The Ancient Library

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On this page: Parma – Parmenides – Parodos – Parrhasius – Parricide



handsome stranger. With her he carried away the treasures of his host, and brought her through Egypt and Phoenicia to Troy. In the war that arose from his deed, Paris showed himself, according to Homer, some­times valiant and courageous, especially as an archer, but chiefly only at the persuasion of others; at other times cowardly and effeminate. The Trojans detested him as the cause of the disastrous war. After he had treacherously slain Achilles (q.v.), he himself was fatally wounded by an arrow of Heracles, while in single combat with Philoctetes. His corpse was dishonoured by Menelaus, but yet was afterwards given to the Trojans for burial. According to an­other account, when he knew his death was near, he asked to be carried to CEnone. When they had parted, she had bidden him come to her, if he should ever be mor­tally wounded; but now, mindful of the sorrow she had endured, CEnone rejected him, and he died soon after his return to Troy. When (Enone, repenting of her cruelty, hastened with the remedy, and I found him already dead, she hanged her­self. In sculpture Paris is represented as a beautiful beardless youth with a Phry­gian cap.

Parma. The circular leathern shield of the Roman light infantry. (See shield.)

Parmenldes. A Greek philosopher and poet, born of an illustrious family about 510 b.c., at Elea in Lower Italy. He was held in high esteem by his fellow citizens on account of his excellent legislation, to which they ascribed the prosperity and wealth of the town ; and also on account of his exemplary life. A " Parmenidean life " was proverbial among the Greeks [Cebes, tabula, 2]. Little more is known of his biography than that he stopped at Athens on a journey in his sixty-fifth year, and there became acquainted with the youthful Socrates. He is the chief representative of the Eleatic philosophy. Like his great teacher, XenophSnes, he also formulated his philosophical views in a didactic poem, On Nature, the form of which was con­sidered inartistic [Cicero, Acad. ii 74]. According to the proem, which has been preserved (while we only possess frag­ments of the rest), the work consisted of two divisions. The first treated of the truth, the second of the world of illusion ; that is, the world of the senses and the erroneous opinions of mankind founded upon them. In his opinion truth lies in the perception that existence is, and error in

the idea that non-existence also can be. Nothing can have real existence but what is conceivable, therefore to be imagined and to be able to exist are the same thing, and there is no development; the essence of what is conceivable is incapable of develop­ment, imperishable, immutable, unbounded, and indivisible; what is various and mut­able, all development, is a delusive phantom, perception is thought directed to the pure essence of being; the phenomenal world is a delusion, and the opinions formed con­cerning it can only be improbable.

Parodos (Greek). A technical term of the Greek drama, used to denote, (1) the entrance of the chorus upon the orchestra ; (2) the song which they sang while enter­ing ; (3) the passage by which they entered. (See theatre.)

Parrhaslus. A famous Greek painter of Ephesus, who with Zeuxis was the chief representative of the Ionic school. Ha lived about 400 b.c. at Athens, where he seems to have received the citizenship. Ac­cording to the accounts of ancient writers, he first introduced into painting the theory of human proportions, gave to the face deli­cate shades of expression, and was a master in the careful drawing of contours [Pliny, N. H. xxxv 67, 68]. His skill in indicating varieties of psychological expression could be appreciated in the picture representing the Athenian State or DemSs, in which, according to ancient authors, he distinctly pourtrayed all the conflicting qualities of the Athenian national character [ib. 691 Another of his pictures represented two boys, one of whom seemed to personify the pertness, and the other the simplicity, of boyhood [ib. 70]. His inclination to represent excited states of mind is attested by the choice of subjects like the feigned madness of Odysseus [Plutarch, De Audiend. Poet. 3], and the anguish of Philoctetes in Lemnos [Anthol. Gr. ii 348, 5]. His sup­posed contest with Zeuxis is well known. The grapes painted by Zeuxis deceived the birds, which flew to peck at them ; while the curtain painted by Parrhasius deceived Zeuxis himself [Pliny, ib. 65].

Parricide (Lat. parricldium, according to the usual, but very doubtful explanation derived from patricidium, "murder of a father "). A term used among the Romans for the murder of any relative with whom one is united by bonds of blood or duty, but sometimes also for treason and rebellion against one's country. In earlier times the examination in trials for homicide was con-

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