AbstractRecent attempts at giving meaning to Empedocles’ enigmatic metaphor of a ‘pathway’ and ‘summits’ (fr. 24) suffer from weaknesses logical no less than philological. Contrary theses do not have to be contradictory. Does Empedocles express a preference for ‘summits’ as opposed to a ‘pathway’, or for a ‘pathway’ as opposed to ‘summits’? Very possibly neither. The context in which the two verses are quoted points rather to a graceful peroration. However many ‘summits’ there may have been on the way, the traveller has to complete his journey. However many the fascinating topics Cleombrotus has spoken of, he has to know how to bring his speech, his ‘path of words’, to a successful conclusion.
Elenchos – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 1, 2017