Ancient Greek History

Anaximander – The Pre-Socratic Philosopher

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ParthenonAnaximander was an early Greek philosopher known to be the founder of astronomy. He was born in Ionia, a part of Ancient Greece but is now in modern-day Turkey.  He was famously known for his vast contribution in science, thus being considered as the first true scientist. He tried to explain various aspects of the universe, as well as its origins, and he also gave detailed explanations of the mechanics of celestial bodies and how they relate to the Earth. Here’s more information about this philosopher and his theories:

Biography of Anaximander

As mentioned above, Anaximander was born and raised in Ionia, which is in modern-day Turkey. He was alive from 610 B.C. to 545 B.C. and is part of the pre-socratic school of philosophy. He was part of the Malisinaes School where Thales was his master. There were those who believed that Anaximenes and Pythagorus were his students.

Dimensions of the Earth and Universe

Anaximander strongly believed that the earth was cylindrical. He was also the first person to argue that the sun, moon and planets revolved around the earth, meaning the sun that rose in the morning was the same one that set in the evening. He argued that the earth and heavenly bodies are at different distances but he was wrong when he claimed that the stars were closer to the earth than the rest.

He also attempted to find the universe’s dimensions. His studies showed that the star circles have a radius that is 9 times the radius of the circle on top of the cylindrical earth. The moon’s radius was 18 times that of the earth while the sun’s ratio to the earth’s ratio was 27.

Argued that the Earth Was Covered in Water

Anamaxinder also claimed that the earth was covered in water which began to dry out due to the heat of the sun. His argument was that life started during this phenomenon. The first animals were covered in spines but later the number reduced due to the heat. He argued that these conditions could not have suited man and therefore man came to be as a result of gradual evolution of the animals living on dry land.

Creating the First World Map

He was also the first person to construct the world map. This map, however, does not exist anymore but studies show that it must have portrayed a circular earth. Most likely, it would have shown the Mediterranean Sea at the center while the lands would have been at the north and south. He further argued that the cosmic order is geometric rather than monarchic resulting in the equilibrium of earth that lies in the center of the universe. It was partly this theory that led him to create this map.

Some of Anaximander’s finding have led to huge scientific advancements today. His studies might not have been 100% correct according to what we know today, but they were still important to scientific thought.


Wikipedia – Anaximander

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