The Ancient Greek Esoteric Doctrine of the Elements:


© 1998, John Opsopaus


The Essence of Water

As explained in the
Introduction, the Elements are spiritual essences that get their character from four Qualities or Powers: the Dry, the Cool, the Moist and the Warm. In simplest terms, the Dry and Moist qualities represent form versus flexibility; the Warm and Cool qualities represent separation versus union. Earth is Dry and Cool, Water is Cool and Moist, Air is Moist and Warm, Fire is Warm and Dry; in each case the first of the two listed qualities is dominant in the Element. However, each of the Powers and the Elements is a spiritual essence, a constellation of eternal characteristics that cannot be captured in simple definitions. These essences can manifest in the mundane and spiritual worlds in a variety of ways, which yet retain their essential character, and by exploring these manifestations we can deepen our understanding. In this article I will try to circumscribe and illuminate the character of the element Water and the Moist quality. (Coolness is discussed in connection with Earth.)

According to Aristotle (as explained in the discussion of Earth), the Dry power causes things to fix their own form or structure. Its opposite, the Moist quality, represents a lack of self-determination; a Moist thing conforms to its surroundings and may take on any form. (Quicksilver is a good symbol of the Moist quality.) Therefore, we may say that the Moist quality is receptive, adaptive, form receiving, flexible, and pragmatic (because it conforms to circumstances). Psychologically, the Moist quality represents a personality that is flexible, fluid, mercurial, unreliable, indefinite and lacking self-control. The Moist person tends to be agile, gentle, obedient, conforming, passive, yielding, accommodating, weak, sensitive, understanding and kind, and to exhibit empathy, compassion, and a tendency to conformity. The Moist (like the Dry) is a passive power, which is dominated in Water by an active power, Coolness.

By looking at the Elemental Square, we can see that the Warm and Cool qualities correspond to the summer and winter solstices, and the Moist and Dry Qualities correspond to spring and fall equinoxes. Therefore the season corresponding to Water is winter. This may be surprising, since we might expect Water to be associated with spring, the season of fresh, green growth, spring rains and spring floods. The logic of the ancient arrangement becomes clear when we remember that Water is primarily Cold (so it is associated with winter), and Air is primarily Moist (so it is associated with spring). In fact, the whole left half of the diagram, comprising winter and spring, is Moist, which allows fluid change of form (e.g. growth), but there is a shift from the Cool quality to Warm. As discussed in the Introduction, Warmth brings increased differentiation, in this case, the new life of Spring.

On one hand, Water is primarily Cool, which is the active quality that binds things together, and so Water allows formation and nourishment of composite entities, and its evaporation and absence causes their decomposition. On the other hand, the Moistness of Water permits the dissolution of structure and the loss of form. Thus the essence of Water is to mix and cling together while being changeable in shape; it is characterized by passive change of form (transformation). Therefore Water permits the growth and development of form.

In psychological terms, Water is associated with nimble relating, emotion, feeling, inner flow, the subconscious, relationships and the social dimension. It is associated with emotional relationships, since it is Cool (connecting, relating) and Moist (conforming, empathetic); therefore the tarot suite of Cups corresponds to Water. Furthermore, Water corresponds to the Queens among the court cards, for they represent the nurturing matrix, the Object of the creative Impulse; the two Unite to engender the Effect. This process of emanation is summarized in IOUE, the four-letter name of Jove: Impulse (Fire), Object (Water), Union (Air), Effect (Earth), which correspond to the court cards.

Persephone's Tears

Plutarch reminds us that the Elements are not Gods; rather, the Gods are the source of the Powers of the elements. This is how we must interpret the declaration of Empedocles (fr.7 = DK31B6), the fifth century BCE Greek magician-philosopher who gave us the Doctrine of the Four Elements:
Now hear the fourfold Roots of everything:
Enlivening Hera, Hades, shining Zeus,
And Nêstis, moistening mortal springs with tears.
Although, these verses seem to have been intended as an instructional riddle (ainigma), it has been clear since ancient times that Nêstis corresponds to Water. (Hades, Hera and Zeus are Fire, Earth and Air.) Since "Nêstis" was the name by which Persephone was known in Sicily (the birthplace of Empedocles' Pythagorean Craft), I will begin with a discussion of Persephone's connection with Water.

