sur Googlebooks :

Une version en paperback est attendue en janvier 2008.

Voici la présentation en quatrième de couverture:

Filling the void in the current scholarship, Giannis Stamatellos provides the first book-length study of the Presocratic influences in Plotinus' Enneads. Widely regarded as the founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus (204-270 AD) assimilated eight centuries of Greek thought into his work. In this book Stamatellos focuses on eminent Presocratic thinkers who are significant in Plotinus' thought, including Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the early Pythagoreans, and the early Atomists. The Presocratic references found in the Enneads are studied in connection with Plotinus' fundamental theories of the One and the unity of being, intellect and the structure of the intelligible world, the nature of eternity and time, the formation of the material world, and the nature of the ensouled body. Stamatellos concludes that, contrary to modern scholarship's dismissal of Presocratic influence in the Enneads, Presocratic philosophy is in fact an important source for Plotinus, which he recognized as valuable in its own right and adapted for key topics in his thought.

"This book is destined to become the enduring classic in this aspect of ancient philosophy, with many topics of interest for scholars in modern philosophy and religion." -- M. R. Wright, editor of Empedocles: The Extant Fragments

Catherine Osborne, Dumb beasts and dead philosophers: humanity and the humane in ancient philosophy and literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Pp. 262. ISBN 978-0-19-928206-7. Pages 50-54 consacrées à Empédocle. Examen des fragments 136, 137, 139.

Table des matières : voir

Cet ouvrage a déjà fait l’objet d’un compte rendu par Graeme Miles, Vakgroep Latijn en Grieks, Universiteit Gent, Belgium ( ; voir BMCR

Tomáš Vítek met en ligne la bibliographie qu'il a constituée fragment par fragment. Cette bibliographie, qui va jusqu'en 2006, sera complétée par les ouvrages les plus récents. La mise en ligne se fera par étape pendant l'année 2008 : 20 fragments par mois, selon l'ordre de Diels-Kranz. Voir :

Gemelli Marciano, M. Laura, Die Vorsokratiker, II, Parmenides, Zenon, Empedokles : griechisch-lateinisch-deutsch - Auswahl der Fragmente und Zeugnisse, Übersetzung. und Erläuterungen von M. L. G. M., Düsseldorf : Patmos, Artemis & Winkler, 2009, (Sammlung Tusculum).

Dans ce volume, il n'existe pas de table concordance entre les fragments et témoignages numérotés selon l'ordre de M. L. Gemelli Marciano et la traditionnelle référence à Diels-Kranz. Le site empedocles.acragas publie cette concordance pour la section dédiée à Empédocle. Voir :

Sur cette page web on trouvera aussi une traduction en français d'un passage de l'ouvrage.

Le 20 juin 2009 s’est tenue à Paris une journée d’étude organisée par André Laks et consacrée à l’édition et à l’interprétation du Papyrus de Strasbourg fr. d et f. Les participants de cette journée étaient André Laks, Marwan Rashed, Glenn Most, Carlos Lévy, Richard Janko, Oliver Primavesi, Léopoldo Iribarren, Lucia Saudelli, Gérard Journée, S. Fazzo, Constantin Macris, Pénélope Skarsouli, Anne-Laure Therme, Maria Scermino, Jean-Claude Picot. Marwan Rashed a présenté un article à paraître, qui contiendra une reconstitution intégrale de la deuxième partie, très corrompue, du fr. d (lignes 10-18). Selon cette reconstitution, il faut voir dans ce texte une description de la scission des premiers types de vivants (les οὐλοφυῆ du fr. 62 et Aetius Α 72), donnant lieu à l'apparition des créatures sexuées.

Megino Rodríguez, Carlos, "Empédocles y el orfismo", in Alberto Bernabé – Francesc Casadesús (coords.), Orfeo y la tradición órfica: un reencuentro, Madrid: Akal, 2008, vol. 2, p. 1105-1140.

(Nous remercions Constantin Macris qui a communiqué récemment ce titre à empedocles.acragas)

En vue de l’obtention du grade de docteur de l’Université Paris I, Anne-Laure Therme a, le 15 /11/2008, soutenu sa thèse :

"Les principes du devenir cosmique chez Empédocle d'Agrigente et Anaxagore de Clazomène à partir de leur critique aristotélicienne".

Jury : Annick Jaulin (directrice de thèse), Malcom Schofield, Pierre Pellegrin, Michel Crubellier et André Laks. Anne-Laure Therme a obtenu les félicitations du jury.

Primavesi, Oliver, Empedokles Physika I: Eine Rekonstruktion des zentralen Gedankengangs.

Parution en November 2008, chez Walter de Gruyter.

Wersinger, Anne Gabrièle, La Sphère et l'intervalle : le schème de l’Harmonie dans la pensée des anciens Grecs d'Homère à Platon, Grenoble : Jérôme Millon, 2008 (coll. Horos).

ISBN 2-84137-230-0 - 484 p. - 2008 - 16/24 - 30 €




I. 1. Répétition et réseau

I. 2. Répétition et variation: le modèle musical d’Empédocle


II. 1. Harmonie et analogie: une lecture erronée d’Empédocle

II. 2. L’harmonie infinie et l’Un


En traquant le schème de l’harmonie à travers la philologie, l’histoire des sciences et des techniques comme la musique, la physiologie ou l’astronomie, l’ouvrage retrace le cheminement souvent non linéaire qui conduit du schème homérique de l’harmonie, à ses modifications chez les auteurs tels qu’Héraclite, Empédocle, Parménide, Zénon, ou les Pythagoriciens. Abordé dans la perspective d’une anthropologie de la technique, chacun des auteurs examinés illustre une manière de fabriquer une balle qui concrétise sa démarche. On découvre ainsi que dans le premier schème de l’harmonie matérialisée par le cercle rabouté et la sphère, le mot «infini» désigne la circularité parfaite, alors que quelques siècles plus tard le même mot sert à désigner l’Intervalle des relatifs quand harmoniser revient à unifier.

Pénélope Skarsouli, "S'interroger sur la relation entre couleurs et mots. Le terme Phármakon chez Empédocle", in : L'Antiquité en couleurs : catégories, pratiques, représentations, M. Carastro (éd.), Grenoble : J. Millon, 2009, pp. 165-177. (B 23, B 21, B 96, B 3.)

Marwan Rashed , "De qui la clepsydre est-elle le nom ? Une interprétation du fragment 100 d'Empédocle", Revue des études grecques, tome 121, 2008(2), pp. 443-468. (B 100.)

Marwan Rashed, "Le proème des Catharmes d’Empédocle. Reconstitution et commentaire", Elenchos, 29, fasc. 1, 2008, pp. 7-37. (B 112, B 114, B 115, B 113, B 119, B 121.)

Gordon Campbell, “And bright was the flame of their friendship" (Empedocles B130): humans, animals, justice, and friendship, in Lucretius and Empedocles”, Leeds International Classical Studies, 7.4,, December 2008, pp. 1-23. (B 115, d MP, B 117, B 112, B 146, B 147, B 137, B 136, B 128, B 130.)

Denis O’Brien, « Annette Rosenfeld-Löffler: La poétique d’Empédocle. Cosmologie et métaphore. Thèse de doctorat présentée à la Faculté des Lettres de l’Université de Lausanne », Gnomon, Vol. 81(2), 2009, pp. 97-107.'Brien

Rachana Kamtekar, “Knowing by likeness in Empedocles”, forthcoming in issue #3 of Phronesis 2009 . (B 109.)

R. Kamtekar a bien voulu nous communiquer un résumé de ce futur article, et nous l'en remercions.

Here is an abstract of the paper:

Contrary to the Aristotelian interpretation of Empedocles’ views about cognition, according to which all cognition, like perception, is due to the compositional likeness between subject and object of cognition, this paper argues that when Empedocles says we that we know one thing ‘by’ another (e.g. earth by earth or love by love), he is characterizing analogical reasoning, an intellectual activity quite different from perception (which is explained by the fit between effluences and pores). The paper also explores the idea that strife and love describe, in addition to physical separation and composition, the mental activities of analyzing and composing.

Rachana Kamtekar

A paraître prochainement (Juillet 2009) :

David Wolfsdorf, "Empedocles and his Ancient Readers on Desire and Pleasure," Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 36, 2009, pp. 1-70.

D. Wolfsdorf a adressé à "empedocles.acragas" un résumé de cet article, et nous l'en remercions :

DK31A95, which derives from Aëtius' Placita, attributes to Empedocles a certain view about desire, pleasure, and pain. Conceived narrowly, the objective of the paper is to determine whether the attribution is accurate. Settling this question turns out to be a rather large task, which is divided into two sub-tasks. The first involves clarifying the doxographical tradition in which DK31A95 is embedded. This involves looking backward through Theophrastus to Aristotle and Plato as well as forward through Pseudo-Plutarch's Placita and Stobaeus' Anthology as far as Lūqā's 9th century Arabic translation of Pseudo-Plutarch's Placita and beyond this to Diels' editions of Doxographi Graeci and Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. The second sub-task involves interpreting Empedocles' fragments pertaining to desire, pleasure, and pain, and examining these in relation to the doxographica. The conjunction of both sub-tasks is, finally, framed by a consideration of how we should approach doxographical material, by emphasizing reconstruction of a lost archetype, the idiosyncrasies of authorial perspectives and agenda in a history of reception, or by pursuing both in a dialogical manner.

Il a adressé en outre un plan détaillé que l'on peut lire sur la page

Tous nos remerciements à David Wolfsdorf pour ces deux contributions à "empedocles.acragas".

Carlo Santaniello, « B115 D.-K. and fr. 110 Bollack: two fragments and analogy in Empedocles », probablement dans Göttinger Forum für Altertumswissenschaft.

Carlo Santaniello a adressé à "empedocles.acragas" un résumé de cet article, et nous l'en remercions :

Abstract - The discussion is set in the context of the main issues debated in the Empedoclean studies over the latest decades — above all, the question of the relationship between physics and religion. The extreme solution of the reductio ad unum of the two main poems proposed by scholars such C. Osborne, B. Inwood and others seems by now to obtain less and less support every day. But still uncertainty on the connection existing between the two aspects of Empedocles’ writings has in these last years led some (O. Primavesi, chiefly) to imagine that demonology should be simply understood as an allegory of physics.

The general object of this paper is to suggest that analogy instead of identity is the relationship existing between demonology and physics. First of all, a rather wide-ranging series of examples of the role of analogy in the two main poems is offered. Then reference is made to three instances of couples of loci, very similar to each other in the letter, which certainly contain or are likely to contain distinct Empedoclean fragments: Simpl. Phys. 1183.28 ff. (=B27.1.3-4 D.-K.) and Plu. de fac. lun.926D ff. (B27.1-2); Porph. de abst. II 31 (=B139) and PStrasb d5-6 (~B139); Hipp. Haer. 7.29 (B29.1-2) and Ammon. de interpr. 249,1 Busse (B134.2-3).

The second, and specific, object of the article is to show that two lines preserved by Simpl. Phys. 1184.9-10 and commonly confused with the first two lines of Emp. B115 D.-K., owing to their partial identity with them, are really distinct from these latter. This has so far been upheld only by an Italian scholar, D. Scinà, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and by J. Bollack, who has published the two lines from Simplicius as fr. 110 of his edition of the Physical Poem; whereas it has been absolutely denied by all the other scholars who have even most recently dealt with the question. Full attention is dedicated in the paper to the history of this complicated and, by now, ancient philological question, and the solution proposed is founded on the analysis of texts from Aristotle and his great commentator.

Recognizing the two lines transmitted by Simplicius as an autonomous fragment, which differs in the first line from the text preserved by Plutarch and by Hippolytus, allows to gather some differences between Necessity as universal law (in fr. 110 Bollack), and Necessity as governing the destiny of the guilty daimones and the life of all creatures (at the beginning of fr. B115 D.-K.).

A paraître en 2009 :

Carlo Santaniello, «Il demone in Empedocle», in G. Sfameni Gasparro, ed., Potere e religione nel mondo indo-mediterraneo tra ellenismo e tarda antichità, Incontro di studio della Società Italiana di Storia delle Religioni (Roma, 28-29 ottobre 2004), 33 pages.

