Cornford, Francis Macdonald. 1939. Plato and Parmenides. Parmenides' Way of Truth and Plato's Parmenides Translated, with an Introduction
and a Running Commentary. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co. Ltd.
Reprinted by Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980.
Contents: Preface V; List of abbreviations XI; Introduction. Chapter I. The earliest Pythagorean cosmogony 1; Chapter II. Parmenides' Way
of Truth 28; Chapter III. Zeno and Pythagorean Atomism 53; The Parmenides 63; Index 247.
"This book was undertaken with the hope that a close study of the whole chain of argument [of Plato's Parmenides] would bring to
light some method of interpretation that would give the dialogue a serious significance, worthy of its author and consistent with its position in the history
of Greek thought. I could find not the faintest sign of any theological revelation. On the other hand there were innumerable features whose presence could not
be accounted for in a mere parody or light-hearted polemic. The conclusion reached was that the second part of the dialogue is an extremely subtle and masterly
analysis, dealing with problems of the sort we call logical, which we know to have been much in Plato's mind in his later period. The assumptions required to
yield this conclusion will be set out in the commentary introducing the dialectical exercise.
As a general rule, Plato's predecessors and contemporaries (including Aristotle) throw a surer light upon his meaning than his remote
successors, whose systems betray the influence of many centuries of religious and philosophical development. Accordingly, in a somewhat long introduction I
have tried to fill in the historical background. The conversation in the dialogue arises out of a reading of Zeno's controversial treatise, directed against
critics who had derided what seemed to them the absurd consequences of Parmenides' reasoning. It is necessary to form some picture of the position held by
these critics themselves and of the nature of Zeno's counter-attack. Behind this controversy, again, lay Parmenides' own system; and this, in its turn, had
involved the rejection of the Pythagorean doctrine he had learnt in his youth.
I have therefore begun with an attempt to reconstruct the earliest Pythagorean cosmogony. The second chapter gives an account of Parmenides'
Way of Truth and of its relation to the rest of his poem. The third deals with Zeno and his opponents. All these topics are relevant to the
understanding of the dialectical exercise, which not only includes a searching criticism of Eleatic dogma, but indicates the lines on which Plato would remodel
the Pythagorean system." (Preface, IX-X)
Freeman, Kathleen. 1946. The Pre-Socratic Philosophers. A Companion to Diels 'Fragmente Der Vorsokratiker'. Oxford: Basil
A complete English translation of the 'B' passages (the 'fragments') from Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (Fifth edition).
Reprinted in 1983 by Cambridge University Press.
Tarán, Leonardo. 1965. Parmenides. A Text with Translation, Commentary and Critical Essays. Princeton: Princeton University
Contents: Foreword VII-IX; List of Bibliographical abbreviations X-XIV; Part I: Parmenides' life 1; Fragments I-XIX: Text, translation, and
commentary 7; Part I: Critical Essays 173; Chapter One: Parmenides concept of Being 175; Chapter Two: Aletheia and Doxa 202; Chapter Three:
The world of appearance described in the Doxa 231; Chapter Four: Parmenides in the ancient philosophical tradition 269; Appendix I 296; Appendix II
299; Index of Fragments of Parmenides 303; Index of passages 305; Index of proper names 309-314.
"Parmenides' doctrine represents a turning-point in Greek philosophy, one that can truly be said to determine the course of Greek thought
until the time of Aristotle. Not only Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and the Atomists but also Plato and Aristotle tried to answer the dilemma put forward by
Parmenides, namely, that since any difference from Being is absolute non-Being, and as such unthinkable, no account of the world of difference and change can
be valid. But this doctrine not only invalidates any explanation of the sensible world, it asserts that this world insofar as it is different from Being is
non-existent. Because it seems of fundamental importance for the understanding of Greek philosophy to determine exactly what Parmenides thought, I decided to
study all available evidence about his work. My decision was based on the conviction that only such a study can be of value today, for Parmenides' philosophy
is one in which all is in all and any interpretation of part of it risks, by not taking into consideration other aspects of his thought, being contradicted by
the results of another partial study.
