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:

Conversation August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm

Lincoln’s Party

Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln

Conversation March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm

Burn Pits

Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.

Context, No Comment August 28, 2015, 12:16 pm

Beltway Secrecy

In five easy lessons

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

April 2017

You Can Run …

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Never Would I Ever

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The March on Everywhere

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Defender of the Community

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Echt Deutsch

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Boy Without a Country

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The March on Everywhere·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Photograph (detail) © Nima Taradji/Polaris
Post
The Forty-Fifth President·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Photograph (detail) by Philip Montgomery
Article
Defender of the Community·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Illustration (detail) by Katherine Streeter
Article
The Boy Without a Country·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Illustration (detail) by Shonagh Rae
Article
Asphalt Gardens·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In a city that is rapidly pricing out the poor, NYCHA’s housing projects are a last bastion of affordable shelter, with an average monthly rent of $509
Photograph (detail) © Samuel James

Number of mine-detecting monkeys erroneously reported to have been given to the United States by Morocco in March:

2,000

The Pacific trade winds are weakening as a result of global warming.

In the United States, legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act was advanced by the House Ways and Means Committee after 18 hours of deliberation, during which time the Republican members of Congress passed around candy.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Who Goes Nazi?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."

Subscribe Today