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This is the test of what is full and what is not full: if it has room for anything, or admits anything into it, it is not full; if it does not have room for anything, or admit anything into it, it is full. If no void exists it must be full ; if then it is full it does not move. These are the doctrines of Melissos.

34; 162, 24. (Fr. 6) What was, always was and always will be ; for if it had come into existence, it necessarily would have been nothing before it came into existence. If now there were nothing existing, nothing would ever have come into existence from nothing.

Simpl. de Coelo 137 r; Schol. Aristot. 509 b; cf. Aristokl. Euseb. Pr. Er. xiv. 17. (Fr. 17) This argument is the strongest proof that being is one only. And the proofs are as follows: For if a multiplicity of things existed it would be necessary that these things should be just such as I say the one is. For if earth exists, and water and air and iron and gold and fire and the living and the dead and black and white, and everything else which men say is real,-if these things exist and we see and hear them correctly, it is necessary that each thing should be such as we first determined, namely, it should not change its character or become different, but should always be each thing what it is. Now we say that we see and hear and understand correctly; but it seems to us that hot becomes cold and cold hot, that hard becomes soft and soft hard, that the living being dies and life comes from what is not living; and that all these things become different, and what they are is not like what they were. It seems to us that iron, being hard to the touch, wastes away fbecoming liquefied, t' and so does gold, and rock, and whatever else seems to be strong, so that we conclude that we do not see or know things

Zeller i.5 613 n. 1 suggests 'n' loû péwv, “passing away because of rust.'

that are. And earth and rock arise from water. These things then do not harmonise with each other. Though we said that many things are eternal, and have forms and strength, it seems that they all become different and change their character each time they are seen. Evidently we do not see correctly, nor is the appearance of multiplicity correct; for they would not change their character if they were real, but would remain each thing as it seemed, for nothing is nobler than that which is real. But if they change their character, being perishes and not-being comes into existence. So then if a multiplicity of things exist, it is necessary that they should be such as the one is.


Phys. i. 3 ; 186 a 6. Both Melissos and Parmenides argue fallaciously, and they make false assumptions and their reasonings are not logical ; but the argument of Melissos is the more wearisome, for it sets no problem, but granted one strange thing, others follow; and there is no difficulty in this. The error in the reasoning of Melissos is plain, for he thinks that if everything which has come into being has a beginning, he can assume that that which has not come into being does not have a beginning. This, then, is strange, that he should think that everything has a beginning except time, and this does not, and that simple generation has no beginning but change alone begins, as though change as a whole did not come into being. Even if the all is a unity, why then should it not move? Why should not the whole be moved even as a part of it which is a unity, namely water, is moved in itself ? Then why should there not be change? It is not possible that being should be one in form, but only in its source.

Soph. Elen. 5; 163 b 13. The same is true of syllogisms, as for instance in the case of Melissos' argument that the all is infinite; in this he assumes that the all is not generated (for nothing is generated from notbeing), and that that which is generated, is generated from a beginning. If then the all was not generated, it does not have a beginning, so it is infinite. It is not necessary to assent to this, for even if everything which is generated has a beginning, it does not follow that if anything has a beginning it was generated, as a man with a fever is warm, but one who is warm may not have a fever.

Soph. Elen. 6; 164 b 35. Or again, as Melissos assumes in his argument that generation and having a beginning are the same thing, or that that which is generated from equals has the same size. The two statements, that what is generated has a beginning, and that what has a beginning is generated, he deems equivalent, so that the generated and the limited are both the same in that they each have a beginning. Because what is generated has a beginning, he postulates that what has a beginning is generated, as though both that which is generated and that which is finite were the same in having a beginning.


DoxOGRAPHISTS. Epiph. adv. Haer. iii. 12; Dox. 590. Melissos of Samos, son of Ithagenes, said that the all is one in kind, but that nothing is fixed in its nature, for all things are potentially destructible.

Aet. Plac. i. 3 ; Dox. 285. Melissos of Miletos, son of Ithagenes, became his companion, but he did not preserve in its purity the doctrine that was transmitted to

him. For he said in regard to the infinite that the world of those things that appear is limited. i. 7; 303. Melissos and Zeno say that the one is universal, and that it exists alone, eternal, and unlimited. And this unity is necessity [Heeren inserts here the name Empedokles), and the material of which it consists is the four elements, and the forms are love and strife. He calls the elements gods, and the mixture of them the world. And the uniform will be resolved. He thinks that souls are divine, and that pure men who share these things in a pure way are divine. i. 24; 320. Melissos (et al.) deny generation and destruction, because they think that the all is unmoved.

Aet. ii. 1; 327. Melissos (et al.): The universe is one. 328. The all is infinite, but the world is limited. 4; 332. Melissos (et al.): The world is not generated, not to be destroyed, eternal.

Aet. iv. 9; 396. Melissos (et al.): Sensations are deceptive.



PYTHAGORAS, son of Mnesarchos, a native of Samos, left his fatherland to escape the tyranny of Polykrates (533/2 or 529/8 B.c.). He made his home for many years in Kroton in southern Italy, where his political views gained control in the city. At length he and his followers were banished by an opposing party, and he died at Metapontum. Many stories are told of his travels into Egypt and more widely, but there is no evidence on which the stories can be accepted. He was a mystic thinker and religious reformer quite as much as a philosopher, but there is no reason for denying that the doctrines of the school originated with him. Of his disciples, Archytas, in southern Italy, and Philolaos and Lysis, at Thebes, are the best known. It is the doctrine of the school, not the teaching of Pythagoras himself, which is known to us through the writings of Aristotle.

Literature :-On Pythagoras: Krische, De societatis a

Pythagora conditae scopo politico, 1830; E. Rohde,
Rhein. Mus. xxvi. 565 sqq. ; xxvii. 23 sqq.; Diels,
Rhein. Mus. xxxi. 25 sq. ; Zeller, Sitz. d. kgl. preus.
Akad. 1889, 45, p. 985 sqq. ; Chaignet, Pythagore,

1873, and the excellent account in Burnett. Philolaos : Boeckh, Philolaos Lehren, nebst den

Bruchstücken seines Werkes, 1819 ; V. Rose,
Comment. de Arist. libr. ord. et auct. Berlin 1854;
Schaarschmidt, Die angebliche Schriftstellerei de:
Phil. Bonn 1864; Zeller, Gesch. d. griech. Phil.
4 Auf. 261, 341, 386 ; Hermes x. 178 ; Bywater,
Journal of Philol. i. 21 sqq.

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