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Chapter III.—Empedocles; His Twofold Cause; Tenet of Transmigration.

But Empedocles, born after these, advanced likewise many statements respecting the nature of demons, to the effect that, being very numerous, they pass their time in managing earthly concerns.  This person affirmed the originating principle of the universe to be discord and friendship, and that the intelligible fire of the monad is the Deity, and that all things consist of fire, and will be resolved into fire; with which opinion the Stoics likewise almost agree, expecting a conflagration. But most of all does he concur with the tenet of transition of souls from body to body, expressing himself thus:—

“For surely both youth and maid I was,

And shrub, and bird,6666    Or, “and beast,” more in keeping with the sense of the name; or “a lamb” has been suggested in the Gottingen edition of Hippolytus. and fish, from ocean stray’d.”6767    Or, “traveller into the sea;” or, “mute ones from the sea;” or, “from the sea a glittering fish.”

This (philosopher) maintained the transmutation of all souls into any description of animal. For Pythagoras, the instructor of these (sages),6868    Or, “being the instructor of this (philosopher).” asserted that himself had been Euphorbus, who served in the expedition against Ilium, alleging that he recognised his shield. The foregoing are the tenets of Empedocles.


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