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Encyclopedia > Democritus

Western Philosophy
Pre-Socratic philosophy
Democritus
Name
Democritus
Birth ca. 460 BC
Death ca. 370 BC
School/tradition Pre-Socratic philosophy
Main interests metaphysics / mathematics / astronomy
Notable ideas Atomism, Distant Star Theory
Influenced by Leucippus, Melissus of Samos
Influenced Epicurus, Lucretius, Santayana, Nietzsche

Democritus (Greek: Δημόκριτος) was a pre-Socratic Greek materialist philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace ca. 460 BC - died ca 370 BC). Democritus was a student of Leucippus and co-originator of the belief that all matter is made up of various imperishable, indivisible elements which he called atoma (sg. atomon) or "indivisible units", from which we get the English word atom. It is virtually impossible to tell which of these ideas were unique to Democritus and which are attributable to Leucippus. The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... Image File history File links Demokrit. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 5th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC - 450s BC - 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC Years: 465 BC 464 BC 463 BC 462 BC 461 BC - 460 BC - 459 BC 458 BC... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC - 370s BC - 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 375 BC 374 BC 373 BC 372 BC 371 BC - 370 BC - 369 BC 368 BC 367... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... This article is about the philosopher. ... Melissus of Samos, Greek philosopher of the Eleatic School, was born probably not later than 470 BC. According to Diogenes Laërtius, ix. ... Epicure redirects here. ... Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus (c. ... George Santayana George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy), was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Pre-Socratic philosophers are often very hard to pin down, and it is sometimes very difficult to determine the actual line of argument they used in supporting their particular views. ... Ancient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek-speaking world in ancient times. ... This article primarily focuses on the general concepts of matter and existence. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Abdera, was a town on the coast of Thrace near the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. ... Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak  Thrace (Bulgarian: , Greek: , Attic Greek: ThrāíkÄ“ or ThrēíkÄ“, Latin: , Turkish: ) is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 5th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC - 450s BC - 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC Years: 465 BC 464 BC 463 BC 462 BC 461 BC - 460 BC - 459 BC 458 BC... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC - 370s BC - 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 375 BC 374 BC 373 BC 372 BC 371 BC - 370 BC - 369 BC 368 BC 367... This article is about the philosopher. ... This article is about matter in physics and chemistry. ... Many ancient philosophies used a set of archetypal classical elements to explain patterns in nature. ... Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ...

Contents

Life

Democritus was born in Abdera in Thrace, an Ionian colony of Teos,[1] although some called him a Milesian.[2] His year of birth was 460 BC according to Apollodorus, who is probably more reliable than Thrasyllus who placed it ten years earlier.[3] His father was so wealthy, that it was said that he received Xerxes on his march through Abdera. Democritus spent the inheritance which his father left him on travels into distant countries, to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. He travelled to Asia, and was even said to have reached India and Ethiopia.[4] We know that he wrote on Babylon and Meroe; he must also have visited Egypt, and Diodorus Siculus states that he lived there for five years.[5] He himself declared,[6] that among his contemporaries none had made greater journeys, seen more countries, and met more scholars than himself. He particularly mentions the Egyptian mathematicians, whose knowledge he praises. Theophrastus, too, spoke of him as a man who had seen many countries.[7] Abdera, was a town on the coast of Thrace near the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. ... Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak  Thrace (Bulgarian: , Greek: , Attic Greek: ThrāíkÄ“ or ThrēíkÄ“, Latin: , Turkish: ) is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. ... The Ionians were one of the three main ancient Greek ethno-linguistic groups, linked by their use of the Ionic dialect of the Greek language. ... Teos (or Teo), a maritime city of Ionia, on a peninsula between Chytrium and Myonnesus. ... The Milesians of Hellenic (Greek) civilization were the inhabitants of Miletus, a city in the Anatolia province of modern-day Turkey, near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and at the mouth of the Meander River. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 5th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC - 450s BC - 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC Years: 465 BC 464 BC 463 BC 462 BC 461 BC - 460 BC - 459 BC 458 BC... Apollodorus was a common name in ancient Greece. ... Thrasyllus of Mendes was an Egyptian astrologer, astronomer and mathematician who lived during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius, whom he served. ... Xerxes may refer to these Persian kings: Xerxes I, reigned 485–465 BC, also known as Xerxes the Great. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Babylon (disambiguation). ... Aerial view of the pyramids at Meroe. ... Diodorus Siculus (c. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Theophrastus (Greek Θεόφραστος, 370 — about 285 BC), a native of Eressos in Lesbos, was the successor of Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. ...