Springs, wells and other sources of water from the earth were central to the Mysteries of Persephone, and the Eleusinian Mysteries grew up around a spring. This is because springs represent entrances to the Underworld, especially in Greece, where it is common for them to reenter the earth after flowing above ground for some distance. When Persephone was abducted, She was taken down the spring called Kuanê, which was said to have been created from the Maiden's tears, and She is virtually identical with Kuanê, the nymph of that spring. Indeed, Persephone is Queen of the Nymphs, the daughters of Ocean who are the spirits of springs and streams. Similarly, Demeter, mourning Her lost daughter, created a spring from Her tears. (The equation of Water and divine tears is a distinctly Pythagorean idea, which will be considered later in connection with the Salt Sea.)

Kuanos (blue) is the color of divine mourning and grief and is associated with the Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone, which are closely connected with Pythagoreanism and Empedoclean magic; Pythagoreans (especially women) were often the Priests and Priestesses in the mysteries of Demeter and Persephone. Therefore Kuanos is associated with Water and the Underworld.; it is also the color of Cocytus, the river of mourning and tears, which is opposite Pyriphlegethon, the river of fire in the Underworld, as Water is opposite Fire on the Elemental Square. (According to Damscius, each of the Four Rivers of the Underworld has an associated Element.)

The Water of Life

Water is also connected with the Milk of Immortality from Persephone's Breasts, for in the Mysteries She is a Goddess of joyous rebirth as well as grievous dissolution. For example, on the Bacchic/Orphic gold tablets (
Zuntz A1-3) from Thessaly (a region known for Witchcraft), which date back to the fifth century BCE, we read:
I have flown out of the Circle of Heavy Grief
and stepped swift-footed on the Circle of Joy.
I have made straight for the Breast of the Mistress, the Queen of the Underworld.
And now I come a suppliant to Holy Persephoneia,
that of Her Grace She send me to the Seats of the Hallowed.
Happy and Blessed One, thou shalt be God instead of mortal.
A Kid I have fallen into Milk.
(tr. after Guthrie with emendations by Zuntz, West & Kingsley)
This alludes to Thrice-Born Dionysos (the "Kid"), who is the horned son of Persephone, according to the Orphics. Therefore the Bacchic initiate emulates the rebirth of Dionysos by sucking the Milk of Immortality from Persephone's breasts. An abundance of milk is a standard symbol in the Bacchic Mysteries, and milk is often involved in immortalization rites. Further, many enlightened individuals are described as consuming only milk.

The Water of Life is found near Persephone's Tree. Pherecydes (6th. cent. BCE), a mentor of Pythagoras, told how Khthoniê (She Beneath the Earth - one of Persephone's names) stretches upward as a self-supporting Winged Oak (Hupopteros Drus), with Her Roots in the Underworld, Her trunk climbing through the middle elements, Her crown in Heaven. At the base of the Tree, between Her Roots, is the Outflow (Ekroê), the Springs of Ambrosia (Krênai Ambrosiai), for the Waters of the Underworld flow out from Her Roots. The Winged Oak, round which the Robe of Earth is wrapped (see below), draws into Her Roots the sap of life, the Waters of the Abyss, conveys it upward to Her crown, from which the golden Ambrosial Dew drips down like honey to feed immortal souls. (Indeed "Ambrosia" means "immortal.") Before a soul can return to incarnation, it must approach one of these rivers and drink the Water of Life from it, for the Outflow of the Rivers is called the Semen of Life. Thus a fourth century BCE Orphic Gold Tablet (Zuntz B1) is inscribed:

Thou shalt find to the left of the House of Hades a Spring,
and by the side thereof standing a White Cypress.
To this Spring approach not near.
But thou shalt find another, from the Lake of Memory,
Cold Water flowing forth, and there are Guardians before it.
Say: "I am a child of Earth and Starry Heaven,
but my race is of Heaven alone. This Ye know Yourselves.
But I am parched with thirst and I perish. Give me quickly
the Cold Water flowing forth from the Lake of Memory."
And of Themselves They will give thee to drink of the Holy Spring.
And thereafter among the other Heroes thou shalt have lordship.
(tr. Guthrie)
The spring on the left is associated with Forgetfulness (Lêthê) and dissolution, the spring on the right with Memory and immortality.

