Heraclitus – Ancient Greek Philosopher from Ephesus
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In Ancient Greece, philosophers are classed in roughly two Greeks – those who came before and those who came after Socrates. Although Socrates himself may not have understand exactly how much of an impact he would have on the world, we do understand his significance now. However, that is not to say that the philosophers who came before him didn’t provide value. Many pre-Socratic philosophers, such as Heraclitus, were also intriguing and influential in their own ways. Here’s a look at the life and works of Heraclitus, a pre-Socratic philosopher, who is most known for his beliefs on change and how it relates to the universe:
Early Life and Education of Heraclitus
It is known that Heraclitus was born in Ephesus in 535 B.C. and he died around 475 B.C. when he was about sixty years old. Although Ephesus has a history of being part of Ancient Greece, at the time of his birth, that part of Ancient Greece was in turmoil because of the Persian Empire. During the time of the Ionian Revolt, which take place in Heraclitus’ time, Ephesus remained neutral in the conflict. Heraclitus was born into a noble family in Ephesus and he always described himself as being self taught, especially when it came to discussing his philosophies later in life.
Philosophies and Works of Heraclitus
During his time, Heraclitus often criticized the beliefs of the philosophers who came before him. As a result of this, his viewpoints were fairly unique. For instance, he had specific ideas about the universe and maintained that the only thing consistent about the universe itself is that it was always subject to change.
Heraclitus also embraced an idea referred to as Logos, where he maintained that there was an everlasting Word, or Logos, that unified all things. He also taught that the universe contained a system of opposites, and this polarity was necessary to maintain balance in the world. In fact, it is this balance that he believed unified everything in the world.
Intriguing Sayings By Heraclitus
Besides being known for his philosophies, Heraclitus is also associated with some interesting quotes that derive from some of his works. Many of these quotes show that Heraclitus had a deep understanding of human nature that endures to this day. Here are some of his most famous sayings:
- The sun is new each day.
- If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.
- Character is destiny.
- No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
- There is nothing permanent except change.
As you can see, Heraclitus was an intriguing philosopher who proposed ideas that are often still embraced to this day. He was also attributed with plenty of quotes that display a deep understanding of not only humanity, but also of the universe. These quotes reflect his overall philosophies.
Categorized in: Ancient Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston