Brill’s New Pauly

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(619 words)

[German version]

After the Eleatic School had rejected the possibility of a coherent representation of daily experience,  Leucippus and  Democritus (2nd half of the 5th cent. BC) presented as a response a doctrine, according to which the world consists of two immutable principles: the not further divisible (ἄτομα, átoma) bodies and the void (κενόν, kenón). Later, this representation was taken up by  Epicurus (342/1-270/1) and his school, modified and defended.

Even if atomism received its designation from just the first of the two principles, both are constitutive…

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Bodnár, István (Budapest), “Atomism”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 17 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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