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About Parmenides
Parmenides' Poem
Opinions on Parmenides
The Account of Socrates' Meeting with Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, from Plato's Dialogue The Parmenides


Selected Translations of the Fragments arranged in groups of five lines.

" First Group - Richard D. McKirahan - Philosophy before Socrates, pp. 151 - 157.
" Second Group - Leonardo Taran - Parmenides, relevant text throughout the book.
" Third Group - Arnold Hermann - To Think Like God: Pythagoras and Parmenides.
  The Origins of Philosophy, pp. 155-162 (amended)
.
" Fourth Group - Hermann Diels, Walter Kranz (DK) - Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, pp. 227-246.

The Poem

Fragment 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Fragment 1

1.1 The mares which carry me as far as my spirit ever aspired
1.2 were escorting me, when they brought me and proceeded along the renowned road
1.3 of the goddess, which brings a knowing mortal to all cities one by one.
1.4 On this path I was being brought, on it wise mares were bringing me,
1.5 straining the chariot, and maidens were guiding the way.

1.1 The mares which carry me, as far as ever my heart may desire,
1.2 Were escorting me, when they brought and placed me on the resounding road
1.3 Of the goddess, which carries through all places the man who knows.
1.4 On it I was carried; for on it the well-discerning horses
1.5 Were straining the chariot and the maidens were leading the way.

1.1 The mares that carry me as far as my spirit might reach
1.2 were escorting me, when guiding they placed me on the much-informing road
1.3 of the Goddess, who leads the man who knows through all [ . . .]
1.4 There I was being carried, brought by wise mares who were
1.5 straining the chariot, while maidens were leading the way.

1.1 Die Rosse, die mich dahintragen, zogen mich fuerder, soweit nur die Lust mich ankam,
1.2 Als mich auf den Weg, den vielberuehmten, die Daemonen (die Goettinnen)
1.3 Fuehrend gebracht, der ueber alle Wohnstaetten hin traegt den wissenden Mann.
1.4 Auf dem wurde ich dahingetragen; auf dem naemlich trugen mich die vielverstaendigen Rosse,
1.5 Den Wagen ziehend, und die Maedchen wiesen den Weg.

1.6 The axle in the center of the wheel was shrilling forth the bright sound of a musical pipe,
1.7 ablaze, for it was being driven forward by two rounded
1.8 wheels at either end, as the daughters of the Sun,
1.9 were hastening to escort after leaving the house of Night for the light,
1.10 having pushed back the veils from their heads with their hands.

1.6 The axle glowing in the naves was sending forth the whistle of a pipe
1.7 (For it was being whirled about by the two rounded
1.8 Wheels on either end), whenever the daughters of the sun,
1.9 Leaving the realm of night, hastened to escort me towards the light,
1.10 After they had with their hands pushed back the veils from their heads.

1.6 The axle's nave shrilled like the bright sound of a pipe,
1.7 sparkling (for it was pushed ahead by two whirling
1.8 wheels at either end), while hastening to escort [me]
1.9 the Daughters of the Sun—having left the House of Night
1.10 for the Light—thrust back with their hands the veils from their heads.

1.6 Die Achse in den Naben entsandte der Pfeife Ton,
1.7 Sich gluehend erhitzend (denn von doppelten gewirbelten
1.8 Kreisen wurde sie beiderseits getrieben), so oft sich zum Geleit beeilten die Heliadenmaedchen,
1.9 Die das Haus der Nacht vorher verliessen,
1.10 Lichtwaerts, wobei sie vom Haupte mit den Haenden die Huellen zurueckstiessen.

1.11 There are the gates of the roads of Night and Day,
1.12 and a lintel and a stone threshold contain them.
1.13 High in the sky they are filled by huge doors
1.14 of which avenging Justice holds the keys that fit them.
1.15 The maidens beguiled her with soft words

1.11 There are the gates [separating] the ways of day and night
1.12 And they are enclosed by a lintel and a threshold of stone;
1.13 And the aetherial gates themselves are covered with big wing-doors,
1.14 Of which Dike, whose vengeance is stern, possesses the rewarding keys.
1.15 The maidens appeased her with gentle words

1.11 Here are the Gates of the Paths of Night and Day,
1.12 and they are bound together by a lintel and a stone threshold.
1.13 They are high in the sky, blocked by mighty doors
1.14 to which avenging Justice holds the alternating keys
1.15 Her the maidens implored with gentle words,

1.11 - Dort (am Hause der Nacht) ist das Tor der Bahnen von Nacht und Tag,
1.12 Und Tuersturz und steinerne Schwelle umfasst es (haelt es auseinander);
1.13 Das Tor selbst, das aetherische, hat eine Fuellung von grossen Tuerfluegeln;
1.14 Davon verwaltet Dike, die vielstrafende, die wechselnden Schluessel.
1.15 Ihr nun sprachen die Maedchen zu mit weichen Worten

1.16 and skillfully persuaded her to push back the bar for them
1.17 Quickly from the gates. They made
1.18 a gaping gap of the doors when they opened them,
1.19 swinging in turn in their sockets the bronze posts
1.20 fastened with bolts and rivets. There, straight through them then,

1.16 And knowingly persuaded her to push back
1.17 Quickly from the gates the bolted bar.
1,18 And a gaping chasm of the doors was produced by the gates' opening
1.19 Which had set revolving in the sockets one after the other the brazen axes
1.20 Fitted with bolts and pins. Straight through them

1.16 persuading her skillfully [or, cleverly] to push back the bolted bar
1.17 swiftly from the gates. The doors
1.18 spread open, creating a widening gap, the bronze
1.19 doorposts turning alternately [i.e., back and forth] in their sockets,
1.20 fastened with bolts and rivets. Then, straight through them,

1.16 Und beredeten sie kundig, dass sie ihnen den verpfloeckten Riegel
1.17 Geschwind vom Tore wegstiesse.
1.18 Da oeffnete dieses weit den Schlund der Tuerfuellung, auffliegend,
1.19 Wobei es die reich mit Erz beschlagenen Pfosten,
1.20 Die mit Zapfen und Dornen eingefuegten, in ihren Pfannen wechselweis drehte.

