The multiple sources and functions of Heraclitus in Nietzsche’s writings should not be underestimated. Nietzsche’s early readings of Heraclitus are steeped in the Greek fragments, the doxographical tradition, and in philological scholarship. Hence, they are largely either fair interpretations of the extant fragments, clear translations of a select group of fragments into his own language, or improvisations based in part on a narrow subset of the spurious remarks set down in the doxographical tradition. Nietzsche’s later departures from this tradition articulate an anti-metaphysical Heraclitus that he found in the Heraclitean fragments, which he takes to prefigure and later parrot his doctrines of becoming, the child, strife, chance, and eternal recurrence. For this reason, Nietzsche’s Heraclitus is necessarily no objective, individual historical person, but at various times and to various degrees a copy, an appropriative invention, and a personal-philological-philosophical archetype filtered through the lenses of ancient Greek understandings of how he must have lived, given what he said and what philosophy is; nineteenth-century German philological reconstructions of Heraclitean thought; and Nietzsche’s own need for such a precursor to voice his own doctrines and thereby lend them heft against the Platonic tradition of metaphysical philosophy.