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 Blackwell.
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 Press.
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 the Preface)
Kirk, Geoffrey Stephen, Raven, George Earle, and Schofield, Malcolm. 1983. The Presocratic Philosophers. A Critical History with a Selection of Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge
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 141-144.
"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; Index 267-277.
"The text of the fragments of Parmenides was placed on a firm foundation by Diels (Simplicii 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
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 interpretation first).
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 Publishers.
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 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. 23
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 commentators.
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
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
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.
(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, pp. 293-302]