1.21 the maidens held the chariot and horses on the broad road.
1.22 And the goddess received me kindly, took my right hand in hers,
1.23 and addressed me with these words:
1.24 'Young man, accompanied by immortal charioteers,
1.25 who reach my house by the horses which bring you,

1.21 Did the maidens guide the horses and the car on the broad way.
1.22 And the goddess received me gladly and took in her hand my right hand
1.23 And addressed to me the following words:
1.24 'O young man coming to our abode joined with immortal charioteers
1.25 With the horses which carry you,

1.21 the maidens kept the chariot and horses on the broad way.
1.22 And the Goddess received me graciously, taking my right hand in hers,
1.23 and addressed me with the following words of counsel:
1.24 "Young man, accompanied by immortal charioteers,
1.25 and the mares who carry you to my abode,

1.21 Da nun mitten durchs Tor lenkten die Maedchen stracks dem Geleise nach Wagen und Rosse.
1.22 - Und es nahm mich die Goettin huldreich auf, ergriff meine rechte Hand mit der ihren
1.23 Und so sprach sie das Wort und redete mich an:
1.24 'Juengling, der du unsterblichen Wagenlenkern gesellt
1.25 Mit den Rossen, die dich dahintragen, zu unserem Hause gelangst,

1.26 welcome - since it was not an evil destiny that sent you forth to travel
1.27 this road (for indeed it is far from the beaten path of humans),
1.28 but Right and justice. There is need for you to learn all things -
1.29 both the unshaken heart of persuasive Truth
1.30 and the opinions of mortals, in which there is no true reliance.
1.31 But nevertheless you will learn these too - that the things that appear
1.32 must genuinely be, being always, indeed, all things.

1.26 Welcome!, since it is by no means an evil lot that sent you forth to travel
1.27 On this road (for it is far away from the wandering of men),
1.28 But right and justice. It is necessary that you shall learn all things,
1.29 As well the unshaken heart of well-rounded truth
1.30 As the opinions of mortals in which there is no true belief.
1.31 Nevertheless you shall learn these [opinions] also, how the appearances,
1.32 Which pervade all things, had to be acceptable.'

1.26 welcome—for it is not an ill fate which has sent you forth to travel
1.27 this road (though it is far from the beaten [or, customary] path of man),
1.28 but Right and Justice. It is necessary that you learn all things,
1.29 both the unshaking heart of well-rounded [or, persuasive] Truth
1.30 as well as the opinions of mortals, for which there is no true evidence.
1.31 But nevertheless these you shall learn as well: how it would be right for the things of opinion,
1.32 to be provedly things that are altogether throughout.

1.26 Freude dir! Denn keinerlei schlechte Fuegung entsandte dich,
1.27 Diesen Weg zu kommen (denn fuerwahr ausserhalb von der Menschen Pfade ist er),
1.28 Sondern Gesetz und Recht. Nun solltest du alles erfahren,
1.29 Sowohl der wohlgerundeten Wahrheit unerschuetterlich Herz
1.30 Wie auch der Sterblichen Schein-Meinungen, denen nicht innewohnt wahre Gewissheit.
1.31 Doch wirst du trotzdem auch dieses kennen lernen und zwar so, wie das ihnen Scheinende
1.32 Auf eine probehafte, wahrscheinliche Weise sein muesste, indem es alles ganz und gar durchdringt.

TRUTH - ALETHEIA

Fragment 2

2.1 Come now, I will tell you - and bring away my story safely when you have heard it -
2.2 the only ways of inquiry there are to think:
2.3 the One, that it is and that it is not possible for it not to be,
2.4 is the path of Persuasion (for it attends upon Truth),

2.1 Come then, I shall tell you, and do you pay attention to the account when you have heard it,
2.2 Which are the only ways of inquiry that can be conceived;
2.3 The one [says]: 'exists' and 'it is not possible not to exist,'
2.4 It is the way of persuasion (for persuasion follows upon truth);

2.1 Come now, I will tell you—and preserve my account as you heard it—
2.2 what are the only ways of inquiry for reasoning:
2.3 the one that [reasons it] IS, and that [it] cannot NOT BE,
2.4 is the Way of Persuasion (for it follows the Truth).

2.1 Wohlan, so will ich denn sagen (nimm du dich aber des Wortes an, das du hoertest),
2.2 welche Wege der Forschung allein zu denken sind:
2.3 der eine Weg, dass IST ist und dass Nichtsein nicht ist,
2.4 das ist die Bahn der Ueberzeugung (denn diese folgt der Wahrheit),

2.5 the other, that it is not and that it is necessary for it not to be,
2.6 this I point out to you to be a path completely unlearnable,
2.7 for neither may you know that which is not (for it is not to be accomplished)
2.8 nor may you declare it.

2.5 The other [says]: 'exists-not' and 'not to exist is necessary,'
2.6 This I point out to you is a path wholly unknowable.
2.7 For you could not know that which does not exist (because it is impossible)
2.8 Nor could you express it.

