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


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


(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'


around 500 BCE.

Parmenides is probably the most original and innovative of all Pre-Socratic philosophers. He shares with them the endeavor to identify the unifying factor of the universe. But unlike the Ionian physicists, he does not locate

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Citation: Thanassas, Panagiotis. "Parmenides". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 February 2009 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

5789 Parmenides 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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