Carlo Santaniello a adressé à "empedocles.acragas" un résumé de cet article, et nous l'en remercions :

Abstract - The nature of the daimon is discussed in the context of the much debated questions of the number of the poems composed by Empedocles, and of the relationship between the Physical Poem and the Purifications, and between physics and religion. On the basis of frgs. B115 and B30 D.-K. the daimon’s story should not be identified with the physical cycle on three grounds: a) if Empedocles had wanted us to imagine two cycles identifying themselves with each other, it would have been strange enough for him to offer such vague information about the time of the rupture of the sphairos as contained in the words «when the time was being completed» (B30), and such enigmatic reference to the length of the daimon’s story as «thirty thousand seasons» (B115): nobody would have been able to gather the alleged coincidence of the two terms; b) it is not really clear what relationship could be seen between the community of the blessed (who are many, after all) and thesphairos (who is one, after all); c) not only cannot the sphairos and the community of the blessed coincide with each other, but they really present only a partial analogy: in fact, the breaking of the sphairos is the effect of an agreement between Love and Strife and recurs regularly, whereas the fall of one or more daimones is just a possibility, and the community of the blessed never dies out. So Primavesi’s theory that the daimon’s story is just an allegory of the physical cycle cannot be accepted.

No fragment or witness connects the nature of the daimon with Love or with the elements. This thesis is corroborated by a careful analysis of all the fragments and witnesses dealing with theos or daimon. The significance of the spilling of the blood of one of the blessed by one of his fellows is to be understood by taking into due consideration the close god/man relationship: the killing of one god by another god (then downgraded to daimon) is a prefiguration of the crimes ascribed to man, murder and anthropofagy. The analysis of fr. B115 also allows for discussion of various aspects of metempsychosis, in connection with orphism, Pindar, and Plato.

The main thesis of the article is now introduced. It concerns the distinction between the soul (psyche, the principle of perception and intellection), which consists of the four elements (see, the witness of Aristotle and Theophrastus, besides Empedocles’ words) and is mainly identified with blood, and the daimon. The soul, as every compound made of the elements, is subject to disgregation at the death of the creature in which the daimon is incarnate. Since the daimon migrates from a body to another, he is obviously not made of elements, and is obviously not subject to death and disgregation. This argumentation is followed by criticism of the «materialistic theories», describing the daimon either as a particle of love (Cornford, Kahn, O’Brien) or as a compound of the four elements (Barnes, Wright).

According to Santaniello, who is nearer to positions such as Dodds’, Bollack’s, A. A. Long’s, the nature of the Empedoclean daimon is immaterial; he quotes parallels such as the Hesiodean daimones and the eidolon of which we learn in Pind. fr. 131b Snell-Maehler and also in Aeschylus.

Giovanni Casertano, I presocratici, Roma: Edizioni Carocci, 2009, (Pensatori. 4).

Chap. 6. Empedocle - Pluralisti contro monisti ? La vista e gli scritti. Le radici, il cosmo e il mondo. Sensazione, pensiero e conoscenza. Il dio, l'anima e la reincarnazione

L'article de Carlo Santaniello "Il demone in Empedocle" (ci-dessous) est paru en mai 2009.

Maria Michela Sassi, Gli inizi della filosofia: in Grecia, Torino : Bollati Boringhieri, 2009. (Empedocle e il suo dèmone : pp. 189-198, plus pp 216-218, 228-241, B 3, B 105, B 107, B 109, B 112, B 115, B 117, B 118, B 129, B 138, B 146).

Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co annonce pour novembre 2008 un ouvrage d’Oliver Primavesi :

Empedokles Physika I : Eine Rekonstruktion des zentralen Gedankengangs, 92 pages.

Fritsche, Johannes,

The riddle of the Sphinx: Aristotle, Penelope, and Empedocles, in: Wolfe, Charles T. (ed.), Monsters and Philosophy, London: College Publications, 2005, (Texts in Philosophy, 3), pp. 1-19.


Aristotle develops his theory on monsters at the end of his biological writings. To spell out its presuppositions I present, to the degree necessary, (1) some of his epistemological and ontological assumptions, (2) his theory of principles in the Physics, (3) the basics of his biological research, and (4) his own distinction between his ontology and biology on one side and assumptions of pre-Socratic philosophers on the other. Thereafter, I (5) relate Aristotle’s biology to the Greek life-world, so to speak, (6) return to the issue of Aristotle and pre-Socratic philosophers and discuss for that purpose (7) Empedocles and (8) some similarities and differences between Hesiod, Empedocles, and Aristotle. (9) In sum, Aristotle’s theory on monsters is, as it were, the ontologization and absolutification of the conviction of the Greek societies at his time that it was the fabricating and tool- and slave-using animal that had cleansed the world of monsters. Finally, I (10) relate the issue to two Christian dogmas.

Robert Zaborowski, Sur le sentiment chez les Présocratiques. Contribution psychologique à la philosophie des sentiments, 256 p. + errata, STAKROOS, Warszawa 2008

ISBN 978–83–86700–23–3 - List price € 25.– / £ 20.–

R. Zaborowski a eu l'amabilité de nous communiquer les passages consacrés à Empédocle inclus dans son ouvrage : pp. 78-91 (toutes les occurrences de θυμός dans les fragments, puis celles de φρήν, et pour finir celles de νόος), pp. 165-167 : λόγος dans le fragment 4.3.

On retrouve là des analyses déjà présentes dans un article du même auteur "L'affectivité dans les fragments des Présocratiques : THYMOS et PHREN", Parnassos 47, 2005, pp. 5–24.

Plus sur :

Un nouveau site est consacré aux Présocratiques :

L'annonce est la suivante :

We are pleased to announce the formation of the International Association for Presocratic Studies, an organization to promote the study of early Greek philosophy and to facilitate interactions among scholars in the field. [...]

Because Presocratic Philosophy is rather a rare specialty these days, we have felt a need for an organization dedicated to this field, with open membership and an international domain. At this time no membership or registration fees will be required. Please notify us, however, if you wish to be included in our electronic mailings.

Sur ce site, on peut déjà lire l'Abstract d'un exposé de Simon Trépanier à la conférence de Provo (Utah), en juin 2008. Le titre de cet exposé est :

Empedocles and His Demons.

Pour en savoir plus, pour lire l'Abstract, voir :

Parution en 2008 de :

The Oxford Handbook of Presocratic Philosophy

Patricia Curd and Daniel W. Graham


In the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. a new kind of thinker appeared in Greek city-states, dedicated to finding the origins of the world and everything in it, using observation and reason rather than tradition and myth. We call these thinkers Presocratic philosophers, and recognize them as the first philosophers of the Western tradition, as well as the originators of scientific thinking. New textual discoveries and new approaches make a reconsideration of the Presocratics at the beginning of the twenty-first century especially timely. This handbook brings together leading international scholars to study the diverse figures, movements, and approaches that constitute Presocratic philosophy. More than a survey of scholarship, this study presents new interpretations and evaluations of the Presocratics' accomplishments, from Thales to the sophists, from theology to science, and from pre-philosophical background to their influence on later thinkers. Many positions presented here challenge accepted wisdom and offer alternative accounts of Presocratic theories.This handbook includes chapters on the Milesians (Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes), Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, the Pythagoreans, the atomists, and the sophists. Special studies are devoted to the sources of Presocratic philosophy, oriental influences, Hippocratic medicine, cosmology, explanation, epistemology, theology, and the reception of Presocratic thought in Aristotle and other ancient authors.

Hardback, 624 pages

Cet ouvrage contient un article d'Oliver Primavesi sur Empédocle :

"Empedocles: Physical Divinity and Allegorical Myth", pp. 250-283 (Chapter 8).

That contribution can be read in full on:

Serge Mouraviev (serge.mouraviev( at ) annonce le lancement du projet



Pour plus de détails, rendez-vous à la page:

Empedocles' cosmic cycle, l'ouvrage de Denis O'Brien écrit en 1969 sera ré-imprimé en paperback l'année prochaine :

À l'occasion de cette annonce, Denis O'Brien a fait parvenir une note au site empedocles.acragas :

Potential candidates for a Cambridge doctorate may like to know that the thesis about to be reprinted by the Cambridge University Press forty years after its first publication was turned down by the first pair of examiners appointed by the Faculty Board of Classics (John Raven and David Furley). See Denis O’Brien, ‘Apologia pro vita sua’, in Agonistes, Essays in honour of Denis O’Brien, ‘edited by John Dillon, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and Monique Dixsaut, University of Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne, France’, (London, Ashgate, 2005), p. ix-xli. Alas, there are obviously strange goings-on even in seemingly respectable academic institutions.

Une seconde édition de l'ouvrage de Richard McKirahan, Philosophy before Socrates, devrait paraître à l'automne 2009.

Reading ancient texts. Volume I: Presocratics and Plato - Essays in honour of Denis O’Brien, edited by Suzanne Stern-Gillet and Kevin Corrigan, Leiden / Boston: Brill, 2007, (Brill’s studies in intellectual history, 161.)

Voir :

Cet ouvrage contient en particulier deux contributions concernant Empédocle :

(i) M. Rashed, “The Structure of the eye and its cosmological function in Empedocles. Reconstruction of fragment 84 D.-K”. (ii) J.-C. Picot, “Empedocles, fr. 115.3: Can one of the Blessed pollute his limbs with blood?”

Voici un extrait de la Préface (écrite par Suzanne Stern-Gillet et Kevin Corrigan) :

Marwan Rashed provides a compelling reconstruction of fragment 84 DK, by means of an insertion from fragment 87, which reveals the corresponding structure, and cosmological function of the eye in a new and coherent way. He then brings the tools of philosophical and literary analysis to bear on the reconstructed fragment to show that Empedocles is actually allegorizing the theme of Odysseus’ return, some 700 years earlier than the commonly supposed first allegorization of Odysseus’ return by the Neoplatonists. Jean-Claude Picot examines a problem posed by fragment 115, 3 DK, namely, the possibility that one of the Blessed commits murder and is thereby forced to exchange his blessed state for a life of exile in the form of a daimôn. On the basis of Plutarch’s De exilio and a 16th century substitution (by Stephanus) of phonôi and miènèi for the sounder and earlier phobôi and min, Picot concludes that there is no question of one of the Blessed polluting his limbs with murder. Instead, the subject of line 3 is the daimôn in exile throughout his diverse incarnations. Whatever the difficulties in identifying the fault that triggers the exile, phobôi should be retained.

Le numéro 7 (2007) de Philosophie antique est paru en début décembre.

On y trouvera trois articles sur Empédocle. Les auteurs sont : Oliver Primavesi, Anne-Laure Therme, Frédéric Gain.

Voir la table des matières sur

Voir le résumé de chacun de ces trois articles (résumé en français et en anglais), tiré de Philosophie antique, sur :

Notons par ailleurs que l'article de M. Laura Gemelli Marciano renvoie par endroits à Empédocle (fr. 2, P. Kingsley).

La revue Philosophie antique, éditée par les Presses universitaires du Septentrion, peut être commandée sur le site

Créée en 2001, cette revue est, en France, le premier périodique exclusivement dédié à la philosophie ancienne.

Publication mi-décembre 2007 :

Γεωργακέλλος, Νίκος Ι, Εμπεδοκλής - υπό το πρίσμα των φυσικών επιστημών, Αθήνα, Ευρασία, 2008.

(Nous remercions Constantin Macris qui a communiqué récemment ce titre à empedocles.acragas)

La newsletter de la Fondation Pythagore, parue au début du mois de juillet (n°12), apporte de nombreux titres concernant Empédocle. Voir :

Merci à Nico Bader et aux collaborateurs de la Fondation Pythagore pour le travail de recension réalisé.

Nous porterons au mois d'août les nouveaux titres dans la bibliographie d'Empédocle.

Je rapporte sous cet onglet les titres trouvés dans la Newsletter de la Fondation Pythagore, parue au début du mois de juillet 2009 (n°12).

Aquino, San Tommaso d’Aquino, Libro 8, Lezione3, Argomenti contro Anassagora e Empedocle i quali sostenevano che il movimento non è eterno, pp. 205-215, In: Battista Mondin, Commento alla Metafisica di Aristotele e testo integrale di Aristotele, Vol. III, Libri 7-8, Bologna : ESD, 2005.

De Cecco, Daniela De Cecco, Guerra e giustizia nella filosofia greca della natura: da Eraclito a Empedocle, pp. 55-82, In: La guerra : una riflessione interdisciplinare, a cura di Gilda Manganaro Favaretto. Trieste : Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2003.

De Leo, Daniela, Empedocle, pp. 52-63 In: Michelstaedter filosofo del Frammento : con Appunti di filosofia di Carlo Michelstaedter, Lecce : Milella, 2004. Pubblicazioni del Dipartimento di filosofia e scienze sociali. Nuova serie. Saggi / Università degli studi di Lecce, 13.

Diano, Carlo, Empedocle. L'eredità di Parmenide e dei Pitagorici, - Mitizzazione del principio del movimento, - L'escatologia di Empedocle, pp. 72-76, In: Il pensiero greco da Anassimandro agli stoici. Torino : Bollati Boringhieri. 2007. Series 1: Nuova cultura; 156.

Ditadi, Gino, "Orfeo, Pitagora, Empedocle", pp. 61-91 In: Theophrastus. Della pietà, a cura di Gino Ditadi, Este (Padova) : Isonomia., 2005. (Bibliophilia.)

