Melissus between Miletus and Elea
This comprehensive study of Melissus of Samos, centred on the 2012 Eleatic Lectures of Jaap Mansfeld (Utrecht University), is the first in more than forty years.
Mansfeld argues that Melissus presents us with an efficacious and comprehensible revision of the ontological arguments of Parmenides or, as he says, a Parmenides nouvelle cuisine that is inferior to the master's version in semantic richness, productive problematisation, and fascination, thus more secular: no mystagogic paraphernalia, no rich vocabulary to deal with being, but rather an effort at disambiguating the doctrine of Parmenides.
Mansfeld's lectures include a survey of the evidence supplied by ancient authors. He also points out that Melissus' fragments are among the first true examples of Greek prose we have, and that therefore they deserve to be studied in themselves.
In addition to his Eleatic Lectures this volume includes a large foreword (by the book editor, Massimo Pulpito) giving a detailed overview of the scholarly literature on Melissus, and a sequel where nine specialists - G. Calenda, P. Curd, S. Daniele, S. Di Girolamo, F. Marcacci, J. Palmer, M. Pulpito, C. Robbiano, and L. Rossetti - discuss the Lectures, while Mansfeld replies to each of them.