Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

Presocratics
(602 words)

[German version]

Since the influential edition by H. Diels [1], the term 'Presocratics' usually refers to a very diverse group of Greek thinkers. Not all of them lived before Socrates [2] (some of them - such as the Sophists, Democritus [1] and Philolaus [2] - were his contemporaries), but they were all not (yet) influenced by his thought (cf. [2. VIII]). The popularity of the term arose under the influence of Nietzsche, who had stopped using the term 'Preplatonic philosophers' [3].

Although the term 'Presocratic philosophers' (from which the shorter 'Presocratics' is deriv…

Cite this page
Laks, André, “Presocratics”, 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 19 September 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e12208000>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



▲   Back to top   ▲