Dolce, Lodovico, Empedocle philosopho p. 177- In: Terzetti per le Sorti : poesia oracolare nell'officina di Francesco Marcolini. edizione e commento a cura di Paolo Procaccioli, Treviso : Fondazione Benetton studi ricerche ; Roma : Viella. 2006. Ludica; 6.

Ferwerda , R., Empedokles, Aarde, lucht, water en vuur. 2006 Reviewed by: Beullens, P. Tijdschrift voor filosofie. 2008, 70, 2, p 408.

Garani, Myrto, The Palingenesis of Empedocles' Calliope in Lucretius, pp. 231-26, In: Papers on ancient literatures : Greece, Rome and the near East : proceedings of the Advanced seminar in the humanities, Venice International University 2004-2005. Padova : Sargon, 2008. (Quaderni del Dipartimento di scienze dell'antichità e del Vicino Oriente / Università Ca' Foscari Venezia; 4.)

Giardina, G.R., Empedocle e gli Empedoclei sui condotti vuoti p 142-144 In: La chimica fisica di Aristotele : teoria degli elementi e delle loro proprietà : analisi critica del De generatione et corruptione. Roma : Aracne. 2008. (Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche; 285.)

Goytisolo, Juan, Las chinelas de Empédocles p 354-391 In: Obras completas, I. Barcelona : Galaxia Gutenberg : Círculo de Lectores. 2005. (Opera mundi.)

Hladky, Vojtech, "Empedocles´ sphere in the perspectives of ancient interpreters (Empodokleuv Sfairos ocim antickych interpretu)", Listy filologicke (Folia philologica), 2008, 131, 1, pp. 379-439. Language: CZECH. Voir un résumé en angalis :

Ierodiakonou, Katerina, "Basic and mixed colors in Empedocles and Plato", In: L'antiquité en couleurs : Catégories, Pratiques, Représentations, Textes réunis par Marcello Carastro, Grenoble : Jerôme Millon, 2009.

Jurado López, M. No es mal momento para recordar a Empédocles pp. 33-35, In: Los dioses vulnerables. Sevilla : Algaida. 2008. Algaida poesía; 60.

Kingsley, Peter, Filosofia antigua, misterios y magia : Empedocles y la tradicion pitagorica, Girona : Atalanta, 2008.

Laurenti, R. Bellezza e piacere nell'opera di Empedocle p 3-25 In: Scritti vari da Omero ad Arnobio. Napoli : Liguori. 2007. Quaderni del Dipartimento di filosofia e politica, Università degli studi di Napoli L'Orientale; 32.

Lo Presti, R. Empedocle su percezione e cognizione p 30-39 In: In forma di senso : l'encefalocentrismo del trattato ippocratico Sulla malattia sacra nel suo contesto epistemologico. Roma : Carocci. 2008. Studi e ricerche. Sezione greca / Aglaia, Dipartimento di studi greci, latini e musicali, Università di Palermo; 10.

Mansfeld, J. Interpretative Thetas in the Strasbourg Empedocles. p 317-328 In: Empsychoi logoi--religious innovations in antiquity : studies in honour of Pieter Willem van der Horst. Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2008.

Palmer, D. The pre-socratic philosophers -- Sixth and fifth centuries B.C.E. -- Thales -- Anaximander -- Anaximenes -- Pythagoras -- Heraclitus -- Parmenides -- Zeno -- Empedocles

In; Looking at philosophy : the unbearable heaviness of philosophy made lighter New York : McGraw-Hill, 2009.

Megino Rodriguez, C. La conception empedoclea de la miseria humana: entre psicologia, religion y moralidad p 55-65 In: La dignità e la miseria dell'uomo nel pensiero europeo : atti del convegno internazionale di Madrid, 20-22 maggio 2004 = La dignidad y la miseria del hombre en el pensamiento europeo .... Roma : Salerno. 2006. Studi e saggi; 40/

Motte, A. Les philosophes préclassiques. Xénophane, Parménide, Mélissos, Protagoras,

Gorgias, Critias le sophiste, Philolaos, Empedocle, Anaxagore, Democrite, Diogene d’Apollonie, Archytas. Conclusions p 19-66 In: Philosophie de la forme. Peeters, Louvain-La-Neuve 2003

Piazzi, L. I motivi dell’ammirazione per Empedocle p 42-46 In: Lucrezio e i Presocratici : un commento a De rerum natura 1, 635-920. Pisa : Scuola normale superiore. 2005. Testi e commenti; 1.

Piazzi, L. La conferma dell’integrazione tra etica e fisica nell’« Empedocle di Strasburgo >> p 49-52 In: Lucrezio e i Presocratici : un commento a De rerum natura 1, 635-920. Pisa : Scuola normale superiore. 2005. Testi e commenti; 1.

Ross Hernández, J.A. Respuesta a las teorías de Empédocles y Anaxágoras p 53-56 In: Dios, eternidad y movimiento en Aristóteles. Pamplona : EUNSA. 2007. Filosófica; 198.

Rossetti, L. Studi sul pensiero e sulla lingua di Empedocle. 2004 Reviewed by: Anonymus Aquinas. 2006. 49, 1, p 281-285.

Sassi, M.M. Empedocle e il suo demone p 189-198 In: Gli inizi della filosofia in Grecia. Torino : Bollati Boringhieri. 2009. Nuova cultura; 208

Sassi, M.M. Entre corps et lumière: réflexions antiques sur la nature de la couleur 1. sur le concept «naturel» de couleur 2. feu et eau, blanc et noir: d’Empédocle à Aristote 3. rayons de lumière et particules: les atomistes et Platon 4. avec Aristote, au-delà d’Aristote: la couleur qui «survient» In: L'antiquité en couleurs. Textes réunis par Marcello Carastro. 2009.

Tamagnone, C. Empedocle p 108-117 In: Ateismo filosofico nel mondo antico : religione, naturalismo, materialismo, atomismo, scienza : la nascita della filosofia atea. Firenze : Clinamen. 2005. Il diforàno; 13.

Willi, A. Ein Epos der Verfremdung (Empedokles als Sprachschöpfer), Dichtung zwischen Menschensprache und Göttersprache (Zur Sprachphilosophie des Empedokles)In: Sikelismos. Sprache, Literatur und Gesellschaft im griechischen Sizilien (8.-5. Jh. v. Chr.), Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 2008. Bibliotheca Helvetica Romana 29.

Vamvacas, C.J. Empedocles of Acragas (ca. 494–434 B.C.) p 167-196 In: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. The Founders of Western Thought – The Presocratics. Springer, 2009. Volume 257.

Zielinski, S. Attraction and repulsion: Empedocles In: Deep time of the media : toward an archaeology of hearing and seeing by technical means Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 2006.

ISBN: 0-262-24049-1

Zuntz, G. Ein philosophischer Hymnos des Empedokles? In: Griechische philosophische Hymnen / aus dem Nachlass hrsg. von Hubert Cancik und Lutz Käppel. Tübingen. Mohr, 2005. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum ; 35.

Krell, D.F. The Death of Empedocles. Epoche: A Journal for the History of Philosophy. 2008, 12, 2, p 289-311.

Schwob, M. Empedocles : Deus suposto Tempos novos. 2009, 142, p 104-106

Une mention particulière pour l'ouvrage de :

Willi, Andreas. Sikelismos : Sprache, Literatur und Gesellschaft im griechischen Sizilien (8.-5. Jh. v. Chr.), Basel : Schwabe, 2008. (Bibliotheca Helvetica Romana 29.)

Il s'agit là d'un ouvrage essentiel pour la compréhension du vocabulaire, du style et du mode d'expression de l'Agrigentin. De nombreuses pages sont consacrées à Empédocle : pp. 193-279, 303-307. Je donne en PDF une partie de la table des matières et de l'index des fragments et témoignages. Willi cite Empédocle selon Diels-Kranz, FVS, 1951 et A. Martin et O. Primavesi, L'Empédocle de Strasbourg, 1999.


Reviewed by Susana Mimbrera Olarte, Cambridge/Madrid ( for Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.12.38 :

"The most remarkable thing about this excellent and beautiful work is that it combines a philological, linguistic, literary and cultural approach, all fields in which the author displays an astonishing expertise. Indeed this combination of perspectives characterizes his research, as the readers of The languages of Aristophanes will know. At the centre of this book is the issue of how colonization shaped Sicily's cultural production, not only because of the colonists' contact with the indigenous population, but also due to the need to acquire an independent identity with respect to their mother-cities. This is, I think, the only work to present a truly holistic study of the language and literature of ancient Sicily.


Chapter seven is devoted to Empedocles, who is different from the philosophers of nature before him and from his contemporaries. Instead he appears as an innovator, both with respect to the signifier and with respect to the signified. Professor Willi discusses in detail the lexical, morphological and syntactic innovations, with which the philosopher tries to achieve a distinct poetic style and tries to distance himself both from the language of Epic and from normal language. He also deals with a very important component of Empedocles' style: metaphors and paretymology (by which a word takes on a new meaning as the result of an innovative association with a phonetically similar word). Therefore the public must intuitively understand the lexeme. The effect can be named studied ambiguity (Kahn). The result of all this is that an unequivocal interpretation of Empedocles is not possible. Empedocles' work seems to have been conceived as an oracle or an initiation enigma.

Chapter eight explores the three different facets of Empedocles, who appears sometimes as a teacher, sometimes as a prophet and sometimes as a god. Important in this connection is Empedocles' presupposition that there are two distinct languages: one language agrees with thémis and, therefore, is sanctioned by the divinity. The other language is human. His use of the divine language makes Empedocles appear as a mantis or a true god. That language is central for Empedocles is discussed at length by Willi, who argues that for Empedocles the spoken language is the basis of the Weltordnung. For Empedocles, only the person with a disposition to learn can acquire the knowledge of the mantis, so it seems that Empedocles' speech is aimed at an elite. However, each person has the power to develop the right disposition to learn (that is, to analyse Empedocles' words and to understand the logos), which constitutes a democratization of the elite. With this the rhetoric is expanded, as it incorporates the Sprachpsychologie. In all of these ways, Empedocles creates a poetry that moves away from Homer.

Chapter nine discusses the relationship between Gorgias' thought and that of Empedocles. On some points it seems that Gorgias accepts Empedoclean postulates: for example, when discussing sensory perception, where he says that language is an ainigma and it is the task of the hearer to decipher the logos, or when he maintains that human behaviour can be influenced by logoi. Also as in Empedocles, the power of a logos depends on the mental disposition of the hearer. Yet on a number of points Gorgias moves away from Empedocles. For example, for Empedocles it is sometimes arduous to persuade, whereas for Gorgias the logos that has peitho overcomes resistance, even if this resistance is rational. Gorgias and Empedocles also differ on the issue of absolute truth. For Gorgias truth is a relative thing, because, when two speakers have agreed to a common concept of truth and have established a convention, the truth or lack of truth of a statement can be measured. The truth is not defined in each communication act. That is why the first task of the orator is to assess the audience and the situation (kairos). Rhetoric for Gorgias must concentrate on the art of convincing, and the issue of truth is not central. " Susana Mimbrera Olarte.

L'étude que Rostagni a consacrée à Empédocle en 1923, a été ré-imprimée en 1924 dans Il verbo di Pitagora. Ce dernier ouvrage à été réimprimé chez Victrix (Forli) en 2001 et en 2005 :

Carlo Santaniello a ouvert un site pour présenter ses divers écrits :

On relèvera trois articles, concernant Empédocle, qui seront prochainement publiés :

« Empedocles and Orphism: A Reassessment », relazione presentata al convegno internazionale organizzato da A. Bernabé e F. Casadesús su Orfeo y el orfismo: Nuevas perspectivas (Palma de Mallorca, 3-5 febrero 2005).

« Due frammenti e l’analogia in Empedocle: B115 D.-K. e il fr. 110 Bollack », dans Goettinger Forum für Altertumswissenschaft.

« An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles fr. 115 », dans Religion in the History of European Culture, Proceedings of the 9th EASR Conference, ed. by G. Gasparro.

