When Your Legacy Is Betrayed By A Sandal

I am reading though a philosophy series. Yes, I am only in the first volume of,  I think, eight or nine volumes. Working through from Greece to Roman philosophers has been tedious.

However, I ran across this humorous story about Empedocles of Akragas. It seems he was very active in democratic politics and contributed to the medical health of his city by averting several epidemics of diseases through his medical skill.

But alas, his only sure way to leaving a legacy for all human history, to be deified by future generations, was thwarted, by a bronze soled sandal.

If you wish to fabricate a weighty legacy, mind where your sandals are before you jump into whatever image it is you are trying to fabricate.

“Empedocles contributed to the growth of medicine proper. The death of the philosopher has been made the subject of several entertaining fables, the best known being that he jumped into the crater Etna in order to make people think that he had gone up to heaven and esteem him as a god. Unfortunately, he left one of his slippers (Or it was tossed up by the volcano) on the brink of the volcano, and, as he used to wear slippers with brazen soles, it was easily recognized. Diogenes,however,who recounts this story, also informs us that “Timaeus contradicts all these stories, saying expressly that he departed into Peloponnesus, and never returned at all.”

– A history of Philosophy. Frederick Copleston. Volume 1, Greece and Rome

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