A RESPONSE TO A. LEBEDEV'S REVIEW
(see the Russian version on the preceding blogpage)
(see the Russian version on the preceding blogpage)
NB 1. The review I am responding to exists in two versions, one of which is in Russian [RR], the other in English [ER]. They are somewhat different because of some minor and not so minor changes, additions and/or omissions. The target of the present response is of course the second version, ER. Accordingly, my English response also differs somewhat from its Russian counterpart. But these differences of mine will not be restricted to the reviews' discrepancies, they will also take into account the differences existing between the two readerships. Russian speaking readers have practically no access to my French and English papers (mainly because of the language barriers) or to my French books (because of their prices and the poor financing of the CIS libraries). On the other hand they can read my not so numerous Russian papers and the book under examination. The English speaking readers are more lucky: they have easy access to most of my writings in English and French. But the Russian part of my scholarly production, including the book under consideration, remains for them a terra almost completely incognita. This imbalance is what I shall try to compensate by giving additional explanations, omitting what a majority already knows and linking the reader to downloadable electronic copies of my most obsolete or important papers.
NB 2. The present paper obviously presupposes that its reader has had access to the review of my Russian book Heraclitus of Ephesus. His Full Heritage (HE) which Andrey Lebedev (AL) wrote and recently (April 2013) posted on the Net. The reader who hasn't had this access will find here the original of its English version (ER) and here its Russian original (RR). A full bibliography of the reviewer can be found here in English and here in Russian. My own bibliography is available here (full chronological) and here (Heraclitean thematical). Many other links will help the reader to access most of the relevant documentation. If he/she misses something, she may send me an email and I will be happy to dispatch her/him whatever she may need. I have narrated and documented on my Russian blog the story of what is now known on the Russian web as the «Scandal around Heraclitus». But it is my duty to inform of it the English speaking readers who do not read Russian.
In short when invited by me to the presentation of HE in Moscow at the Russian State Humanitarian University AL replied by an email containing a rude and injurious Open letter adressed to me but sent to all the persons I had invited. One of them, Leonid Zhmud', found it possible to re-post it on his son's LiveJournal site. This is how the scandal broke ca. December 10, 2012. I was not in Russia and learned about it in January 2013. Hence the creation of the blog I just mentioned, the posting there of My Response To Lebedev (in Russian) and later on, in April, after he had asked the bloggers who had downloaded copies of his Open letter to wipe it out and they had obeyed, I added the full text of it as an Annex of the same blog page. For those who understand Russian slang, it is a very entertaining reading, and for me a shield against further verbal agressions.
I am very sorry indeed for having had to repeat all this. I have no intention to poke the scandal. And since AL has now opted for a more civilized controversy style, I am willing to respond to him. But I had to write this preamble for those who may be shocked or misled by the still very agressive tone of his present utterances. Le style, c'est l'homme. Because the more civilized and diplomatic tone adopted by AL in this review did not prevent him from distorting the truth, having recourse to cutting remarks and even attempting (to put it as mildly as possible) to propagate disinformation and libellous allusions about my background and political stand in the 1980s, a subject which has nothing to do with scientific research and a lot with defamation (note 12).
It goes without saying that below I shall feel concerned only by fair, rational and demonstrative arguments and will dismiss both the slanderous and the purely declarative allegations.
1. My first subject will be the credentials AL can produce in support of his right to set himself up qua my judge. I do not question his freedom of thought and expression and do not have in mind his academic position and scientific titles and degrees whether in Russia or in Greece (see his page on the site of the Moscow Institute of Philosophy). My sole criterion is his scholarly production.
Even if one admits that AL is right in everything he alleges (that this is not the case will be clear from the following), he cannot deny one achievement of mine. I forced him — him who had not written a single line on Heraclitus (H) since 1990 (if one excepts one and the same entry with variations and amplifications repeated four times, in 1989, 2000, 2006 and 2008, in Russian encyclopaediae) — I forced him to take a pen and willy-nilly inform the reader about some of his stands on H.
I have no objection against his not writing. Each of us writes if and when he needs it and if circumstances permit. The worst I could say is that despite his undeniable philological competence this fact denotes some sort of professional sterility. Not a fault but a misfortune.
But AL specializes not only in H. His field of interests is larger: the Presocratics, Aristotle, Ancient ethics, Doxography (see his page). And while the number of papers he devoted to these subjects is still modest, he has one big achievement to his credit: his translation in Russian of the Presocratics (The Fragments of the Early Greek Philosophers). Its Part I appeared in 1989 and consisted of 89 chapters, from Homer to the Hippocratic school, many of them based on Diels-Kranz (ch. 1 to 66), some on more recent editions (Marcovich for Heraclitus, Bollack and Zuntz for Empedocles, those by Reale, Lanza and others published in La Nuova Italia Editrice etc.) and 21 added by himself (early cosmogonists, early astronomic poetry, archaic prophets and thaumaturgoi, Theano, Telauges and the Hippocratics). Yet, strangely enough, its Part II (which was supposed to contain the Atomists and the Sophists) is not even forthcoming in 2013!
Again I should have nothing to object against this (see my penult paragraph) were there not the sad fact that the he had amended the original text (the whole Greek text) before translating it into Russian and that his numerous interventions in it (he speaks of «tens of such cases») are nowhere recorded for us to see them and cannot even be distinguished from the rest. On p. 572, in a Translator' Note, he told the reader that «[a]ll the necessary explanations of the adopted text and translation will be given in volume two which... will contain a textological commentary to the whole corpus». Where are these explanations? The readers are still waiting for them and for the promised commentary. When Karl Popper quotes H' fr. B 124 according to DK and his Russian translator uses AL's «standard» translation, the Russian reader is told that, according to Popper, this fragment said “The most beautiful cosmos is like a lump casted at random”. This is an unacceptable situation 24 years after the promise was made. (I raised the problem in HE on p. 258-9 with note 16 and this is probably one of the reasons of AL's indignation; see his angry reaction on p. 19 of the Russian review (RR) [omitted in the English version, ER].)
