Literature: Brandis, Comm. Eleat. 1813; Cousin, Nouv. frag. phil. 1828, pp. 9-45; Karsten, Phil. Graec. vet. reliq. i. 1, 1830; Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Graec, ii.; F. Kern. Quaestionum Xenophaenearum cap. duo, Naumb. 1864; Beitrage, Danzig 1871; Ueber Xenophanes, Stettin 1874; Fredenthal, Die Theologie des Xenophanes, 1886; and Archiv f. d. Gesch. d. Phil. i. 1888, p. 322 sww.; Thill, Xenophane de Colophon, Luxemb. 1890.
On the book De Xen. Zen Gorg. Aristotelis, v. Fulleborn, Halle 1789; Bergk, 1843; Mullach, 1845; Ueberweg, Philol. viii. 1853, p. 104 sqq.; xxvi. 1868, p. 709 sqq.; Vermehren, 1861; F. Kern, Symbola Crit ad libellum, etc. Oldenb. 1867; Diels' Doxogr. pp. 109-113; Zeller, Geshchichte d. Phil d. Griechen, i. 499-521.
2. The whole [of god] sees, the whole perceives, the whole hears. [Zeller, 526, n. 1. No author is given in the context; Karsten follows Fabricius in accrediting it to Xenophanese.]
3. But without effort he sets in motion all things by mind and thought.
4. It [i.e. being] always abides in the same place, not moved at all, nor is it fitting that it should move from one place to another.
5. But mortals suppose that the gods are born (as they themselves are), and that they wear man's clothing and have human voice and body. [Zeller, 524, n. 2. Cf Arist. Rhet. ii. 23; 1399 b 6.]
6. But if cattle or lions had hands, so as to paint with their hands and produce works of art as men do, they would paint their gods and give them bodies in form like their own-horses like horses, cattle like cattle. [Zeller, 525, n. 2. Diog Laer. iii. 16; Cic. de nat. Deor. i. 27.]
8. For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth. [Cf. Stob. Ecl. Phys. ii. 282, which Karsten does not assign to Xenophanes.]
9. For we are all sprung from earth and water. [Zeller, 541, n. 1. Cf. Sext. Emp Pyrrh. ii. 30.]
10. All things that come into being and grow are earth and water.
11. The sea is the source of water and the source of wind; for neither would blasts of wind arise in the clouds and blow out from within them, except for the great sea, nor would the streams of rivers nor the rain-water in the sky exist but for the sea ; but the great sea is the begetter of clouds and winds and rivers.
12. This upper limit, of earth at our feet is visible and touches the air, but below it reaches to infinity. [Cf. Arist. de Coelo ii. 13; 294 a 21.]
13. She whom men call Iris (rainbow), this also is by nature cloud, violet and red and pale green to behold.
15. These things have seemed to me to resemble the truth.
16. In the beginning the gods did not at all reveal all things clearly to mortals, but by searching men in the course of time find them out better.
17. The following are fit topics for conversation for men reclining on a soft couch by the fire in the winter season, when after a meal they are drinking sweet wine and eating a little pulse: Who are you, and what is your family ? What is your acre, my friend? How old were you when the Medes invaded this land?
18. Now, however, I come to another topic, and I will show the way. . . They say that once on a time when a hound was badly treated a passer-by pitied him and said, 'Stop beating him, for it is the soul of a dear friend; I recognised him on hearing his voice.'
20. Having learned profitless luxuries from the Lydians, while as yet they had no experience of hateful tyranny, they proceeded into the market-place, no less than a thousand in number all told, with purple garments completely covering them, boastful, proud of their comely locks, anointed with unguents of rich perfume.
23. Nor would any one first pour the wine into the cup to mix it, but water first and the wine above it.
24. Already now sixty-seven years my thoughts have been tossed restlessly up and down Greece, but then it was twenty and five years from my birth, if I know how to speak the truth about these things. [Bergk interprets this by carmen]P> 25. Nor is this (an oath) an equal demand to make of an impious man as compared with a pious man.
26. Much more feeble than an aged man.
27. Bacchic wands of fir stand about the firmly built house.
28. From the beginning, according to Homer, since all have learned them. [Hiller, Deut. Litt. Zeitg., 1886, Coll 474-475, suggests, '(Men know the wanderings of Odysseus) from the beginning as Homer tells them, since all have learned them.']
