their places continually, so far they are ever immovable as they go round the circle of existence.
But come, hearken to my words, for it is learning that increaseth wisdom. 15As I said before, when I declared the heads of my discourse, I shall tell thee a twofold tale. At one time it grew together to be one only out of many, at another it parted asunder so as to be many instead of one;—Fire and Water and Earth and the mighty height of Air; dread Strife, too, apart from these, of equal weight to each, 20and Love in their midst, equal in length and breadth. Her do thou contemplate with thy mind, nor sit with dazed eyes. It is she that is known as being implanted in the frame of mortals. It is she that makes them have thoughts of love and work the works of peace. They call her by the names of Joy and Aphrodite. 25Her has no mortal yet marked moving round among them, but do thou attend to the undeceitful ordering of my discourse.
For all these are equal and alike in age, yet each has a different prerogative and its own peculiar nature, but they gain the upper hand in turn when the time comes round. 30And nothing comes into being besides these, nor do they pass away; for, if they had been passing away continually, they would not be now, and what could increase this All and whence could it come? How, too, could it perish, since no place is empty of these things? There are these alone; 35but, running through one another, they become now this, now that, and like things evermore. R. P. 166.
- Reading μετὰ τοῖσιν. I still think, however, that Knatz's palaeographically admirable conjuncture μετὰ θεοῖσιν (i.e. among the elements) deserves consideration.
- Keeping ἄλλοτε with Diels.