These regrettable facts are already eloquent. (Incidentally, this review is the sole one he ever wrote.)
2. Writing a review implies having a good knowledge of the content of the book under review and, when this content is the gist of 45 years of researches published in ca. 80 papers (in peer-to-peer journals or collective works) and 12 books, it presupposes a certain familiarity with the most important writings and a clear vision of the essential content of the whole. AL has neither. Even his knowledge of the very book he reviews is partial and superficial.
In his injurious open letter of December 1, 2012 he wrote: “I haven't touched your writings (neither the old ones, nor the new ones) at least for 25 years, I didn't even take hold of them, nor did I open them...” This is absolutely true, and not only for the day when it was written. Four-five months have elapsed [I wrote the Russian original of this para on May 1st] but the situation remains just the same. AL is still unaware of 99 % of my publications and has long ago forgotten the content of what he did read in Russian or English before 1990 (he never cared to master my chief language: French).
Не never saw the dissertation he mentions in note 2 (its print run consisted of 15 xeroxed copies) and has only glanced through the recent paper and the bibliography (read on the screen and probably not even downloaded from the site of academia.edu) (n. 1 and 3). He did not open any of the ca. 15 papers which were accessible on the same site [their number is now 21].
How can a reviewer, who has not written anything for 25 years on H., who is totally ignorant of all I have published on him after 1990 and who has forgotten or never read most of what I wrote during the 20 preceding years, can correctly appreciate a book which is nothing but the bare result of all these works?
3. Here are a few general remarks about the things that AL still ignores about the book he reviewed.
3.1 “The book under review is an abridged one-volume edition of the many-volume series that is being published <in French> since 1999...” (p. 1 of ER p. 2 of RR: the bracketed words are omitted in ER).
Not of a series, but of a single edition, the structure of which I describe with sufficient details (HE p. 11-12, 218-219, 271).
Not an abridged version, but a full collection of texts excerpted from this edition. Only of texts — “without apparatuses, without... the sources and without any discussion of the special philological and philosophical issues at stake (Whoever is interested by them will find the answers to his queries in the big French edition)” (HE p. 12).
AL has still no idea of the structure of my Russian HE and of my French Heraclitea, he hasn't yet understood what they are about but never attempted to find out answers to any queries, preferring to invent his own prefabricated replies to personal irrelevant interrogations. He did not read any of my French books or articles. Confronting my texts with his own replies, he discovered though that in many places they do not fit together. And decided they should be condemned outright, since, as everybody knows — himself better than anybody —, AL is never wrong.
3.2 I omit the description of the Heraclitea. The reader will find it here. Suffice it to say that whenever I shall refer to their 11 volumes, I will merely indicate their respective numbers [i. e. II.A.1-4 (four books), III.1, III.2, III.3.A, III.3.B/i-iii (three books) and IV.A], and the pages concerned.
3.3 But I shall dwell more lengthily on the description of HE. As said it is a complete collection of texts excerpted from the Heraclitea, i.e. falls naturally into the following sections: Mеmoria (= III.1), Placita (= III.2), Fragmenta (= III.3.B/i-iii), and Refectio (IV.A). I did not include Traditio (= II.A.1-4) for obvious reasons: it would have required twice as much space as all the rest and added a lot of material irrelevant to H.’s heritage. But I added to Memoria a galery of (reliable) portraits of H. and the ten (unreliable) Pseudo-Heraclitean letters. All this is preceded by an Introduction and followed by (a) short notes to the texts, (b) annexes (a paper on former translations into Russian, another on methodology, a bibliography and 73 pages of indexes).
That this structure, based as it is on that of the Heraclitea, totally escaped to AL's attention is easy to deduce from his note 4 (p. 1) and from his page 2: had he seen the Traditio volumes, he would have noticed that their texts are numerated from T 1 to T 1290 (i.e. consist of approximately 1300 items) and guessed that 1230 is a typo. He would have also understood that “one click” in TLG does not produce any database which would include translations, apparatuses with information on the manuscripts, variae lectiones, modern conjectures, references to other relevant texts and editions, etc., such as are to be found in the four Traditio volumes.
3.4. Five important points (also missed by AL) should be born in mind by anybody using my Russian book.
First point. The book is intended for two polar categories of Russian readers: (1) for the rank-and-file non specialist who appreciates most getting access to ancient texts, that had not been available to him before, related to a famous and mysterious philosopher (such a reader only needs the translations and the notes); (2) for the philologists and philosophers professionally interested in H. who need a lot more (the Greek originals, the references to the sources and to the main relevant literature, the indexes and the bibliography, as well as indications about where to find what the book lacks).
Second point. The inclusion of a given text into a particular section was dictated (both in the Heraclitea and in HE) by formal factors (the main ones being: indubitable attribution to H. by the source author; its “genre” — quotation, paraphrase, or mere doxography; its thematic relevance — bio- and bibliographic information or information pertaining to the doctrine). Its accuracy, literality and authenticity were gauged separately for every item taking into account the whole array of appropriate criteria.
This entails the following: The inclusion of any text in the collection did not imply any a priori recognition either of its authenticity, or of its absolute accuracy and documentary value. It only attested its right to be included in this or that section it fitted into qua a possibly true or more or less reliable element of the lost whole — H.’ book. Any other approach would have deprived the reader of a part of H.’ heritage and imposed on him one of the current innumerable and often contradictory interpretations.
