Athesphatos

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Διὰ ταῦτα δὲ καὶ ὁ Ἀκραγαντῖνος σοφὸς ἐπιρραπίσας τοὺς περὶ θεῶν ὡς ἀνθρωποειδῶν ὄντων παρὰ τοῖς ποιηταῖς λεγομένους μύθους, ἐπήγαγε προηγουμένως μὲν περὶ Ἀπόλλωνος, περὶ οὗ ἦν αὐτῷ προσεχῶς ὁ λόγος, κατὰ δὲ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον καὶ περὶ τοῦ θείου παντὸς ἁπλῶς ἀποφαινόμενος·
“οὔδε γὰρ ἀνδρομέῃ κεφαλῇ κατὰ γυῖα κέκασται,
οὐ μὲν ἀπαὶ νώτων γε δύω κλάδοι ἀΐσσονται,
οὐ πόδες, οὐ θοὰ γοῦν’, οὐ μήδεα λαχνήεντα,
ἀλλὰ φρὴν ἱερὴ καὶ ἀθέσφατος ἔπλετο μοῦνον,
φροντίσι κόσμον ἅπαντα καταΐσσουσα θοῇσιν.” [Empedocles, fr. B 134]
διὰ τοῦ “ἱερή” καὶ τὴν ὑπὲρ νοῦν αἰνιττόμενος αἰτίαν.
(Ammonius, In Aristotelis ‘De Interpretatione’ commentarius 248.17-249.19)

For these reasons the poet of Acragas* too criticized the stories told by the poets about the gods which presuppose that they have human shapes and taught—primarily about Apollo who was the immediately relevant topic of his discourse but in the same way also about the totality of the divine in general—declaring:
“For [it / he] is not fitted out in [its / his] limbs with a human head,
nor do two branches dart from [its / his] back
nor feet, nor swift knees nor shaggy genitals;
but it / he is only a sacred and ineffable thought organ
darting through the entire cosmos with swift thoughts.”
By means of the word ‘sacred’ he hinted at the cause which is beyond the intellect.

* Empedocles.

(tr. Brad Inwood)

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