Xenophanes(redirected from Xenophanes of Colophon)
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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.
WORKSDie Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, vol. 1, 9th ed. Berlin, 1960. (Greek text with German translation by H. Diels.)
REFERENCEMandes, M. I. Eleaty. Odessa, 1911. Pages 45–100.
A. F. LOSEV