2.5 The other that [reasons it] IS NOT, and that it is necessary that [it] NOT BE,
2.6 this I point out to you is a completely inscrutable path
2.7 for you cannot know that which IS NOT (for this cannot be done)
2.8 nor can you express it.

2.5 der andere aber, dass NICHT IST ist und dass Nichtsein erforderlich ist,
2.6 dieser Pfad ist, so kuende ich dir, gaenzlich unerkundbar;
2.7 denn weder erkennen koenntest du das Nichtseiende (das ist ja unausfuehrbar)
2.8 noch aussprechen;

Fragment 3

... For the same thing is for thinking and for being.

... for the same thing can be thought and can exist

... for "to be thought" and "to be" are the same [thing].

... denn dasselbe ist Denken und Sein.

Fragment 4

4.1 But gaze upon things which although absent are securely present in thought.
4.2 For you will not cut off what is from clinging to what is,
4.3 neither being scattered everywhere in every way throughout the KOSMOS
4.4 nor being brought together.

4.1 Behold things which, though absent, are nevertheless firmly present to the mind.
4.2 For it cannot cut off Being from holding fast to Being,
4.3 Either by dispersing it all everywhere in order
4.4 Or by bringing it together.

4.1 Behold things which, although absent, are yet securely present to the mind;
4.2 for you cannot cut off What IS from holding on to What IS;
4.3 neither by dispersing it in every way, everywhere throughout the cosmos,
4.4 nor by gathering it together [or, unifying it].

4.1 Schaue jedoch mit dem Geist, wie durch den Geist das Abwesende anwesend ist mit Sicherheit;
4.2 denn er wird das Seiende von seinem Zusammenhang mit dem Seienden nicht abtrennen
4.3 weder als solches, das sich ueberall gaenzlich zerstreue nach der Ordnung,
4.4 noch als solches, das sich also zusammenballe.

Fragment 5

5.1 For me, where I am to begin from is the same
5.2 for to there I will come back again.

5.1 It is indifferent to me
5.2 Where I make a beginning; for there I come back again.

5.1 It is the same to me
5.2 from what place [or, whence] I begin, for to there I shall come back again.

5.1 Ein Gemeinsam-Zusammenhaengendes aber ist es mir,
5.2 von wo ich auch den Anfang nehme; denn dorthin werde ich wieder zurueckkommen.

Fragment 6

6.1 That which is there to be spoken and thought of must be. For it is possible for it to be,
6.2 but not possible for nothing to be. I bid you consider this.
6.3 For I bar your way from this first way of inquiry,

6.1 It is necessary to say and to think Being; for there is Being,
6.2 But nothing is not. These things I order you to ponder.
6.3 For from this first way of inquiry I hold you back;

6.1 Speaking and thinking must be of What IS, for it can be,
6.2 but nothing cannot be. I urge you to consider this.
6.3 For first you [will begin] from this way of inquiry ...

6.1 Noetig ist zu sagen und zu denken, dass nur das Seiende ist; denn Sein ist,
6.2 Ein Nichts dagegen ist nicht; das heisse ich dich wohl beherzigen
6.3 Denn das ist der erste Weg der Forschung, von dem ich dich fernhalte.

6.4 but next from the way on which mortals, knowing nothing,
6.5 two-headed, wander. For helplessness in their
6.6 breasts guides their wandering mind. But they are carried on
6.7 equally deaf and blind, amazed, hordes without judgement,
6.8 from whom both to be and not to be are judged the same and
6.9 not the same, and the path of all is backward-turning.

6.4 ... But also from this, on which mortals who know nothing
6.5 Wander, double-headed; for helplessness
6.6 Guides the wandering thought in their hearts. They are carried
6.7 Deaf and blind at the same time, amazed, a horde incapable of judgment,
6.8 By whom to be and not to be are considered the same
6.9 And yet not the same, for whom the path of all things is backward-turning.

6.4 But afterward from the one, which mortals who know nothing
6.5 piece together two-headed; for helplessness [or, powerlessness] in their
6.6 breasts guides their unsteady mind. They are borne along,
6.7 deaf as well as blind, stupefied, hordes without judgment,
6.8 for whom to be and not to be are deemed the same and
6.9 not the same; but the path of all turns back to itself.

6.4 Aber dann auch von jenem, auf dem da nichts wissende Sterbliche einherschwanken,
6.5 Doppelkoepfe. Denn Ratlosigkeit steuert in ihrer
6.6 Brust den hin und her schwankenden Sinn. Sie aber treiben dahin
6.7 Stumm zugleich und blind, die Verbloedeten, unentschiedene Haufen,
6.8 Denen das Sein und Nichtsein fuer dasselbe gilt und nicht fuer dasselbe
6.9 Und fuer die es bei allem eine gegenstrebige Bahn gibt.

Fragment 7

7.1 For in no way may this prevail, that things that are not, are.
7.2 But you, bar your thought from this way of inquiry,
7.3 and do not let habit born from much experience compel you along this way
7.4 to direct your sightless eye and sounding ear
7.5 and tongue, but judge by reason the heavily contested refutation
7.6 spoken by me.

7.1 For never shall this be forced: that things that are not exist;
7.2 But do you hold back your thought from this way of inquiry,
7.3 Nor let inured habit force you, upon this road,
7.4 To ply an aimless eye and ringing ear
7.5 And tongue; but judge with reason the much contested argument
7.6 Which has been given by me.