V. Hladký, Empedokleův Sfairos očima antických interpretů, in: Listy filologické, 131, 2008, str. 379-439.

Summary written by V. Hladký

This article attempts to shed more light on a problem we addressed in a previous work, namely the nature of Empedocles’ Sphairos, which we have taken for a structured whole and not – as it seems to be usually interpreted – as an amorphous mixture. In the present article we do not concentrate on the fragments of Empedocles anymore, but we study the further reception of the Sphairos by ancient Greek writers. First, we attempt to show that the interpretation prevalent today is actually due to Aristotles’ equation of the Sphairos with his concept of first matter conceived as an undetermined substratum. The only ancient author who seems, however, to hold the interpretation of the Sphairos as an amorphous mixture is John Philoponus and only in some of his commentaries to Aristotle. Then we go through the Neoplatonist explanation of the Sphairos in which it is regularly equated with the intelligible world of the Forms. Although its transcendence is clearly at odds with the original intentions of Empedocles, in this interpretative approach, the Sphairos, however, must be structured as the Forms are. Finally, if we concentrate on Plato himself, we can find Empedoclean traces especially in the Timaeus and Politicus. In both cases the Sphairos is equated with the sensible world which is, again, a structured whole. We have then extended our research from the Politicus to Symposium on the basis of which we would like to claim that the mysterious “whole-natured forms” (oulophyeis typoi), from Empedocles’ zoogony are the same as Plato’s Androgynies.

If we are then to conclude by the reconstruction of the whole cosmic as the life cycle according to the testimonies of later authors, we suggest that both processes are closely interconnected. Under the influence of Love more and more complex forms of life appear by composing together primarily created individual limbs. This evolutive process goes on until it reaches the “whole-natured forms” which – similarly to everything else – form a part of the Sphairos. When the perfect unity of elements is broken under the renewed influence of the Strife, the perfect whole-natured organisms are destroyed by division into men and women we know today. Then, together with the overall destruction of the cosmos, organisms will be decomposed into the primary limbs that will finally cease to exist too

John Palmer, Parmenides & Presocratic Philosophy, Oxford: 2009.

Hardcover: 448 pages

Publisher: Oxford University Press (Nov 7 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0199567905

ISBN-13: 978-0199567904

Empedocles' Element theory and Parmenides: pp. 260-312.

Nombreux fragments cités :

Tous mes remerciements à Robert Zaborowski, de la revue Organon, pour la célérité avec laquelle cet article a été publié. J.-C. Picot.

SANTORO, Fernando, Empédocles: a vida de um mundo, in: Pensadores do Brasil: Emmanuel Carneiro Leão, Rio de Janeiro: Hexis, 2010.

Ce titre, qui sera bientôt publié, nous a été communiqué le 24/01/2010 par l'auteur : Fernando José de Santoro Moreira. Voir son site :

KINGSLEY, Peter, Empédocle et la tradition pythagoricienne: Philosophie ancienne, mystère et magie, (traduction par G. Lacaze de Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic), Belles Lettres, 2010, (coll. Vérité des mythes, 34).

PICOT, Jean-Claude, Water and bronze in the hands of Empedocles' Muse, in: Organon, 41, 2009, pp. 59-84. Voir

C. Santaniello ( has sent us the following abstract of his article

"An Akkadian Myth and the Daimon’s Fault in Empedocles B115 D.-K", in: Religion in the History of European Culture, Proceedings of the 9th EASR Conference, ed. by G. Gasparro. Forthcoming.

Although there is evidence that Enuma Elish was known to Eudemus, I am persuaded that this can be no justification for supposing that the story of the downgrading of one or more daimones in Empedocles fr. 115, ensuing to a mysterious crime and a perjury, should even indirectly derive from the Akkadian myth of the making of man out of the killing of a god. In fact, not only there is no proof or clue that Empedocles knew Enuma Elish in any form a century or more before Eudemus, but, even if it were shown that he did, the myth included in the Babylonian poem is different from the story of the fall of the daimones narrated by the great man from Akragas: apart from the uncertainty as to whether the tale told by Empedocles should be considered “a traditional tale” (as sounds the definition of myth worked out by G. S. Kirk and accepted by W. Burkert), the main discrepancies are that in the Akkadian myth blood is spilt from a guilty god, who is regarded as a rebel, whereas in Empedocles the guilt lies with the blood-spilling god; and that in Enuma Elish there is no metempsychosis and wandering from the lowest condition (a stone) to the highest (man, before becoming a god again) as in Empedocles, but the god Kingu is killed (or, better said, executed) once and for all, in order that a man may be made out of the god’s blood.

So, what is the use of comparing Empedocles’ tale in fr. 115 with Enuma Elish? One might very well feel very much discouraged, if one admits of making comparisons only between areas where the same belief or ritual is to be perceived owing to the influence of an area on the other. But I think that also comparisons showing that the same belief is shared in two different areas and epochs without any apparent mutual influence — for instance, the idea that blood-spilling may start the world, or life in the world —may be interesting and teach us a lot on either or both such cultures.

First of all (as historians of religion know very well, but some Empedoclists seem to forget), the spilling of divine blood is a way to start life attested in myth also elsewhere (see, among others, the case of Indian Purusha, who is made to pieces in order to generate the universe) — it is good to stress this point, as the emendation of φόβῳ into φόνῳ in Emp. B115.3 (dating back to Stephanus’ happy insight in the xvi century, and indirectly supported by other fragments and witnesses) has been recently put to question more than once. Secondly, scholars are obviously right in comparing the punishment of the delinquent god in Empedocles to the punishment of the perjured god in Hesiod’s Theogony, but this leaves the spilling of blood in Empedocles with no correspondence, because there is no blood-spilling in Hesiod, only a reference to «strife and quarrel»; whereas the Enuma Elish myth provides a story about the killing of a god — and even the seals giving strength to the oath concerning destiny in Empedocles might find some correspondence in the Akkadian epic. Thirdly, the god’s perjury has no connection whatever with the origin of human life in Hesiod, whereas the start of life is the result of the crimes committed (blood-spilling and perjury) according to Empedocles, and, respectively, of the killing of the god Kingu according to Enuma Elish.

(Merci à Carlo Santaniello pour cet envoi qui enrichit le site. - J.-C. Picot.)

Voir EASR 09 en 2009 :

Plusieurs copies d’ouvrages du XIX e siècle ou du début du XX e (avant 1923) ont été réalisées par NABU Press (Nabu Public Domain Reprints, LaVergne, TN, USA) :

Domenico Scinà, Memorie Sulla Vita E Filosofia d'Empedocle Gergentino

Friedrich Wilhelm Sturz, Empedocles Agrigentinus, Volume 1, Volume 2

Emilio Bodrero, Il Principio Fondamentale Del Sistema Di Empedocle

Heinrich Stein, Empedoclis Agrigentini Fragmenta Disposuit

Clara Elizabeth Millerd Smertenko, On the Interpretation of Empedocles

Bernhard Heinrich Carl Lommatzsch, Die Weisheit Des Empedocles Nach Ihren Quellen

Eduard Baltzer, Empedocles: Eine Studie Zur Philosophie Der Griechen

Simon Karsten, Empedoclis Agrigentini Carminum Reliquiae

Amadeo Peyron, Empedoclis Et Parmenidis Fragmenta Ex Codice Taurinensis Bibliothecae Restituta Et Illustrata

William Ellery Leonard, The Fragments of Empedocles

On trouve notamment ces ouvrages en ligne (et téléchargeables gratuitement) sur le site

SKARSOULI, Pénélope, « ‘Confiner le monde par des mots’. Réflexions sur la cosmologie (et la) poétique d'Empédocle : le terme πεῖραρ », in : Isabelle Milliat-Pilot (dir.), Texte du monde - Monde du texte, Grenoble : J. Millon, 2010, (coll. Horos), pp. 231-244. Un article sur le fr. 17.15.

Introduction; Part I. Cosmologists and Anti-Cosmologists: A. The Sixth Century BC: 1. Thales; 2. Anaximander; 3. Anaximenes; 4. Xenophanes; 5. Heraclitus; B. The Fifth Century BC: 6. Parmenides; 7. Zeno; 8. Anaxagoras; 9. Empedocles; 10. Diogenes of Apollonia; 11. Melissus; 12. Philolaus; 13. The atomists: Leucippus and Democritus; 14. The atomists, continued: Democritus' ethics; Part II. Sophists: 15. Protagoras; 16. Gorgias; 17. Antiphon; 18. Prodicus; 19. Anonymous texts; A. Anonymus Iamblichi; B. Dissoi Logoi; Appendix; Pythagoras; Concordance; Indexes.

McKirahan, Richard. D. Philosophy Before Socrates: An Introduction With Texts And Commentary, Hackett Publishing Company, 2010, second edition. In September ?

Graham, Daniel W., The Texts of Early Greek Philosophy. The Complete Fragments and Selected Testimonies of the Major Presocratics, Part I, Cambridge University Press, 2010. Empedocles: chap. IX, pages 326-433. Would be released in August (?)

This two-part sourcebook gives the reader easy access to the language and thought of the Presocratic thinkers, making it possible either to read the texts continuously or to study them one by one along with commentary. It contains the complete fragments and a generous selection of testimonies for twenty major Presocratic thinkers including cosmologists, ontologists, and sophists, setting translations opposite Greek and Latin texts on facing pages to allow easy comparison. The texts are grouped in chapters by author in a mainly chronological order, each preceded by a brief introduction and an up-to-date bibliography, and followed by a brief commentary. Significant variant readings are noted. This edition contains new fragments and testimonies not included in the authoritative but now outdated Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. It is the first and only complete bilingual edition of the works of the Presocratic philosophers for English-speakers.

• The first and only presentation of these important primary sources in their entirety both in their original language and in English • The only up-to-date source-book available in the field • Provides a valuable resource for scholars and students, collecting the materials most often used for teaching and research in a readily accessible form.

TOMÁŠ VÍTEK, "Le Sphairos d’Empédocle et son substrat mythologique", Elenchos, XXXI (fasc. 1), 2010.


The intention of this paper is at least partly to reveal the background and the sources that inspired or could have inspired the Empedoclean conception of Sphairos. These sources have mostly been sought in the philosophical constructions of other pre-Socratics (predominantly in Parmenides and Xenophanes) but the present paper aims to show that there are very nteresting and sometimes also very narrow parallels and analogies in mythology. On the one hand, in the stories of the primordial man (Urmensch) who is sacrificed in the world and whose torn limbs created parts or elements of our world (narratives of this kind are well attested throughout the world), and on the other hand, in the myth of the periodical death and ressurection of Adonis. While the inspiration with the destiny of Aphrodite’s lover Adonis seems be highly probable, whether Empedocles knew and utilized the myth of dismemberment of the primordial man remains unclear. The idea of Sphairos, in every case, was formed by dint of both genres or ways of thinking − philosophical as well as mythological ones − that both permeated all his verses (i.e. both Peri phuseos and Katharmoi).

Laura Gemelli Marciano, ‘Phren, Demon, and Empedocles' Teaching.’

Nous avons l'honneur et le plaisir de porter sur le présent site l'information suivante qui nous a été communiquée le 13/07/2010 par Dominic O'Meara:

Un nouveau témoignage du Fr. 143 d’Empédocle :

A l’occasion du colloque « Mystique païenne » organisé à Paris les 28 et 29 mai dernier, Dominic O’Meara (Université de Fribourg en Suisse) a présenté un texte du philosophe byzantin Jean Italos où Empédocle est cité. Il a montré que la citation, inconnue des répertoires des témoignages sur Empédocle, est une réécriture d’une citation d’Empédocle (le fr. 143) chez Théon de Smyrne. Ce nouveau témoignage fait l’objet d’une étude en cours de publication.

Nous remercions Dominic O'Meara. Les lecteurs seront informés dès que possible de cette publication.

Richard McKirahan has let us know some helpful information about his book Philosophy Before Socrates, 2010, second edition:

"The second edition will appear in November. It has the same format as the first, but there are changes in almost all the chapters. Especially noteworthy are the major changes in the chapters on Parmenides, Zeno, Empedocles (including a translation of the material from the Strasbourg papyrus), and Anaxagoras, a new chapter on Philolaus, and an appendix containing translations of the Derveni Papyrus and three Hippocratic works".

Merci à Richard McKirahan de ces précisions. Attendons le mois de novembre pour rendre compte de la partie concernant Empédocle.

Celtic Conference in Classics - A Conference hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology - In association with the International Association for Presocratic Studies - Edinburgh - 28-31 July 2010

Parmi les divers intervenants, nous relevons :

Santamaría, Marco Antonio, ‘Ananke in Parmenides, Empedocles, and the Orphic Theogonies’

Ananke, Necessity, appears for the first time as a personified force in Parmenides' fragments. According to him, Ananke carries out the function of keeping the order of the Universe by containing both Being and the Sky in their limits (B 8.30-31; 10.5-7). For Empedocles, if we believe the testimony of several sources (A 32; 38; 45), Ananke is a force which governs the alternative predominance of Love and Strife in the world. In B 115 Empedocles speaks about Ananke's decree, which forces the guilty daimones to undergo the cycle of reincarnation. In two Orphic theogonies of hellenistic date Ananke and Chronos are the first gods that appear, so they have a special power over the other divinities. In this paper, we analyze the role of Ananke in Parmenides and Empedocles and try to see parallels with Orphic texts in its double function of governing the universe and the human soul.

