Studying pre~Socratic philosophy is an inter-disciplinary study connecting my primary areas of study: ancient Greek and philosophy. The difficulties for students interested in studying the pre~Socratic philosophers are many. The Greek fragments, good translations, and in-depth scholarly commentary do not usually appear in one volume. When doing research on other pre~Socratic philosophers, I have had four different volumes open, with my Greek dictionary and my grammar reference tools in my lap and my computer connected on-line to The Perseus Project. I constantly move back and forth between all these resources. This problem of inaccessibility can be solved using the internet and hypertext. All the previous sources can be combined into one web site, making the study of these fascinating philosophers more accessible for me and for others who have shared my struggles and frustrations.
Heraclitus of Ephesus (late sixth century BCE) was one of the most influential of these pre~Socratic philosophers. He is reported to have written one book, which is now extant only in fragments from the works of other ancient authors. I plan to put all his fragments in hypertext format, both in the Greek and in various English translations. The fragments will be hyper-linked to a grammatical commentary that I will put together, as well as to the Greek dictionary and Greek grammar tools on The Perseus Project. After completing this project, I will continue to add my own philosophic commentary, also hyper-linked to the fragments, in which I will pull together the existing secondary literature and provide my own contributions to Heraclitean scholarship.
The audience for this project is beginning Greek students and advanced philosophy students. Heraclitus’ use of Greek is brilliant and poetic, but often difficult and obscure. My project will make his fragments more accessible to beginning Greek students. For advanced philosophy students, this project will bridge the gap between his philosophic content and his language, two inseparably linked aspects of all these philosophers. It will allow students to study the ancient world through the most useful modern educational tools, the internet. Undertaking this research project will also benefit me immensely. I will continue my study of the Greek language-- an essential skill in studying ancient Greek philosophy-- and prepare myself to someday contribute to this important and growing field.
Researching the primary sources and secondary literature on Heraclitus requires many books; the University of Oklahoma does not have most of these in circulation. The books listed in my budget will provide me with the Greek text of the fragments, good translations with grammatical notes, and current interpretations of the fragments. I will also use the software and hardware listed below in designing and editing the website to make the information as accessible as possible. Undertaking this project will be an intellectually stimulating experience for myself, and it will leave behind a great resource for other students who would otherwise face the same difficulties I have faced doing preliminary work on this fascinating and influential philosopher.