The revitalizing Tree of Life belongs to the Goddess and is guarded by the serpent Ophioneus (or Ophiôn) who dwells in the waters around Her roots. (We find this same theme in the serpent guarding the Apples of the Tree of the nymphs Hesperides, which is in the west, the region of death, near the World Axis where Atlas supports Heaven.)

When people die, their breath-souls (psukhai) go to the Moon, and during the first two weeks of the month we see Her waxing on the breath-souls of the dead. (See "Air" for more on the Breath-Soul.) During the second two weeks of the month, the Gods drink Ambrosia from the Vessel of the Moon, and we see Her light wane; during this time souls are prepared for rebirth. Then the Moon and Sun come together, so that the Moon may be renewed. Souls pass through Mukhoi (Hidden Places) in their passage to and from mortal incarnation; especially they pass through the Mukhos of Hekate on the Moon, where they atone for their crimes; She is the stern Gate-keeper. (The Moon, of course, is intimately connected with Water, but that topic is beyond the scope of this article.)

An old Pythagorean maxim says, "The Sun and Moon are the Isles of the Blessed," and those who know the Way may go through the Lunar Gate and enter the Isles of the Blessed as Heroes or Gods; those who do not must return to Earth for another incarnation, and their souls rain to Earth as dew. (The Upanishads say the dew is absorbed by plants, which are eaten by animals, and the dew becomes their semen; thus are souls brought back into the world, which explains the importance of dew in alchemy.)

Persephone, corresponding to the element Water, unites the Earth and Air. Indeed, She is the daughter of Demeter (who corresponds to Earth) and Zeus (who corresponds to Air). As we saw in the Introduction, Water can result from the union of Earth and Air, getting its Coolness from the Earth and its Moisture from the Air. So also Persephone was born of the union of the Lord of the Air and the Lady of the Earth, getting Her power to unite (Cool) from Demeter and Her power to transform (Moist) from Zeus. Persephone joins what is above with what is below. Especially, in Her yearly cycle, celebrated in the Eleusinian Mysteries, She joins the Underworld to life above the Earth and mediates between them.

An Orphic Quaternity

Persephone and Demeter occupy a special place in an Orphic Mystery that has been preserved for us. According to this story, Rhea the Mother of the Gods directed Zeus to come as a snake to Her in Her Mukhos, the Sacred Cave of Phanês (the Primal God) and three Goddesses of the Night. "She became a serpent, whereupon He turned into a serpent Himself, and binding Her in the so-called Heracleot Knot, copulated with Her. The form of coupling is represented in the Wand of Hermes" (Athenagoras). Demeter was born from the union of Rhea with Zeus, who is Himself the son of Kronos (Time) and Rhea (Flow). Rhea arranged for Zeus and Demeter to mate likewise as serpents in this same cave, and so Persephone was born. Demeter hid Her daughter in the cave, and caused Zeus to take again the serpent's form and to mate with Her daughter, who then bore Dionysos.

[Orphic Quaternity] Jung has shown us that Gods often form quaternities with a 3+1 structure, such as we see here. Zeus's three wives are the Maiden, Mother and Crone. He is the fourth, who differs from the three. According to Empedocles, Zeus, Persephone and Demeter correspond to Air, Water and Earth, respectively. This suggests that Rhea corresponds to Fire in this structure, which makes some sense. Rhea, as Goddess of Nature, is the agent of change (indeed She arranged the threefold mating of Zeus), and philosophers, magicians and alchemists, from Heraclitus in the fifth century BCE to those in our own time, have identified Fire as the primary agent of change. (See our discussion of Fire.) Therefore the quaternity has the Sky Father Zeus above and the Earth Mother Demeter below; Persephone the Maiden of the Abyss is on one side, and Rhea the Celestial Crone is on the other.

The great triad of Persephone, Demeter and Rhea is honored in the Lesser Mysteries, which take place in Anthestêriôn (the "Month of Flowers"), the month preceding the spring equinox (and thus corresponding to the element Water). We may also note that Persephone, Demeter and Hekate are the important triad of Goddesses of the (Greater) Eleusinian Mysteries (for it was Hekate who negotiated the return of the Maiden). Hekate is an Underworld Goddess, and thus associated with Fire (as will be explained when we discuss that element), but was also identified with Rhea, for Hekate was understood as a Goddess of Nature, like Rhea. They are both glittering crones (and we will see that Their Fire can be located either in Heaven or the Underworld).