7.1 For things that are not can never be forced to be;
7.2 but keep your thought from that way of inquiry,
7.3 and do not let habit [derived] from much experience force you along this path,
7.4 to direct your unseeing [i.e., unrecognizing] eye and ringing ear
7.5 and tongue; but judge by reasoning the much-contested disproof
7.6 expounded [or, set forth] by me.

7.1. Denn es ist unmoeglich, dass dies zwingend erwiesen wird: es sei Nichtseiendes;
7.2 Vielmehr halte du von diesem Wege der Forschung den Gedanken fern,
7.3 Und es soll dich nicht vielerfahrene Gewohnheit auf diesen Weg zwingen,
7.4 Walten zu lassen das blicklose Auge und das droehnende Gehoer
7.5 Und die Zunge, nein mit dem Denken bring zur Entscheidung die streitreiche Pruefung,
7.6 Die von mir genannt wurde.

Fragment 8

8.1 There is still left a single story
8.2 of a way, that it is. On this way there are signs
8.3 exceedingly many - that being ungenerated it is also imperishable,
8.4 whole and of a single kind and unshaken and complete.
8.5 Nor was it ever nor will it be, since it is now, all together,

8.1 There is a solitary word still
8.2 Left to say of a way: 'exists'; very many signs
8.3 Are on this road: that Being is ungenerated and imperishable,
8.4 Whole, unique, immovable, and complete.
8.5 It was not once nor will it be, since it is now altogether,

8.1 ... hereafter a single account
8.2 is left: the way that [it] IS. Yet on this there are signs
8.3 aplenty, that What IS is ungenerated and imperishable,
8.4 whole, of one kind, unshakeable [or, immovable] and complete.
8.5 Nor was it before, nor will it be, since it is now, all together,

8.1 Aber nur noch Eine Weg-Kunde
8.2 bleibt dann, dass IST ist. Auf diesem sind gar viele Merkzeichen:
8.3 weil ungeboren ist es auch unvergaenglich,
8.4 denn es ist ganz in seinem Bau und unerschuettlich sowie ohne Ziel
8.5 und es war nie und wird nie sein, weil es im Jetzt zusammen vorhanden ist als

8.6 one, continuous. For what birth will you seek for it ?
8.7 How and from where did it grow? I will not permit you to say
8.8 or to think from what is not; for it is not to be said or thought
8.9 that is not. What necessity would have stirred up
8.10 to grow later than earlier, beginning from nothing ?

8.6 One, continuous. For, what origin could you search out for it?
8.7 How and whence did it grow? Not from non-Being shall I allow
8.8 You to say or to think, for it is not possible to say or to think
8.9 That it is not. What need would have made it grow,
8.10 Beginning from non-Being, later or sooner?

8.6 one, continuous. For what origin would you seek for it?
8.7 How and whence did it grow? I will not permit you to say
8.8 or to think from What IS NOT; for it cannot be said or thought
8.9 that it IS NOT. What necessity would have impelled it
8.10 to grow later rather than earlier, if it began from nothing?

8.6 Ganzes, Eines, Zusammenhaengendes (Kontinuierliches). Denn was fuer einen Ursprung willst Du fuer dieses ausfindig machen?
8.7 Wie, woher sein Heranwachsen? Auch nicht sein Heranwachsen aus dem Nichtseienden werde ich dir gestatten
8.8 Auszusprechen und zu denken. Denn unaussprechbar und undenkbar ist,
8.9 Dass NICHT IST ist. Welche Verpflichtung haette es denn auch antreiben sollen,
8.10 Spaeter oder frueher mit dem Nichts beginnend zu entstehen?

8.11 Thus it must either fully be or not.
8.12 Nor will the force of conviction ever permit anything to come to be from what is not,
8.13 besides it. For this reason, Justice permitted it neither to come to be
8.14 nor to perish, relaxing her shackles,
8.15 but holds fast. But the decision about these matters lies in this:

8.11 Thus it is necessary either to exist all in all or not at all.
8.12 Nor will the force of conviction permit anything to come to be
8.13 Beyond itself;
8.14 Wherefore justice looses not her Fetters to permit [Being] to have come into being or to perish,
8.15 But holds [it] fast. Concerning these things the decision rests in this:

8.11 Thus it must either wholly be or not be [at all].
8.12 Nor will the force of evidence ever allow [anything] to arise from What IS NOT, [to be]
8.13 alongside it. For this reason, Justice has not allowed it to come to be
8.14 nor to pass away by easing her bonds,
8.15 but holds firm. The decision in these matters depends on this:

8.11 So muss es also entweder ganz und gar sein oder ueberhaupt nicht.
8.12 Auch wird ja die Kraft der Ueberzeugung niemals einraeumen, aus Nichtseiendem koennte
8.13 Irgend etwas anderes als eben dieses hervorgehen. Um dessen Willen hat weder zum Werden
8.14 Noch zum Vergehen die Rechtsgottheit das Sein freigegeben, es in den Fesseln lockernd,
8.15 Sondern sie haelt es fest. Die Entscheidung aber hierueber liegt in folgendem:

8.16 it is or it is not. But it has been decided, as is necessary,
8.17 to let go the one way as unthinkable and nameless (for it is not a true
8.18 way) and that the other is and is real.
8.19 How could what is be in the future ? How could it come to be ?
8.20 For if it came into being, it is not, not if it is ever going to be

8.16 Is or is not. Therefore, as it is necessary, the decision has been taken
8.17 To leave one way unthinkable and unnamable (for it is not the true
8.18 Way) and the other way to be and to be true.
8.19 How could Being be hereafter? How could it have come into being?
8.20 If it was, it is not, nor if it is going to be in the future.

