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Xenophanes (ca 570 - ca 478 BC), Greek (jan 1, 570 BC – jan 1, 478 BC)

Description:

From Colophon in Ionia

Key ideas:
- All meteorological phenomena are clouds.
- People's conceptions of the gods are anthropomorphic: "Mortals suppose that the gods are born, and have their own dress, voice, and body.” “Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and dark, Thracians, that theirs are grey-eyed and red-haired." And if horses, oxen, and lions were able to draw, they would depict equine, bovine, and leonine gods.
- Monotheism [?]: There is "One god, greatest among gods and men." He does not move but shakes everything with the thought of his mind. He sees, hears and thinks everything. God, in other words, has perfect knowledge, whereas we only have belief:
- Skepticism: "And of course the clear and certain truth no man has seen, nor will there be anyone who knows about the gods and what I say about all things; for even if, in the best case, he should chance to speak what is the case,
all the same, he himself does not know; but opinion is found over all."
- Nevertheless, through inquiry we may understand things better.
- [Earth as the arche?]

Key works:
- None of his writings remains.

Misc.:
- A poet-sage who travelled around Greece and settled in Sicily and later in Elea.

Links:
- https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/xenophanes/
- https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presocratics/
- https://www.iep.utm.edu/presocra/

Added to timeline:

1 months ago
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0
41
Western history

Date:

jan 1, 570 BC
jan 1, 478 BC
~ 92 years

Images:

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