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An example will be given immediately. There are some uncertainties about the relations that occur between certain titles for other reasons as well as we shall see. Another question is why all of them are not quoted in the Ionic dialect but some in Attic. Some problems are raised by the condition in which the text has come down to us: In my collection I adopted the corrections, suggested by previous editors and other 28 walter leszl scholars, which seemed to me more plausible.

I cannot discuss all these details in what follows. There is also the question: But are all the other works each the equivalent of one roll of paper? This second question can also be asked about a title in the second tetralogy: The Horn of Amaltheia. Both questions will be discussed below. It is not clear whether this, and other similar remarks that are interspersed in the list, belong to Thrasyllus or to Diogenes Laertius.


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The second tetralogy includes in addition to the already mentioned Horn of Amaltheia , a work with a double title: Of these works the one that was best known in antiquity, because either its title was explicitly mentioned it was by Seneca or because the topic of contentment was connected with Democritus, is that On Contentment. To the list of these four titles the following comment is added: The most obvious sense of this elliptical comment is that this title is not included in the catalogue, because the work was not available in the library visited by Thrasyllus himself or by the author who is his source.

One supposition made by Nietzsche, who is followed by Natorp on this point, is that the title so far not mentioned On the Disposition of the Wise Man is not the second title in the list but an alternative title to Pythagoras, with the implication that Pythagoras was taken as an example of wise man as part of an illustration of what a wise man should be like.

There is also probably some interconnection in the case of the works which constitute the second tetralogy. The second title however is followed by a curious alternative title: This situation can raise some doubts about their reliability. If it can be admitted that the title On the Nature of Man concerns man in his bodily functions see below , these other two titles are complementary to this, since they concern man in his psychic functions. This again is a sign of poor familiarity with the works themselves. Coming back to the alternative title mentioned above: If this alternative title throws light on the contents of a work entitled On the Nature of Man, one has to conclude that it concentrated on the description of the body, and thus had to be complemented by further works those indicated by the titles On the Intellect and On the Senses concerning the soul.

In fact the Hippocratic work with the same title though in the plural: The Hippocratic treatise entitled On the Nature of Man is more concerned with the main constituents of the human body i. These coincidences make one suspect that the author of the catalogue adopted titles that had some currency to designate topics he knew were dealt with by Democritus rather than having come to them on the basis of a familiarity with the corresponding Democritean works.

There is some connection between this title and the successive one: But its meaning requires a separate discussion given below, in sect. Bicknell —, and — but some of his suggestions go beyond the evidence. One cannot expect, on the other hand, that the work, which is in any case concerned with epistemology, could constitute a sort of treatise of logic, which is not likely to have existed before Aristotle.

So the title should not be taken in the later sense of the term. As to the last title in the group: It may have been placed there to preserve the tetralogical order, without much concern for its contents. Almost all of these works have titles of the type: We have testimonies for contributions by Democritus on almost all these topics see sects. In some cases certainly the contributions are so detailed that it is likely that they come from a work devoted to the topic. This is true for instance of those about which Aelian gives us information in his De natura animalium cf. I, — , for in this way, as he points out, it is possible to give it a wholly understandable mathematical sense.

They adopt this title on the supposition that Democritus took up a stance on the argument that was used by Protagoras against the objectivity of the mathematical disciplines, namely that the point of contact between a circle and a straight line does not consist, as they assume, in a single point, for this does not happen in nature for this argument cf. Aristotle, Metaphysics III, a2—4. However there is no testimony, apart from this title, that Democritus took up a stance on this issue. The two subsequent titles: For instance in the calendar attributed to Geminus for each zodiac sign there is the indication of the time that the sun takes to travel through it, e.

Various authorities are quoted as having established those connections, and Democritus is one of them. It is not clear, otherwise, to which work these contributions could belong. The likely contents of the work entitled Calendar, i. Going on in this survey, the next titles are: It was noticed by Tannery , p. The testimonies we have about his contributions to mathematics in the strict sense are only two, by Plutarch and by Archimedes cf.

As to the next title: Most of the next titles must be of works which dealt with applied mathematics, including astronomy, as follows: The Calendar, as anticipated, has nothing to do with this, for it relies on the obvious subdivisions of the solar year and is not a contribution to astronomy whether mathematical or physical in the proper sense.

On the contents of the third work it is hard to make any speculation, but perhaps it concerned the use of the waterclock to measure time in astronomy as suggested by Tannery.

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Jones, Princeton , ; the reference by Diels, followed by Heath, to the armillary sphere must be anachronistic for Democritus and in Ptolemy concerns ch. Whether Democritus already understood it this way remains uncertain. The previous assertion attributed by Clement to Democritus: On this matter see also above, sect. What Democritus says about his travels etc.

Lettre a Menecee (French Edition)

The next group consists of the so-called musical works, which in part concern questions of poetry but also, it seems, questions of grammar cf. It is true, on the other hand, that the work On Song must have also been concerned with the topic, but we should not suppose that these titles stand for books of any length. It is possible that this view was introduced in his work On Poetry. There are various passages which show his interest in Homer: Plutarch and Eustatius, cf. To which work each of these contributions belongs remains a matter of speculation, for one cannot assume they all belonged to the work On Homer.

