Text Notes

Many early scholars interpret this fragment to mean that eventually all things will be consumed by fire.  This is a doctrine called ecpyrosis.  The Stoics held this view, and in antiquity many commentators on Heraclitus ascribed the same view to him.  Hippolytus, who quoted this fragment, saw it as a reference to divine judgement in the fire of hell.  Later in this passage, Hippolytus says that Heraclitus believed in ecpyrosis.  Many modern editors, though, do not think that Heraclitus actually held this view.  (See Cosmic Cycle under categories.)