Heraclitus, Fragment 99 (D 103)


[[The beginning and the end are shared in the circumference of a circle.]] (Kahn 99; cp. D, R, S 103)

This fragment makes sense together with F 74  (“The path of the carding wheels is straight and crooked”) and F 103 (“The way up and the way down is one and the same”). Each of the fragments highlights that the same object can be seen as comprised of contraries, depending on one’s perspective (cp. Robinson).

Kahn places the fragment, not with the earlier statements about such unities of opposites, but here in the midst of other fragments about the cyclical nature of generations and of life processes. In this context, we might think of it as related to to F 93: “The same….living and dead, waking and sleeping, and young and old. For these transposed are those, and those transposed are these again.” In the cycle of life (and death) opposites are part of a unity.

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