From Her union with Zeus, Persephone bore Dionysos, destined to be the successor of Zeus and the fifth ruler of Olympus, who was especially honored in the Orphic Mysteries. Therefore He corresponds to the Quintessence, the Fifth Element, for both define new realms outside the foursquare completeness of the Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

Dissolution and the Underworld

Central to the character of Water is its power to dissolve. Dissolution occurs because the Cool (uniting) quality allows the Water to attach to solid matter of all sorts, but the Moist (conforming) quality causes the result to have no fixed form. Further, because Water is Cool, dissolution is a passive loss of form. Through dissolution all things lose their rigid structure and identity.

Dissolution is not necessarily undesirable. For example, Water allows the dissolution and reorganization of structure necessary for growth and development; it corresponds to the nutritive faculty of life (the "vegetative soul"). (Water enables passive change of form, and metabolism and growth are passive, from our conscious, mental perspective.) Also, dissolution and dismemberment in the Underworld is a necessary stage of initiation and rebirth in the Mysteries.

Of course, preservation and dissolution are two sides of the cycle of Nature, which are embodied in Demeter and Persephone, the Goddesses of Life and Death, who oversee rebirth in the Eleusinian Mysteries. They correspond to Earth and Water; although they are both uniting (Cool), Earth is form- preserving (Dry), but Water is form-dissolving (Moist).


Empedocles (fr. 7) calls Persephone by the obscure name "Nêstis," which is probably a pre-Greek but Indo-European Goddess name indigenous to Sicily and southern Italy. Simplicius derived it from naein, meaning "to flow," but, according to Kingsley, in ancient times divine names were sometimes subtly refashioned so that they would have multiple etymologies, and thereby embody hidden truths. For example, Nêstis also means "Fasting" and the Nêsteia was a festival of fasting for Persephone.

Fasting is also a central theme of the Mysteries of Persephone. For example, after Persephone was abducted, the Earth was barren and all mortals as well as Demeter fasted. Further, Persephone fasted in the Underworld until She ate the fateful pomegranate seed. Fasting is the opposite of nourishing. Therefore, Nêstis, the Goddess corresponding to Water, represents both flowing and fasting, both feast and famine. (Opposites unite in the Netherworld.)

There is perhaps no etymological connection between "Nêstis" and the Egyptian Goddess Nephthys, protector of the dead, but Plutarch says, "Nephthys is that which is beneath the Earth and invisible, Isis that which is above the Earth and visible." They symbolize birth (Isis, Earth) and death (Nephthys, Water) and were called the Weeping Goddesses. Like Demeter and Persephone, Isis and Nephthys represent generation and dissolution. (Indeed Demeter and Isis are sometimes identified, for each searched for Her lost child.)

As Persephone is wedded to Hades, so Nephthys is the bride of Typhôn, who is identified with Hades, as we will see when we come to the element Fire. Further, as Persephone mated with Zeus and bore Dionysos, so Nephthys mated in secret with Osiris and bore Anubis, who, like Dionysos, rules the borderland between the Earth (Isis) and the Abyss (Nephthys). Like Dionysos, Anubis was raised by a foster mother.

Although Nephthys is called Finality (Teleutê), which associates Her with death, Plutarch explains that this name also means that She governs the lowest ranks of matter (eskhata merê tês hulês). Because of Her marriage with Typhôn (Hades/Fire), the destructive power (hê phthartikê dunamis), all plants and animals, and even the earth and sea, suffer dissolution and destruction. However, when She mates in secret with Osiris (Zeus/Air), the productive and preserving power (hê gonimos kai sôterios dunmais), Their offspring may survive complete dissolution if preserved and nurtured by Isis (Demeter/Earth). This is a hint into the Dionysian Mysteries.

Plutarch further equates Nephthys with Aphrodite, who has connections to both Persephone and the element Water.

Sea-born Aphrodite

In later antiquity, especially in Italy, Persephone was identified with Sea-born Aphrodite. The Pythagoreans say that there are two Aphrodites: one in Heaven, one in the Underworld. Therefore She is called Melaina (Black One), Epitumbidia (Upon the Tombs), Tumborukhos (Gravedigger) and Pasiphaessa (Far Shining), which associates Her with the Moon and the Queen of the Underworld. The connection between love and death may be puzzling, but the Love-Death has been a theme since ancient times: when we fall in love, our old life comes to an end; we are reborn.