I have devoted the first part of the book to a line by line commentary on the fragments. I have edited the text only to facilitate reference
and to complete in part the critical apparatus given by Diels-Kranz. I have made use of the best available editions of the ancient authors who quote
Parmenides' text. A fresh study of the manuscripts of Simplicius' commentaries to Aristotle's Physics and De Caelo may still add to our
knowledge, but I am convinced that even such a study would not drastically change the status of the text of Parmenides. The variant readings given in the
critical apparatus and sometimes in the commentary are selective and are especially meant to illustrate the places where a variant reading may be of importance
for the interpretation of the text.
The translation has no pretension to literary value and has been added as a complement to the commentary, to reduce as much as possible the
number of ambiguities in the construction of the Greek. Each fragment is followed by its commentary, but in a few places discussion of the text is postponed
till the second part of the book to preserve the unity of the first three chapters. These chapters deal with more general aspects of Parmenides' thought: his
notion of Being, the relation of Aletheia to Doxa, and the content of the second part of the poem. The fourth chapter attempts to determine
what the ancients took Parmenides' philosophy to be and what value this testimony has for the historical reconstruction of Parmenides' thought.
Since such a study as the present is by its very nature largely polemical, I wish to emphasize here my indebtedness to the scholars who have
devoted themselves to the study of Parmenides and not least to those with whose interpretations I happen to disagree. In particular I would like to mention the
pioneering work of H. Diels, E. Zeller, W. A. Heidel, and H. Frankel. The book, with some changes of form and content, is a doctoral dissertation submitted to
the Faculty of Princeton University in September 1962. But I have taken into consideration studies on Parmenides that reached me up to December 1963." (from
Kirk, Geoffrey Stephen, Raven, George Earle, and Schofield, Malcolm. 1983. The Presocratic Philosophers. A Critical History with a
Selection of Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Second revised edition by M. Schofield; first edition 1957 by K. G. Kirk and J. E. Raven.
See Chapter VIII - Parmenides of Elea - pp. 239-262.
"This book is designed primarily for those who have more than a casual interest in the history of early Greek thought; but by translating all
Greek passages, and confining some of the more detailed discussion to small-type notes at the end of paragraphs, we have also aimed to make the book useful for
those students of the history of philosophy or science who have no previous acquaintance with this important and fascinating field.
Two points should be emphasized. First, we have limited our scope to the chief Presocratic `physicists' and their forerunners, whose main
preoccupation was with the nature (physis) and coherence of things as a whole. More specialized scientific interests were simultaneously developing throughout
the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., especially in mathematics, astronomy, geography, medicine and biology; but for lack of space, and to some extent of
evidence, we have not pursued these topics beyond the interests of the chief physicists. We have also extruded the Sophists, whose positive philosophical
contribution, often exaggerated, lay mainly in the fields of epistemology and semantics. Secondly, we have not set out to produce a necessarily orthodox
exposition (if, indeed, such a thing is conceivable in a field where opinion is changing so rapidly), but have preferred in many places to put forward our own
interpretations. At the same time we have usually mentioned other interpretations of disputed points, and have always tried to present the reader with the main
materials for the formation of his own judgement.
Where the evidence is fuller and clearer - particularly where considerable fragments survive, as for example in the case of Parmenides the
commentary can naturally be shorter; where the evidence is sparser and more confusing, as for example in the case of Anaximander or the Pythagoreans, our own
explanations must be longer and more involved. Chapter 1 in particular, which deals with a part of the subject which is often neglected, is perhaps more
detailed in parts than its ultimate importance demands, and nonspecialists are advised to leave it until last.
Only the most important texts have been quoted, and those in an inevitably personal selection. For a nearly complete collection of fragments
and testimonies the reader should turn to H. Diels, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (5th and later editions, Berlin, 1934-54, edited by W. Kranz)."
(from the Preface to the First edition)
"It is now more than twenty-five years since The Presocratic Philosophers first appeared; it has been through many printings since,
with minor corrections until 1963 and subsequently without change. (...)
There are major and important changes in this new edition. M. Schofield has completely rewritten the chapters on the Eleatics and
Pythagoreans, principally because of work by analytic philosophers on the former and by Walter Burkert (in particular) on the latter -- work which has called
for some reassessment of the Cornford-Raven view on the interrelations between the two schools. Alcmaeon has been incorporated in these chapters." (From the
Preface to the 1983 revised edition).