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On this view it is certainly excluded that everything Democritus has to say on Homer can be traced back to this work, but of course he was not obliged to speak of this poet in just one work. It seems however plausible to suppose that his distinction of certain forms of discourse, such as questioning, praying, commanding, belonged to it cf. Diels was more inclined to associate this contribution to the work entitled On Words [or On Verbs], Mansfeld, in Vorsokratiker II, to the one concerning orthoepeia, intending this as concerning correctness of language, but while the former possibility cannot be excluded, the latter does not seem likely in the case of a work which also dealt with glossai and which concerned Homer.


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Prognosis, On Diet or Dietetics, Medical Cognition, Causes Concerning Appropriate and Inappropriate Occasions, all seem to have to do with medicine, though the fourth has a title which has some similarity with the titles of the works not ordered tetralogically. This however does not seem to be a reason for regarding all the testimonies which suggest he had some place in the history of ancient medicine as spurious, being testimonies which in fact regard Bolus of Mende, as Diels assumed following Wellmann e.

Some of these must go back to a work On Sympathies and Antipaties cf. Of the contents of the work [XIII. The two last works in the list, Tactics and Fighting in Armour, are probably spurious see below, sect. There are also references to Democritean works under titles that do not appear in the catalogue but about which one may ask whether these are alternative titles for works in the catalogue. For some of these titles there is also the question of what they mean. One also needs to determine the titles of works that are not authentic, but this point is not restricted to those referred to by other authors and will be discussed separately below, sect.

I give a survey of this evidence and discuss open questions following, to some extent, the order of the titles as they appear in the catalogue, but to some extent deviating from this order, so as to take into account the manner in which they are presented in our sources. The question of authenticity will be discussed below sect. The work entitled On Things in Hades is mentioned by Athenaeus in connection with the anecdote about Democritus having been put on trial by his fellow-citizens for having squandered his inheritance and having been found not guilty through the reading of two of his works, one of them being the one mentioned 42 walter leszl cf.

The work entitled On Things in Hades is mentioned by Proclus as well cf. The fact that a work with the same title is also attributed to Protagoras and Heraclides Ponticus see above, sect. Seneca on the other hand does mention it cf. De tranquillitate animi, 2. A work with this title is not mentioned in the catalogue and the question is whether it corresponds to one of the works appearing under some other title see below, sect. As we have seen, various sources attribute it to Democritus.

One can only make suppositions about the origin of this discrepancy. But if one does so, the teachings in the two works being the same, there would be space both for the supposition of some ancient authors that Democritus was the original author of both works and for the supposition resulting from this restitution that he made use of a work which is by Leucippus. These hypotheses are developed by D.

One would also expect that the distinction in question be suggested by the simple Greek word kosmos rather than diakosmos, which suggests the idea of system or of ordering , this being identical one could suggest for man and world.

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The title Little World-System is mentioned by Diogenes Laertius, in his chapter on Democritus, without any information about its contents, on the grounds that it contained some indication by Democritus himself on the date in which it was written. On Intellect or On Intelligence: There are other sources attesting that Leucippus, not considered in association with Democritus, adhered to a form of necessarism cf. It remains however surprising that a work with this title should be attributed both to Leucippus and to Democritus.

I cannot enter into the details, but it can be seen from the present article that my faith in the reliability of Thrasyllus is not great. There is thus not much ground for supposing as can be done in the case of the Great World-system that a work written by Leucippus was collocated among the works of Democritus. Should we suppose there is a mistake, or some omission, in the passage of Stobaeus, and that the quotation is of a sentence by Democritus, who certainly also adhered to a form of necessarism?

Or should we suppose that, since it is not explicitly stated that the work is by Leucippus, the quotation is of a sentence of Leucippus contained in a work by Democritus? This is not the most obvious way of taking the passage of Stobaeus such as we have it, but perhaps it is the consequence of the omission of a context from which it was clear that the work belonged to Democritus but contained quotations of Leucippus.

This indication was taken seriously by one scholar, B.

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Furthermore, it makes use of anatomical observations which sometimes belong to a successive period. There are however references to other works by Democritus in 47 This was pointed out by Smith It can be added that a reference to volumina de rerum natura by Democritus is made by Vitruvius in his De architectura book IX, praef. Sextus Empiricus, as already pointed out above, sect. On the basis of the assumption that the title [V. Mansfeld, in his collection Die Vorsokratiker II, Stuttgart , not only adopts this correction for Theophrastus, but extends it to the passage of Sextus.

The passage thus suggests that the work must have contained a discussion of questions of epistemology. Another element in favour of this conjecture will be adduced below. So far so good. What gives rise to perplexities is the explanation which follows the title: It is however surprising that Democritus should have written a work in which he submitted all the works previously written by him to a critical examination. On this point there is also a discrepancy between the testimony of the Suda and the remark by Thrasyllus, which suggests that the examination is restricted to the previously mentioned works.

But all of them or only some of them? And why only the previously mentioned and not those mentioned later in the list? Chronological criteria have no place in the catalogue. For instance Sextus, in his Outlines of Pyrrhonism I, ch. The sceptics, on the other hand, reject as groundless this attempt to make a decision. Similarly, in view of the contrast between what is grasped by the senses and what is grasped by the intellect, they admit that a decision cannot be made and suspend their judgement cf.

Probably this explanation had something to do with the expression actually used by Sextus: Thucydides III 82, 6.