Wersinger, Anne Gabrielle. ‘Empedocles: Nestis-Persephone and the Charites

It is well known that for ancient Greeks the Charites, whose name is derived from the word Charis (Grace), are three inseparable goddesses who preside over dancing and feasts, each goddess having a name which sheds light on one of the aspects of grace: Thalia, inexhaustible generosity, Aglaé, splendour, Euphrosynè, enjoyment. It is less well-known that the Charites have their symmetrical counterparts in the Erinyes, goddesses of death and revenge. A major task of myth was to confine this polarity by separating both authorities of life and death, as in Hesiod’s Theogony where the Erinyes arisen from the blood of castrated Ouranos are separated from the Charites, daughters of Zeus. This separation is nevertheless bound to ambivalence, when another polarity, that of Aphrodite and Persephone, comes to disturb the polarity of the Erinyes and the Charites. Later still, Empedocles questions this ambivalence, by accusing the justice of Hesiod of establishing itself on the fiction of a feast which can take place only with a background of blood sacrifice. This contribution, pursuing a reflection that started in La fête. La rencontre des dieux et des hommes (Kubaba, 2004, p. 109-133), will concentrate on the function of Nestis-Persephone in Empedocles’thought.

Anne-Laure THERME, « Une tragédie cosmique : l’exil amnésique des daimones d’Empédocle. », in: Rationalité tragique, S. Alexandre et O. Renaut (ed.), Zetesis - Actes des colloques de l’association [En ligne], n°1, 2010, pp. 1-29, URL:, 5 septembre 2010. PDF téléchargeable :

Anne-Laure Therme signale par ailleurs sa contribution prévue à un ouvrage de la collection Quadrige aux PUF. L'ouvrage à paraître au début de l'année 2011 devrait s'intituler "Lire les Présocratiques". La contribution d'Anne-Laure portera sur une relecture de A 72 et du fr. 62.

La deuxième édition de l'ouvrage de Richard McKirahan, Philosophy Before Socrates, est retardée. On parle aujourd'hui d'avril 2011.

27.11. 2010. Nous attendons l'article de Dominic O'Meara concernant le fr. 143 chez Jean Italos ; cet article paraîtra dans la REG 123 (2010/2) pp. 877-879. Voir ci-dessous l'annonce du 13/07/2010.

Par ailleurs, signalons l'ouvrage récent de Joëlle Delattre Biencourt, Théon de Smyrne - Lire Platon : le recours au savoir scientifique : arithmétique, musique, astronomie, Toulouse : Anarchasis, 2010. Pp. 39-40, 120 : le fr. 143.

Le savoir-vivre philosophique : Empédocle, Socrate, Platon

Auteur : Jean-François Balaudé

Editeur : Grasset Et Fasquelle

Date de parution : 10/11/2010

Langue : français

Format : 225x140

Poids : 368g

Nombre de page(s) : 332

Empédocle : pp. 87-128.

Marwan Rashed, "La zoogonie de la Haine selon Empédocle : retour sur l'ensemble 'd' du papyrus d'Akhmim", Phronesis 56, 2011, pp. 33-57.

03/03/2011. Nous attendons une contribution de Denis O'Brien à un ouvrage qui fait suite au colloque Atene Presocratica. Le titre de cette contribution est : Presocratic philosophy and the language of forms: Empedocles and Plato versus Anaxagoras.

L'article de Dominic O'Meara concernant le fr. 143 chez Jean Italos est paru dans la REG. Voir bibliographie.

21/05/2011. Dans le cadre du Centre Léon Robin, une journée d'étude autour d'Empédocle s'est tenue le 10 mai 2011 à Paris. Intervenants et titre des interventions :

  • Izabela Bocayuva ("L'Empédocle caché de Platon")

  • Aude Engel ("Hésiode et les quatre éléments d'Empédocle")

  • Fernando Santoro ("Allégories et rondeaux philosophiques: pour une lecture dionysiaque d'Empédocle")

  • Jean-Claude Picot ("Le fragment 134 d'Empédocle")

  • Rossella Saetta Cottone ("L'Apollon d'Empédocle chez Aristophane").

14/08/2011 - Un colloque concernant Empédocle est prévu le 14 et 15 octobre à Genève. Le programme qui a été communiqué le 14/08 a été légèrement modifié le 05/09. Aussi nous supprimons le programme affiché le 14/08. Voir le programme établi le 05/09.

28/08/2011 - Le colloque sur Pythagore, les pythagoriciens et le pythagorisme, qui s'est tenu au Brésil en ce mois d'août (22-26), a été diffusé en "live" sur internet ( Il y eut certes quelques moments de diffusion un peu difficile (des problèmes de son essentiellement), mais au total cette première de diffusion est un succès. Merci à Gabriele Cornelli, organisateur du colloque.

Espérons que les prochains organisateurs de colloque emprunteront le chemin qui a été ouvert, et apporteront les quelques améliorations possibles en tirant parti de l'expérience.

Sur Empédocle, peu de chose il est vrai, mais voir cependant l'intervention de Constantin Macris et d'André Laks le 26 août :

05/09/2011 - Colloque concernant Empédocle prévu le 14 et 15 octobre à Genève. Le programme qui a été communiqué le 05/09 a été modifié le 2/10. Aussi nous supprimons le programme affiché le 05/09. Voir le programme établi le 2/10.


EMPEDOCLE : Un poète et sa réception


Vandoeuvres, Genève, 14-15 Octobre 2011

Organisateurs : Philip Hardie, Damien Nelis.

Plus d’information (complément apporté le 04/01/2012) :

15/10/2011 - Parution récente d'un ouvrage qui fera référence :

Jaap Mansfeld, Oliver Primavesi, Die Vorsokratiker: Griechisch / Deutsch, ausgewählt, übersetzt und erläutert von J. Mansfeld und O. Primavesi, Stuttgart : Philipp Reclam jun., 2011.

Le chapitre sur Empédocle (p. 392-563) a été écrit par Oliver Primavesi.

Mit den frühgriechischen Denkern von Thales bis Demokrit, die heute unter dem Begriff »Vorsokratiker« zusammengefasst werden, beginnt im 6. und 5. Jahrhundert v. Chr. die abendländische Philosophie. So unterschiedlich und originell sie in ihren Ansätzen und Methoden bei der Frage nach der Beschaffenheit des Kosmos auch sind ? eines haben diese Philosophen gemeinsam: Keines ihrer Werke ist vollständig erhalten. So kommt der Interpretation der überlieferten Fragmente besondere Bedeutung zu. Die Ausgabe leistet dies auf dem neuesten Stand der Wissenschaft. Mehrere Neufunde, im Falle des Empedokles namentlich die Entdeckung des Straßburger Papyrus sowie weitere Neulesungen, haben in den letzten 20 Jahren nicht nur den Bestand an erhaltenen Texten bedeutend vermehrt, sondern teilweise auch eine Neu-Ordnung und Neu-Interpretation des schon Bekannten ermöglicht, wie sie die beiden Herausgeber mit dieser Edition vorlegen.

27/12/2011 - Le Centre de Recherche sur la Philosophie Grecque de l’Académie d’Athènes annonce le programme de recherche (avec publications) suivant :

« La réception d’Empédocle dans l’antiquité, le moyen âge et les temps modernes ».

Les textes soumis seront intitulés : « La réception d’Empédocle par (tel philosophe ou telle école philosophique) ».

Plus d’information : Dr Maria Protopapas-Marneli, Directrice du Centre,


L'information nécessite d'être confirmée : N. van der Ben serait prêt à publier en 2012 un ouvrage majeur sur Empédocle. Toute information plus précise est la bienvenue :



WEDNESDAY 11 - 10:30-11:50 Session 12 Chair: Simon Trépanier

SERGE MARGEL « L’Un, le Multiple et la Mort, ou la naissance de la pensée tragique. Hölderlin lecteur d’Empédocle»

MICHAEL SHAW “The Paradox of Strife”

12:00-13:20 Session 13 Chair: Thomas M. Robinson

MA. TERESA PADILLA “Researching for some metaphysical principles in Empedocles’ Philosophy of Nature”

MARCO A. SANTAMARÍA “Paradise Lost (and Regained): Empedocles' Age of Cypris and the Orphic Way of Life”

THURSDAY 12 - 12:45-14:00 Session 16 Chair: Nicole Ooms

ANDRÉ LAKS “Three Pre-Socratic Eschatologies : A Speculative Reading of Parmenides, Anaxagoras, and Empedocles about the Future of the World”

Plus d'information :


La prochaine livraison de la Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale (3, 2012) sera un numéro spécial consacré à EMPÉDOCLE. LES DIEUX, LE SACRIFICE ET LA GRÂCE. Ce numéro est dirigé par Anne Gabrièle WERSINGER. Voici les contributions :

  • Carlo SANTANIELLO, Θεός, Δαίμων, Φρὴν Ἱερή : Empedocles and the Divine

  • Spyridon RANGOS, Empedocles on Divine Nature

  • Jean-Claude PICOT, Les dieux du fr. 128 d’Empédocle et le mythe des races

  • Constantinos MACRIS et Pénélope SKARSOULI, La sagesse et les pouvoirs du mystérieux τις du fragment 129 d’Empédocle

  • Anne Gabrièle WERSINGER, Empédocle, la Violence sacrificielle et la Grâce


Trois prochains articles de J.-C. Picot :

  • "Along a mountain path with Empedocles", Elenchos, XXXIII, 2012, fasc. 1, p. 5-20. Article écrit en collaboration avec William Berg.

  • "Les dieux du fr. 128 d'Empédocle et le mythe des races", Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale, 3, 2012, p. 339-356.

  • "Sagesse face à Parole de Zeus : une nouvelle lecture du fr. 123.3 DK d'Empédocle", Revue de Philosophie Ancienne, XXX, 1, 2012, p. 23-57.


Le numéro de la Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale consacré à Empédocle est paru (n°74, 2012/3).


Anne-Laure Therme consacre un chapitre à Empédocle dans l'ouvrage à paraître en octobre 2012 concernant les Présocratiques, aux P.U.F

15/09/2012. Anne-Laure Therme a eu l'amabilité de communiquer au site empedocles.acragas un plan détaillé de cet ouvrage et la liste des témoignages et fragments d'Empédocle qui y sont cités. Nous l'en remercions vivement. Ci-dessous, en bas de page, le document en PDF : Lire les Présocratiques.

Lire les Présocratiques


Nous avons ajouté une page "Forum" au site

François Baskevitch y présente le projet d'un ouvrage (167 pages) : La théorie de l’audition chez Empédocle. (Téléchargement possible du PDF.) Les personnes intéressées par ce sujet peuvent adresser directement leurs remarques et commentaires à l'auteur.

Nous invitons toutes les personnes intéressées par les études empédocléennes à se joindre au forum : pour y déposer des textes en projet, les soumettre avant publication au regard d'empédocléens, et/ou pour intervenir sur des textes proposés.


Nous remercions Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui qui nous informe de sa contribution (environ 30 pages) à un prochain ouvrage collectif (parution prévue en novembre 2012) :

Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui, "Salvation for the Wanderer: Odysseus, the Gold Leaves, and Empedocles", in : Philosophy and Salvation in Greek Religion, V. Adluri (ed.), De Gruyter, 2012.

L'auteur traite son sujet selon le plan suivant :

I. The Wanderings of Odysseus as a Model

II. The Supplication of the Soul in the Gold Leaves

III. The Wanderings of the Daimon in Empedocles


Jean Bollack est décédé le 4 décembre, à l'âge de 89 ans.




Ajout d'un projet d'article sur la page Forum ( : "Apollon et la φρὴν ἱερὴ καὶ ἀθέσφατος (Empédocle, fr. 134 DK)".


ICS Ancient Philosophy Seminars 2013

University College London - Gower Street - London - Senate House South Block 243 --- Organizer: Jenny Bryan (UCL) Contact:

All are most welcome. Sessions start at 4.30pm.

Mon 13th May

Shaul Tor, KCL ‘Theology and Epistemology in Empedocles’ (S264)

Mon 20th May

Oliver Primavesi, Munich (S264) TBA


Ajout d'un projet d'article sur la page Forum ( : "Un nom énigmatique de l’air chez Empédocle (fr. 21.4 DK) "

03/03/2013 (modified 05 / 06 / 2013)

This is an advance notice of the following conference, organised by the Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies research group:

Empedocles' Metaphysics

4–5 July 2013

Ioannou Centre, Oxford

This conference is free, and advance registration is not required. All are welcome.

Provisional Schedule (post February 2013 and modified in May)

4th of July

9:00-10:30 am A. MARMODORO 'Empedocles' Powers'

11am-12:30 pm O. PRIMAVESI 'Powers in the Cosmic Cycle'

15-16:30 P. CURD 'Thinking Structure'

17:00-18:30 D. SEDLEY 'Empedoclean Superorganisms'

5th of July

9:00-10:30am C. ROWETT 'What things have divine names in Empedocles and why?'