After returning to his native land he occupied himself with natural philosophy. He travelled throughout Greece to acquire a knowledge of its culture. He mentions many Greek philosophers in his writings, and his wealth enabled him to purchase their writings. Leucippus, the founder of the atomism, was the greatest influence upon him. He also praises Anaxagoras.[8] The tradition that he was friends with Hippocrates seems to have been based on spurious letters.[9] He may have been acquainted with Socrates, but Plato does not mention him, and Aristotle viewed him as a pre-Socratic.[10] This article is about the philosopher. ... Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... Anaxagoras Anaxagoras (Greek: Αναξαγόρας, c. ... For other uses, see Hippocrates (disambiguation). ... This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ...


The many anecdotes about Democritus, especially in Diogenes Laërtius, attest to his disinterestedness, modesty, and simplicity, and show that he lived exclusively for his studies. One story has him deliberately blinding himself in order to be less disturbed in his pursuits;[11] it may well be true that he lost his sight in old age. He was cheerful, and was always ready to see the comical side of life, which later writers took to mean that he always laughed at the foolishness of people.[12] Diogenes Laërtius, the biographer of the Greek philosophers, is supposed by some to have received his surname from the town of Laerte in Cilicia, and by others from the Roman family of the Laërtii. ... In cryptography, blinding is a technique by which an agent can provide a service to (i. ... Paul Kruger in his old age. ...


He was highly esteemed by his fellow-citizens, "because," as Diogenes Laërtius says, "he had foretold them some things which events proved to be true," which may refer to his knowledge of natural phaenomena. According to Diodorus Siculus,[13] Democritus died at the age of 90, which would put his death around 370 BC, but other writers have him living to 104,[14] or even 109.[15] Diodorus Siculus (c. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC - 370s BC - 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 375 BC 374 BC 373 BC 372 BC 371 BC - 370 BC - 369 BC 368 BC 367...


Atoms and the void

Democritus agreed that everything which is must be eternal, but denied that "the void" can be equated with nothing. This makes him the first thinker on record to argue the existence of an entirely empty "void". In order to explain the change around us from basic, unchangeable substance he created a theory that argued that there are various basic elements which always existed but can be rearranged into many different forms. Democritus' theory argued that atoms only had several properties, particularly size, shape, and (perhaps) weight; all other properties that we attribute to matter, such as color and taste, are but the result of complex interactions between the atoms in our bodies and the atoms of the matter that we are examining. Furthermore, he believed that the real properties of atoms determine the perceived properties of matter--for example, something that is solid is made of small, pointy atoms, while something that has water like properties is made of large, round atoms. Some types of matter are particularly solid because their atoms have hooks to attach to each other; some are oily because they are made of very fine, small atoms which can easily slip past each other. In Democritus' own words, "By convention sweet, by convention bitter, by convention hot, by convention cold, by convention colour: but in reality atoms and void."


Aristotle tells us that this theory of matter, commonly called atomism, was a reaction to Parmenides, who denied the existence of motion, change, or the void. Parmenides argued that the existence of a thing implied that it could not have "come into being", because "nothing comes from nothing". Moreover, he argued, movement was impossible, because one must move into "the void" and (as he identified "the void" with "nothing") the void does not exist and cannot be "moved into". His main contribution to chemistry was the suggestion of the atom which he called "atomos". Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... Parmenides of Elea (Greek: , early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. ... Look up void in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Nothing comes from nothing is a philosophical expression often stated in its Latin form: ex nihilo nihil fit. ...


Soul, sense, and reason

Though intelligence is allowed to explain the organization of the world, according to Democritus, he does allow for the existence of a soul, which he contends is composed of exceedingly fine and spherical atoma (now called atoms, as mentioned above). He holds that, "spherical atoma move because it is their nature never to be still, and as they move they draw the whole body along with them, and set it in motion." In this way, he viewed soul-atoma as being similar to fire-atoma: small, spherical, capable of penetrating solid bodies and good examples of spontaneous motion. For other uses, see Soul (disambiguation). ...