8.16 IS or IS NOT. And it has been decided, just as is necessary,
8.17 to let go of one as unthinkable and unnamable (for it is not a true
8.18 route) and the other to be and be true.
8.19 How could What IS be in the future? How could it come to be?
8.20 For if it came into being, [then] it IS NOT, nor [IS it] if it is going to be.

8.16 IST oder NICHT IST! Entschieden ist aber nun, wie notwendig,
8.17 den einen Weg als undenkbar, unsagbar beseite zu lassen (es ist ja nicht der wahre
8.18 Weg), den anderen aber als vorhanden und wirklich-wahr zu betrachten.
8.19 Wie koennte aber dann Seiendes zugrunde gehen, wie koennte es entstehen?
8.20 Denn entstand es, so ist es nicht und ebensowenig, wenn es erst in Zukunft einmal sein sollte.

8.21 In this way, coming to be has been extinguished and destruction is unheard of.
8.22 Nor is it divided, since it all is alike;
8.23 nor is it any more in any way, which would keep it from holding together,
8.24 or any less, but it is all full of what is.
8.25 Therefore, it is all continuous, for what is draws near to what is.

8.21 So, coming into being is extinguished and perishing is unheard of.
8.22 Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike.
8.23 Nor is there somewhat more here and somewhat less there that could prevent it from holding together;
8.24 But all is full of Being.
8.25 Therefore it is all continuous, for Being is in contact with Being.

8.21 In this way, coming-to-be is extinguished and destruction unheard of.
8.22 Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike [i.e. homogenous];
8.23 nor is it more here, which would prevent it from cohering as one,
8.24 nor any less, but all [of it] is full of What IS.
8.25 Hence, it is all continuous, for What IS draws close to What IS.

8.21 So ist Entstehen verloescht und verschollen Vergehen.
8.22 Auch teilbar ist es nicht, weil es ganz gleichartig ist.
8.23 Und es gibt nicht etwa hier oder da ein staerkeres Sein, das seinen Zusammenhang hindern koennte,
8.24 Noch ein geringeres; es ist vielmehr ganz von Seiendem erfuellt.
8.25 Darum ist es ganz zusammenhaengend; denn Seiendes stoesst dicht an Seiendes.

8.26 But unchanging in the limits of great bonds,
8.27 it is, without start or finish, since coming to be and destruction
8.28 were banished far away and true conviction drove them off.
8.29 Remaining the same and by itself it lies
8.30 and so stays there fixed ; for mighty Necessity

8.26 But motionless in the limits of mighty bonds
8.27 It is without beginning and never-ending, since coming into being and perishing
8.28 Have been banished far away, driven out by true conviction.
8.29 Since it remains the same and in the same, it lies by itself
8.30 And abides so firmly where it is; for powerful Necessity

8.26 Yet unmoving [or, changeless] in the limits of great bonds,
8.27 it IS without beginning or end, since coming-to-be and destruction
8.28 have been driven far off, rejected [or, cast out] by true evidence.
8.29 Remaining the same in the same it lies by itself
8.30 and thus fixed in [its] place, for mighty Necessity

8.26 Aber unbeweglich - unveraenderlich liegt es in den Grenzen gewaltiger Bande
8.27 Ohne Ursprung, ohne Aufhoeren; denn Entstehen und Vergehen
8.28 Wurden weit in der Ferne verschlagen, es verstiess sie die wahre Ueberzeugung;
8.29 Und als Dasselbe und in Demselben verharrend ruht es fuer sich
8.30 Und so verharrt es standhaft an Ort und Stelle. Denn die machtvolle Notwendigkeit

8.31 holds the bonds of a limit, which pens it in all round,
8.32 since it is right for what is to be not incomplete ;
8.33 for it is not lacking ; if it were , it would lack everything.
8.34 Thinking and the thought that it is are the same.
8.35 For not without what is, in which it is expressed,

8.31 Holds it in the bonds of the limit which encircles Being,
8.32 Because it is not right for Being to be incomplete,
8.33 For it is not in need; if it were it would need all.
8.34 It is the same to think and the thought that [the object of thought] exists,
8.35 For without Being, in what has been expressed,

8.31 holds it within the bonds of the limit which encloses it all around,
8.32 because it is not right [or, lawful], for What IS to be incomplete
8.33 for it is not lacking—but Not Being would lack everything.
8.34 To think and the wherefore [or, the object] of thought are the same.
8.35 For without What IS, in which it is expressed [or, revealed],

8.31 Haelt es in den Banden der Grenze, die es rings umzirkt,
8.32 Weil das Seiende nicht ohne Abschluss sein darf;
8.33 Denn es ist unbeduerftig, fehlte ihm aber der, so wuerde es des 'ganz' beduerfen (?).
8.34 Dasselbe ist Denken und der Gedanke, dass IST ist;
8.35 Denn nicht ohne das Seiende, in dem es als Ausgesprochenes ist,

8.36 will you find thinking; for nothing else is either is or will be
8.37 except that which is, since Fate shackled it
8.38 to be whole and unchanging, wherefore it has been named all names
8.39 mortals have established, persuaded that they are true -
8.40 to come to be and to perish, to be and not ,

8.36 You will not find thought; for nothing other, besides Being, either is or will be,
8.37 Since Destiny fettered it
8.38 To be whole and immovable;
8.39 Therefore, all that mortals posited convinced that it is true will be [mere] name,
8.40 Coming into being and perishing, to be and not to be,

8.36 you will not find thinking/knowing. For nothing else IS or will be
8.37 apart from that which IS—since Fate has bound it
8.38 to be whole and unmoving. Which is why it has been named all things,
8.39 that mortals have established, persuaded that they are true:
8.40 "coming-to-be" and "passing-away," "to be" and "not [to be],"

