Brill’s New Pauly Supplements II - Volume 7 : Figures of Antiquity and their Reception in Art, Literature and Music

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Democritus
(4,734 words)

(Δημόκριτος/Dēmókritos; Latin Democritus)

A. Historical dimension

Indications of D.'s date of birth vary from 470 to 420 BC, with a preference for the earlier. According to Diogenes Laertius (9,43), he lived to be 109 (cf. overall on D.' life and work Diog. Laert. 9,34–49). It is therefore biographically incorrect to place D. among the so-called Presocratics. He may have survived Socrates by almost 30 years, but the tradition explicitly denies that they were ever in contact (Diog. Laert. 9,36), and even calls into question his association with Athens a…

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Möllendorff, Peter von, “Democritus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly Supplements II - Volume 7 : Figures of Antiquity and their Reception in Art, Literature and Music, English edition by Chad M. Schroeder (2016). Original German-language edition: Historische Gestalten der Antike: Rezeption in Literatur, Kunst und Musik. Herausgegeben von Peter von Möllendorf, Annette Simonis und Linda Simonis. Serie: Der Neue Pauly Supplemente 2. Staffel, herausgegeben von Manfred Landfester und Helmuth Schneider, vol. 7. Stuttgart, Germany. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH (2013). Consulted online on 26 May 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-3418_bnps7_SIM_004612>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160217



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