The significance of fr. 134 DK (highlighting the φρὴν ἱερὴ καὶ ἀθέσφατος and its phrontides, the authentic Apollo) and fr. 29 DK (the σφαῖρος, ultimate offspring of Aphrodite/φιλότης) can be discovered by retracing Empedocles' steps through a matrix of echoes from the epic heritage common to him and his culture, a matrix that includes the Homeric Hymn to Apollo and Hesiod's Theogony. The genuine text of fr. 134 is preserved only in Olympiodorus' scholiast in his Commentary on Plato's Gorgias, and not in Ammonius as reported by DK. The "back-branches" in fr. 29.1 are shown to be wings (not arms as often interpreted). The context Ammonius provides for fr. 134 (Empedocles' anti-anthropomorphism with regard to divine beings) also fits fr. 29 (reported by Hippolytus). The φρὴν ἱερή with its phrontides is understood as a metaphor for the authentic Apollo as the sun; the σφαῖρος would be the authentic Eros, child of Aphrodite/Philoteēs, as opposed to a traditional winged Eros. Both would be subjects of a definitive theological discussion in Empedocles' third and final book of Περὶ φύσεως.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 365-396
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.