“Socrates and Plato will exist again”

“The Stoics say that the planets are established again into the same sign [as] when the world was first formed, and at set revolutions of time they bring about the conflagration and destruction of all things and again they establish the world anew in the same state, and, as the stars travel once again in the same way, each of the things that came to be in the preceding revolution is thought to be unchanged. For Socrates and Plato will exist again, and each human being with the same friends and fellow-citizens, and they will have the same experiences, meet with the same events and the same undertakings, and every city and settlement and field will be reconstituted as before. The reconstitution of the world comes to pass not once but many times—or rather, to infinity—and the same things will be re-established without end. . . . For there will be nothing foreign beyond what occurred before, but everything will be the same—down to the minutest detail—without any change.”

– Nemesius of Emesa (ca 400) on Stoic theories of eternal return of the same

“Philosopher with mirror”, Jusepe de Ribera (1600-1652), courtesy of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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