Third point. AL is never tired to accuse me of erroneously ascribing this or that absurdity to H. Please, dear reader, pay heed once and for all to this: I attribute nothing to H. I only collect and analyze, study and confront ancient sources about him, come to some conclusions concerning their accuracy and reliability and inform the reader of my findings. But I do not exclude even the most unreliable element of information, leaving to the reader the liberty of thinking otherwise. Even fr. B 1 DK (= F 1 Mouraviev) is not a hundred percent authentic and even B 139 (= F 139) contains grains of precious knowledge about H. Whoever chops off whatever he dislikes cuts the bough on which he is sitting.
Fourth point. Analyzing potential elements of a reconstruction (be it of the lost doctrine or of the lost book: any interpretation is inevitably part of a reconstruction, otherwise it would be just brain's labour lost) often required the simultaneous inclusion of the same text into more than one section or subsection in view of its various facets. Thus, the text in Diog. L. IX, 5 quoted by AL (p. 2), displays three such facets: as a whole (M 34a, missed by AL) it attests that H.’ book was divided into three logoi; but different parts of he same text also testify that his main subject was “about nature” (D 1) and that it also examined three other subjects (D 4). Moreover, it supported the hypothesis that the reconstruction of the book should somehow fit into this scheme, whether we attribute it to H. himself or to some later commentator or librarian (see before items 1, 51, 104 and 151 with notes).
The whole reconstruction as such is also in a sense a full scale repetition of all the supposedly authentic fragments plus whatever testimonia are needed to fill the gaps, but its purport is not to display again the same elements. It is to restore the lost whole — to the best of our ability, despite our losses.
Fifth point. All the sections but one (Fragmenta) are meant to be read in context, in a row, in the very order in which they are printed. This is especially true of Refectio, but is also sometimes a prerequisite to understanding correctly the Memoria and Placita sections.
4. Let us now turn to some concrete rebuttals which AL has favoured me with.
4.1 “We will concentrate our attention on analyzing the two main sections: the doxography and the fragments" (translated from RR p. 3, omitted in RE)...
...This will allow “us” not to read the Memoria section and the Epistolae (with their respective notes) and to present the Refectio section of “our” marasmatic editor as a mere aberration, as “a second edition of the fragments by the same author and under the same cover” (RE p. 6). In other words to call 'fragment' (= literal quotation) every element of the reconstruction, a very cunning practice abundantly exemplified in AL's review.
4.2 AL begins with the Placita (he calls them doxography, a somewhat too narrow denomination).
4.2.1 The fragmentation and recurrence of the placita (ER p. 2-3).
I have already explained the recurrence of the same texts in different sections or subsections (§ 3.4 second point). And given one example of both their recurrence and fragmentation (ibid. fourth point). But there is more to be said.
Unless it has only one source, an opinion is not by definition the original text of any of the various sources that express it. An opinion is not a text, it is a content, the meaning of one or many different texts which “say” approximately the same. It is thus a generalization and often (when the number of sources and their different wordings require it) a combination of different such generalizations separated by double strokes (||). The translation is used as a heading for the opinion; the Greek text is adapted so as to exclude oratio obliqua, references to H. and anything superfluous. AL may call this editing the originals and distorting their documentary value (p. 3). But in fact the originals are mentionned just below in the Russian book and quoted in extenso in the big French edition — not only in the Placita volume but also, with relevant context, translation, and three apparatuses, in the Traditio volumes. I have indicated above why the 1300 texts of these volumes and excerpts from them could not have been reproduced in the Russian book. But the references are there for any serious researcher to find the originals (see § 3.4 first point about the readerships targetted by HE). For more details see HE p. 226-227 (not read by AL).
4.2.2 About concrete placita (p. 3-6).
I omit my response concerning the translation of D 1 and D 4, since AL has excluded this remark from ER. See above, § 3.4, fourth point (and RR p. 6)
Concerning D 11, D 168, D 222, D 223, D 224, D 237 (p. 3-4) the reviewer is basically right; see below.
D 12 and D 13. If Dox. I, 3, 11 had been our sole source, these two opinions could have been quoted together as one whole. But this doxographic information is the only one of the numerous sources of D 12 displaying the clause D 13 “and the end” (p. 3; see above § 4.2.1 about fragmentation and § 3.4, fifth point, about reading in a row).
4.2.3 About erroneously included “authentic fragments or non-doxographical paraphrases” (p. 4-5). [In RR he speaks more frankly of “fragment paraphrases” (p. 5)]
For the reason of their presence in the Placita, see above § 3.4, fourth point. But I am also glad to notice that AL agrees with me that F 63A, F 3D, F 107D, F 12 with context, F 91ab deserve indeed to be called fragments despite the scepticism of a majority of scholars. What is strange is that instead of congratulating me for this in his discussion of the fragments (p. 6-16), he prefers to scold me for having also included them in the Placita. How can he negate to others a practice of which he himself is occasionally an adept?
4.2.4 Unnecessary repetitions again (p. 5).
See first of all § 3.4, fourth point and § 4.2.1. Then read this.
The repetitions in the Placita section are due to the thematic arrangement of the material: D 100 concerns the soul as made of light, D 133 the stars as souls of the dead; D 107 the soul in the macro- and microcosm, D 150 the body as microcosm; D 144 taste, D 166 the unity of the bitter and the sweet; D 49 the way harmony works, D 212 the relation between heimarmenê and harmony.
4.2.5 The list of “wrong” attributions of placita to H. (p. 5).
I have four objections against the whole of it.
Objection 1. All these attributions belong to the authors of the placita. See § 3.4, second point.