8.36 Kannst du das Denken antreffen. Es ist ja nichts und wird nichts anderes sein
8.37 Ausserhalb des Seienden, da es ja die Moira daran gebunden hat,
8.38 Ein Ganzes und unbeweglich zu sein. Darum wird alles blosser Name sein,
8.39 Was die Sterblichen in ihrer Sprache festgesetzt haben, ueberzeugt, es sei wahr:
8.40 Werden sowohl als Vergehen, Sein sowohl als Nichtsein,

8.41 and to change place and alter bright color.
8.42 But since there is a furthest limit, it is complete
8.43 on all sides, like the bulk of a well-rounded ball,
8.44 evenly balanced in every way from the middle; for it must be not at all greater
8.45 or smaller here than there.

8.41 Change of place and exchange of brilliant color.
8.42 But since there is a furthest limit, it is in every direction complete;
8.43 Like the body of a well-rounded sphere,
8.44 From the middle everywhere of equal strength; for it need not be somewhat more here
8.45 Or somewhat less there,

8.41 "to change place," and "to alter bright color."
8.42 But since there is an ultimate limit, it is complete,
8.43 from every side well-rounded, like the bulk of a sphere,
8.44 equal in every way from the center: for it must be neither more
8.45 nor less, [whether] here or there;

8.41 Veraendern des Ortes und Wechseln der leuchtenden Farbe.
8.42 Aber da eine letzte Grenze vorhanden, so ist es vollendet
8.43 Von (und nach) allen Seiten, einer wohlgerundenten Kugel Masse vergleichbar,
8.44 Von der Mitte her ueberall gleichgewichtig. Es darf ja nicht da oder dort etwas groesser
8.45 Oder etwas schwaecher sein.

8.46 For neither what is not is - which would stop it from reaching
8.47 its like - nor what is is in such a way that there could be more of what is
8.48 here and less there, since it is all inviolate;
8.49 for equal to itself on all sides, it meets with its limits uniformly.

8.46 For neither is there non-Being to prevent it from reaching
8.47 Its like, nor is there Being so that it could be
8.48 More than Being here and less than Being there, since it is all inviolable;
8.49 For from every point it is equal to itself, staying uniformly in the limits.

8.46 for neither is there What IS NOT, which might stop it from reaching
8.47 its like; nor is What IS such that it might be
8.48 more here and less there than What IS, since it all IS, inviolate;
8.49 for equal to itself on all sides, it meets its limits uniformly.

8.46 Denn es ist weder Nichtseiendes, dass es hindern koennte
8.47 Zum Gleichmaessigen zu gelangen, noch koennte Seiendes irgendwie
8.48 Hier mehr, dort weniger vorhanden sein als Seiendes, da es ganz unversehrt ist.
8.49 Sich selbst naemlich ist es von allen Seiten her gleich, gleichmaessig begegnet es seinen Grenzen.

SEEMING - DOXA

8.50 At this point I stop for you my reliable account and thought
8.51 concerning Truth; from here on, learn mortal opinions,
8.52 listening to the deceitful ordering of my words.
8.53 For they made up their minds to name two forms,
8.54 of which it is not right to name one - in this they have gone astray -
8.55 and they distinguished things opposite in body, and established signs

8.50 Here I end my trustworthy account and thought
8.51 Concerning truth. From now on learn the beliefs of mortals,
8.52 Listening to the deceptive order of my words;
8.53 For they decided to name two forms,
8.54 A unity of which is not necessary - in which they have gone astray
8.55 And they divided form contrariwise and established characters
8.56 Apart from one another; for the one the etherial flame of fire,

8.50 Herewith I end for you my reliable/evidential account and reasoning
8.51 about truth. From here on [you shall] learn the opinions of mortals,
8.52 [by] listening to the deceptive order of my words.
8.53 For they have set their minds on naming two forms,
8.54 for which to be a unity is not necessary—here they have gone astray—
8.55 and they have differentiated contraries in form and assigned signs to them
8.56 apart from each other: here, on the one hand, the ethereal flame of fire,

8.50 Damit beschliesse ich fuer dich mein verlaessliches Reden und Denken
8.51 Ueber die Wahrheit. Aber von hier ab lerne die menschlichen Schein-Meinungen kennen,
8.52 Indem du meiner Worte truegliche Ordnung hoerst.
8.53 Sie haben naemlich ihre Ansichten dahin festgelegt, zwei Formen zu benennen
8.54 (von denen man freilich eine nicht ansetzen sollte, in diesem Punkte sind sie in die Irre gegangen);
8.55 Und sie schieden die Gestalt gegensaetzlich und sonderten ihre Merkzeichen
8.56 Voneinander ab: Hier das aetherische Flammenfeuer,

8.56 apart from one another - for one, the aetherial fire of flame,
8.57 mild, very light, the same as itself in every direction,
8.58 but not the same as the other; but that other one, in itself
8.59 is opposite - dark night, a dense and heavy body.
8.60 I declare to you all the ordering as it appears,
8.61 so that no mortal opinion may ever overtake you.

8.57 Gentle and very light, everywhere identical with itself
8.58 But not identical with the other; but that one too by itself
8.59 Contrariwise obscure night, dense in body and heavy.
8.60 I tell you all the likely arrangement
8.61 In order that the wisdom of mortals may never outstrip you.

