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The opens mid-action, with a first-person account of an unnamed youth (generally taken to be Parmenides himself) traveling along a divine path to meet a didactic (also unnamed) goddess.
The party eventually arrives at two tightly-locked, bronze-fitted gates—the Gates of Night and Day.This has often been understood to mean there is just one thing in all of existence. However, Plato is also known for including other entirely fictitious, clearly anachronistic yet precise details in his dialogues.In light of this questionable interpretation, Parmenides has traditionally been viewed as a pivotal figure in the history of philosophy: one who challenged the physical systems of his predecessors and set forth for his successors the metaphysical criteria any successful system must meet. E., subtracting the remaining 45 years yields a birthdate for Parmenides c. In fact, the very conversation reported in the dialogue would have been impossible, as it depends upon views Plato developed late in his life, which are certainly not “Socratic” at all.From the House of Night—far below the center of the Earth—the Heliades would follow an ascending arc to the eastern edge of the Earth, where the sun/moon rise.The journey would then continue following the ecliptic pathway upwards across the heavens to apogee, and then descend towards sunset in the West.However, discerning exactly what that thesis is supposed to be has proven a vexing, perennial problem since ancient times. Several sources attest that he established a set of laws for Elea, which remained in effect and sworn to for centuries after his death (Coxon 16, 116). The result is a rather fragmentary text, constituted by approximately 154 dactylic-hexameter lines (some are only partial lines, or even only one word).
Even Plato expressed reservations as to whether Parmenides’ “noble depth” could be understood at all—and Plato possessed Parmenides’ entire poem, a blessing denied to modern scholars. This reconstructed arrangement has then been traditionally divided into three distinct parts: an introductory section known as the ).At some point along this route over the Earth they would collect their mortal charge.Following this circular path, the troupe would eventually arrive back in the underworld at the Gates of Night and Day.Although there are many important philological and philosophical questions surrounding Parmenides’ poem, ) of Ascea, Italy. E., and thus Parmenides was of Ionian stock (1.167.3). The linear order of the three main extant sections is certain, and the assignment of particular fragments (and internal lines) to each section is generally well-supported.Herodotus reports that members of the Phocaean tribe established this settlement ca. Parmenides’ father, a wealthy aristocrat named Pyres, was probably one of the original colonizers (Coxon exactly Parmenides was born is far more controversial. Neither account is clearly convincing in-itself, and scholars are divided on their reliability and veracity. However, it must be admitted that confidence in the connectedness, completeness, and internal ordering of the fragments in each section decreases significantly as one proceeds through the poem linearly: .Given all of this, any serious engagement with Parmenides’ work should begin by acknowledging the incomplete status of the text and recognizing that interpretative certainty is generally not to be found.