Democritus explained senses along these lines as well. He hypothesized that different tastes were a result of differently shaped atoms in contact with the tongue. Smells and sounds could be explained similarly. Vision works by the eye receiving "images" or "effluences" of bodies that are emanated. He stated that, "Sweet exists by convention, bitter by convention, color by convention; but in reality atoms and the void alone exist." This means that senses could not provide a direct or certain knowledge of the world. In his words, "It's necessary to realize that by this principle man is cut off from the real." Later philosophers use this to deny that any reliable knowledge can be obtained, but Democritus felt differently:

There are two forms of knowledge: one legitimate, one bastard. To the latter form belong all the following: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. The legitimate is quite distinct from this. When the bastard form cannot see more minutely, nor hear nor smell nor taste nor perceive through touch, then another, finer form must be employed. - Democritus, Fragment 11, The Symmetry of Life

One view purports that this finer form is reasoning, although Democritus does not explain reason's place in the atomistic view.


Scientific interest

Mathematics

He was also a pioneer of mathematics and geometry in particular. We only know this through citations of his works (titled On Numbers, On Geometrics, On Tangencies, On Mapping, and On Irrationals) in other writings, since most of Democritus' body of work did not survive the Middle Ages. Democritus was among the first to observe that a cone or pyramid has one-third the volume of a cylinder or prism respectively with the same base and height. This article is about the geometric object, for other uses see Cone. ... For other meanings, see pyramid (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Volume (disambiguation). ... A right circular cylinder An elliptic cylinder In mathematics, a cylinder is a quadric surface, with the following equation in Cartesian coordinates: This equation is for an elliptic cylinder, a generalization of the ordinary, circular cylinder (a = b). ... In geometry, an n-sided prism is a polyhedron made of an n-sided polygonal base, a translated copy, and n faces joining corresponding sides. ...


Minerals and plants

Petronius in his Satyricon states that "Democritus... extracted the essence of every known herb and then devoted the rest of his life to researches into the properties of minerals and plants." [16] This article is about the Roman author Petronius. ... Satyricon (or Satyrica) is a Latin novel, believed to have been written by Gaius Petronius, though the manuscript text of the Satyricon calls him Titus Petronius. ...


Astronomy

Democritus was also the first philosopher we know who realized that the celestial body we perceive as the Milky Way is formed from the light of distant stars.[citation needed] Other philosophers, including later Aristotle, argued against this. Democritus was among the first to propose that the universe contains many worlds, some of them inhabited: See lists of astronomical objects for a list of the various lists of astronomical objects in Wikipedia. ... For other uses, see Milky Way (disambiguation). ... STARS can mean: Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society Special Tactics And Rescue Service, a fictional task force that appears in Capcoms Resident Evil video game franchise. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Universe (disambiguation). ...

"In some worlds there is no Sun and Moon while in others they are larger than in our world and in others more numerous. In some parts there are more worlds, in others fewer (...); in some parts they are arising, in others failing. There are some worlds devoid of living creatures or plants or any moisture."

Hendrick ter Brugghen, "Democritus Laughing" (1629)
Hendrick ter Brugghen, "Democritus Laughing" (1629)

Image File history File links DemocritusLaughing. ... Image File history File links DemocritusLaughing. ... Hendrick ter Brugghen, Flute Player (1621) Hendrick Jansz ter Brugghen, or Terbrugghen, (c. ...

Epistemology

The knowledge of truth according to Democritus is difficult, since the perception through the senses is subjective. As from the same senses derive different impressions for each individual, then through the sense-impressions we cannot judge the truth. We can only interpret the sense data through the intellect and grasp the truth, because the truth (aletheia) is at the bottom (en bythoe).

And again, many of the other animals receive impressions contrary to ours; and even to the senses of each individual, things do not always seem the same. Which then, of these impressions are true and which are false is not obvious; for the one set is no more true than the other, but both are alike. And this is why Democritus, at any rate, says that either there is no truth or to us at least it is not evident.”(Aristotle, Metaphysics IV, 1009 b 7).

Democritus .. says: By convention hot, by convention cold, but in reality atoms and void, and also in reality we know nothing, since the truth is at bottom.” (Fr. 117, Diogenes Laertius IX, 72).

There are two kinds of knowing, the one he calls “legitimate” (gnesie: genuine) and the other “bastard” (skotie: obscure). The “bastard” knowledge is concerned with the perception through the senses, therefore it is insufficient and subjective. The reason is that the sense-perception is due to the effluences of the atoms (aporroai) from the objects to the senses. When these different shapes of atoms come to us, stimulate our senses according to their shape, and there from arise our sense-impressions. (Fr. 135, Theophrastus De Sensu 49-83).


