Parmenides mentions twice in the poem what-is has limit in the part where he talks that what-is is “like the bulk of ball” (B8: lines 42, 49, pages 60, 61).
But since the limit is ultimate, it [namely, what-is] complete
for equal to itself from all directions, it meets uniformly with its limits.
I’m struggling to understand why he adds these limits. Why not going the Anaximander’s way and saying that what-is is boundless? Because otherwise it’s easy to start asking questions like “What is beyond the limit?”. If we answer “nothing” it would mean that what-is-not exists (and we can’t say that) and otherwise it would mean that what-is is incomplete. In 42 he tries to get around this by stating that “the limit is ultimate” but I find this kind of self-referential: any limit is ultimate because a limit is by definition end of something. An ultimate limit would mean the very end of something and that doesn’t add much sense.
The only idea I have he needs this limit because it’s hard to define something without limits. In other words we cannot grasp something without limits: we need borders to make things exist.
I want to know if there is some robust answer to this or maybe some point from the poem that clarifies that I might have missed.
All citations are from A Presocratics Reader by Patricia Curd