Stobaeus (Ecl. Phys. i. 13) has preserved a fragment of his Περὶ νόμου (if he was really the author) in the Doric dialect, but the only one of his alleged works which is extant is a short treatise in four chapters in the Ionic dialect generally known as On the Nature of the Universe.
Excerpts from this are given in Stobaeus (i. 20), but in Doric. It is certainly not authentic, and cannot be dated earlier than the 1st century BC. It maintains the doctrine that the universe is uncreated and eternal; that to its three great divisions correspond the three kinds of beings—gods, men and daemons; and, finally, that the human race with all its institutions (the family, marriage and the like) must be eternal. It advocates an ascetic mode of life, with a view to the perfect reproduction of the race and its training in all that is noble and beautiful.
Editions of the Περὶ τῆς τοῦ παντὸς φύσεως, by A. F. Rudolph (1801, with commentary), and by F. W. A. Mullach in Fragmenta philosophorum graecorum, i. (1860); see also Eduard Zeller, History of Greek Philosophy, i. (Eng. trans.), and J de Heyden-Zielewicz in Breslauer philologische Abhandlungen, viii. 3 (1901). There is an English translation (1831) by Thomas Taylor, the Platonist.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.