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(1,317 words)

(ἀλήθεια/alḗtheia; Latin veritas).

[German version]

I. Philosophy

It was in a didactic poem by Parmenides (about 500 BC) that alḗtheia was first elevated from an element of colloquial language to a central philosophical term. In that poem, the goddess teaches the poet to distinguish the truth (ἀληθείη/alētheíē) from the mere illusion of human opinions (δόξαι/dóxai) (28 B 1 and 8 DK). Only that which is (or 'being') is true, for what is not can be neither thought nor expressed (28 B 2, 3 and 8 DK); a…

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Sauer, Werner (Graz) and Büchli, Jörg (Zürich), “Truth”, 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 20 June 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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