Objection 2. AL included 9 placita I published between asterisks * * (D 23, D 71, D 93, D 103, D 137, D 138, D 139, D 151, D 236) which I use to mark erroneous attributions (see HE p. 226). He also included 19 placita about which I expressed doubts in the notes or commentary of vol. III.2 which he never opened (D 39, DE 66, D 71, D 79, D 101, D 102, D 103, D 116, D 118, D 120, D 127, D 128, D 130, D 138, D 151, D 148, D 151, D 155). Incidentally D 148 has undergone the “required analysis” in III.2 p. 177-179 and IV.A p. 89-93. And please read the introduction to the notes and the notes themselves in HE p. 226-227. AL obviously did not.
Objection 3. All the placita from D 177 to D 241 belong to the chapter “Dubious and Uncertain” including the Supplement (p. 141-154) which shows the historical evolution of all the chief formulae used to express the so-called universal flux theory (F 3A, F 3B, F 12, F 49A, F 81B, F 91a and 91b; D 1, D 7, D 8, D 46 and D 157).
Objection 4. AL sometimes take his own disagreement with opinions attributed to H. for a sufficient reason to discard them (D 79, D 82, D 88, D 102, D 103, D 116 etc.).
Thus in a majority of cases AL either beats dead horses, or displays his own mediocre familiarity with the literature he should know, or takes his own (unpublished) views as the ultimate findings of science. And has permanently recourse to stretching.
4.2.6 Grammatical mistakes in the translation (ER p. 5-6; RR p. 6).
In some cases AL may be right, see below. Still a couple of remarks will not be superfluous. In D 140 (not D 40) the source uses an active form (which I myself turned into a passive one, not a middle): Aristotle has nothing to do with it. D 77: indeed, the word подвыпуклый (undercurved, meaning concave [not convex]) does not exist in Russian (or in English), neither does ὑπόκυρτος exist in Greek. It is an unsuccessful Heraclitean neologism. D 40 – D 43: the way AL distributes the various shades of meaning of the Russian words жребий, судьба and рок between their various Greek “patients” (cosmic forces or individuals) reflects only his personal usage.
4.2.7 The “unnecessary or unacceptable emendations” of the Greek (p. 6) are not emendations of the sources but mere adjustments of the generalized placita I made as described in § 4.2.1.
5. We now pass to the “fragments”. I shall skip until later the discussion of the “titles” and of the inceps of the reconstructed book (p. 7-8) which do not belong here.
5.1 A groundless refutation is made easier by distorting its target. As already said (§ 4.1), AL did not pass from Placita to Fragmenta but jumped directly to Refectio, pretending that he does not know the difference (p. 7-8). What difference?
Fragmenta precedes Refectio and consists of the sole fragments arranged in the same order (or rather disorder) as in DK. Refectio comes last and combines in a single whole, striving to restore the lost treaty, not only all the acceptable fragments but also non-fragments: the placita filling some of the gaps left by the totally missing parts of the book, as well as (in italics between angular brackets) the additions invented by the restorer in his attempts to excogitate the putty needed to seal the remainder. Not to speak of his (my) short explanatory insertions again in angular brackets (HE p. 235). To call them all “fragments” is either a shameless distortion or a premonitory sign of growing mental debility. Judging by the cunning use AL makes of this (feigned?) confusion, the former is much more probable.
Anyway he doesn't shun from calling these non-fragments "pseudo-fragments" or “fictitious” fragments and from listing them as forgeries.
What I just wrote applies to the whole passage from the middle of page 8 to the middle of page 9: all the 47 texts of Refectio mentioned there as fragments and 55 texts of the 65 items mentioned next (p. 9) are non-fragments presented as fragments and denounced as forged fragments. I shall not return to this sham.
5.2 Next comes another list, this time of the 22 fragments from Fragmenta, that the reviewer hasn't found in the reconstruction (p. 9 with n. 5). No wonder: all of them are mentioned in the notes to this section as almost certainly or certainly spurious. Spurious fragments have nothing to do in a reconstructed book. But they deserve a place in Fragmenta for whomever will need them. Even if erroneous or false, they are ancient documents somehow related to H.
This said, you can appreciate the intrinsic value of the arithmetics on pages 9-10.
5.3 At last AL brings something more amenable not to reason but at least to reasoning: the real fragments “with unnecessary or impossible emendations" (p. 10-18). He found them again in Refectio and arranged them accordingly, but most of them do not differ basically from their twin brothers of Fragmenta and none is discussed in contextu. As usual, AL is completely ignorant of my edition of the fragments in vol. III.3.B/i-iii with, in the text-critical apparatus, the fullest ever collection of necessary or unnecessary, possible or impossible emendations suggested by professional philologists between 1808 and 2006 and, in Book iii, detailed notes explaining my own readings. The following reactions (§ 5.3.2) are arranged in the order of this edition (= DK + additions) with, after the fragment number, that of the reconstruction item and the ER page on which my reading is discussed.
5.3.1 Concerning every single fragment I would advise the reader to study first the relevant notes in:
• 1) the Russian book (HE p. 229-234) and
• 2) vol. III.3.B/iii (2006) p. 2-158 of the French edition,
as well as
• 3) the semantic and stylistic notes to Refectio in HE (p. 238-255)
and the apparatus on H.’ language and poetics in Book ii of vol. III.3.B.
I would also recommend her/him to have a look into
• 4) the editions themselves (of the sources: II.A.1-4; and of the fragments: III.3.B/i).
Because the reviewer hasn't read any of these works and bases all his judgements on his own very narrow and distorted perception of the motives and aims of each of my “deteriorations“.
