This study reconstructs Empedocles’ eschatology and cosmology, arguing that they presuppose one another. Part one surveys body and soul in Empedocles and argues that the transmigrating daimon is a long-lived compound made of the elements air and fire. Part two shows that Empedocles situates our current life in Hades, then considers the testimonies concerning different cosmic levels in Empedocles and compares them with the afterlife schemes in Pindar’s Second Olympian Ode and Plato’s Phaedo myth. Part three offers a new edition of sectiond lines 5–10 of the Strasbourg papyrus of Empedocles that reinforces the connection between transmigration and different cosmic locations for souls. Part four reconstructs Empedocles’ cosmology, identifies three different levels or habitats of soul, and, more tentatively, suggests that Empedoclean “long-lived gods” are best understood as stars.
Research Article| April 01 2017
From Hades to the Stars: Empedocles on the Cosmic Habitats of Soul
Classical Antiquity (2017) 36 (1): 130–182.
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Simon Trépanier; From Hades to the Stars: Empedocles on the Cosmic Habitats of Soul. Classical Antiquity 1 April 2017; 36 (1): 130–182. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ca.2017.36.1.130
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