XENOPHANES

Colophon
6th century B.C.





BIOGRAPHY

A Greek philosopher, founder of the Eleatic School of philosophy. He was born in the third or fourth decade of the 6th century BC in Kolophon. When the Persians conquered Ionia in 546BC he left his hometown and for many years he roamed the greek cities as a poet and rhapsode, to finally settle in Elea, an Ionian colony in Italy. His work is lost, and it is only by small fragments of his work “Of nature”, en educational poem, and the sayings of Aristotle and Theofrastus, that we know what he believed. Xenophanes gave philosophy a purely religious scent, criticizing with boldness the polytheistic religion of Greeks, raised a strong voice against it, and attacked passionately the ethical principles and superstitions of the greek mythology.

His main reason of exasperation was that mythology had made humanlike gods, with all the vices of mortal people. For him God was one, the One, the great Eye, the great Ear, ruling without some purpose using all his intellect. As this Godly perception is incorruptible and still, he has no need moving from one place to the other, as he is ever-present. This single divinity of Xenophanes, identifies with the universe itself, so we can call this kind of monotheism a pantheism.