Gallop, David. 1984. Parmenides of Elea. Fragments. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Contents: Acknowledgments VII; Preface IX; Abbreviations XI; Introduction 3; Glossary 41; Text and translation of the Fragments 45; Fragment
contexts 95; Testimonia on Parmenides' life and teaching 104; Sources and authorities 124; Bibliographical note 133; Select bibliography 135; Index
"This volume contains a text and a new translation of the extant fragments of Parmenides' philosophical poem. It also offers the first
complete translation into English of the contexts in which the fragments have come down to us, and of the ancient testimonia concerning Parmenides'
life and thought. All of these secondary materials are collected in the comprehensive work of Diels-Kranz, Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker (6th
edition, Berlin 1951), hereafter referred to as D-K, and all have been included here.
The purpose of the translation is to provide an English version that will be of service to modern readers who wish to explore the poem in
detail. All the fragments have been translated in full, and appear in the order that has become canonical since the fifth edition of Diels-Kranz. References to
the fragments are given in the conventional style derived from this order. thus, 8.50 refers to line 50 of fragment 8.
As far as differences of word-order allow, the translation of the poem has been arranged in lines corresponding to those of the Greek text.
This style has been adopted purely for ease of reference, and not with the aim of producing a poetic version. No attempt has been made to capture the literary
qualities of Parmenides' verse or the archaism of his language.
Richard Robinson, in the introduction to his translation of Aristotle's Politics Ill-IV (Oxford 1962, p. XXX), has characterized a
translation as 'a shameful form of book.' For by offering a translation of each sentence in his original, the translator 'implies that he knows that this is
what the original sentence means. But sometimes he does not know what it means, and is only guessing as well as he can.' In publishing a fresh version of
Parmenides' poem the present translator makes no claim to know what every sentence in the original means. To signal the worst uncertainties, alternative
renderings have been appended for passages whose meaning is disputed, or where major questions of interpretation hinge upon the text or translation adopted. In
these places the reader will find it instructive to compare alternatives. He will then quickly discover how completely he puts himself at the translator's
mercy, if he relies entirely upon any single version. He may also find it useful, especially if he is wholly dependent upon translation, to consult the short
glossary of terms that present special problems of translation or interpretation.
The introduction advocates one plausible, modern interpretation of Parmenides. It also tries to bring out the more important points still in
dispute, and some major philosophical questions raised by the poem. It has seemed better to write an extended essay, cross-referenced to the translation, than
to provide a separate series of exegetic and critical notes. This arrangement, regrettably, has made it necessary to skate all too lightly over much
significant detail. But it also avoids dispersing editorial comment too widely for convenient use; and by allowing a more continuous exposition of the poem
than is possible in separate notes, it may better help the explorer to find his bearings in the Eleatic jungle.
The notes to the introduction occasionally qualify or enlarge upon points made in the text. Their main purpose, however, is to provide
guidance to the secondary literature, supportive either of views adopted in the text without argument or of defensible alternatives. Almost every line of
Parmenides is controversial, and it is not possible, in the space available, to discuss every problem, let alone to argue for definitive solutions. Although
the present exposition is thus unavoidably 'partisan,' it attempts to air disagreements sufficiently to provide some awareness of what is at issue. Given this
limited aim, the use of secondary sources is necessarily selective. Fuller treatment of the literature would have incurred the risk of producing a work
impenetrable to all but specialists. And of such works Parmenides has perhaps received his due share already.
Discussion has therefore been confined mainly to a small number of leading studies in English. All sources used, together with others readily
accessible, have been listed in the Bibliography." (from the Preface)
Coxon, Allan Hartley. 1986. The Fragments of Parmenides. A Critical Text with Introduction, Translation, the Ancient Testimonia and a
Commentary. Assen: Van Gorcum.
See the new edition; Las Vegas, Parmenides Publishing, 2009.
