Page:Early Greek philosophy by John Burnet, 3rd edition, 1920.djvu/146

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and one theological.[1] It is not to be supposed that this division is due to Herakleitos himself; all we can infer is that the work fell naturally into these three parts when the Stoic commentators took their editions of it in hand.

The style of Herakleitos is proverbially obscure, and, at a later date, got him the nickname of "the Dark."[2] Now the fragments about the Delphic god and the Sibyl (frs. 11 and 12) seem to show that he was conscious of writing an oracular style, and we have to ask why he did so. In the first place, it was the manner of the time.[3] The stirring events of the age, and the influence of the religious revival, gave something of a prophetic tone to all the leaders of thought. Pindar and Aischylos have it too. It was also an age of great individualities, and these are apt to be solitary and disdainful. Herakleitos at least was so. If men cared to dig for the gold they might find it (fr. 8); if not, they must be content with straw (fr. 51). This seems to have been the view taken by Theophrastos, who said the headstrong temperament of Herakleitos sometimes led him into incompleteness and inconsistencies of statement.[4]

The fragments.65. I give a version of the fragments according to the arrangement of Bywater's exemplary edition:[5]

(1) It is wise to hearken, not to me, but to my Word, and to confess that all things are one.[6] R.P. 40.

  1. Diog. ix. 5 (R.P. 30). Bywater followed this hint in his arrangement of the fragments. The three sections are 1-90., 91-97, 98-130.
  2. R.P. 30 a. The epithet ὁ σκοτεινός is of later date, but Timon of Phleious already called him αἰνικτής (fr. 43, Diels).
  3. See the valuable observations of Diels in the Introduction to his Herakleitos von Ephesos, pp. iv. sqq.
  4. Cf. Diog. ix. 6 (R.P. 31).
  5. In his edition, Diels has given up all attempt to arrange the fragments according to subject, and this makes his text unsuitable for our purpose. I think, too, that he overestimates the difficulty of an approximate arrangement, and makes too much of the view that the style of Herakleitos was "aphoristic." That it was so, is an important and valuable remark; but it does not follow that Herakleitos wrote like Nietzsche. For a Greek, however prophetic in his tone, there must always be a distinction between an aphoristic and an incoherent style.
  6. Both Bywater and Diels accept Bergk's λόγου for δόγματος and Miller's εἶναι for εἰδεναι Cf. Philo, Leg. all. iii. c 3, quoted in Bywater's note.