11am-12:30pm J. PALMER 'Elemental Change in Empedocles'


Dans le cadre du Centre Léon Robin, un séminaire 'Présocratiques' est organisé le 30 mars 2013 à l'ENS (Paris, rue d'Ulm), Pavillon Pasteur, salle du haut. La journée sera consacrée à Empédocle. Programme :

10h00-11h30 : Marwan Rashed (Univ. Paris - Sorbonne), « Quelques conjectures à propos du poème sur la nature »

11h30-13h00 : Xavier Gheerbrant (Université Lille 3), « Empédocle et la Muse »

14h30-16h00 : Constantin Macris (CNRS - LEM) et Pénélope Skarsouli (UPR 76), « Empédocle et Pythagore : autour du fr. 129 »

16h00-17h30 : Rossella Saetta Cottone (CNRS - Centre Léon Robin), « Le soleil principe d'intelligibilité dans la pensée d'Empédocle (autour des fr. 134, 44, 131, 133, 135 et de A56) : une proposition »

Les personnes qui souhaitent assister à ce séminaire peuvent s'adresser à Gérard Journée,


Deux articles parlant notamment d'Empédocle paraîtront en septembre 2013 dans un ouvrage consacré aux Nuées d'Aristophane (Comédie et Philosophie, présentation ci-dessous) :

« Aristophane et le théâtre du soleil. Le dieu d’Empédocle dans le choeur des Nuées », par Rossella Saetta Cottone, p. 61-85. (A 30, A 56, B 29, B 44, B 131, B 134, B 146.)

« L’image du πνιγεύς dans les Nuées. Un Empédocle au charbon », par Jean-Claude Picot, p. 113-129. (B 6, B 115, B 120, B 121.)


Deux articles en prévision :

  • Leopoldo IRIBARREN, "Les peintres d’Empédocle (DK 31 B23) : enjeux et portée d’une analogie préplatonicienne", à paraître dans Philosophie antique, 13, 2013.

Anne-Laure THERME, "

Les oulophueis tupoi (31 B 62, 4 DK 1), ancêtres des humains, sont systématiquement assimilés à des ébauches informes qui, à la manière des androgynes du Banquet de Platon, auraient été ultérieurement scindées ou différenciées, notamment par la sexuation. Leur statut est crucial en tant qu’il engage la représentation tout entière du cycle cosmique empédocléen, en particulier quant à leur inscription dans le récit zoogonique en quatre étapes d’Aétius (31 A 72). Or les lectures qui, toutes, ont jusqu’ici assimilé les oulophueis tupoi à la troisième étape d’Aétius, ont pour ce faire dû corriger le témoignage, transformant le allèlophuôn des manuscrits en oulophuôn. Tout en maintenant l’hypothèse d’une double zoogonie, nous montrons qu’il est possible de donner sens à la leçon originale et de l’inscrire dans le système empédocléen : les oulophueis tupoi du fragment 62 pourraient très bien désigner, au lieu des êtres mixtes ultérieurement scindés de la lecture traditionnelle, les membres isolés sortis de terre à l’origine de la zoogonie, et ce dans chacun des deux mondes qui se forment au cours d’un cycle. Alors que notre interprétation pourrait sembler contredire la thèse d’un cycle cosmique où deux cosmogonies successives se constituent (l’une sous l’égide de Neikos, l’autre régie par Philotès), il apparaît au contraire que, loin d’être inconciliable, elle la renforce ; mais cela implique alors que les processus de production du vivant ne sont pas inversés selon un effet de miroir dans les deux mondes, mais identiques quelle que soit la phase cosmique – de sorte que ce sont bien les mêmes lois du devenir vivant qui sont toujours à l’oeuvre dans un monde.


Vous n'étiez pas à la conférence Empedocles' Metaphysics à Oxford le 4–5 July 2013. Rien (ou presque rien) n'est perdu. Vous avez maintenant la possibilité d'écouter les intervenants (et de télécharger les exempliers) :

Talks on Empedocles' Metaphysics (

Patricia Curd: "Thinking Structure"

John Palmer: "Elemental Change in Empedocles"

Anna Marmodoro: "Empedocles' Dynamic, Changeless World"

Oliver Primavesi: "Powers in the Cosmic Cycle"

Catherine Rowett: "Which Things have Divine Names in Empedocles and Why?"

David Sedley: "Empedoclean Superorganisms"

(Belle organisation de ce colloque sous la responsabilité d'Anna Marmodoro. Qu'elle soit ici remerciée.)


Le prochain numéro des Anais de Filosofia Clássica, vol. VI nº11, 2012, sera consacré à Empédocle ( Nous attendons les contributions suivantes :

Picot, Jean-Claude, « Apollon et la φρὴν ἱερὴ καὶ ἀθέσφατος (Empédocle, fr. 134 DK) ».

Journée, Gérard, « Empédocle, B6 DK : Remarques sur les deux lignées de Diels ».

Azevedo, Cristiane A. de, « Uma questão de saber: thymós e nóos em Parmênides e Empédocles ».

Gheerbrant, Xavier, « Qui sont les destinataires du fragment 3 d'Empédocle ? »

Costa, Alexandre, « Mito e filosofia em Empédocles. A redenção pelo saber. »


Le lien suivant

ou bien celui-ci :

ou encore :

permettent de télécharger gratuitement les articles concernant Empédocle récemment parus dans les Anais de Filosofia Clássica, numéro 11. Cette revue prévoit d'autres articles dans un numéro 12, au rang desquels sont déjà annoncés :

La respirazione empedoclea

Giovanna Ambrosano

Nous lisons sur la page des Anais de Filosofia Clássica :

Este volume, números 11 e 12 de 2012, é uma homenagem ao filólogo e filósofo Jean Bollack, mestre da Escola Filológica de Lille, cujos rigor, lucidez e inventividade interpretativa determinaram uma revolução no estudo da filosofia pré-socrática; notadamente da obra de Empédocles.

Publicamos textos sobre Empédocles, apresentados no seminário Empédocles e o Teatro, realizado na École Normale Supérieure de Paris, em 2011, no âmbito do acordo de cooperação científica Capes/Cofecub : "As Origens da Linguagem Filosófica : estratégias retóricas e poéticas da sabedoria antiga", e outros textos sobre o tema submetidos à revista.


En attente : Gordon Campbell, "Lucretius, Empedocles, and Cleanthes", in : The Philosophizing Muse: the influence of Greek philosophy on roman poetry 3rd cent. B.C.-1st cent. a.d. (Pierides iii), ed. Myrto Garani - David Konstan,


Les trois prochaines séances du Séminaire « Présocratiques » du Centre Léon Robin – Paris IV-Ens seront :

8 février 2014 :

Aude Engel


8 mars 2014 :

Andréi Lebedev (Université de Crète)

« Aetios », Areios and the transmission of the imperial physical doxography

5 avril 2014 :

Béatrice Bakhouche (Université de Montpellier)

Les présocratiques dans Calcidius

Organisation et contact : Rossella Saetta-Cottone ( - at - – Leopoldo Iribarren (l.iribarren - at - – Gérard Journée (g.journee - at -

Le lieu (à Paris) sera précisé au fur et à mesure, sur la page du Centre :


Du Mexique, André Laks nous envoie deux photos prises à côté d'un magnifique "cenote" (résurgence de profondeurs fluviales en surface, en forme de lac) aux environs Comitán, Chiapas (non loin du Guatémala).


Oui, certes, on pourra toujours dire qu'il y a 5 éléments et non pas 4. Mais enfin, tout de même, l'inspiration empédocléenne est bien là. Le ciel et l'air sont l'un à côté de l'autre, ne formant qu'un chez l'Agrigentin. Le feu est à côté de l'air. Et n'est-ce pas une bonne idée que de dire d'abord les éléments du haut (AL CIELO AL AIRE AL FUEGO) et ensuite ceux du bas (AL AGUA Y A LA TIERRA) ? N'est-ce pas au fond l'attribution des noms divins des quatre racines de toutes choses (fr. 6) selon la lecture d'Aétius (A 33) ?

Mais le message de cette pancarte, sur fond vert, a une teneur écologiste qui va au-delà d'Empédocle. Je ne suis pas sûr que le daimôn du fr. 115.9-12, balloté entre des éléments hostiles, ait eu l'idée de bénir les éléments. Peut-être aurait-il dû le faire et, tout divin qu'il est, entendre cette sagesse du fond du Mexique : Prenez soin de bénir éléments, le ciel, l'air, le feu, l'eau et la terre ... et ils feront de même pour vous. Les 30 000 saisons lui auraient été sans doute plus douces à vivre.

Merci André. Je me suis permis de commenter cette pancarte. La Chronique a pris aujourd'hui un nouveau visage.

J.-C. Picot



Un colloque se tiendra du 12 au 14 juin à Prague, avec pour sujet « Aristotle and his predecessors on heat, pneuma and soul »

Simon Trépanier interviendra à propos d’Empédocle. Voici le résumé de cette intervention, que Simon a eu l’amabilité de communiquer par avance à empedocles.acragas :

Empedocles on Fire and the transmigrating Soul.

This paper is an investigation into the Presocratic background of soul theories, more specifically, the relationship between fire and soul in Empedocles. I will argue that Empedocles fragment B 9 does not give us a positive account of fire as soul, but targets a rival Presocratic account of fire as soul.

To appreciate that point, however, it will be necessary to contrast it with Empedocles’ own conception of the transmigrating soul, in so far as we can grasp it. The interpretation I will present is that for Empedocles that the transmigrating soul is a perfect mixture of the four elements. Blood is a close congener of it in humans, but in the end it remains unclear if blood is, for Empedocles, the transmigrating soul itself, or something closer to the home of soul, as in the later Aristotelian connate pneuma or again some special krasis within the body, as in the Epicurean account of soul. The paper is deliberately evidence-heavy, as its aim is to make some of the evidence better known.



Fourth Biennial Conference – Thessaloniki -30 June - 4 July 2014


Evangelos Moutsopoulos To what extent are Empedocles' elements pure?

Giovanni Casertano I nomi dell' amore nel Empedocle

Oliver Primavesi Pythagoreanism in Empedocles' Physics


Gottfried Heinemann Is regularity according to Empedocles imposed on or inherent in things


Patricia Curd Thought and structure in Empedocles

Jenny Bryan The Epistemological implications of Empedocles' painter analogy (DK 31B23)

Arnaud Macé The growth of the elements; Empedocles' vegetal metaphysics


Lidia Palumbo Platone e Empedocle: l'analogia tra natura degli ente e loro espressione


Stavros Baloyannis Empedocles and the Christian moral principles


Dimitra Balla Organic whole versus material mixture: Aristotle's criticism of Empedocles'

view on animal composition

Pour plus d'informations je vous invite à visiter aussi le site officiel du colloque:

Livestreaming: Conference Sessions at KEDEA Conference Hall


En hommage à Jean Bollack (1923-2012), les AFC se sont engagées dans la parution de deux numéros spéciaux consacrés à Empédocle. Le premier numéro (vol. VI nº11, 2012) est paru en 2013. Le prochain (vol. VI, n° 12) paraîtra à la fin de l'été 2014.

Voici le contenu du n° 12 :

Rossella Saetta Cottone Jean Bollack et Empédocle : une histoire de Philotès.

Izabela Bocayuva Filosofia como tradição e a “presença” de Empédocles no Banquete

Giovanna Ambrosano La respirazione empedoclea

Fernando Santoro Krasis

Béatrice Bakhouche Empedocles Latinus : citations et traductions latines de fragments empédocléens

Plus un recueil des traductions d'Empédocle présentes dans ce numéro.

Pour mémoire, les AFC sont une revue électronique, à accès gratuit :


L'article suivant paraîtra dans le prochain numéro (45, octobre 2014) de la revue polonaise Organon :

J.-C. Picot - W. Berg, Empedocles vs. Xenophanes: differing notions of the divine.

Pour mémoire, la revue Organon est publiée sous format papier, toutefois certains articles sont disponibles sur Internet, en PDF d'accès libre, à la demande des auteurs :

Nous remercions Robert Zaborowski de son aide.

30 /07 /2014

La prochaine livraison de la revue Les Etudes Philosophiques (octobre 2014) contiendra les deux articles suivants :

Marwan Rashed – La chronographie du système d’Empédocle : addenda et corrigenda, p. 315 - 342.

Jean-Claude Picot – Un nom énigmatique de l’air chez Empédocle (fr. 21.4 DK), p. 343 - 373.

02 /09/2014

Xavier Gheerbrant soutiendra sa thèse "Poésie et Argumentation dans les fragments des deux poèmes d'Empédocle" (réalisée sous la direction de M. Philippe Rousseau) le samedi 11 octobre 2014, à l'Université de Lille 3.