5.3.2 Some of the following remarks are linked to sites where anybody can read or download my relevant papers. For a full bibliography, just click here. I use “SM + the bibliography's number + the year” for abbreviated references.
• F 2/101 (p. 14) – gratuitous and unjustified.
• F 3-94/4 (p. 10) – unjustified. AL knows in advance what H. “meant” and emends accordingly. This is a petitio principii. My purpose is to establish what H. could have said. AL did not notice that my fragment does coincide exactly neither with the reconstructed item nor with the Derveni papyrus version. It is a conflation of all three main sources (HE p. 156a ad fr.) and does not claim any absolute correctness. Incidentally it displays not only εὔρους but also οὔρους.
• F 10/111 (p. 14) – peremptory. AL is not aware that συν- is attested by a majority of Aristotle's mss., that συλλάψιες would be a hapax and that a verbal form (with the contextual subject ἁρμονία, cf. consensu in Apul.) is attested by most mss. and by Stob. and required by the context. Again the ms. tradition (over 20 mss. by Aristotle, 2 by Stob., 2 by Apul., see full repertory in II.A.2 under Τ 383 and cf. T 523), not to speak of early editions and modern conjectures, precludes any certainty.
• F 11/153 (p. 15) – inexact. The “superfluous word”, which consisted, in old-Ionian script, of the single letter O, has been preserved by Apuleius, and Diels already suggested keeping it.
• F 15/151 (p. 15) – SM 16 (1976-77) 42-49. The interpretation of ὅτεωι as a dativus agentis and not as dativus commodi is apparently an innovation of AL.
• F 16A/75 (p. 13) – SM 49 & 56 (1983, 1984) I 17-36, II 279.
• F 19/12 (p. 10-11) – Wrong. There is no direct address here (presupposing the second person). There is rather a “form of calling names a third party” (in the third person). So no ὦ is required.
• F 20/31 (p. 12) – Wrong: see III.3.B/i, app. I (ἐπει†δὰν φησὶ γενόμενοι Clem.). Cf. Democr. 68 B 199, 201 (δηναιότητος), 203, 205, 206 DK = 584, 796, 797 Luria.
• F 23/2 (p. 10) – SM 7 (1973) 114-117. The reading ἄνομοι ἔδησαν (contraction already in Homer: Il. xviii 100) is confirmed by the two quotations which flank ours in Clement: “the law is not made for the righteous man, <but for the lawless>” (I Tim. I, 9) and “The law wouldn't have appeared for the righteous” (Socrates). Cf. “The lawless would not have stood in need of Justice...”
• F 26/98 (p. 14) – SM 7 (1973) 122-127, SM 64 (1985), SM 197 (2013) 205-206. If AL remains deaf both to the poetic structure (strict double parallelism) and to the philosophical sense (by night man is in contact only with the dead and the sleeping in himself) of this jewel, I can only feel sorry for him.
• F 29/53 (p. 13) – Why not the opposite: Clement quotes only Heraclitus to whom Demosthenes is also indebted? Who otherwise is the author of καὶ αἰδόιοις that are not to be found in Demosthenes?
• F 31b/162 (p. 75) – SM 17 (1977) 1-9.
• F 34/11 (p. 10) – unjustified. See above s. • F 19.
• F 35/47 (p. 13) – untrue: see the fragment, not the reconstrction item.
• F 41/9 (p. 10) – The form ὁτέηι (Deichgräber) is indeed impossible. The accent must stand on the first syllable, like in ὅτεωι. The form ὅτεηι is not attested, but possible: cf. ὁτέηισιν in Herodotus II, 66, 17 (mss. T and M). More on this in III.3.B/iii on p. 50-51, § 5-7.
• F 44/55 (p. 13) – I cannot warrant that my conjecture is right. But γινομένου needs to be corrected and the particle γε suppresses the tautology: τοῦ γε νομίμου = the truly legitimate (i. e. traditional, admitted by all) and no other (“this and nothing else” Denniston 119). I wonder what AL can propose instead.
• F 50/8 (p. 11) – AL's could put his irony to better use. See SM 113A (1991) 101-109, SM 118 (1992) 4391-4394, IV.A (2011) 49-50 (with literature).
• F 53/26 (p. 12) – 1) The insertion is warranted... by the context of the reconstruction. It is absent in Fragmenta (p. 166). 2) γάρ applies to the whole fragment, both μήν... δέ each to its own clause. One does not need to consult Denniston to understand that this is not a combination, but at best a rather elastic collocation.
• F 57/39 (p. 12) – AL forgot to mention a third εὐφροσύνη (F 26), the others being F 57 and F 67; and cf. F 99. His impressive lecture (ad • F 99/41) on how often Christian scribes confused with it εὐφρόνη “night” lacks only one small detail: at least one example not connected with H. of such a confusion. In forty years I have neither met with nor heard about any. How are we to explain the presence in H. of three εὐφροσύνη (the reading in F 67 is obviously a corruption of the former, not of the latter) against one εὐφρόνη to express the concept of “night”? This is especially strange knowing that there is at least one non Heraclitean example (which I owe to the late Hans Diller) of the opposite situation: see Orphei Hymni 3, 5 (p. 4 Quandt) and SM 7 (1973) 123-124 n. 20.
• F 58/123 (p. 14) – They do indeed contradict ἐπαιτιῶνται but not οὐκ... ἐπαιτιῶνται.
• F 64-65 (p. 15) – What we have here is a typical sophism à la AL. Could he tell us which of his two basic meanings of καλέω he attributes to the uses reflected in LSJ I.4 summon or I.6 call forth? They seem to belong neither to “call”, nor to “produce”. But whatever the answer, it makes no difference to me since both are suitable. Concerning the correction it consisted in finding wherefrom the erroneous sigma of καλεῖς could have been misplaced. The obvious answer was: from αὐτὸ.
