By Brancacci, A. (ed.), Morel, P.-M.
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Extra info for Democritus: Science, The Arts, and the Care of the Soul (Philosophia Antiqua)
What has to be noted, however, is that while Conﬁrmations and The Canon certainly contributed to what the Epicureans later called ‘canonic’, it can be doubted that the work On Images or On Precognition belongs to this same ﬁeld, given its likely contents (as stated above). It may have been placed there to preserve the tetralogical order, without much concern for its contents. In the catalogue there is, furthermore, a series of nine titles which are not ordered tetralogically and which manifestly dealt with rather speciﬁc naturalistic questions (for example the title On the Stone must have been about the so-called Heraclean stone, that is about the magnet, the action of which had attracted the attention of more than one naturalist, including Democritus, as Alexander and Psellus testify, cf.
35 The passage is probably to be understood in the light of the conception that the Greeks had of the origins of geometry: they went back to Egypt, where the precise measurement of lands was necessary to restore the boundary lines between properties which were cancelled by the Nile in its frequent inundations (cf. Herodotus II 109, Diodorus Siculus I 81, and Proclus, Commentary to Euclid, prologue II, ch. 4, p. 64). The Arpedonaptes ( Αρπεδον πται = rope-fasteners) were, at least originally, the functionaries or scribes who had the task of taking those measurements.
De tranquillitate animi 13, 1 = n. 3), appeared in that Democritean work, does not make any explicit mention of it. Seneca on the other hand does mention it (cf. , om. DK). 1), speaks of a work by Democritus with the title On the (Final) End or On the Goal (Περ τ λους), but this could be a conventional way of referring to the Perì euthumies, for the condition of contentment (ε υμ α) is treated in the doxography as the end for man postulated by the philosopher (see above, sect. 4). 5), mentions a work entitled Counsels ( Υπο και).