8.57 gentle and very light, in every way the same as itself
8.58 but not the same as the other. Yet that one [also], by itself, is the
8.59 reverse: darkest night, a dense and heavy body.
8.60 I disclose to you this plausible ordering [or, world-order] in its entirety, so that
8.61 no mortal mind [or, thinking] may ever surpass you.

8.57 Das milde, gar leichte, mit sich selber ueberall identisch,
8.58 Mit dem anderen aber nicht identisch; aber auch jenes fuer sich, gerade
8.59 Entgegengesetzt: die lichtlose Nacht, ein dichtes und schweres Gebilde.
8.60 Diese Welteinrichtung teile ich dir als wahrscheinlich-einleuchtende in allen Stuecken mit;
8.61 So ist es unmoeglich, dass dir irgendeine Ansicht der Sterblichen jemals den Rang ablaufe.

Fragment 9

9.1 But since all things have been named light and night
9.2 and the things which accord with their powers have been assigned to these things and those,
9.3 all is full of light and obscure night together,
9.4 of both equally, since neither has no share.

9.1 But once all things have been named Light and Night
9.2 And these (i.e. Light and Night) according to their meanings have been attributed to these things and to those,
9.3 All is full at the same time of Light and obscure Night,
9.4 Of both equally, since there is nothing which does not belong to either.

9.1 Yet since all things have been named Light and Night
9.2 and these according to their powers [have been assigned] to one and the other
9.3 all is full of Light and obscure Night together,
9.4 both equally, since nothing has a share in neither.

9.1 Aber nachdem alle Dinge Licht und Nacht benannt
9.2 Und das was ihren Kraeften gemaess ist diesen und jenen als Name zugeteilt worden,
9.3 So ist alles voll zugleich von Licht und unsichtbarer Nacht,
9.4 Die beide gleich-(gewichtig); denn nichts ist moeglich, was unter keinem von beiden steht.

Fragment 10

10.1 You shall know the nature of the aether and all the signs in the aether
10.2 and the destructive deeds of the shining sun's
10.3 pure torch and whence they came to be,
10.4 and you shall learn the wandering deeds of the round-faced moon
10.5 and its nature, and you shall know also the surrounding heaven,
10.6 from what it grew and now Necessity led and shackled it
10.7 to hold the limits of the stars.

10.1 You will know the nature of the ether and all
10.2 The signs in the ether and the destructive works of the pure torch of the resplendent sun,
10.3 And whence they came into being.
10.4 You will know, too, the wandering works and the nature of the round-faced moon.
10.5 You will know also the sky which embraces all
10.6 Whence it was born and also how Necessity guiding it fettered it
10.7 To hold the limits of the stars.

10.1 You shall know the nature of the aether and all
10.2 the signs in the sky and the shining Sun's
10.3 pure torch [and its] destructive effects [lit. deeds], and whence they came into being,
10.4 and you shall learn the revolving deeds of the round-faced Moon,
10.5 and its nature, and you shall also know the heaven which surrounds on both sides,
10.6 whence it grew and how Necessity guided and bound [or, constrained] it
10.7 to hold the limits of the stars.

10.1 Du wirst aber erfahren das Aether-Wesen und alle
10.2 Sternbilder im Aether und der reinen klaren Sonnenfackel
10.3 Versengendes Wirken, und woher sie entstanden,
10.4 Und das umwandernde Wirken und Wesen des rundaeugigen Mondes wirst du erkunden,
10.5 Wirst aber auch erfahren vom ring umfassenden Himmel,
10.6 Woher er entspross und wie ihn fuehrend Notwendigkeit festband (zwang),
10.7 die Grenzen der Gestirne zu halten.

Fragment 11

11.1 ... how earth and sun and moon
11.2 and the aether which is common to all and the Milky Way and
11.3 furthest Olympus and the hot force of the stars surged forth
11.4 to come to be.

11.1 How the earth and the sun and the moon
11.2 And the common ether and the heavenly milky way and the outermost Olympos
11.3 And the fiery stars strove eagerly
11.4 To come into being.

11.1 ... how Earth and Sun and Moon
11.2 and the common aether and Milky Way and the outermost Olympus
11.3 and the hot force of the stars were impelled [or, kindled]
11.4 to come into being.

11.1 Ich will zu reden beginnen, wie die Erde und die Sonne sowie der Mond,
11.2 Auch der all-gemeinsame Aether und auch die himmlische Milchstrasse und der aeusserste Olympos
11.3 Sowie der Sterne warme Kraft strebten
11.4 Zu entstehen.

Fragment 12

12.1 For the narrower were filled with unmixed fire.
12.2 The ones to them with night, but a due amount of fire is inserted among it,
12.3 and in the middle of these is the goddess who governs all things.
12.4 For she rules over hateful birth and union of all things,
12.5 sending the female to unite with male and in opposite fashion,
12.6 male to female.

12.1 For the narrower [rings] are filled with pure Fire
12.2 And those which come after them with Night, and a portion of flame is discharged.
12.3 In the middle of these is the goddess who governs all things.
12.4 For everywhere she is the beginner of union and of painful birth,
12.5 Sending the female to unite with the male and again to the contrary the
12.6 Male with the female.

12.1 The narrower [bands, or rings?] are full of unmixed Fire,
12.2 those next to them with Night (but a portion of flame is discharged into their midst),
12.3 and in the center is the goddess who governs all things.
12.4 For she rules over hateful birth and intermingling of all things,
12.5 sending the female to unite with male and in turn
12.6 male with female.