• F 67/107 (p. 0) – Omitted in ER. See above s. • F 57.
• F 72/13 (p. 11) – The re-ionization and the “abnormal change” belong to renown predecessors: Colli, Bywater and Schuster.
• F 73-74/16 (p. 11) – Whether conflation of B 72 and D 73 there is or there isn't remains open to debate. The latter view is motivated by two factors: the parallelism of both phrases despite the parentheses (cf. the anaphora οὐ δεῖ ὥσπερ... οὐδ[εῖ] ὡς) and the resulting semantic continuity. On the other hand the addition of ὑλακτεῖν seems inescapable. To understand it it is necessary to open Marcovich's edition or Lebedev's translation on frr. 89(c2) and (c3) and reread both keeping in mind that these texts are those thanks to which Headlam solved the problem of the reading of τοκέων ὧν in Marcus, and then go to fr. 22(b2) and (b3). If this is not enough to understand “how can children bark”, read my commentary in III.3.B/iii on p. 83.
• F 77a / 83 (p. 0) – Omitted in RE (in RR: “arbitrary addition of δέ”). Concerns only the restoration of the book. No comment.
• F 80/24 (p. 12) – The “generally accepted εἰδέναι and ἔριν” are banalizing emendations by Schleiermacher (1808). Celsus ap. Origen has εἰδὲ and ἐρεῖν. The mythical love-story between Polemos-Ares and Dike-Aphrodite is totally Heraclitean in that it illustrates the cosmic “struggle of opposites” by recalling the famous episode of Harmonia's conception. H. uses here the language of mythology to convey an important philosopheme of his.
• F 81A/1 (p. 7-8) – See below § 6.3.1.
• F 84b/129 (p. 14) – See SM 159 (2002 ) 41-45 about how Marcovich confirmed de facto my emendation. About the problems posed by the reading of Plotinus’ autographs see Porphyry, Vita Plotini 8.
• F 99/41 (p. 12-13) – See above ad • F 57.
• F 101/74 (p. 13) – I disagree. Cf. the testimonia on H.’s autodidaxy (M15a-g: seven texts).
• F 114/105 (p. 14) – I approve of Mourelaros' interpretation of τρέφονται [mentioned only in RR]. Whereas πολύ is another “generally accepted" banalizing emendation by Schleiermacher. H. speaks to his fellow-citizens, not to all the Hellenes.
• F 120/44 (p. 13) – Thanks to AL for retelling an old paper of his. The reading κόρος still awaits publication. It should be born in mind that οὖρος is an Attic posteuclidian (after 403) transcription of Old-Ionian ΟΡΟΣ, which allows a number of other readings. And κόρος was written QΟΡΟΣ.
• F 124/21 (p. 11) – The reading I propose is not definitive.
• F 125/135 (p. 14-15) – See SM 135 (1996) 34-43. My reading without μὴ was accepted by Robert Sharples in his edition of the De vertigine (2003, p. 192-193, 222-228). κυκώμενος was first proposed by Evangelos Roussos (fr. 31) in 1987 for κινούμενος. *Kυκεόμενος / *κυκεύμενος would be the regular Ionian uncontracted form of κυκώμενος restored by analogy with such Heraclitean verbs as ἐρεῖν (= ἐρᾶιν), όρέομεν (= ὁρῶμεν), προτιμέω (= προτιμῶ), χρεώμενα (= χρῶμενα). Maybe this was linguistically too risky. Anyway, as far as the meaning is concerned, Roussos’ emendation seems sound and would enhance the paradox (even the mixture desintegrates while mixed).
• F 125A/54 (p. 0) – [Omitted in ER. AL rejects this fragment as spurious.] For once AL disagrees with the opinio communis while I accept this fragment as not only genuine but also highly important.
• F 129/46 (p. 13) – The inserted article is required by the rhythm and the addition is warranted by F 39/51.
• F 136/35 (p. 12) — Though metrical incrustations are frequent in Heraclitus (III.3.A 253-264), H. did not write in verse, but in rhythmical syllabotonic prose and was not bound to stick to metric (quantitative) patterns.
6. This section is devoted to three important elements that concern the reconstruction as such: a false allegation about its layout; a discussion of the “alleged title” given to the book; and the refutation of F 81A, the incipit I proposed for the book.
6.1 The reviewer wrote this on p. 6 of ER (this passage has no counterpart in RR): “In the ‘Reconstruction’ some thematic headings are added not only to the translation (that would be fine), but to the Greek text as well, i.е. they are first composed by the author in Russian and then translated into Greek and printed together with the Greek text of the fragments somehow pretending to be a part of the lost original of Heraclitus's book.”
This is open slander. There are such headings indeed in the Russian translation en regard of the Greek text. They are replaced by blank spaces on the opposite page with the Greek text. AL is trying to make the reader believe that the complements inserted in the text in angular brackets and, sometimes, printed in italics are also titles. This is not so.
Had he read p. 235, he would have learned that: “Are taken into angular brackets < > ... complements restoring the content of lacunae (gaps of the text) or, in the translation, specifying the sense of the gaps due to ellipses in the syntaxis of the original, and also, but printed in italics, conventional insertions outlining the nature of conjectural links between neighbouring fragments”. These imply translation but the latter could have been either way: into Russian or from Russian.
The slander is followed by a false allegation.
6.2 The “alleged title" (p. 7) consists in fact of two titles (Muses or About nature) and belongs, just as the headings and subtitles, to the reconstructer. AL should have learned on p. 222, in the note to M 31 – M 33, that probably none of them, including the motto by Diodotus, was genuine. The note goes on to explain their possible origin. And ends with a reference to the fourth “title” which is not a title at all, as we shall see in the next paragraph.
