Page:Early Greek philosophy by John Burnet, 3rd edition, 1920.djvu/184

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170
EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY

"heard" him.[1] The date given by Apollodoros depends solely on that of the foundation of Elea (540 B.C.), which he had adopted as the floruit of Xenophanes. Parmenides is born in that year, just as Zeno is born in the year when Parmenides "flourished." I do not understand how any one can attach importance to such combinations.

We have seen (§ 55) that Aristotle mentions a statement which made Parmenides a disciple of Xenophanes; but it is practically certain that the statement referred to is only Plato's humorous remark in the Sophist, which we have dealt with already.[2] Xenophanes tells us himself that, in his ninety-second year, he was still wandering up and down (fr. 8). At that time Parmenides would be well advanced in life. And we must not overlook the statement of Sotion, preserved by Diogenes, that, though Parmenides "heard" Xenophanes, he did not "follow" him. He was really the "associate" of a Pythagorean, Ameinias, son of Diochaitas, "a poor but noble man to whom he afterwards built a shrine as to a hero." It was Ameinias and not Xenophanes that "converted" Parmenides to the philosophic life.[3] This does not read like an invention. The shrine erected by Parmenides would still be there in later days, like the grave of Pythagoras at Metapontion, and would have a dedicatory inscription. It should also be mentioned that Strabo describes Parmenides and Zeno as Pythagoreans, and that Kebes talks of a "Parmenidean and Pythagorean way of life."[4] It is certain, moreover, that
  1. Plut. Per. 4, 3. See below, p. 311, n. 1.
  2. See above, Chap. II. p. 127, n. 2.
  3. Diog. ix. 21 (R. P. 111), reading Ἀμεινίᾳ Διοχαίτα with Diels (Hermes, xxxv. p. 197). Sotion, in his Successions, separated Parmenides from Xenophanes and associated him with the Pythagoreans (Dox. pp. 146, 148, 166). So Proclus in Parm. iv. 5 (Cousin), Ἐλεᾶται δ' ἄμφω (Parmenides and Zeno) καὶ οὐ τοῦτο μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῦ Πυθαγορικοῦ διδασκαλείου μεταλαβόντε, καθάπερ που καὶ Νικόμαχος ἱστόρησεν. Presumably this comes from Timaios.
  4. Strabo, vi. 1, p. 252 (p. 171, n. 2); Ceb. Tab. 2 (R. P. 111 c). The statements of Strabo are of the greatest value; for they are based upon historians (especially Timaios) now lost.