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Hipp. Phil. 6; Dox. 559. Anaximandros was a pupil of Thales. He was a Milesian, son of Praxiades. He said that the first principle of things is of the nature of the infinite, and from this the heavens and the worlds in them arise. And this (first principle) is eternal and does not grow old, and it surrounds all the worlds. He says of time that in it generation and being and destruction are determined. He said that the first principle and the element of beings is the infinite, a word which he was the earliest to apply to the first principle. Besides this, motion is eternal, and as a result of it the heavens arise. The earth is a heavenly body, controlled by no other power, and keeping its position because it is the same distance from all things; the form of it is curved, cylindrical like a stone column; it has two faces, one of these is the ground beneath our feet, and the other is opposite to it. The stars are a circle of fire, separated from the fire about the world, and surrounded by air. There are certain breathing-holes like the holes of a flute through which we see the stars; so that when the holes are stopped up, there are eclipses. The moon is sometimes full and sometimes in other phases as these holes are stopped up or open. The circle of the sun is twenty-seven times that of the moon, and the sun is higher than the moon, but the circles of the fixed stars are lower.3 Animals come into being through vapours raised by the sun. Man, however, came into being from another animal, namely the fish, for at first he was like a fish. Winds are due to a separation of the lightest vapours and the motion of the masses of these vapours; and moisture comes from

1 Aet. iii. 10; Dox. 376. Cf. Plut. Strom. 2; Dox. 579.

2 kúkdos, the circle or wheel in which the stars are set, and in which they revolve. The circle of the moon is farther from the earth, and last comes the circle of the sun.

3 Cf. Aet. ii. 15–25, infra.

the vapour raised by the sun from them; and lightning occurs when a wind falls upon clouds and separates them. Anaximandros was born in the third year of the forty-second Olympiad.

Plut. Strom. 2 ; Dox. 579. Anaximandros, the companion of Thales, says that the infinite is the sole cause of all generation and destruction, and from it the heavens were separated, and similarly all the worlds, which are infinite in number. And he declared that destruction and, far earlier, generation have taken place since an indefinite time, since all things are involved in a cycle. He says that the earth is a cylinder in form, and that its depth is one-third of its breadth. And he says that at the beginning of this world something [Ti Diels] productive of heat and cold from the eternal being was separated therefrom, and a sort of sphere of this flame surrounded the air about the earth, as bark surrounds a tree; then this sphere was broken into parts and defined into distinct circles, and thus arose the sun and the moon and the stars. Farther he says that at the beginning man was generated from all sorts of animals, since all the rest can quickly get food for themselves, but man alone requires careful feeding for a long time; such a being at the beginning could not have preserved his existence. Such is the teaching of Anaximandros.

Herm. I. G. P. 10; Dox. 653. His compatriot Anaximandros says that the first principle is older than water and is eternal motion; in this all things come into being, and all things perish.

Aet. Plac. i. 3; Dox. 277. Anaximandros of Miletos, son of Praxiades, says that the first principle of things is the infinite; for from this all things come, and all

1 Aet. iii. 6; Dox. 374.

2 Cf. Aet. iii. 3; Dox. 367.

things perish and return to this. Accordingly, an infinite number of worlds have been generated and have perished again and returned to their source. So he calls it infinite, in order that the generation which takes place may not lessen it. But he fails to say what the infinite is, whether it is air or water or earth or some other thing. He fails to show what matter is, and simply calls it the active cause. For the infinite is nothing else but matter ; and matter cannot be energy, unless an active agent is its substance. 7; 302. Anaximandros declared that the infinite heavens are gods.

Aet. ii. 1; Dox. 327. Anaximandros (et al.) : Infinite worlds exist in the infinite in every cycle ; Dox. 329, and these worlds are equally distant from each other. 4; 331. The world is perishable. 11; 340. Anaximandros : The heavens arise from a mixture of heat and cold. 13; 342. The stars are wheel-shaped masses of air, full of fire, breathing out flames from pores in different parts. 15; 345. Anaximandros et al.: The sun has the highest position of all, the moon is next in order, and beneath it are the fixed stars and the planets. 16; 345. The stars are carried on by the circles and the spheres in which each one moves. 20; 348. The circle of the sun is twenty-eight times as large as the earth, like a chariot wheel, having a hollow centre and this full of fire, shining in every part, and sending out fire through a narrow opening like the air from a flute. 21 ; 351. The sun is equal in size to the earth, but the circle from which it sends forth its exhalations, and by which it is borne through the heavens, is twenty-seven times as large as the earth. 24; 354. An eclipse takes place when the outlet for the fiery exhalations is closed. 25; 355. The circle of the moon is nineteen times as large

Epiphan. iii. 2; Dox. 589.


as the earth, and like the circle of the sun is full of fire; and eclipses are due to the revolutions of the wheel ; for it is like a chariot wheel, hollow inside, and the centre of it is full of fire, but there is only one exit for the fire. 28; 358. The moon shines by its own light. 29; 359. The moon is eclipsed when the hole in the wheel is stopped.

Aet. iii. 3; Dox. 367. Anaximandros said that lightning is due to wind; for when it is surrounded and pressed together by a thick cloud and so driven out by reason of its lightness and rarefaction, then the breaking makes a noise, while the separation makes a rift of brightness in the darkness of the cloud.

Aet. iv. 3; Dox. 387. Anaximandros et al.: The soul is like air in its nature.

Aet. v. 19; Dox. 430. Anaximandros said that the first animals were generated in the moisture, and were covered with a prickly skin; and as they grew older, they became drier, and after the skin broke off from them, they lived for a little while.

Cic. de Nat. Deor. i. 10; Dox. 531. It was the opinion of Anaximandros that gods have a beginning, at long intervals rising and setting, and that they are the innumerable worlds. But who of us can think of god except as immortal ?




ANAXIMENES of Miletos, son of Eurystratos, was the pupil or companion of Anaximandros. According to Apollodoros, quoted by Diogenes, he was born in the sixty-third Olympiad (528-524 B.c.). Diels 1 has, however, made it seem probable that this date refers to his prime of life, rather than to his birth. Of his life nothing is known.

Literature: Krische, Forschungen, i. 52–57; Teich

müller, Studien, 71-104; Revue Phil. 1883, p. 6 ff.; Archiv f. d. Geschichte d. Phil. i. pp. 315 ff. and pp. 582 ff.

(a) FRAGMENT ACCREDITED TO ANAXIMENES. Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs, Livre i., Paris 1887, p. 83, 11. 7-10, Olympiodoros. uiav κινουμένην άπειρον άρχήν πάντων των όντων εδόξαζεν 'Αναξιμένης τον αέρα. λέγει γάρ ούτως εγγύς έστιν ο αήρ του ασωμάτου και ότι κατ' έκροιαν τούτου γινόμεθα, ανάγκη αυτόν και άπειρον είναι και πλούσιον διά το μηδέποτε εκλείπειν. .

Translation-Anaximenes arrived at the conclusion that air is the one, movable, infinite, first principle of all things. For he speaks as follows: Air is the nearest to an immaterial thing; for since we are generated in

! Rhein. Mus. xxxi. 27.

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