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(zĕnŏf`ənēz), c.570–c.480 B.C., pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of Colophon. Although thought by some to be the founder of the Eleatic schoolEleatic school
, Greek pre-Socratic philosophical school at Elea, a Greek colony in Lucania, Italy. The group was founded in the early 5th cent. B.C. by Parmenides, its greatest thinker. He denied the reality of change on the ground that things either exist or do not.
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, his thought is only superficially similar to that of ParmenidesParmenides
, b. c.515 B.C., Greek philosopher of Elea, leading figure of the Eleatic school. Parmenides' great contribution to philosophy was the method of reasoned proof for assertions.
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. Xenophanes opposed the anthropomorphic representation of the gods common to the Greeks since Homer and Hesiod. Instead he asserted there is only one god, eternal and immutable but intimately connected with the world. Although interpretations of his thought vary, it was probably a form of pantheism. He was a singer of elegies, a poet, and a satirist who exhorted his hearers to virtue.


See G. S. Kirk and J. E. Raven, The Presocratic Philosophers (1957).



(Xenophanes of Colophon). Lived during the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. Greek poet and philosopher. Founder of the Eleatic school.

Xenophanes was the author of elegies. In his parody Satires, he attacked anthropomorphism: “If oxen, horses, and lions had hands wherewith to grave images as men do, then horses would portray gods like unto horses, oxen would portray gods like unto oxen” (Dosokratiki, part 1, Kazan, 1914, p. 111). In contrast to the anthropomorphic gods of the Greek popular religion, Xenophanes posited a single god who did not resemble man either in his appearance or thoughts. Xenophanes created a whole cosmogony that was typical of pre-Socratic philosophers: “From earth all things are and to earth all things return” (ibid., p. 113). Among the numerous motifs of a natural-philosophical, critical-mythological, and poetic nature, the notion of the continuity, unity, eternity, indestructibility, and immutability of being occurs consistently in the extant fragments of Xenophanes’ work. This notion undoubtedly exerted a decisive influence on the whole Eleatic school.


Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, vol. 1, 9th ed. Berlin, 1960. (Greek text with German translation by H. Diels.)


Mandes, M. I. Eleaty. Odessa, 1911. Pages 45–100.



?570--?480 bc, Greek philosopher and poet, noted for his monotheism and regarded as a founder of the Eleatic school
References in periodicals archive ?
cit, nota 30: "But there is nothing in the arguments which he (Pseudo Aristoteles) attributes to Xenophanes that could not easily be retranslated into the comparatively simple form of the literal fragments of Xenophanes's work.
Le traite anonyme De Melisso Xenophane gorgia (Cahiers de Philologie 4).
Xenophanes (late 6 (th)-5 (th) century BCE) fought against pseudo-science and was, perhaps, the first to spell out the relativity of a belief: "If a horse or an ox could paint a picture, their gods would look like a horse or an ox.
Pre-Socratic influences here should include Xenophanes (4) in the first place, but a harsh attitude towards the founding fathers of Greek [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] extended to Xenophanes himself--is also very conspicuous in some Heraclitean fragments (5).
Her contribution is valuable not just for demonstrating how Martial alludes to poets such as Callimachus, Lucillius, Antipater, Parmenion and Xenophanes, but especially for showing how he does so creatively both as a way of defining his own role in the epigrammatic tradition and as a way of commenting upon contemporary Rome.
24) Xenophanes famously denounced mythological tales as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (1.
Although the rule of reason was anticipated by Presocratic philosophers such as Xenophanes, Heraclitus, and Anaxagoras, Plato was the first to articulate it through a series of principles:
Several classical ancient thinkers--including Xenophanes, Socrates, Plato, (126) Aristotle, (127) Musonius Rufus, (128) and Plutarch (129)--developed ethical frameworks that found special value in bonds embodied in coitus and uniquely apt for family life.
X Yanguna spatiosa (Hewitson, 1870) X X Xenophanes tryxus (Stoll, 1780) X
48) Xenophanes had lamented the immorality of the gods of the poets (fr.
So far as this came clearly to consciousness there resulted a necessary conflict between the two views of the world[;] instead of the deepening of the older religious conceptions that is found in the cosmologies across the Aegean we find a scientific criticism of the mythology such as is best represented in Xenophanes.
Yet beside the confusion of the image with the reality it represents, it is always possible to retain a critical perspective, as we can see in the fragment of Xenophanes which tells us that Thracians would imagine their gods to be blond and with blue eyes, while those of the Ethiopians were snub-nosed and black, and if animals had hands and instruments, they would certainly create gods according to their own forms.