The second sort of knowledge, the “legitimate” one, can be achieved through the intellect, in other words, all the sense-data from the “bastard” must be elaborated through reasoning. In this way one can get away from the false perception of the “bastard” knowledge and grasp the truth through the inductive reasoning. Therefore, the man after taking into account the sense-impressions, can examine the causes of the appearances, draw conclusions about the laws that govern the appearances, and find out the causality (aetiologia) by which they are related. This is the procedure of thought from the parts to the whole or else from the apparent to non-apparent (inductive reasoning). “ But in the Canons Democritus says there are two kinds of knowing, one through the senses and the other through the intellect. Of these he calls the one through the intellect ‘legitimate’ attesting its trustworthiness for the judgement of truth, and through the senses he names ‘bastard’ denying its inerrancy in the discrimination of what is true. To quote his actual words: Of knowledge there are two forms, one legitimate, one bastard. To the bastard belong all this group: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. The other is legitimate and separate from that. Then, preferring the legitimate to the bastard, he continues: When the bastard can no longer see any smaller, or hear, or smell, or taste, or perceive by touch, but finer matters have to be examined, then comes the legitimate, since it has a finer organ of perception.” (Fr. 11 Sextus, Adv. Math. VII, 138). Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ...


“ In the Confirmations .. he says: But we in actuality grasp nothing for certain, but what shifts in accordance with the condition of the body and of the things (atoms) which enter it and press upon it.” (Fr. 9 Sextus Adv. Math. VII 136).


“ Democritus used to say that 'he prefers to discover a causality rather than become a king of Persia'.” (Fr.118)


(Excerpt from Democritus' Gnoseology 'Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics Analysis and Fragments', Nikolaos Bakalis, Trafford Publishing 2005, ISBN 1-4120-4843-5.


Ethics

Although Democritus is best known as the propounder of atomism, most of his extant fragments actually relate to the field of ethics. The excerpts are notably fragments quoted by other authors (mostly Stobaeus) and attributed to Democritus, who is also known as "The Laughing Philosopher" (for laughing at human follies) and by his fellow citizens as "The Mocker". Among numerous examples some include: For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... Joannes Stobaeus, so called from his native place Stobi in Macedonia, was the compiler of a valuable series of extracts from Greek authors. ...

  • Disease occurs in a household, or in a life, just as it does in a body." (DK 68 B 288)
  • "Moderation increases enjoyment, and makes pleasure even greater." (DK 68 B 211)
  • "The brave man is he who overcomes not only his enemies but his pleasures. There are some men who are masters of cities but slaves to women." (DK 68 B 214)
  • "Proclus states that Pythagoras and Epicurus agree with Cratylus, but Democritus and Aristotle agree with Hermogenes, the former that names arise by nature, the latter that they arise by chance. Pythagoras thought that the soul gave the names, deriving them like images of reality from the mind. But Democritus thought that the proof of their chance origin was fourfold: (1) the calling of different things by the same name; (2)having several names for the same thing; (3)change of name; (4)lack of name."
  • "Nature and instruction are similar; for instruction transforms the man."(DK 68 B 33)
  • "If any man listens to my opinions, here recorded, with intelligence, he will achieve many things worthy of a good man, and avoid doing many unworthy things.(DK 68 B 35)
  • "He who chooses the advantages of the soul chooses things more divine, but he who chooses those of the body, chooses things human." (DK 68 B 37)

Notes

  1. ^ Aristote, de Coel. iii. 4, Meteor. ii. 7
  2. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 34, etc.
  3. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 41
  4. ^ Cicero, de Finibus, v. 19; Strabo, xvi.
  5. ^ Diodorus Siculus, i. 98
  6. ^ Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, i.
  7. ^ Aelian, Varia Historia, iv. 20; Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 35.
  8. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, ii. 14; Sextus Empiricus, adv. Math. vii. 140.
  9. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 42
  10. ^ Aristotle, Metaph. xiii. 4; Phys. ii. 2, de Partib. Anim. i. 1
  11. ^ Cicero, de Fin. v. 29; Aulus Gellius, x. 17; Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 36; Cicero, Tusculanae Quaestiones v. 39
  12. ^ Seneca, de Ira, ii. 10; Aelian, Varia Historia, iv. 20.
  13. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 14.11.5
  14. ^ Lucian, Macrobii 18
  15. ^ Hipparchus ap. Diogenes Laërtius, ix. 43
  16. ^ Petronius. Satyricon. Trans. William Arrowsmith. New York: A Meridian Book, 1987.

