No Comment, Quotation — June 15, 2008, 8:26 am

Empedocles’s Fragment No. 17

brueghel-gloomy-day

Double is my account: for at one time it grew to be one alone
from many, at another in turn it grew apart to be many from one.
But double is the coming-into-being of mortals, double their passing away;
for the coming together of all things both begets and kills (life),
and as [all things] grow apart again [life] is nurtured, then disappears.
And, continuously changing, they never cease,
at one time through Love all of them coming together into one,
at another in turn each carried apart through the hatefulness of Strife.
Thus, on the one hand, in that they have learnt to grow into one from many
And that from the one growing apart in turn they spring,
in this (regard) they come into being and their lifespan is not secure;
on the other hand, in that continuously changing they never cease,
in that (regard) they are forever immobile within the cycle.
But come, listen to my words, for learning increases the thinking-organs.
For just as I said before, speaking the limits of my words,
Double is my account: for at one time it grew to be one alone
from many, at another in turn it grew apart to be many from one,
fire and water and earth and the immense height of air
and destructive Strife apart from them, equally balanced in all ways
and Love within them, equal in length and breadth.
[More...]

Empedocles, Fragment No. 17 (S. Trépanier ed. & transl.)(ca. 450 BCE) also read Trépanier’s analytical essay on the text.

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

Six Questions October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond

Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

From the June 2014 issue

The Guantánamo “Suicides,” Revisited

A missing document suggests a possible CIA cover-up

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2015

A Sage in Harlem

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Man Stopped

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Spy Who Fired Me

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Giving Up the Ghost

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Invisible and Insidious

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
No Slant to the Sun·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“She didn’t speak the language, beyond “¿cuánto?” and “demasiado,” but that didn’t stop her. She wanted things. She wanted life, new experiences, a change in the routine.”
Photograph © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos
[Browsings]
Burn After Reading·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

William Powell published The Anarchist Cookbook in 1971. He spent the next four decades fighting to take it out of print.
“The book has hovered like an awkward question on the rim of my consciousness for years.”
© JP Laffont/Sygma/Corbis
Article
The Fourth Branch·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Both the United States and the Soviet Union saw student politics as a proxy battleground for their rivalry.”
Photograph © Gerald R. Brimacombe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Article
The Spy Who Fired Me·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In industry after industry, this data collection is part of an expensive, high-tech effort to squeeze every last drop of productivity from corporate workforces.”
Illustration by John Ritter
Article
Invisible and Insidious·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly.”
Photograph © 2011 Massimo Mastrorillo and Donald Weber/VII

Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:

1

Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.

An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Driving Mr. Albert

By

He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.

Subscribe Today