Die Überlieferung des Fr. 18 Marcovich Heraklits in PHerc. 1004

Mnemosyne 68 (2):185-209 (1948)
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The Heraclitean tradition in the Herculaneum papyri is a topic which involves some of the most important research fields of ancient philosophy: ethics, physics and cosmology, theology and aesthetics. This paper concentrates on Heraclitus’ fr. 18 Marcovich, where the pre-Socratic philosopher talks about an unspecified κοπίδων ἀρχηγόϲ. The fragment occurs in the seventh book of Philodemus’ Rhetoric and is the only direct quotation of Heraclitus in this multi-volume treatise. This article presents a new textual reconstruction of the two columns of the papyrus in which the same passage is quoted and attempts: 1. to contextualize the quotation inside the Philodemean paraphrase of a treatise by the Stoic Diogenes of Babylon against the rhetoricians of his time; 2. to reconsider the grammatical and philosophical problem of the subject of the Heraclitean quotation. Almost all scholars have considered Pythagoras to be the target of Heraclitus. But certain elements allow us to go beyond this old opinion and to understand this fragment as something of more than a personal dispute. Rhetoric, according to its supporters, was an ‘art’ since Homer’s times and gained its professional autonomy with Corax and Tisias. There is no reason to believe that, in quoting Heraclitus, Diogenes has totally changed the subject of the fragment he cites. That subject could originally have been very similar to that attested in the Philodemean paraphrase, that is the education of the rhetoricians.



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