Aphrodite has many connections with Water, for She was born in the Ocean, and Her name was derived from aphros (foam). She is also called Anaduomenê (Emerging from the Sea), the Goddess rising from the salty waters (on which, see below), and Pelagia (She of the Sea). Hesiod's tale of Her birth from the Gonads of Heaven when they fell into the sea, is well known. Other myths say that She is the daughter of Okeanos (Ocean) or of Zeus and Diônê, a Water Goddess. Again, She is said to have emerged from the Primordial Egg floating on the salt sea. She is associated with Water because Her gift is yielding union (Moist, Cool).

The Salt Sea

The Salt Sea represents Water in an especially important form. This is because brine, like the salt in it, both preserves and corrodes. As Heraclitus said, "Sea is the purest and foulest water: for fish drinkable and saving, but for people undrinkable and destroying."

The Pythagoreans identify the bitter Salt Sea with divine tears, especially the tears of Kronos (like Persephone, a deity of the afterlife), and we have seen that Empedocles identified Water with Persephone's tears, which were said to dissolve grief and thereby bring about rebirth. Salt is associated with wisdom and spirit as well as bitterness, which suggests that the bitter tears of grief and disappointment can be transformed into salty wit and sharp wisdom. Instead of being a source of foul corruption, Salt may be used to preserve that which is worth saving.

Similarly, the Salt Sea from which Aphrodite was born is the source of new life, the salty womb of rebirth. But complementing life-engendering Aphrodite (Venus Genetrix) and Persephone Queen of the Underworld, we also have Aphrodite Upon the Tombs and the revitalizing milk from Persephone's breasts. Generation and dissolution are complementary.

Alchemically, the Sea is the vessel of rebirth because its Salt is the spark of the World Soul (Anima Mundi), the "Vegetable Spirit" (Spiritus Vegetativus). This Spiritual Salt (Sal Spirituale) is a conjunction of the opposites Fire and Water, and will be discussed when we come to Fire, but it is worthwhile to say a few words about it here. On the one hand, Sea Water (Aqua Pontica) is chaotic primordial matter (see below); on the other, it may be purified (by Fire and Water) into Enduring Water (Aqua Permanens), which holds the Salt of Wisdom (Sal Sapientiae) and is the Elixir of Rebirth.

Primal Mud

Hesiod's Theogony (c. 700 BCE) says, "First Chaos came to be, but then broad-bosomed Gaia." Later the Stoics attributed to
Pherecydes the view that Chaos (Khaos) is Watery, deriving it from kheisthai (to flow). The Primordial Chaos is considered Watery because it is confused (mixed) and formless (i.e., Cool and Moist). Similarly, according to the Pythagorean Alkman (c. 600 BCE), in the beginning there was a "trackless and featureless" waste of Waters. There is also an Orphic theogony in which the first deities are Okeanos and Tethys, corresponding to the Abyss (sweet subterranean water) and Tiamat (bitter salt sea). Therefore Water (Chaos) precedes Earth (Gaia), which gives matter its form.

As remarked in the discussion of Earth, elemental Earth is Cool (connected) and Dry (form imposing). Thus it is too rigid and inflexible to support life, but can be given this flexibility by Water. Therefore Primal Mud, the fertile loam of our Mother, is a combination of dry, crystalline Earth with moistening Water. This is why Water, which gives to inanimate Earth the ability to develop, transform and adapt, is associated with the "vegetative soul" possessed by all living things. It is also why many cosmogonies begin with Primal Mud.

According to Pherecydes' cosmogony, the living Earth came into being when Zeus and Khthoniê (She Beneath the Earth) married, and on the third day of the wedding, the Unveiling (Anakaluptêria), the craftsman Zeus wove an elaborate, variegated Robe (pepoikilmenon Pharos), which He gave to Khthoniê as a gift. It was adorned with land and sea, with rivers and trees, with mountains and meadows, with all of Earth and Okeanos, the Primal Ocean, and with the Mansions of Okeanos. (These are the three great divisions of the world: Earth, Encircling Ocean, and the Realms beyond the Rim. Above the three is Heaven and below is the Underworld; all together they are the Fivefold Cosmos.)