29. If the god had not made light-coloured honey, I should have said that a fig was far sweeter.
30. Holy water trickles down in thy grottoes.
31. As many things as they have made plain for mortals to see!
Ibid. 1400 b 5 (K, 35). When the inhabitants of Elea asked Xenophanes whether they should sacrifice to Leukothea and sing a dirge or not, he advised them not to sing a dirge if they thought her divine, and if they thought her human not to sacrifice to her. [Cf. Plutarch, Amat. p. 732 d; Is. et Os. p. 379 b.]
Plutarch, de vit. pud. p. 530 F (K. 36). When Lasos, son of Hermiones, called that man a coward who was unwilling to play at dice with him, Xenophanes answered that he was very cowardly and without daring in regard to dishonourable things.
Diog. Laer. ix. 20 (K. 37). When Empedokles said to him (Xenophanes) that the wise man was not to be found, he, answered : Naturally, for it would take a wise man to recognise a wise man.
Plut. de comm. not. p. 1084 E (K. 38). Xenophanes, when some one told him that he had seen eels living in hot water, said : Then we will boil them in cold water.
Diog. Laer. ix. 19 (K. 39). 'Have intercourse with tyrants either as little as possible, or as agreeably as possible.'
Clem. Al. Strom. vii. p. 841. And Greeks suppose the gods to be like men in their passions as well as in their forms; and accordingly they represent them, each race in forms like their own, in the words of Xenophanes Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed, Thracians red-haired and with blue eyes; so also they conceive the spirits of the gods to be like themselves.[Cf. Theod. Graec. Aff. Cur. iii. p. 49.] [Page 79] A. Gellius, Noct. Att. iii. 11 (K. 31). Some writers have stated that Homer antedated Hesiod, and among these were Philochoros and Xenophanes of Kolophon ; others assert that he was later than Hesiod.
De Coelo, ii. 13 ; 294 a 21. On this account some assert that there is no limit to the earth underneath us, saying that it is rooted in infinity, as, for instance, Xenophanes of Kolophon; in order that they may not have the trouble of seeking the cause. [Two passages from the Rhet. ii 23 are translated above, p. 78. Extracts from the book are ordinarily called De Xenophane, Zenone, Gorgia, and ascribed to Aristotle, are in part translated below, p. 80, n. 2 ff., in connection with the fragment of Theophrastos which covers exactly the same ground.]
De mirac. oscult. 38; 833 a 16. The fire at Lipara, Xenophanes says, ceased once for sixteen years, and came back in the seventeenth. And he says that the lavastream from Aetna is neither of the nature of fire, nor is it continuous, but it appears at intervals of many years.
Metaph. i. 5; 986 b 10. There are some who have expressed the opinion about the All that it is one in its essential nature, but they have not expressed this opinion after the same manner nor in an orderly or natural way. 986 b 23. Xenophanes first taught the unity of these things (Parmenides is said to have been his pupil), but he did not make anything clear, nor did he seem to get at the nature of either of these things, but looking up into the broad heavens he said : The unity is god.
[Page 80] These, as we have said, are to be dismissed from the present investigation, two of them entirely as being rather more crude, Xenophanes and Melissos; but Parmenides seems to speak in some places with greater care. [V. Zeller, Vorsokr. Phil. i. 513, n. 1; Diels' Dox. p. 110; Teichmuller, Studien, p. 607.]
Hipp. Philos. i. 14; Dox. 565. Xenophanes of Kolophon, son of Orthomenes, lived to the time of Cyrus. He was the first to say that all things are in- comprehensible, in the following verses: (Frag. 14) 'For even if one chances for the most part to say what is true, still he would not know ; but every one thinks he [Page 83] knows.' [Epiph. adv. Haer. iii. 9; Dox. 590] And he says that nothing comes into being , nor is anything destroyed, nor moved; and that the universe is one and is not subject to change. And he says that god is eternal and one, homogeneous throughout, limited, spherical, with power of sense- perception in all parts. The sun is formed each day from small fiery particles which are gathered together: the earth is infinite, and is not surrounded by air or by sky; an infinite number of suns and moons exist, and all things come from earth. The sea, he said, is salt because so many things flow together and become mixed in it; but Metrodoros assigns as the reason for its saltness that it has filtered through the earth. [Zeller, Vorsokr. Phil. 543, n. 1.] And Xenophanes believes that once the earth was mingled with the sea, but in the course of time it became freed from moisture; and his proofs are such as these: that shells are found in the midst of the land and among the mountains, that in the quarries of Syracuse the imprints of a fish and of seals had been found, and in Paros the imprint of an anchovy at some depth in the stone, and in Melite shallow impressions of all sorts of sea products. He says that these imprints were made when everything long ago was covered with mud, and then the imprint dried in the mud. Farther he says that all men will be destroyed when the earth sinks into the sea and becomes mud, and that the race will begin anew from the beginning; and this transformation takes place for all worlds.
