Was verse the default form for Presocratic Philosophy?

In Catherine Atherton (ed.), Form and Content in Didactic Poetry (1998)
I argue that philosophy was naturally conceived and written in verse, not prose, in the early years of philosophy, and that prose writing would be the exception not the norm. I argue that philosophers developed their ideas in verse and did not repackage ideas and thoughts first formulated in non-poetic genres, so there is no adaptation or modification involved in "putting it into poetry". This also means that the content and the form are interdependent, and the poetic details are part of the message, and integral to understanding the philosophy. In both Parmenides and Empedocles there are interesting patterns of linearity and circularity in the composition which mimic and reinforce the message in the poem, which is a philosophical message about, respectively, linear journeys and cosmic cycles.
Keywords Empedocles  Parmenides  Didactic Poetry  Poetics of Philosophy  Philosophical Poets  Literary form and content
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Matthew R. Cosgrove (2012). Parmenides and Presocratic Philosophy. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (1):131-132.
W. Clark (1995). Narratology and the History of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 26 (1):1-71.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

9 ( #254,415 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.