Page:Ferrier Works vol 2 1888 LECTURES IN GREEK PHILOSOPHY.pdf/145

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GREEK PHILOSOPHY.

however, the philosophy of Parmenides himself. It is Parmenides carried forward into a subsequent phasis of philosophy; it is Parmenides platonising.

16. The philosophy of Parmenides, in so far as we have it from his own hand, is contained in some fragments of a poem entitled Περὶ φύσεως, concerning nature. The poem opens with an allegory, the literal meaning of which is, that the poet, impelled by his passions, goes in quest of truth. At first the senses are his guides. At length he reaches a spot where the gates stand which open on the paths of truth and of error. Δίκη, that is, justice, or wisdom, or understanding, is the guardian of the gates. She receives him favourably, and points out to him which is the road of reason and truth, and which the road of sense and opinion, bidding him follow out the one and avoid the other. The pathway of inquiry, she says, is twofold: the one way is that which affirms being and denies not-being; this is the way of truth and reason: the other is, the way which denies being and affirms not-being; this is the way of error and sense. The following is a translation or paraphrase of a few of the lines; the horses which bear him along are the passions, the nymphs are the senses:

" Far as the mind can reach conveyed me impetuous horses,

Speeding along God's highway, which runs through the secrets of nature.

Nymphs directed my course, the nymphs of the sun were my escort;