Contents: Preface V-VI; Introduction 1; Text and translation of the Fragments 41; The ancient Testimonia 95; Commentary 156; Appendix 257;
"The text of the fragments of Parmenides was placed on a firm foundation by Diels (S implicii in Aristotelis Physicorum Libros quattuor
priores Cornmentaria, 1882; Parmenides Lehrgedicht, 1897; Poetarum Philosophorum Fragmenta, 1901). Since the latest editions of Die
Fragmente der Vorsokratiker depart in several places from Diels' own text, it seemed desirable to re-examine the tradition, and the following pages were
originally planned as a simple text with fuller critical apparatus than has appeared since Poetarum Philosophorum Fragmenta and with epic parallels. A
revised collection of testimonia was then added, incorporating the Platonic, Aristotelian and Neoplatonic discussions, mostly written with knowledge of the
complete text and essential for understanding the fragments, but in the main omitted by Diels. Finally it seemed inescapable to complete the work with an
introduction and commentary.
The inclusion among the testimonia of philosophical as well as of purely doxographical material necessitated the substitution of a broadly
chronological order for the analytical order adopted by Diels. I have made use of the standard printed editions, but have modified the text in numerous places,
particularly in Proclus' commentary on the Parmenides, where the readings are based on my own collations. Textual notes are added only where clarity demands
it. In citing the text of Aetius after Doxographi Graeci I have included short forms of the chapter-headings, which formulate the questions which the
information extracted from the original works has been adapted to answer, and apart from which it cannot be evaluated." (from the Preface)
See the Review of the book by Malcolm Schofield in Phronesis 32, 1987, pp. 349-359.
Sider, David, and Johnstone Jr., Henry. 1986. The Fragments of Parmenides. Bryn Mawr: Thomas Library, Bryn Mawr College.
"This Bryn Mawr Commentary differs from most in that the text has been prepared especially for this edition (by D.S.) and the commentary has
had to take account of the fact that there are major disagreements among scholars over the manuscript readings, the meanings, and even the syntax of many
passages crucial for an understanding of Parmenides' meaning. Hence, the number of places where we offer several possibilities (tending to put our preferred
The Diels-Kranz text is reprinted with the kind permission of Weidmann Verlag, Zurich." (From the Preface)
Henn, Martin. 2003. Parmenides of Elea. A Verse Translation with Interpretative Essays and Commentary to the Text. Westport: Praeger
Contents: 1. Parmenides and his Predecessors 1; 2. Translation of the Diels B-Fragments 23; 3. The Question of Being: a dialectic of
alternative paths 31; 4. Fragment B3: the metaphysical unity of Thinking and Being 51; 5. Parmenides' closed-loop concept of time and the illusion of linear
time-consciousness 67; 6. Necessity, possibility, and contingency 85; 7. The teachings of the Goddess 101; 8. The Diels and Kranz Greek text in the order
translated 109; 9. Commentary on the Greek 115; Select bibliography 143; Index locorum: the Diels B-Fragments of Parmenides 145-147.
"Parmenides recounts a dream voyage through the stars in a chariot drawn by swift chargers and beautiful attending maidens. Traveling through
profound darkness the train arrives at the gates of the ways of Night and Day. Avenging Justice holds the keys; yet the maidens persuade her to open the gates
to insure safe passage to the palace of the Goddess, who teaches Parmenides the Truth of Being.
The Goddess instructs Parmenides on two ways of thinking inquiry: The one, that Being is, and must always be; the other, that Being is not,
and cannot ever be. She then counsels him not to follow the second path, the Way of Opinion, as it represents the errant path of mortal minds, which do not
recognize the eternal Essence of all that is. But by following the Way of Truth, Thinking and Being are found to be the same; while the unlimited source of all
there is is ungenerable, indestructible, systematic, and whole, subsisting in one eternally present "now" which transcends the passage of time. The
circumference of the cosmos holds the clue to Being's unified simplicity. The Goddess then tells Parmenides to learn the opinions of mortals, so that he may
never be outmatched in argument. Finally, the Goddess speaks of Destiny who rules sexual intercourse and painful birth. She warns that everything contained in
the mortal cosmology is bound by Necessity to inevitable decay; but Being shall never cease to be.
The following translation recognizes Hermann Diels' original numbering of the B-fragments from Parmenides Lehrgedicht (1897), which
are listed on the left in parentheses. But Diels' original ordering of the B- Fragments has been modified to register a coherent flow of ideas and images." p.
Geldard, Richard G. 2007. Parmenides and the Way of Truth. Rhinebeck: Monkfish Book Publishing Company.
