MELISSUS

Samos
5th century B.C.





BIOGRAPHY

A student of Parmenides and Heraclitus. His prime is placed somewhere near the 84th Olympics, around 444-441 BC. A rival of Pericles, he convinced his fellow citizens to fight the Athenians, who they won eventually. Along Xenophanes, Parmenides and Xenon, he is a member of the Eleatic school of philosophy. He thought that being is the main principle, still and without change, while creating was a fraud, a creation of the senses.

It is Mellisos who is accounted with the view that even if there is a great number of different objects of the same kind, everyone has to have the characteristic of the primary (eleatic) object. He turned down Empedokles theory of the four elements, along with the atomic theory of the void. He believed that nothing in nature is certain, everything is corruptible. He said that we cannot tell anything concerning the gods, since we can never meet them. Simplicius saves some extracts of the work of nature/ of being which are included in Diels/Krantz, Fragmene der Vorsokratiker.