396 b 5ὁμονοίας τὸ θαυμασιώτατον, λέγω δὲ τὸ1 ἐκ πολλῶν μίαν καὶ ὁμοίαν ἐξ ἀνομοίων ἀποτελεῖν1 διάθεσιν, ὑποδεχομένην2 πᾶσαν καὶ φύσιν καὶ τύχην. ἴσως δὲ καὶ τῶν ἐναντίων ἡ φύσις γλίχεται καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἀποτελεῖ τὸ σύμφωνον, οὐκ ἐκ τῶν ὁμοίων, ὥσπερ ἀμέλει τὸ ἄρρεν συνήγαγε πρὸς τὸ θῆλυ καὶ 10οὐχ ἑκάτερον πρὸς τὸ ὁμόφυλον, καὶ τὴν πρώτην ὁμόνοιαν διὰ τῶν ἐναντίων σηνῆψεν, οὐ διὰ τῶν ὁμοίων. ἔοικε δὲ καὶ ἡ τέχνη τὴν φύσιν μιμουμένη τοῦτο ποιεῖν. ζωγραφία μὲν γὰρ λευκῶν τε καὶ μελάνων, ὠχρῶν τε καὶ ἐρυθρῶν, χρωμάτων ἐγκερασαμένη φύσεις τὰς εἰκόνας τοῖς προηγουμένοις 15ἀπετέλεσε συμφώνους, μουσικὴ δὲ ὀξεῖς ἅμα καὶ βαρεῖς, μακρούς τε καὶ βραχεῖς φθόγγους μίξασα ἐν διαφόροις φωναῖς μίαν ἀπετέλεσεν ἁρμονίαν, γραμματικὴ δὲ ἐκ φωνηέντων καὶ ἀφώνων γραμμάτων κρᾶσιν ποιησαμένη τὴν ὅλην τέχνην ἀπ᾿ αὐτῶν συνεστήσατο. ταὐτὸ δὲ τοῦτο ἦν καὶ 20τὸ παρὰ τῷ σκοτεινῷ λεγόμενον Ἡρακλείτῳ· “συνάψιες ὅλα καὶ οὐχ ὅλα, συμφερόμενον διαφερόμενον, συνᾷδον διᾷδον· καὶ ἐκ πάντων ἓν καὶ ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντα.”3 οὕτως οὖν καὶ τὴν τῶν ὅλων σύστασιν, οὐρανοῦ λέγω καὶ γῆς τοῦ τε σύμπαντος 25κόσμου, διὰ τῆς τῶν ἐναντιωτάτων κράσεως ἀρχῶν
the harmonious working of a city-community is this: that out of plurality and diversity it achieves a homogeneous unity capable of admitting every variation of nature and degree. But perhaps nature actually has a liking for opposites; perhaps it is from them that she creates harmony, and not from similar things, in just the same way as she has joined the male to the female, and not each of them to another of the same sex, thus making the first harmonious community not of similar but of opposite things. It seems, too, that art does this, in imitation of naturea: for painting mixes its whites and blacks, its yellows and reds, to create images that are concordant with their originals; music mixes high and low notes, and longs and shorts, and makes a single tune of different sounds; by making a mixture of vowels and consonants, grammar composes out of them the whole of its art. This is precisely what Heracleitus the Darkb meant when he said “Junctions are wholes and not-wholes, concord and discord, consonance and dissonance. One out of All; All out of One.” So in the same way the complex of the Universe, I mean heaven and earth and the whole cosmos, by means of the mixture of the most opposite elements has been
- aThe idea that art imitates nature occurs in Aristotle’s Protrepticus (see Jaeger, Aristotle, pp. 74 f.), and in Phys. B 199 a 15, Meteor. 381 b 5, De Part. Anim. 639 b 15 ff. But in Aristotle the point of comparison concerns teleology, not the harmony of opposites. The four colours mentioned by Pseudo-Aristotle are the colours of the restricted palette used by the Four Colour Painters, of whom the earliest recorded is Polygnotus and the latest Aëtion in the age of Alexander the Great. Cf. Pliny, N.H. xxxv. 50, and A. Rumpf, JHS lxvii (1947), p. 16. It has been suggested that Kmpedocles’ comparison of painting and creation (Diets, Vorsokr.6 31 B 23) was inspired by Four Colour Painting.
- bIt is not likely that the author read Heracleitus in the original, or that the whole context is to be attached too closely to Heracleitus. Maguire (op. cit. pp. 134 ff.) finds the closest parallels to this passage in the Neo-Pythagoreans.