Empedocles and the birth of trees: Reconstructing P.strasb. Gr. inv. 1665–6, ens. D–f 10b–18

Classical Quarterly 69 (1):75-86 (2019)

The reconstruction of ensemble d–f of the Akhmîm Papyrus, better known as the Strasbourg Papyrus, which attests approximately eighteen of the over seventy new lines of Empedocles’ physical poem, has drawn the attention of scholars over recent years. Thanks to the good condition of the papyrus and the coincidence with two Empedoclean lines, already known from the indirect tradition, ensemble d–f 1–10a presents a well-restored text and an intelligible sense. In contrast, because of the damaged state of the papyrus, the restoration of d–f 10b–18 is more complicated. These lines seem to describe a life-generative process, but what process was Empedocles talking about? Some resemblances between these papyrus lines and the lines of another Empedoclean fragment, DK 31 B 62, have suggested to scholars, notably to A. Martin and O. Primavesi in 1999 and M. Rashed in 2011, that the lines of the papyrus depict, just like DK 31 B 62, the generation of whole-natured beings. Other scholars, however, such as R. Janko in 2004 and A. Laks and G.W. Most in 2016, show more caution and leave the possibility open that Empedocles is here talking about the generation of something else.
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838819000570
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Empedocles for the New Millennium.Peter Kingsley - 2002 - Ancient Philosophy 22 (2):333-413.

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