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image of Méthexis

In 1561 J.Cornarius proposed his own version of some passages of Plato's Sophist In this version Theodorus presents the Eleatic Stranger as "a companion (hetairos) of Parmenideans and Zenonians" (216a). Since then, this cliché is accepted by all translations. However, when the possibility of justifying the existence of images and appearances is considered, the Stranger himself proposes 'testing' Parmenides' thesis. His remarks are rather those of an adversary than of a friend or companion of Parmenides. In fact, in spite of Theodorus' presentation, the Stranger, albeit citizen of Elea, does not seem to share the theses of the 'Eleatics'. These anomalies invited us to question the character of 'companion' of the 'Parmenideans' credited to the Stranger. The questioning is possible if we exploit some valuable greek manuscripts of Plato's Sophist, neglected by J.Burnet, like Vindobonensis 21 (Y). This manuscript, among others, has the lecture heteros, 'different', instead of hetairon, 'companion'. This manuscript permits to maintain the formula tôn hetairôn, transmitted by all the manuscripts after the first hetairon, and removed in modern editions. The translation we propose is: the Eleatic Stranger is "different (heteros) of the companions (tôn hetairôn) of Parmenides and Zenon".


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