Le jury sera composé de :

Mme Fabienne BLAISE, Professeur de Langue et littérature grecques à l'Université de Lille 3

M. Paul DEMONT, Professeur de Langue et littérature grecques à l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)

M. Andrew FORD, Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature à l'Université de Princeton

M. André LAKS, Professeur émérite de Philosophie ancienne à l'Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)

M. Philippe ROUSSEAU, Professeur émérite de Langue et littérature grecques à l'Université Lille 3.

16 /09/2014

Oxford University Press announces the publication of the following book in January 2015 (estimated):

Mark Eli Kalderon, Form without Matter: Empedocles and Aristotle on Color Perception.

Table of contents :



1: Empedocles

2: Perception at a Distance

3: Transparency

4: Color

5: Light and Dark

6: The Generation of the Hues

7: The Eye

8: Two Transitions to Actuality

9: Form Without Matter



Mark Eli Kalderon is a Professor of Philosophy at University College London.

More about this author and his works:

14 /10/2014

Le 11 octobre, Xavier Gheerbrant a été nommé Docteur en Langue et Littérature grecques après avoir soutenu sa thèse "Poésie et Argumentation dans les fragments des deux poèmes d'Empédocle". Il a obtenu la mention TRES HONORABLE avec les FELICITATIONS du jury.

On a loué son travail remarquable de chercheur, son érudition et la qualité des approndissements des diverses questions qu'il a traitées.

Les principaux fragments commentés dans sa thèse sont les suivants :

frr. B 1, 2, 3, 4, 17 + ensemble a, 20 + ensemble c, 21 et 23, 24, 25, 26, 35, 84, 86, 100, 112 (vv. 1-4), 114, 121, 122, 123, 131 (DK), ainsi que le fr. 509 (Bollack).

La thèse devrait donner lieu à une publication.


Souvent, l'auteur d'un article peut attendre entre 1 et 2 ans avant que son article soit publié dans une revue. Le processus est actuellement très (trop) long. On peut espérer que dans le futur les délais se réduiront. Mais ce n'est qu'un espoir, car il n'existe pas d'ores et déjà une volonté affichée des maisons d'édition d'aller rapidement dans ce sens.

Aujourd'hui, il est au moins possible de constater une publication entre 9 mois et 1 an dans la revue Organon. C'est tout à son honneur. Cette revue – assez peu connue, il est vrai – mérite qu'on lui porte ici attention.

La revue est arrivée à son 45e numéro. Elle est référencée par Wikipedia:,_Polish_Academy_of_Sciences

Son site officiel est

Outre la rapidité de publication, qui va de pair avec la facilité de la mise au point et de l'approbation des épreuves finales dans des échanges par e-mails, le mérite de cette revue est d'offrir à la fois (1) une revue papier présente dans diverses bibliothèques dans le monde, (2) la possibilité de rédiger en anglais, en français, en allemand, en espagnol et en italien, (3) des tirés à part papier et une revue gratuite pour l'auteur, (4) un article en PDF facilement distribuable, et (5) la possibilité (à la demande de l'auteur) que le site officiel d'Organon affiche cet article en PDF et autorise son téléchargement gratuit sans aucune formalité.

C'est difficile aujourd'hui de trouver mieux pour un auteur – bien sûr, faut-il que son article soit accepté par le secrétariat de rédaction. Les lecteurs de cette chronique qui connaissent une ou des revues offrant autant d'avantages peuvent m'en faire part ( ; Je signalerai le(s) nom(s) dans une prochaine rubrique. D'une façon générale, je pense que les auteurs doivent faire pression sur les maisons d'édition pour accélérer le processus des échanges (dont la première étape est l'acceptation ou pas de l'article) et le processus de publication. Signaler sur Internet les meilleures revues, du point de vue des auteurs, est donc vertueux.

Pour rechercher dans les bibliothèques du monde la présence d'Organon (notamment, mais d'autres revues sont possibles), utiliser "worldcat":

Signalons enfin que le secrétaire actuel de rédaction d'Organon, Robert Zaborowski (ancien élève de la Sorbonne), parle notamment l'anglais et le français, ce qui facilite évidemment tous les échanges pour les auteurs qui ne maîtrisent pas le polonais. Pour contacter Robert Zaborowski : . Son site sur :


V Symposium International d'études anciennes : “Thèmes et problèmes de la philosophie présocratique dans l'Antiquité.”

Belo Horizonte, 13 - 18 Avril 2015 - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brésil

Lundì 13 avril

14 – 16:30h – Séminaire 1: “El vocabulario de los Presocráticos, I.” Alberto Bernabé (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Espagne)

16:30 – 17h – Présentation de posters des étudiants.

17 – 17:15h – Séance d’ouverture

17:15 – 18:45h –Conference 1: “The Reception and Interpretation of Empedocles on sense perception in later thinkers.” Patricia Curd (Department of Philosophy, Purdue University, USA)

18:45 – 20h – Présentation de nouveautés éditoriales.

Mardì 14 avril

11 – 12:40h – Conférence 2: “Fire, heat, and motive force in Presocratic and Hippocratic theories.” Gabor Betegh (Department of Classics, University of Cambridge, UK)

14 – 16:30h

Séminaire 1: “El vocabulario de los Presocráticos, II.” Alberto Bernabé (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Espagne)

Séminaire 2: “Introduction à la ‘philosophie présocratique’, I.” André Laks (Centre Leon Robin, Paris, França; Universidad Panamericana, México).

16:30 – 17h - Présentation de posters des étudiants.

17 – 19h – Table-ronde:

“Três versões da doutrina pitagórica dos números em Aristóteles.” Gabriele Cornelli (Universidade de Brasilia, Brésil)

“The Presocratics on the soul: features of the process of the psychic capacities from the aristotelian interpretive tradition.” Carolina Sanchez (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombie)

Pour les trois jours suivants (15, 16, 17, avril) voir :

Inscriptions et informations :

Profa. Miriam C. D. Peixoto :


Nico Bader a publié la Newsletter annuelle n°20 (mars 2015) de la Fondation Pythagoras. Voir

Nous recommandons la lecture de ces Newsletters pour qui veut se tenir au courant des articles et ouvrages de la mouvance pythagoricienne.

Par ailleurs, la lettre actuelle comporte une interview de John Dillon.


Dans le cadre du séminaire Lille-Liège-Bruxelles "Systématicités antiques" : Mercredi 10 juin 2015 à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles (Campus de Solbosch, salle AX3.FOR).


Anne-Laure Therme

"Un système empédocléen ?"

20/05/2015 (puis corrections apportées le 25/05 pour actualiser l'information et rester fidèle à la dernière version de l'annonce, qui devra rester dans les archives du site)

L’héritage philosophique de l’antiquité à l’époque tardo-antique et médiévale

Séminaire dirigé par Anca Vasiliu :

Le principe du Bien

Naples, San Palo Maggiore,chapelle de la Madone de la Pureté, détail du soleil. © Ferrante Ferranti

    • 21 mai 2015, 10h-12h45 / 14h30-18h30, Sorbonne, salle G363

Journée d’étude : Le Soleil, image du Bien

Rossella Saetta-Cottone (CNRS, Centre Léon Robin), « Le soleil comme reflet et la question de la connaissance dans la pensée d'Empédocle : aux origines d'une image »

Jean-Claude Picot (Centre Léon Robin), « Le feu, le soleil et Apollon : pour penser le bien et le mal chez Empédocle » - Exemplier et bibliographie :

Salvatore Lavecchia (Univ. de Udine), « La luce del Bene, l’essere, la coscienza. Ciò che Platone tralascia nell’analogia del sole »

Maria Carmen De Vita (Univ. de Salerno) « Il Bene/Sole nell’imperatore Giuliano: collocazione metafisica e riflessi politici »


De : Alexander Long <agl10@ST-ANDREWS.AC.UK>

À :

Envoyé le : Jeudi 21 mai 2015 18h06

Objet : [PHILOS-L] Reminder: workshop on death and immortality (St Andrews)

On Friday 24 July 2015 there will be a workshop in St Andrews on death and immortality in ancient philosophy and early Christianity.

All welcome. If you intend to attend, please email

Please direct all other inquiries to Alex Long ( ).


Phillip Horky (Durham) ‘Pythagorean Immortality of the Soul?’

Simon Trépanier (Edinburgh) ‘Empedocles: Our Life in Hades and Soul as Long-lived Body-Part’

Elizabeth Pender (Leeds) ‘Plato's Afterlife in Sound and Vision’

Catherine Rowett (UEA) ‘Reflections on pre-existence, life after death, and atemporal beings, in Plato’s arguments for immortality in the Phaedo’

James Warren (Cambridge) ‘Socrates and the symmetry argument: the Axiochus’

George Boys-Stones (Durham) ‘Fragments of world-soul and icons of god: The role of immortal souls in Platonist physics’

Emma Gee (St Andrews) ‘Castles in the Air: Plutarch De facie in orbe lunae'

N T Wright (St Andrews) ‘Resurrection: Jewish context, Christian claims, pagan challenges’

More information is available here:

The workshop is sponsored by the Scots Philosophical Association and the School of Classics, St Andrews.


L'adresse de la revue Organon :


Demande de l'organisation gérée par P. Kingsley d'abandonner notre projet de page concernant les travaux de P. Kingsley sur Empédocle. Voir:

Changement immédiat de cette page. Il n'est pas dans notre intention de gêner les intérêts commerciaux de cette organisation. Nous espérons au contraire que P. Kingsley, appuyé par son organisation, pourra produire de nouveaux textes sur Empédocle.


Dans le cadre d'une journée d'hommage à Jean Bollack, le vendredi 4 décembre 2015, de 9 h à 18 h 15, à la MESHS (Maison Européenne des Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société, Lille, 2, rue des Canonniers) - espace Baïetto, on pourra écouter :

Xavier Gheerbrant (Université de Lille, Laboratoire STL), Empédocle et la philologie herméneutique de Jean Bollack - de 11 h 35 à 12 heures.


Anna Marmodoro a mis en ligne sur sa page Academia ( la présentation du futur numéro (spécial) de la revue Rhizomata (De Gruyter), numéro consacré à Empédocle. Oliver Primavesi, John Palmer, Patricia Curd, Catherine Rowett, David Sedley sont les contributeurs. Nous reproduisons ici un large extrait de cette présentation :

Empedocles’s metaphysics

Anna Marmodoro

Anna Marmodoro, Corpus Christi College, Oxford OX1 4JF, United Kingdom:

This issue of Rhizomata comprises a collection of essays with special focus on Empedocles’ metaphysics, authored by international leading experts in the field. The topics investigated include Empedocles’s views on composition, structure, causation, creation, change, causal powers, and the nature of divinity and of divine agency. There is no comprehensive study of such topics in the existing literature on Empedocles.


The essays of this special issue are revised and expanded versions of papers that were presented at an international conference held in Oxford in 2013, as part of my research project Power Structuralism in Ancient Ontologies, funded by a starting investigator award from the European Research Council.1 The project provided not only the financial and organizational resources for the conference to take place, but most importantly the framework for a fresh investigation of Empedocles in the light of the project’s research hypotheses.

The core question the project investigates is this: what are for the ancients the fundamental building blocks of reality, out of which everything is constituted? The project’s hypothesis is that all ancient thinkers (or most of them) accounted for the constitution of all there is with powers as the sole elementary building block in ontology. Powers are instantiated physical properties that dispose their possessor to be or act in a certain way, which is manifested in appropriate circumstances (e.g. something with the power to heat is disposed to heat something cooler in proximity). Powers are directed towards an end (e.g. the power to heat); reaching the end realizes the power and changes the causal profile of the world into a different set of powers (e.g. the realization of the power to heat results in a change of temperature of the object heated).

‘Power Structuralism’ is an expression I introduced (in 2010) and used for two distinct purposes: as a new approach to the study and understanding of ancient Greek philosophy; and as a novel neo-Aristotelian metaphysical system. In its first use, it refers to a method of studying, in the first instance, the metaphysical systems of the main ancient thinkers of the first millennium of Western thought. The method consists in exploring such systems as power ontologies, namely as ontologies whose most fundamental building blocks are powers. This is the relevant sense of power structuralism as backdrop to the present special issue of Rhizomata. (In its second use, the expression ‘Power Structuralism’ refers to my own power ontology. This ontology leans on Aristotle’s own power ontology with respect to its essential metaphysical intuitions, but is developed in new directions within the context of contemporary metaphysical questions and debates.)

