In the main Section of this paper I examine a certain "characterizing" use of meden/ouden and medeis/oudeis in pre-Platonic non-philosophical contexts. The passages discussed and analyzed offer cle.ar and suggestive illustrations of the assimilation of "nothing" or "nobody" to "not-being." In the concluding Section I explore connections between that use and philosophical concepts,with particular reference to Plato's doctrine of degrees of reality.
The dialectic of being in classical Greek speculation focuses not on 'What there is' but on 'what it is' or 'how it is'; not on existence but on physis, constitution, or form.
Mourelatos, Alexander P.D., ""Nothing" as "Not-Being": Some Literary Contexts that Bear on Plato and on Parmenides" (1977). The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter. 230.