Plut. Stronz,. 4 ; Dox. 580. Xenophanes of Kolophon, going his own way and differing from all those that had gone before, did not admit either genesis or destruction, but says that the all is always the same. For if it came into being, it could not have existed before this ; and not-being could not come into existence [Page 84] nor could it accomplish anything, nor could anything come from not-being. And he declares that sensations are deceptive, and together with them he does away with the authority of reason itself. And he declares that the earth is constantly sinking little by little into the sea. He says that the sun is composed of numerous fiery particles massed together. And with regard to the gods he declares that there is no rule of one god over another, for it is impious that any of the gods should be ruled ; and none of the gods have need of anything at all, for a god hears and sees in all his parts and not in some particular organs. [Zeller, Vorsokr. Phil. p. 526, n. 4; Arch f. d. Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 1889, pp. 1-5.] He declares that the earth is infinite and is not surrounded on every side by air; and all things arise from earth ; and he says that the sun and the stars arise from clouds.
Galen, Hist. Phil. 3; Dox. 601. Xenophanes of Kolophon is said to be the chief of this school, which is ordinarily considered aporetic (skeptical) rather than dogmatic. 7 ; Dox. 604. To the class holding eclectic views belongs Xenophanes, who has his doubts as to all things, concept that he holds this one dogma: that all things are one, and that this is god, who is limited, endowed with reason, and immovable.
Aet. Plac. i. 3; Dox. 284. Xenophanes held that the first principle of all things is earth, for he wrote in his book on nature: 'All things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.'[Epiph. adv. Haer. iii. 9; Dox 590.]
Aet. ii. 4; Dox. 332. Xenophanes et al.: The world is without beginning, eternal, imperishable. 13 ; 343. The stars are formed of burning cloud ; these are extinguished each day, but they are kindled again at night, like coals; for their risings and settings are [Page 85] really kindlings and extinguishings. 18; 347. The objects which appear to those on vessels like stars, and which some call Dioscuri, are little clouds which have become luminous by a certain kind of motion. 20; 348. The sun is composed of fiery particles collected from the moist exhalation and massed together, or of burning clouds. 24; 354. Eclipses occur by extinction of the sun ; and the sun is born anew at its risings. Xenophanes recorded an eclipse of the sun for a whole month, and another eclipse so complete that the day seemed as night. 24; 355. Xenophanes held that there are many suns and moons according to the different regions and sections and zones of the earth; and that at some fitting time the disk of the sun comes into a region of the earth not inhabited by us, and so it suffers eclipse as though it had gone into a hole; he adds that the sun goes on for an infinite distance, but it seems to turn around by reason of the great distance. 25 ; 356. The moon is a compressed cloud. 28 ; 358. It shines by its own light. 29 ; 360. The moon disappears each month because it is extinguished. 30 ; 362. The sun serves a purpose in the generation of the world and of the animals on it, as well as in sustaining them, and it drags the moon after it.
Aet. iii. 2 ; 367. Comets are groups or motions of burning clouds. 3; 368. Lightnings take place when clouds shine in motion. 4 ; 371. The phenomena of the heavens come from the warmth of the sun as the principal cause. For when the moisture is drawn up from the sea, the sweet water separated by reason of its lightness becomes mist and passes into clouds, and falls as rain when compressed, and the winds scatter it; for he writes expressly (Frag. 11) : 'The sea is the source of water.'
Aet. iv. 9; 396. Sensations are deceptive.
Aet. v. 1 ; 415. Xenophanes and Epikouros abolished the prophetic art.