Pleasure. New Research on Fragment B67 of Heraclitus of Ephesus | Wojciech Wrotkowski

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There is much to indicate that the German scholars began a real, global revolution. I have become convinced that, apart from a very few exceptions, everyone in the last century, including world-renowned academics, put their trust in them. How is this possible? I am far from repeating the words: credo, quia absurdum, but it turns out that, up to the present, Diels’ and Kranz’s proposal has never been verified by anyone. This is clearly reflected as well in LSJ. It seems, then, that Zeller, Diels and Kranz aliique permulti bear full responsibility for – ut ita dicam – the “ambiguities” that have since accumulated and piled up, layer on layer, all around B67.

I cannot connect ὀνομάζεται with <πῦρ> because of three clamant facts: (1) the absence of the relative pronoun ὅ between <πῦρ> and ὁκόταν (ut supra, passim); (2) the audacious attempt to give the phrase καθ’ ἡδονήν a sense that it never possessed; (3) the context in which fragment B67 was quoted. These are, in my opinion, real impediments to the road chosen by Zeller, Diels, Kranz, Kirk, Marcovich, Conche and countless others. I cannot circumvent them or pass them by in silence. Why was this so difficult for me, while for others it was so easy…?

Yes, I understood that, in order to somehow justify associating ὀνομάζεται with <πῦρ>, one must: (1) insert <ὅ> between <πῦρ> and ὁκόταν, and then (2) fit the word ἡδονή to <πῦρ>. But at the same time I realised that, unfortunately, the matter is not so simple, especially when one seeks at all cost to give the rather uncertain, and not the only, conjecture <πῦρ> some kind of name – whatever name, in fact – not according to someone’s pleasure, but according to the scent of those roots with which πῦρ was supposed to be mixed during sacrificial offerings. The whole enterprise is really perilous when we consider that for fire mixed with roots we have no name whatsoever attested by tradition, and that the context in which Hippolytus quoted B67 in no way indicates either the making of sacrifices or the smells associated therewith.

Wojciech Wrotkowski: Pleasure. New Research on Fragment B67 of Heraclitus of Ephesus, pp. 143-145.

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