When Khthoniê, Queen of the Underworld, had wrapped it around Her, She became Gaia, Mother Earth. Likewise, the Orphic Poems say that the Earth is the Robe of Persephone, of She Beneath the Earth. The Robe, after it had been the cover of the sacred marriage bed, was hung upon the Goddess's Tree of Life. Thus the mantle of our world surrounds Khthoniê's Tree, the Tree of She Beneath the Earth.

As was explained in the Introduction, Earth is overcome by Water, and so the result of combining the two is more Watery than Earthy. That is, the Primal Mud is more like chaotic elemental Water: formless (because Moist) and confused (because Cool, and therefore mixing). Nevertheless, the Primal Mud is both Dry and Wet, corresponding to the elements Earth and Water, and so this "Prime Matter," which is the basis of the Great Art, is called the "Dry Water" by the alchemists.

Primal Mud is not sufficient for animate life. Thus Apollodorus (Library 1.7.1) says, "Prometheus molded humans out of Water and Earth and gave them also Fire, which, unknown to Zeus, he had hidden in a stalk of fennel." (The Fire was stolen from the Wheel of the Sun; the narthex or fennel stalk corresponds to Shushumna, the central spinal channel, which conveys the Kundalini force. The narthex also forms the shaft of the Thursos, the wand of Dionysian invocation.) Finally, Athena breathed Psychê (Breath [Air], Soul, Prana) into the body. (See Air for more on this.) Thus we are made from all four Elements.

From this perspective, Water and Earth constitute the "gross body"; Air and Fire provide the astral and radiant bodies, respectively. In Empedocles' terms, Earth and Water are the body (sôma), Air is the soul (psychê), and Fire is source of power (kinêtikê). Alchemically, the body is the Salt, which is joined by the Quicksilver (etheric body: Air) to the Sulfur (radiant body: Fire). So also the Stoics say that the (Cool, synthetic) "feminine" elements Earth and Water constitute Hulê (Matter or Resource), whereas the (Warm, analytic) "masculine" elements Air and Fire constitute Logos (Word or Thought).

Earth and Water are the only tangible (touchable) elements; Fire and Air are intangible. Since Water and Earth are both Cool, their tendency is toward greater mixture; this is the entropy of gross matter. They tend to the cold and dark through the dissolution of form (because the mixture is Watery).

The "igneous spirit" (the Heat residing in both Fire and Air) gives motion to inert matter and makes it active. These Elements tend to warmth and light through the generation of energy. Thus Menstruum, the Living Mud, which combines the Cool feminine elements Earth and Water (represented by pubic triangles), is animated by Semen, which combines the Warm masculine elements Air and Fire (represented by the phallic triangles). Therefore Warmth and Moisture are the two principles of generation, which animate the sterile Earth and bring it to life.

In conclusion, Water is the spiritual principle of flexible union, which permits both dissolution and transformation. Water provides the Primordial Chaos, which combines with Earth to yield the Primal Mud from which life is born. Water is associated with Persephone, the agent of rebirth in the Underworld, who brings the tears of mourning but also the Ambrosia of immortality.

Click here to continue on to Air


  1. Kerényi, K., Goddesses of the Sun and Moon, Spring, 1979. (Aphrodite)
  2. Kerényi, K., The Gods of the Greeks, Thames & Hudson, 1951. (Gods, myths)
  3. Kingsley, P., "Poimandres: The Etymology of the Name and the Origins of the Hermetica," Journ. Warburg & Courtauld Insts., Vol. 56, 1993, pp. 1-24. (etymologies)
  4. Kingsley, P., Ancient Philosophy, Mystery and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition, Oxford University Press, 1995. (principal source)
  5. Mead, G. R. S., The Doctrine of the Subtle Body, Kessinger reprint, n.d. (subtle body)
  6. Pernety, A.-J., An Alchemical Treatise on the Great Art, Weiser, 1995, Part 1. (Primal Mud, alchemy)
  7. Plutarch, Isis and Osiris. (Elements & Gods, Isis & Nephthys)
  8. Sykes, E., Who's Who in Non-Classical Mythology, s.v. Nephthys.
  9. West, M. L., Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient, Oxford, 1971, pp. 10-75, 203-234. (Pherecydes' cosmology)
  10. Wright, M. R., Empedocles: The Extant Fragments, Yale University Press, 1981. (Empedocles)
  11. Zuntz, G., Persephone: Three Essays on Religion and Thought in Magna Graecia, Oxford, 1971. (Bacchic/Orphic tablets)

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