So, again, AL is beating a dead horse or battling against windmills. The central paragraph of his p. 7 is correct, but pointless, without any justification whatsoever.
6.3 Conversely, his arguments against the new incipit (p. 7-8) are absolutely to the point, but negativistic throughout. They consist in negating
(1) the trustworthiness of the attribution (of what? to whom? AL does not specify). But, what philological hypothesis is totally certain? I would gauge this attribution to H. of the original of this late title at ca. 60 % trustworthy;
(2) the possibility of such an incipit (Aristotle and Sextus attest to another one. But, first, is Sextus an independent witness? And, second, AL ignores all the objections that have been raised against F 1 as being the absolute beginning of the book.)
(3) the possibility of such a text and translation (I myself am not fully satisfied with them: see my two question marks. But this is insufficient to dismiss all the rest.)
6.3.1. I outline now the positive part of the story.
AL has forgotten the content of my 1970 article he refers to — with a wrong pagination ("p. 113 ff.": the true one is 135-158; the passage he speaks of is on p. 141-148). He forgot as well to read note 1 on p. 238 of my Russian book. The main arguments for seing an incipit in this "title" (not to speak of those required by F 1 qua the traditional incipit) are:
•(a) Its function as "title" (cf. e. g. the incipites used as titles of Hippocratic treatises).
•(b) Its Heraklitstil noted already in Diels-Kranz.
•(c) Its source: an obvious hellenistic library pinax (cf. T 231 [II.A.1, ch. 27]; SM 85 (1987) p. 18, SM 140  p. 40).
This admitted, one had to admit as well:
•(d) The senselessness of all the mss. readings, be it those of DL or of the Suda, and the inadequacy of all the 15 modern readings suggested for this "late ethical title" [full list in II.A.2, ch. 116, p. 705].
•(e) The particular difficulties of the reading γνώμη ἠθῶν as attributed either to H. or to some late commentator of his, either in view of the lack in the former's fragments and opinions of any real concern about human behaviour as such (excluding cognition and some mysterial religious practices) or because of the later change of meaning of the first word (from "item of knowledge" to "mere opinion". [SM 6 (1973) 69-79: from B.I and C.I to D.I]
Hence the hypothesis of a true inceps with a mistakingly atticized "Ionian" ἠθέων from an original η (?) θεῶν. [For all this, besides the above, see: T 251,7, T 705,115, T 1119 (in II.A.1, II.A.2, II.A.4).]
•(f) Γνώμη with an objective genitive in late archaic Greek is almost synonymous with γνῶσις. Hence γνώμη... θεῶν, ...κόσμου ἑνὸς τῶν ξυμπάντων "Knowledge of gods... of the one and only arrangement of the world"
•(g) Such a reading displays a resonance with another probable incipit: Xenophanes 21 B 34: ...τὸ μὲν οὖν σαφὲς οὔτις... εἰδὼς ἀμφὶ θεῶν τε καὶ... περὶ πάντων.
•(h) Still θεῶν τρόπ- (with vv. ll.) poses problems and suggests phonetically (in view of the so called error of silent self-dictation ignoring both voicing and aspiration) the corruption of θεῶν <κἀν>θρώπων into θεῶν τρόπον (uel sim.)
•(i) Hence the second emendation <καὶ ἀν>θρώπων> suggested (in SM 114 ) and supported by such parallel definitions of philosophy as Dox. (ps.-Plut.) I, 2 θείων καὶ ἀνθρωπίνων ἐπιστήμη; Cic. De off. II, 2, 5 rerum diuinarum et humanarum... scientia. [Additional references: F 81A (III.3.B/i), notes to it (III.3.B/iii), SM 85 (1987) 18, SM 140 (1997) 40, IV.A (2011) 45 and n. 20.]
This said, I do not consider such a reading as a 100 % certainty. The interpretation of η and the interrogative syntax remain conjectural. But it solves the riddle of the alleged title and opens new prospects for the reconstruction.
7. At the end of his review, AL suddenly realized he had not looked through the Memoria section, did so, stumbled against M 23a = DK A 9 and discovered new grain to ground. I would have distorted an important antecdote about H. (p. 16-17).
Both AL and the reader are advised to consult SM 66+78 (1985, 1986) 129-130 + 440, 400-401 including my polemic with another defender of Louis's more civilized interpretation, Denis Knœpfler. AL did not notice that the next text (M 23b = T 1138), due to Michael of Ephesus, indirectly confirms my interpretation by twice repeating the word καθήμενος (the transmitted text of Aristlotle is completely silent about H.‘ seated position) and defining ἰπνός as “something ressembling to (οἷον) the cabin where one bakes bread”.
As to θρώμενος, cf. first of all the Hippocratic θρᾶνος close stool (Galen XIX, 104 Kühn), then words like θρῆνυς stool, θρόνος throne... Rare as could have been the verb θράομαι, Aristotle couldn't have ignored and misunderstood it. (Incidentally the poet Philetas was his contemporary).
But the main argument pro my emendation is Aristotle's context: is heating oneself at a stove a disgusting action comparable to the disgust experienced by neophyte zoologists vivisecting serpents, frogs and toads?