Ancient ontological systems, over a period of roughly nine centuries, from 600 BC to 300 AD, have so far been understood and classified on the basis of the derivative items, rather than the basic items that the systems employ for accounting for what there is – i.e. in terms of objects and processes, rather than the powers from which both objects and processes metaphysically derive. For instance, is Heraclitean flux a chain of interacting powers, or a succession of inert categorical properties? Saying that it is a process does not give us an account of what it is. Additionally, one might ask: is Parmenidean immutability inertness, or eternal dynamic equilibrium? And if it is inertness, are the immutables disjoint or thoroughly relational, interdependent on, and interwoven with, one another? Are Democritean atoms inert, or bundles of powers which enable them to ‘struggle’, and ‘collide’ to ‘bind together’ to form what there is in nature? Generalizing from these examples: can it be that the ancients thought that the roots of nature are powers, or did they think that non-powers, i.e. inert entities divested of any active or passive power, were also needed to build the world? Empedocles figures prominently among the thinkers with respect to whom the question needs to be asked. The contributors to this special issue explore Empedocles’ thought, from different angles and with different conclusions, in the light of my power structuralism interpretative proposal.

Primavesi, in his essay on ‘Powers and Numbers in Empedocles’ Physics’, argues that the six fundamental principles that Empedocles posited to account for reality (Love, Strife and the four elements) are all causally efficacious. Love and Strife are efficient causes; but the elements too are causally active, changing their own state (towards homogeneous concentration, by the attraction of like to like). Additionally, Primavesi argues for the significance of the Pythagorean Tetractys on Empedocles thought, which is expressed in the numerical ratios that regulate the cosmic cycle.

In his essay on ‘Elemental Change in Empedocles’, John Palmer argues that Empedocles envisages the elemental roots too as having their own life cycles and undergoing their own (but not self-caused) transformations, like virtually everything else in his system, except Love and Strife. Empedocles conceives of the elements' destruction and generation in terms of their losing and recovering their distinctive qualitative identities as they intermingle with one another through Love's agency and grow apart through Strife's. Palmer argues that this result makes it possible to understand the crucial verses Physika I 234-6 as Empedocles’ general description of the dual processes involved in the generation and destruction of all specimen compounds.

In her essay on ‘Powers, Structure, and Thought in Empedocles’, Patricia Curd raises the question of how it is that Empedocles’ world is an organized system of diverse entities maintaining regularity over long periods of time. She argues that it is the impulses and thoughts of the roots (qua agents in the system) and of Love and Strife that answer these questions. Love and Strife, working within the laws of nature, provide the major structural aspects of the cosmos: the circular motion of the whirl created by the opposing forces produces the masses of roots that are worked up into the heavenly bodies and the living things that populate the cosmos. Curd argues for reading Empedocles as a proto-power-structuralist, by which she means that for Empedocles the basic ingredients of the world (the roots and Love and Strife) are ontologically prior to the medium sized objects of sensible experience.

Catherine Rowett’s essay is titled ‘Love, sex and the gods: why things have divine names in Empedocles’ poem, and why they come in pairs’. She addresses the question of whether, when Empedocles uses a divine name for one of the items in his ontology, this serves merely as a poetic metaphor, or it means that the item in question is a god, with personal agency and intentions. In Empedocles’ poem, most things are described as if they were intentional agents and seem to function as such. Rowett argues that Empedocles was talking of a universe in which all the components, without exception, are living beings with mental capacities and that their power is the power of agents, acting voluntarily, not of inanimate forces acting mechanically. There is nothing in Empedocles’ ontology that could be described as inert matter, and there are no inanimate things.

Concluding this special issue, in his ‘Empedoclean superorganisms’ David Sedley looks at Empedocles’ zoogony, where an original set of single-specialism organisms – solitary hands, eyes, etc. – combine into complex organisms, of which the fittest survive. What the fittest is naturally selected for is not the individual and/or its kin, but, as most manifestly in insect colonies, the cooperative group. Empedocles’ Love likewise works by promoting co-operation, whose emergence in complex organisms reflects her growing power, and the periodic world-organism, Sphairos, her ultimate triumph. This latter divinity is not a homogeneous blend of the elements, but a single self-sufficient superorganism. In this appeal to superorganism theory, Sedley sees in Empedocles a less recognized anticipation of (one strand of) the Darwinian tradition.


Hesiod and the Presocratics: rethinking the origins of Greek philosophy

Date: June 23-25, 2016 --- Location: Leiden University


Leopoldo Iribarren (Leiden University)

& Hugo Koning (Leiden University) :

All lectures take place at the Gravensteen Building, Leiden University, Pieterskerkhof 6. More:

For Empedocles, here is the program of Friday, June 24th

<> 9.00 - 10.00

Keynote: Jenny Strauss Clay (Virginia)

‘Hesiod reads Empedocles’

<> 10.30 - 11.15

Marco Antonio Santamaría Álvarez (Salamanca)

‘The exile of the demons in Empedocles fr. 115 DK and the punishment of the oathbreaking gods in Hesiod’s Theogony’

<> 11.1512.00

Alexander Egorov (Utrecht)

‘The Hesiodic Myth of the Five Races and Empedocles’ Account of the Golden Age’

<> 14.00- 14.45

Xavier Gheerbrant (Lille)

‘Narrators, addressees, cosmology and the human condition in Empedocles and Hesiod’s poems’


INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR PRESOCRATIC STUDIES (IAPS) Daniel W. Graham, Brigham Young University, President FIFTH BIENNIAL CONFERENCE Monday 13 June – Friday 17 June, 2016

Empedocles on June 16 and June 17

Thursday, June 16

XAVIER GHEERBRANT , Université Lille 3 – UMR Savoirs, Textes, Langage


To build the argument of his cosmology, Empedocles took advantage of ways of poetic composition that he had inherited from epic poetry. As in the Hesiodic poems, the meaning is entrusted not only to the contents that are explicitly expressed within the poem itself, but also to the way these contents are organized and shaped. The discussion will focus on the adaptation by Empedocles of two modes of organization of the poetic material in the first book of the physical poem: Ritournell-Komposition, i.e., the use of refrains or repetitions of lines or expressions; and episodic composition.

I will argue that the asymmetry introduced between different instances of repeated verses sheds light on the relationship between the “episodes” that form the argument. The study will focus on two examples: (1) the smaller-scale example of three expressions, εἰς ἕνα κόσμον (26.5), εἰς ἓν ἅπαντα (17.7, 20.2), and (διέφυ) πλέον' ἐξ ἑνὸς εἶναι (17.2, 17.17); (2) the larger-‐scale example of the repetitions in fragment 26, and the role of this fragment in the argumentation of book I.


JOSHUA I. GULLEY, Purdue University


Empedoclean mixture is the mutual manifestation of powers. By ‘powers’ I mean beings that manifest themselves differently in different conditions. In saying that they are beings, I mean that they are not merely the properties of other beings, but they are real in their own right. For Empedocles, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Love, and Strife are all powers, and stuffs are manifestations of the powers interacting in different combinations.

My defense of this interpretation will assume that Empedocles holds that the six fundamental beings do not change in their natures, a thesis he adopts from his reading of Parmenides. Given that assumption, any interpretation according to which the roots change in their natures in mixture cannot be sustained. (Thus I will not offer any extended response to views such as those in Palmer 2009 here.) My main target, therefore, will be interpretations that treat Empedoclean mixture as the aggregation of discrete bits of stuff. In response to the aggregation view, I undertake two main tasks. First, I offer a couple of positive reasons to think that mixture is the mutual manifestation of non-stuffy powers rather than the aggregation of bits of stuff: Empedocles’ theory has more explanatory power for its economy if mixture is the mutual manifestation of powers, and the homogeneous unity of the Sphere is best explained by powers. Second, I address some of the evidence that has been marshalled for aggregation interpretations. I conclude that the power ontology I attribute to Empedocles provides him with the best theory of mixture overall.


TAKASHI OKI, University of Oxford


In this paper, I examine Empedocles’ view as presented by Aristotle in Physics B 8. With the exception of Irwin (1990), many scholars (Ross 1923; Cherniss 1935; Waterlow 1982) think that Empedocles as described in Physics B 8 explains why animals that have parts suitable for survival account for the vast majority, and that Aristotle’s criticism of his explanation misses the mark. In my view, however, it is more reasonable to interpret Empedocles’ argument in such a way that Aristotle’s remark that teeth and all other natural things which come about always or for the most part in a given way cannot be ascribed to chance (198b34-36) works as a criticism of it. Even though it is not improbable that Aristotle presents Empedocles’ position imprecisely, I believe it is less probable that Aristotle misguidedly criticizes Empedocles’ view as Aristotle himself describes in Physics B 8. Further, if Empedocles is cited in favour of the rival view against which Aristotle argues in the chapter, Empedocles’ view must be interpreted in conformity with the argument at 198b16-31. I argue that a scrutiny of the text shows that true-totype reproduction is not presupposed in Empedocles’ argument. On the basis of a detailed examination of Aristotle’s teleological explanation and his criticism of the anti-teleological argument, I seek to clarify how Aristotle refers to Empedocles’ idea in Physics B 8.


Friday, June 17

SIMON TRÉPANIER, University of Edinburgh


Part 1 offers one new papyrological observation and two new supplements to section d of the Strasburg papyrus. I will argue that the text of ensemble d 5-7 should be restored as follows:

d 5 ⌊Οἴ⌋μ̣οι ὅτ(ι) οὐ πρόσθεν με δι̣⌊ώλεσε νη⌋λεὲς ἦμαρ, DK B 139.1

⌊πρὶν⌋ χηλαῖς̣ ⌊σχέ⌋τ̣λι’ ἔργα βορ̣⌊ᾶς πέρι μητ⌋ί̣σ̣α̣⌊σθαι·⌋ DK B 139.2

[νῦν δ]ὲ μάτη[ν ἐπὶ] τῶι γε νό[μωι κατέδ]ε̣υσα παρειάς.

[ἐξικ]ν̣ούμε[θα γὰ]ρ̣ πολυβενθ̣[ὲς σπεῖος], ὀ̣ΐω

Woe that the pitiless day did not destroy me sooner,

before I plotted horrible deeds with my claws for the sake of food!

But now in vain on account of that law I have drenched my cheeks,

For we have come to a very deep cave, I reckon...

The previous text of d 7, either τῶιδε νότ̣[ωι (Primavesi 2011) or τού]τωι γε νότ̣[ωι (Janko 2004) is wrong, since the basis for the supplemented ‘tau’ is in fact an unrelated letter fragment lying atop the omicron. A figure to support this claim will be supplied at the presentation. The reference to the law in d 7, I will then argue, is an internal reference back to the exile of the daimones in DK B 115. This shows that B 115 belongs in the proem of the On Nature, not the Purifications, or perhaps in a single original work. As for d 8, I propose πολυβενθ̣[ὲς σπεῖος ‘very deep cave’ instead of πολυβενθ̣[εα Δῖνον] ‘very deep whirl’

(Primavesi 2011), on the basis of B 120 ἠλύθομεν τόδ’ ὑπ’ ἄντρον ὑπόστεγον, ‘we have come down to this roofed cavern.’

Part 2 surveys the evidence for the ‘life in Hades’ doctrine in Empedocles, including comparison with the After-life schemes in Pindar’s Second Olympian Ode and Plato’s Phaedo myth.


LEON WASH, University of Chicago


Plants enjoy a special prominence in Empedocles’ thought, but few scholars have studied their role. Most famously there are the four-fold “roots” (ῥιζώματα DK B6). More interestingly, a 24 number of fragments apply the language of vegetation (through φύω, βλαστάνω, etc.) to a wide variety of phenomena, including those roots. When these fragments are combined his claim to have been a shrub (DK B117) and his suggestive use of ἐμπεδόφυλλον (“constant-leafed” DK B77) and ἐμπεδόκαρπα (“constant-fruited” DK B78) to allude, it seems, to his own name, it becomes clear that the vegetal loomed large in his imagination and self-conception. The chief attempts to take account of this imagery are those of Kingsley and Motte, who insist upon its likely origin in mystery cult and magic. Focusing instead upon the less esoteric, this paper will consider the significance of this imagery by reference to Empedocles’ own thought and that of his more prominent literary and philosophical predecessors. Seen in that light, his work becomes a still more noteworthy episode in the peculiar productivity of vegetal metaphors in Greek poetry and philosophy. Their potential will be seen in the striking figuration of psychology and zoogony, and in the anticipation of a universal, teleologically governed nature. Thus in his vegetal imagery, overshadowed though it is by imagery drawn from craft, Empedocles presents a pivotal move toward later authors. The potential of a plant to suggest teleology should not be underestimated.

In the words of Aristotle, “… in plants too there is purpose (that for the sake of which), though it is less articulated” (Phys. 199b9f.). While Empedocles’ notion of purpose, and indeed his vegetal metaphors, are not so well articulated as those of later authors such as Plato, I hope to illuminate in this paper their special relationship and historical role.