Parmenides was born approximately 530 BCE in the Greek colony of Elea in southern Italy. He was influenced by philosophers such as Pythagoras and Xenophanes, who had also been active in the region. Plato in his Parmenides presents him as visiting Athens and meeting the young Socrates around 450 BCE, but this is most probably a Platonic fabrication. The account of Plato's Sophist (242d), in which Parmenides is presented as a precursor to Heraclitus, is likely more accurate; this is in agreement with all ancient biographers, who place Parmenides' floruit around 500 BCE.

Parmenides is probably the most original and innovative of all Pre-Socratic philosophers. He shares with them the endeavor to identify t…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Thanassas, Panagiotis. "Parmenides". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 February 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5789, accessed 16 April 2014.]