12.1 Denn die engeren Ringe wurden angefuellt mit ungemischtem Feuer,
12.2 Die auf diese folgenden mit Nacht, dazwischen aber stuerzt der Flamme Anteil.
12.3 Und inmitten von diesen ist die Daimon (Goettin), die alles lenkt.
12.4 Denn ueberall regt sie grausige Geburt und Paarung an,
12.5 Indem sie dem Maennlichen das Weibliche zur Paarung sendet und umgekehrt
12.6 Wieder das Maennliche dem Weiblichen.

Fragment 13

First of all gods she contrived Love.

She devised Eros as the very first of all gods ...

First of all gods she devised Love.

Zuallererst ersann sie (die Daimon der Geburt oder der Liebe) von allen Goettern den Eros (darauf aber ...)

Fragment 14

Night-shining foreign light wandering round earth.

Wandering around the earth shining in the night with a borrowed light.

Shining in the night with a light not of its own, wandering around the Earth.

Der Mond ein nachtleuchtendes, um der Erde irrendes fremdes Licht.

Fragment 15

Always looking towards the rays of the sun.

Always looking towards the light of the sun.

Always gazing [searchingly] towards the rays of the Sun.

Der Mond stets schauend nach den Strahlen der Sonne.

Fragment 15a

[Parmenides in his verse called the Earth] rooted-in-water.

Die Erde im Wasser verwurzelt.

Fragment 16

16.1 For as each person has a mixture of much-wandering limbs,
16.2 so is thought present to humans. For that which things -
16.3 the constitution of the limbs - is the same
16.4 in all humans and every one; for which is more is thought.

16.1 For as at any time the mixture of the much wandering body is,
16.2 So does mind come to men. For the same thing
16.3 Is that the nature of the body thinks
16.4 In each and in all men; for the full is thought.

16.1 For as is at any given moment the mixture of the wandering limbs
16.2 so also is mind present to humans; for that which thinks [in them],
16.3 [namely] the constitution of their limbs, is the same
16.4 for each and every one; for what preponderates [or, the full] is thought.

16.1 Denn je nachdem wie ein jeder besitzt die Mischung der vielfach irrenden Glieder,
16.2 So tritt (oder steht) der Geist den Menschen zur Seite. Denn dasselbe ist es,
16.3 Was denkt, die innere Beschaffenheit der Glieder,
16.4 Bei den Menschen allen und jedem: naemlich das Mehr (vom Licht-oder Nachtelement) ist der Gedanke.

Fragment 17

boys on the right , girls on the left.

On the right, boys; on the left, girls.

On the right, boys, but on the left, girls ...

Auf der Rechten (der Gebaermutter laesst der Same (?) entstehen) die Knaben, auf der Linken die Maedchen.

Fragment 18

18.1 When woman and man mix the seeds of Love,
18.2 The power which is formed in the veins out of different blood,
18.3 If it maintains proper proportion, produces well-formed bodies.
18.4 For if the powers, when the seeds are being mixed, fight
18.5 And do not constitute a unity in the body in which the mixture has taken place, then cruelly
18.6 Will they torment the nascent sex with double seed.

18.1 When a man and a woman mix together the seeds of Love,
18.2 a power formed in the veins from the different bloods
18.3 produces well-built bodies by preserving the proper proportion.
18.4 For if, when the seeds are mixed, the strengths are in conflict
18.5 and do not make a unity in the body formed by the mixture, then cruelly
18.6 they will afflict the sex of the offspring with double seed.

18.1 Wenn Frau und Mann der Liebe Keime mischen,
18.2 Formt die Kraft, die sie in den Adern aus verschiedenem Blute bildet,
18.3 Nur wenn sie die gleichmaessige Mischung sich erhaelt, wohlgebaute Koerper.
18.4 Denn wenn in dem vermischten Samen verschiedene Kraefte streiten
18.5 Und diese in dem gemischten Koerper keine Einheit schaffen,
18.6 So werden sie grauenvoll das keimende Leben durch Doppelgeschlechtigkeit heimsuchen.

Fragment 19

19.1 In this way, according to opinion, these things have grown
19.2 and now are
19.3 and afterwards after growing up will come to an end.
19.4 And upon them humans have established a name to mark each one.

19.1 So, according to belief, these things were born and now are,
19.2 And from now on they will grow and will afterwards perish.
19.3 For each of them men posited a distinctive name.

19.1 Thus, [I tell you] according to opinion, these things have grown and now are,
19.2 and then, after growing up, they will reach their end [or, cease to be].
19.3 And to each humans have assigned a distinctive name.

19.1 So also entstand dies nach dem Schein und ist noch jetzt
19.2 Und wird von nun an in Zukunft wachsen und dann sein Ende nehmen.
19.3 Und fuer diese Dinge haben die Menschen einen Namen festgesetzt, einen bezeichnenden fuer jedes.

Cornford's Fragment (Plato, Theaetetus, 180e.1)

Such, changeless, is that for which as a whole the name is: 'to be'.
Such [or, Alone], changeless, is that for which as a whole the name is: "to be."



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Permissions

First Group - Richard D. McKirahan - Philosophy before Socrates, pp. 151 - 157.
Copyright © 1994 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., Indianapolis and Cambridge. All Rights reserved. 

Second Group - Leonardo Taran - Parmenides, relevant text throughout the book.
Reproduced here by permission of Leonardo Taran.

Third Group - Arnold Hermann - To Think Like God: Pythagoras and Parmenides.
The Origins of Philosophy,
pp. 155-162 (amended).

Copyright © 2012 by Parmenides Publishing. All Rights reserved.

Fourth Group - Hermann Diels, Walter Kranz (DK) - Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, pp. 227 246.
Reproduced here by permission of Georg Olms Verlag.


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