Panathenaea; the former was, at the time of his visit, about 65
years old, very white with age, but well favoured. Zeno was nearly
40 years of age, tall and fair to look upon; in the days of his
youth he was reported to have been beloved by Parmenides. He said that
they lodged with Pythodorus in the Ceramicus, outside the wall,
whither Socrates, then a very young man, came to see them, and many
others with him; they wanted to hear the writings of Zeno, which had
been brought to Athens for the first time on the occasion of their
visit. These Zeno himself read to them in the absence of Parmenides,
and had very nearly finished when Pythodorus entered, and with him
Parmenides and Aristoteles who was afterwards one of the Thirty, and
heard the little that remained of the dialogue. Pythodorus had heard
Zeno repeat them before.
When the recitation was completed, Socrates requested that the first
thesis of the first argument might be read over again, and this having
been done, he said: What is your meaning, Zeno? Do you maintain that
if being is many, it must be both like and unlike, and that this is
impossible, for neither can the like be unlike, nor the unlike like-is
that your position?
Just so, said Zeno.
And if the unlike cannot be like, or the like unlike, then according
to you, being could not be many; for this would involve an
impossibility. In all that you say have you any other purpose except
to disprove the being of the many? and is not each division of your
treatise intended to furnish a separate proof of this, there being
in all as many proofs of the not-being of the many as you have
composed arguments? Is that your meaning, or have I misunderstood you?
No, said Zeno; you have correctly understood my general purpose.
I see, Parmenides, said Socrates, that Zeno would like to be not
only one with you in friendship but your second self in his writings
too; he puts what you say in another way, and would fain make
believe that he is telling us something which is new. For you, in your