Xenophanes

(c.570 – c.475 / Greece)

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Xenophanes of Colophon ( c.570 – c.475 BCE) was a Greek philosopher, poet, and social and religious critic. Our knowledge of his views comes from fragments of his poetry, surviving as quotations by later Greek writers. To judge from these, his elegiac and iambic poetry criticized and satirized a wide range of ideas, including Homer and Hesiod, the belief in the pantheon of anthropomorphic gods and... more »

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  • If oxen and horses and lions had hands and were able to draw with their hands and do the same things as men, horses would draw the shapes of gods to look like horses and oxen would draw them to look l...
    Xenophanes (c. 570-478 B.C.), Greek philosopher, poet. Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 21B15. Xenophanes is best known for attacks on co...
  • ''God is one, greatest of gods and men, not like mortals in body or thought.''
    Xenophanes (c. 570-478 B.C.), Greek philosopher, poet. Diels-Kranz, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker, 21B23. Xenophanes is best known for attacks on co...
  • But mortals suppose that the gods are born (as they themselves are), and that they wear men's clothing and have human voice and body. But if cattle or lions had hands, so as to paint with their hands ...
    Xenophanes (born c. 580 B.C.), Greek pre-Socratic philosopher. Fragments 5 and 6, p. 14, Philosophers Speak for Themselves, T.V. Smith, University of ...
  • A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts...
    Xenophanes (b. c. 570 B.C.), Greek philosopher. Quoted in Clement [second century A.D.], Miscellanies 5.110, Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy, tra...
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