|THE ITALIAN PHILOSOPHERS. Parmenides of Elea 504/500 B.C. |
Zeno of Elea 464/460 B.C.
Melissus of Samos 441 B.C. (Samos in Asia Minor, the same as Pythagoras) Those philosophers were active in the City State of Elea in Southern Italy. Both Parmenides and Zeno were supposed to be born in Elea, too.
Elea was established in 540 B.C. for whose founding, Xenophanes wrote a poem of two thousand words to celebrate it.
It is said that this so-called Eleatic philosophy was founded by Xenophanes, who was associated with the founding of Elea itself (See the above). Copleston takes the same view about the Eleatic school.
For example, Plato's later dialogues, Parmenides , is often quoted as being not consistent with the above datings. In Parmenides , Plato portrays that Socrates who was at about 20 years of age met Parmenides, when Parmenides and Zeno visited Athens for the first time. Plato describes that Parmenides who looked like God with white beard was 65 years of age, while Zeno was 40 years old. Although Socrates' first encounter with Parmenides and Zeno in this dialogue particularly regarding its exact content may very well be a product of Plato's creative imagination, the relative ages of these three philosophers could very well be correct. When Socrates was 20 years old, that is 450 B.C., thus Zeno's acme is then 450 B.C. and in consequence Parmenides' is 475 B.C.
Further, from these datings if they were correct, we may bring down the date of Heracleitus' acme to 475 B.C., too.(See the section on Heracleitus in the Ionian-Italian Migrant Philosophers.)