The most inacceptable part of AL's criticism of my interpretation is the way he appeals to the resulting sense which “trivializes the meaning of the parable and destroys its philosophical meaning... the connection with Heraclitus' philosophy of fire and pantheism is lost.” (p. 16). This is typical example of putting the cart before the horse: the goal of philology is to understand the text for what it is, not to impose on it one's own prejudices even at the cost of ignoring the ensuing contradictions. As a matter of fact, the real pantheistic meaning is even enhanced: there are gods even in shit! The question is only to check whether this exclamation belongs to H. or is a parody coming from some witty writer of comedies (cf. the stories about H.’ death and F 96)
8. I skip what in my Russian response I called the "petty chicaneries" of AL (namely about: the commentary AN hasn't consulted [p. 18-19]; the paper on previous Russian translations where he defends his translating amended but unpublished originals (cf. § 1 above) [ER p. 0, see RR p. 19]; my Russian “metalanguage” [ER p. 0, see RR p. 19-20]; and, last but not least, the language and poetics of H. [p. 19-20] where he dismisses with the back of the hand the content of 2 thick books and a number of articles specially devoted to this extrеmely sophisticated and rich aspect of H.’ heritage, books and articles he never understood or read. Here is a bibliography of the most important ones).
9. There is absolutely no point in discussing AL' conclusion (p. 20-22). It gives a quintessence of all his accusations and displays again the same shortcomings, not to speak of the breaches of taste exhibited in his last footnotes.
I prefer to wind up this response with some self-criticism, less drastic than Lebedev's, more dignified, honest, sincere and instructive.
10. True enough, I am not (and glad not to be) a professional, even though I have been granted a merited diploma of the École pratique des Hautes Études and the degree of Docteur en philosophie of the University of Paris-IV (Sorbonne). I am an autodidact, a dilettante and an amateur — in the etymological senses of all three terms. My research activity in not part of a career, it brought and brings mе no income, it only satisfies my intellectual curiosity and propensities. I am not a classical philologist or a historian of philosophy either. I am less and more; less because, being self-taught, I miss some of the indispensible basic information, I lack some practical abilities; more in two senses: in view of my interdisciplinarity and serendipity (I have many other interests, for issues and domains I never looked for and which came about unexpectedly) and in view of the bigger freedom of judgement it gives me (in comparison with that given by universities and schools with their non-infringible dogmas and traditions and their compartimentation). AL is the exact opposite of that.
As any human being I am fallible. I do not stick to my errors whenever I agree that I was wrong.
As any human being I am fallible. I do not stick to my errors whenever I agree that I was wrong.
My main quality (sometimes failing me) is casting doubt on, questioning and verifying everything (generally speaking the factual correctness and the logical non contradiction and congruence of whatever I'm being told or am asserting) and is often directed against my main defects: absentmindedness and lack of knowledge. The latter prevent me from noticing my own most trivial errors and blunders (typos, orthographical and grammatical mistakes, blunders such as confusion of proper names, misjudgements, erroneous assumptions). Knowing these defects of mine, I attentively verify all I write, check the logic, the orthography, the typing. Nevertheless, after it appears, I discover a steadily growing number of slips in each new book I publish and feel obliged to write long lists of corrections (click here to see a sample).
I began listing the slips of my last book (the Russian one reviewed by AL) from the moment it appeared. And now, thanks to Andrey Lebedev, I can augment it with a number of new pearls of my own making, most of them rather innocent for the book as a whole, but still shameful, (see here). Sorry to have to put it that way, but this is practically all, in this context, for what I am sincerely grateful to him.
But a researcher must seek the causes of his own failures: wherefrom could have suddenly arisen such an accumulation of most stupid errors, many of them located moreover around one and the same point (p. 150)? Why most of them are to be found in the Placita section? The mystery was rather easy to unveil.
Vol. III.2 (Placita) appeared in 2008 and I had inserted in it words of gratitude to the surgeon whose patient I had been (see p. XVIII). This volume was written far from home, in a friend's appartment from where I had to go every morning, during many months, to ambulatory medical procedures; then later on, I continued writing it lying on my hospital bed, while recovering after two operations (summer 2006 – winter 2006/2007). My vigilance at that time was naturally at its lowest. It is probably then that occurred some sort of psychic obfuscation which led to this result.
All the Greek of III.2 was later transferred (via Copy and Paste) to the section Placita of the future Russian book and then “weeded”, but not re-verified. This is unforgivable. Mea culpa, mea magna culpa...
As a student of Heraclitus, AL is still a question mark: not a single paper in 25 years (except the review and the encyclopaedia entries mentionned above); defective knowledge of the pertinent literature (only three references (in the review) to colleagues, plus a couple of references to “generally accepted” opinions, and three references to the author, all but one to non read titles of his).
As a student of the Presocratics (see § 1) and as a scholar, he is still problematic in view of the scarcity of his publications, his intolerance towards alien opinions, his tendency to take his own unpublished ones for dogmas and criteria of truth, his incapacity to catch the most essential elements of other people's works (I judge from my own experience: three quarters of his criticism are affabulations based on misunderstanding; half of the rest consists of subjective likings and dislikings based on personal taste and are not amenable to rational formulation). Not to mention the lack of the most elementary courtesy.
As a teacher and connoisseur of ancient Greek I perhaps would recognize his competence for lack of information: I never was his pupil (his pretentions to the contrary in the open letter are at best a fantasy).
As a corrector he would probably be good. As a false witness, tolerable. As a reviewer he is intolerably bad.
PS. Here now is AL’s own description of his “critical translation” of the Presocratics made 24 years ago:
PS. Here now is AL’s own description of his “critical translation” of the Presocratics made 24 years ago:
- A critical Russian translation of chapters 1-66 in Diels–Kranz with numerous (and carefully chosen) additions of both testimonia and fragments, some of them based on our attribution. The translation is based on the revised Greek text with numerous departures from the text of DK and a number of new readings. The chapters on Heraclitus and Empedocles are based in the collections (but not exactly on the Greek text) of Marcovich and Bollack respectively.