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THE LIVES AND OPINIONS OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS

BY DIOGENES LAERTIUS, TRANSLATED BY C.D. YONGE

LIFE OF ANAXIMANDER



I. ANAXIMANDER, the son of Praxiadas, was a citizen of Miletus.

II. He used to assert that the principle and primary element of all things was the Infinity, giving no exact definition as to whether he meant air or water, or anything else. And he said that the parts were susceptible of change, but that the whole was unchangeable; and that the earth lay in the middle, being placed there as a sort of centre, of a spherical shape. The moon, he said, had a borrowed light, and borrowed it from the sun; and the sun he affirmed to be not less than the earth, and the purest possible fire.

III. He also was the first discoverer of the gnomon; and he placed some in Lacedaemon on the sun-dials there, as Favorinus says in his Universal History, and they showed the solstices and the equinoxes; he also made clocks. He was the first person, too, who drew a map of the earth and sea, and he also made a globe; and he published a concise statement of whatever opinions he embraced or entertained; and this treatise was met with by Apollodorus the Athenian.

IV. And Apollodorus, in his Chronicles, states, that in the second year of the fifty-eighth Olympiad, he was sixty-four years old. And soon after he died, having flourished much about the same time as Polycrates, the tyrant, of Samos. They say that when he sang, the children laughed; and that he, hearing of this, said, "We must then sing better for the sake of the children."

V. There was also another Anaximander, a historian; and he too was a Milesian, and wrote in the Ionic dialect.










Scanned and edited for Peithô's Web from The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, by Diogenes Laertius, Literally translated by C.D. Yonge. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853. Footnotes have been converted to endnotes. Some, but not all, of Yonge's spellings of ancient names have been updated.

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