Table of Contents: Introduction VII-XI; Chapter 1. Parmenides of Elea 1; Chapter 2. The Fragments 20; Chapter 3. Wrestling with Parmenides
52; Chapter 4. The Way of Truth 92; Chapter 5. From Being to Consciousness 109: Glossary 127; Suggested reading 128; Endnotes 129-131.
"Parmenides wrote a long poem entitled "On Nature." We have several fragments of the poem, preserved by later historians, philosophers and
Two-thirds, possibly more, is lost. We know a little more about the whole, fortunately, from Plato's dialogue "Parmenides," which describes a
visit by the aging philosopher to Athens, where he meets with interested intellectuals, including a young Socrates. A small industry of interpretation has
evolved out of the complexity of Plato's dialogue, leading to varied conclusions about the missing sections. But, more of that below.
The "Nature" of the title is the Greek physis [foo-sis], a term that expresses a visionary concern for "the nature of things," not
just the tangible facts of physical nature. It appears, in fact, that most Presocratic truth-seekers expressed their views in a similar way, entitling their
work "On Nature" as a sign that they were not writing a poem entitled "On the Gods." Physis was the general topic, and each thinker made a
contribution, some in more abstract language than others. That Parmenides chose the verse form was also an accepted means of expression, following Hesiod and,
to some extent, Homer. Verse was the language of revelation. The rhythm and sound of the hexameters' elevated thought above ordinary discourse. In more recent
times, we have the example of Shakespeare, who employed prose in his plays only for fools and madmen. Iambic pentameter was reserved for rational (albeit
sometimes brutal) discourse.
It is also useful to remember that the Greeks spoke their verse aloud. Silent reading was unknown until the Roman era. The eye followed the
unbroken line of letters, the words rolled off the tongue, were caught by the ear, and only then could meaning be grasped by the understanding. Since Greek is
an inflected language, word order depends on sound, how the words flow together, how vowels and consonants combine to produce a smooth, harmonic measure. As a
result, the hard consonants do not bump into one another. A vowel invariably intercedes to smooth the way. Word order then, is based on auditory effect, not
grammar, and meaning arises as much from this effect as from the vocabulary, making translation into English a challenge, especially from poetry to poetry.
Poetic licence is required, even encouraged.
As flawed as the following transliterated verse is, it is a serious attempt to capture both the sound and sense of Parmenidean revelation,
which is what his poem was meant to be. The result, hopefully, is revealed truth, arrived at in communion with divine communion, at least insofar as Parmenides
experienced it. The poem emerges from the force of Persuasion, the goddess who keeps company with Justice, whose task it is to guard the gates giving access to
the realm of higher knowledge. The youth, or kouros, gains admittance to this realm through his desire for truth and comes from the strength of eros
in his soul. It is access that anyone who is worthy and who deeply desires such communion can attain. On the basis of what is traditionally called the 'proem,'
his journey into the cosmos to the goddess, we are asked to accept that Parmenides was granted admittance to a special realm and once in the presence of
divinity, received the Way of 'Truth." pp. 20-21
Coxon, Allan Hartley. 2009. The Fragments of Parmenides. A Critical Text with Introduction and Translation, the Ancient Testimonia and a
Commentary. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.
Revised and expanded edition edited with new translations by Richard McKirahan and a new Preface by Malcolm Schofield.
Contents: Preface to the revised and expanded edition by Malcolm Schofield VII; Editor's Note by Richard McKirahan XI; Preface XIII-XIV;
Introduction 1; Text and translation of the Fragments 45; The ancient Testimonia with English translation 99; Commentary 269; Appendix 389;
Concordance 400; Indexes & Glossary 403-461.
"The book's other major contribution to scholarship is its collection of testimonia. Coxon's is a much fuller selection than was
provided by Diels and Kranz in Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. It is ordered not thematically (as in Diels-Kranz), but in chronological sequence of
the writers who transmit the information: whether in their own extant texts (as with Plato or Aristotle), or -- where those texts do not survive -- as recorded
in later authors (e.g. for Eudemus, in Simplicius; for Posidonius, in Strabo: though here Coxon usefully refers in the first instance to a standard modern
collection of fragments and testimonia of the cited author wherever possible). To enhance the accessibility of the new edition, an English translation facing
the original Greek or (occasionally) Latin has been prepared by Richard McKirahan.
Coxon himself indicated -- in handwritten notes on two copies of the book -- where he thought revisions or corrections were needed to the
first edition. In this second edition any such instance amounting to more than correction of a typographical error is pointed out in a corresponding footnote
(above Richard McKirahan's initials). One extra testimonium is added: Xenocrates, T16a. Really substantial revisions are in fact few and far between. The most
significant comes in the commentary on lines 34-41 of Fragment 8, where Coxon had revised his understanding of Parmenides' grammatical construction at lines
35-36, and had rethought the overall purpose of the passage. Here as elsewhere the text of the first edition is preserved in a footnote.
Richard McKirahan's translation of the testimonia is not the only extra help offered to the reader. There are also English
translations of all Greek words and phrases throughout the Introduction, Commentary and Appendix, and line numbers have been inserted in the
testimonia themselves to enhance ease of reference. Highly abbreviated forms of names of ancient authors and works have been spelled out more fully.
New supplementary material includes the Greek-English Index and an English-Greek glossary to the translations of the testimonia. Finally, as a way of
enabling the looking up of page references based on the pagination of the first edition, the original page numbers are provided here in square brackets inside
the margins." pp. VIII-IX.
Palmer, John. 2009. Parmenides and Presocratic Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Appendix: The Fragments of Parmenides' Poem. Introduction 350; Text and translation of the Fragments 362; Textual notes 376-387.
"The notes that follow discuss those places in the fragments where any real uncertainty remains about what Parmenides wrote. Since their aim
is merely to explain why the readings printed above have been adopted (in places where this has not already been made clear in the appendix's introduction), I
have tried to keep these notes as brief as possible. For the most part, readings reflecting the emergence of scholarly consensus have been printed without
comment. Since, for reasons already indicated, it has not been possible to furnish an apparatus criticus, manuscript variants are recorded here when
necessary and as reported in recent editions. Instances where the manuscripts preserve viable alternatives, or even readings genuinely useful for determining
what Parmenides himself wrote, are less numerous than one might suppose." p. 376
Graham, Daniel W., ed. 2010. The Texts of Early Greek Philosophy: The Complete Fragments and Selected Testimonies of the Major
Presocratics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Translated and edited in two volumes by D. W. Graham.
See Vol. I, Chapter 6 Parmenides pp. 203-244.
Mckirahan, Richard. 2011. Philosophy before Socrates. An Introduction with Texts and Commentary. Indianapolis: Hackett.
Second revised edition (first edition 1994).
See Chapter 11, Parmenides of Elea, pp. 145-173.
Concluding remarks: "Parmenides' Truth left a lasting mark on philosophy. The present account has been generous in its assessment of
this section of his poem. It would be easy to fault him for making our task more difficult than it need be. His language is frequently obscure, as is his
argumentation. It is frequently an uphill battle to discern how his train of thought proceeds. There are gaps in the reasoning and extensive use both of terms
that may (or may not) be intended as near-synonyms (but how near?) and of figurative, even metaphorical language that needs to be interpreted. Objections can
be raised against the arrangement of the arguments, since it is not always clear where one topic leaves off and another begins. In general, it requires a great
deal of sympathy to find a way for the arguments go through. My reason for interpreting Parmenides charitably is that only in this way can we appreciate the
interest, the potential, and the challenge of his ideas and arguments. Only if we make the effort to unravel his tortuous reasoning and fill in the gaps in
ways congenial to his point of view can we hope to understand his enormous influence on philosophy,(57) And enormous it was. With Parmenides Greek philosophy
began to become more systematic. Argument played an increasingly important role in the exposition of theories. The subsequent history of Presocratic philosophy
is often seen in terms of responses to Parmenides: Zeno and Melissus developed his ideas, while Anaxagoras, Empedocles, and the Atomists (to name only the most
important figures) accepted that there is no generation from or perishing into nothing and composed their cosmologies on this basis, even while disagreeing on
other points of Eleatic doctrine." p. 173.
(57) One of Melissus's virtues is that he presents his numerical monism in a clearer and more systematic way. See Ch. 15. [Melussus of Samo,