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PARMENIDES.

sion flourish, may at any rate be referred to Par­menides'residence in Athens ; the latter must be entirely rejected, whether it be that Theophras-tus made a mistake, or, what is much more likely, that Diogenes copied the statement care­lessly. The same Theophrastus had spoken of him as a disciple of Xenophanes, with whom Aris­totle, with a cautious it is said^ connects him (Me­taph. i. 5, p. 986, b, 1. 22. Theophrastus, according to Alexander: see Schol. on Aristotle, p. 536. 8 ; comp. Sext. Empir. adv. Math. vii. Ill; Clemens Alex. Strom. i. 301; Diog. Lae'rt. ix. 21) ; and it is impossible not to see that the Colophonian did open that path of investigation which we see our Eleatic pursuing, whether the former influenced the latter through personal intercourse, or only by the written exposition of his doctrine. Consider­ably more doubt rests upon the relation in which Parmenides stood to the Pythagoreans, of whom two, entirely unknown to us, Ameinias and Dio-chaetes, are spoken of as his instructors (Sotion, in Diogenes Lae'rt. ix. 21). Others content them­selves with reckoning Parmenides as well as Zeno as belonging to the Pythagorean school (Callima-chus ap. Procl. in Parmenid. iv. p. 51, comp. Strab. vi. init. ; Iambi. Vit. Pythag. § 166, &c. with others), or with speaking of a Parmenidean life, in the same way as a Pythagorean life is spoken of (Cebet. TabuL c. 2) ; and even the cen­sorious Timon (in Diog. Lae'rt. ix. 23) allows Par­menides to have been a high-minded man ; while Plato speaks of him with veneration, and Aristotle and others give him an unqualified preference over the rest of the Eleatics (Plat. Theaet. p. 183, e.; Soph. p. 237, comp. Aristot. Metaph. A, 5. p. 986, b. 1. 25 ; Phys. Auscult. i. 23 ; Clem. Alex. Strom. v. p. 603). His fellow-citizens, the inhabitants of Elea, must have been penetrated by similar feel­ings with regard to him, if they every year bound their magistrates to render obedience to the laws laid down by him (Speusippus in Diog. Lae'rt. ix. 23, comp. Strab. vi. p. 252 ; Plut. adv. Colot. p. 1126). Like Xenophanes, Parmenides developed his philosophical convictions in a didactic poem, com­posed in hexameter verse, entitled On Nature (Pint, de Pyth. Orac. p. 402), the poetical power and form of which even his admirers do not rate very highly (Proclus, in Pdrmen. iv. 62 ; Plut. de Audit, p. 44, de audiend. Poet. p. 16, c. ; comp. Cic. A cad. Q.uaest. iv. 23) ; and this judgment is confirmed by the tolerably copious fragments of it which are extant, for the preservation of which we are indebted chiefly to Sextus Empiricus and Simplicius, and the authenticity of which is esta­blished beyond all doubt by the entire accordance of their contents with the statements in Aristotle, Plato, and others, as well as by the language and style (the expressions of Diogenes Lae'rt. ix. 23, have reference to Pythagoras, not to Parmenides). Even the allegorical exordium is entirely wanting in the charm of inventive poetry, while the versi­fication is all that distinguishes the argumentation from the baldest prose. That Parmenides also wrote in prose (Suid. s. v.} has probably been in­ferred only from a misunderstood passage in Plato (Soph. p. 237). In fact there was but one piece written by Parmenides (Diog. Lae'rt. i. 16, comp. Plat. Parinen. p. 128, a. c.; Theophrastus in Diog. Lae'rt. viii. 55 ; Simplicius on Arist. Phys. f. 31, a. and others) ; and the prose passage, which is found among the fragments (Simplic. I.e. f. 7), is without

PARMENIDES.

doubt of later origin, added by way of explanation (comp, Simon Karsten, /. c. p. 130).

In the allegorical introduction to his didactic poem, the Eleatic describes how Heliadic virgins conducted him on the road from Darkness to Light, to gates where the paths of Night and Day sepa­rate ; and, after Dike had unbolted the gates, to the goddess Wisdom. She greets him kindly, with the promise of announcing to him not only the unchangeable heart of truth (dtojdeiys ffaeidfos drpeK^s ^rop), but also the truthless fancy of men (Parmenid. Reliqu. in Simon Karsten, I. c. 32, after Sextus Empiricus, adv. Math. vii. Ill), and indicates in this way whither each of these oppo­site roads leads, while she at the same time points to the division of the poem into two parts. The path of truth sets out from the assumption that existence w, and that non-existence is inconceivable (Reliqu. 1. 33. &c.), but only leads to the desired end by the avoidance, not merely of assuming a non-existence, but also of regarding existence and non-existence as on a par with each other, which is the back-leading road of the blind and erring crowd (ib. 1. 43, &c.). On the former, Reason (A.o7os, vovs) is our guide ; on the latter the eye that does not catch the object (&r/co7roj/ o^ua), and re-echoing hearing (^xneffffa «/coi>rf, ib. 1. 52. &c. comp. 1. 89 ; Plat. Parmen. p. 135, d.). On the former path we convince ourselves that the ex­istent neither has come into being, nor is perish­able, and is entirely of one sort (ovKov (jLovvoyfj'es\ without change and limit (/ecu ar^es 7]5* areAea--toj>), neither past nor future, entirely included in the present (ib. 1. 56). For it is as impossible that it can become and grow out of the existent, as that it could do so out of the non-existent; since the latter, non-existence, is absolutely inconceivable, and the former cannot precede itself; and every coming into existence presupposes a non-existence (1. 61. &c.). By similar arguments divisibility (1. 77, £c.), motion or change, as also infinity, are shut out from the absolutely existent (1. 81, &c.), and the latter is represented as shut up in itself, so that it may be compared to a well-rounded ball (1. 100, &c. ) ; while Thought is appropriated to it as its only positive definition, Thought and that which is thought of (Object) coinciding (1. 93, &c.; the corresponding passages of Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus, and others, which authenticate this view of his theory, see in Commentatt. Eleat. by the author of this article, i. p. 133, &c., and in S. Karsten, I. c.). Thus to Parmenides the idea of Being had presented itself in its complete purity, to the exclusion of all connection with space, time, and multiformity, and he was compelled to decide upon regarding as human fancy and illusion what appears to us connected with time and space, changeable and multiform (1. 97, &c. 176), though he never­theless felt himself obliged at least to attempt an explanation of this illusion. In this attempt, which he designates as mere mortal opinion and deceptive putting together of words, he lays down two primordial forms (/xop^ai), the fine, and light, and thoroughly uniform aetherial fire of flame (0Ao-jos alOeptov Trvp\ and the cold, thick, and heavy body (Se/uas) of dark night (1. 112, &c.),—repre­sented by those who have preserved to us the in formation, as Warm and Cold, Fire and Earth ( Arist. Phys. i. 3, Metaph. i. 5, de Gener. et Corrupt, i. 3 ; Theophrast. in Alex. I. c.) ; the former re­ferred to the existent, the latter to the non-existent

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