Through criticism and analysis of ancient traditions, Kahn reconstructs the pattern of Anaximander’s thought using historical methods akin to the reconstructive. Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology. Front Cover. Charles H. Kahn . Columbia University Press, – Cosmology – pages. Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology has 5 ratings and 0 reviews. Through criticism and analysis of ancient traditions, Kahn reconstructs the p.

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In such a case should we follow Plutarch against the testimony of the doxographers? One is therefore obliged not only to recognize the ex- treme unreliability of sources such as Aetius, but also to pose the ques- tion, whether any doctrine of “infinite worlds” was in fact ascribed to Anaximander by Theophrastus, or whether this resemblance to the atomists’ view is due only to the confusion of our Hellenistic sources see below, 9.

Oskar Becker – – Philosophische Rundschau But the reference of S. On the other hand, once the Milesians and their successors had worked out a consistent cosmic scheme, it naturally Cosmplogy XllI exerted a powerful influence on the poets and on the educated public in general.

But what are we to make of the plural Koapuot, qnd lie within these celestial systems? The recent tendency to assimilate Anaximander to Hesiod — which also underlies Cornford’s brilliant treatment of him in Principium Sapientiae — can only serve to blur the distinguishing features of each, by confounding the very different atti- tudes toward Nature that characterize the Greek epic poets and the early philosophers.

The wnd erepav tlvo. The symmetrical subdivisions of the earth’s upper “inhabited” surface answer to its exact cylindrical dimensions and to its harmonious posi- tion in the center of the balanced structure of the heavens.

Anaximander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology

But this means building a great deal cosmologyy what is after all only a conjecture. In such ancient accounts of early Greek thought, and in the modern histories of philosophy which arc based directly upon them, very little attention is paid to the organic relation- ship between this first age of Ionian philosophy and the much better documented peiiod which stretches from Parmenides to the Hippo- cratic authors, and to the physical writings of Aristotle.

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Whatever the exact textual filiation may have been, a comparison of the De Sensibus with Aetius iv. It must be admitted that the purely grammatical evidence establishes a prima facie case for the word dVetpov.

The complete agreement of Simplicius and Hippolytus provides us with the original wording of Theophrastus, against which the other doxographers must be judged. The AristoteUan passages which mention Anaximander by name, or where a cosmklogy to him may reasonably be inferred, can be cited directly. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

Bonitz, Greeek Arislotelicus 2d ed. The obliquity of the rings mentioned here applies equally to sun and moon although this detail was omitted in The analysis of this material is necessarily involved, but only by such an analysis can we distinguish the questions on which reliable anaxiamnder tion is available from those which have been hopelessly obscured by the nature of our sources.

For history implies documents. This matter of the relative accuracy of the extant doxographers is decisive for any treatment of Milesian thought, and must be considered here in some detail. On the other hand, Simplicius does not always limit himself to a slavish copying of one original.

But our knowledge of Theophrastus’ account rests essentially upon these four, and it is their reliability which must be examined most closely. A Journal of the History of Science B i ; ifivais, see below, pp. There is, of course, a con- siderable change in living conditions for these creatures newly trans- ferred from the sea to the land and suddenly exposed to sunlight and air.

Full text of “Anaximander and the origins of Greek cosmology”

Quia et ipse ictus” inaequalis est. In this decisive case, where the original text of Theophrastus may be recognized with confidence, we see that a reference to the infinite worlds and to their destruction is to be found only in those doxographers who xnaximander most widely from their original source. By this implicit rejection of the familiar idea of “down” as the direction in which all bodies tend, O is well ahead of his time.

Ideoque Neptunum, umentis substantiae potestatem, Ennosigaeon et Sisi- chthona poetae veteres et theologi nuncuparunt.

In fact there are at least two other meanings for the phrase “all the koojj. This is unlikely since in the De Caelo passage Simplicius is not following Theophrastus’ text as closely as he is here.


The error is probably not due to Eudemus, whose work does not seem to have been utilized by Theon directly.

Where information given by Theophrastus has not been repeated by an extant author, there is no means of finding out what he said. Diels “fortasse”Holscher. Joe Gonnella added it May 31, So far Hippolytus has mentioned only a single circle of fire, yet now he speaks in general of “the heavenly bodies” to.

This comparison is discussed by Diels, Dox. Theophrastus’ superiority as a documentary source is here apparent. In view of the absence of direct parallels to this remark, and on the basis of rather minute stylistic differences, it has been argued that here “it is not Theophrastus who is speaking, but Simplicius” Holscher, “Anaximander,” p. Aeris diducentis se corruentisque iactatio languidum ignem nee exiturum aperiens.

In so far as it relates to Anaximander, the Theo- phrastean account is known to us in four principal versions: For the dimension of the moon’s circle, see commentary on We must bear in mind that he is a well- read scholar, whose judgments on early Greek philosophy may also be the fruit of his own reading of Aristotle or other authors.

Here again the report of Aetius appears as the most unreliable and confused of all extant versions of the doxography. A Literal Interpretation, This statement is certainly correct, but it refers to his doctrine, not to his terminology. Strangely, the statement of Theon is accepted by Burnet p. A different Hellenistic compilation -nepl deiov seems to lie behind the report of Augustine, for whom the intervals between Anaximander’s worlds are clearly temporal, not spatial: If so, there is unfortunately no test by which true paternity can be established.