References

  • Bailey C. (1928) The Greek Atomists and Epicurus. Oxford
  • Bakalis Nikolaos (2005) Handbook of Greek Philosophy: From Thales to the Stoics Analysis and Fragments, Trafford Publishing, ISBN 1-4120-4843-5
  • Barnes J. (1982) The Presocratic Philosophers, Routledge Revised Edition
  • Burnet J. (2003) Early Greek Philosophy, Kessinger Publishing
  • Guthrie W. K. (1979) A History of Greek Philosophy – The Presocratic tradition from Parmenides to Democritus, Cambridge University Press.
  • Kirk G. S., Raven J. E. and Schofield M. (1983) The Presocratic Philosophers, Cambridge University Press, Second edition.
  • Melchert, Norman (2002). The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy. McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-19-517510-7. 
  • Ancilla To The Pre-Socratic Philosophers, translated by Kathleen Freeman.
  • Pyle, C. M. 1997. 'Democritus and Heracleitus: An Excursus on the Cover of this Book,' Milan and Lombardy in the Renaissance. Essays in Cultural History. Rome, La Fenice. (Istituto di Filologia Moderna, Università di Parma: Testi e Studi, Nuova Serie: Studi 1.) [Fortuna of the Laughing and Weeping Philosophers topos]
  • Petronius. Satyricon. Trans. William Arrowsmith. New York: A Meridian Book, 1987.

Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ancient Greek - Herákleitos ho Ephésios (Herakleitos the Ephesian)) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure (Ancient Greek - ho Skoteinós), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor. ...

External links

Persondata
NAME Democritus
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Δημόκριτος
SHORT DESCRIPTION pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
DATE OF BIRTH ca. 460 BC
PLACE OF BIRTH Abdera in Thrace
DATE OF DEATH died ca 370 BC
PLACE OF DEATH
The MacTutor history of mathematics archive is a website hosted by University of St Andrews in Scotland. ... Greek mathematics, as that term is used in this article, is the mathematics written in Greek, developed from the 6th century BC to the 5th century AD around the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean. ... Anaxagoras Anaxagoras (Greek: Αναξαγόρας, c. ... Anthemius of Tralles (c. ... Archytas Archytas (428 BC - 347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, strategist and commander-in-chief. ... Aristaeus the Elder (370 BCE-300 BCE) Aristaeus the Elder was a Greek mathematician who worked on conic sections. ... For other uses of this name, including the grammarian Aristarchus of Samothrace, see Aristarchus Statue of Aristarchus at Aristotle University in Thessalonica, Greece Aristarchus (Greek: Ἀρίσταρχος; 310 BC - ca. ... Apollonius of Perga [Pergaeus] (ca. ... For other uses, see Archimedes (disambiguation). ... Autolycus of Pitane (c. ... For other people of the same name, see Boethius (disambiguation). ... Bryson of Heraclea (ca. ... Calippus of Syracuse Callippus (or Calippus) (ca. ... Chrysippus of Soli (279-207 BC) was Cleanthess pupil and eventual successor to the head of the stoic philosophy (232-204 BC). ... Cleomedes was a Greek astronomer who is known chiefly for his book On the Circular Motions of the Celestial Bodies. ... Conon of Samos (circa 280 BC - circa: 220 BC) was a Greek mathematician and astronomer. ... Ctesibius or Ktesibios or Tesibius (Greek Κτησίβιος) (flourished 285–222 BC) was a Greek[1] inventor and mathematician in Alexandria. ... Dicaearchus (also Dicearchos, Dicearchus or Dikæarchus, Greek Δικαιαρχος; circa 350 BC – circa 285 BC) was a Greek philosopher, cartographer, geographer, mathematician and author. ... Diocles was a Greek mathematician and geometer, who probably flourished sometime around the end of the second century and the beginning of the first century BC. 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Philon, Athenian architect of the 4th century BC, is known as the planner of two important works: the portico of the great Hall of the Mysteries at Eleusis and an arsenal at Athens. ... Porphyry of Tyre (Greek: , c. ... The bust of Posidonius as an older man depicts his character as a Stoic philosopher. ... This article is about Proclus Diadochus, the Neoplatonist philosopher. ... This article is about the geographer, mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... Serenus of Antinouplis (ca. ... Simplicius, a native of Cilicia, a disciple of Ammonius and of Damascius, was one of the last of the Neoplatonists. ... Sosigenes of Alexandria was named by Pliny the Elder as the astronomer consulted by Julius Caesar for the design of the Julian calendar. ... Sporus of Nicaea was a Greek mathematician and astronomer, born: circa 240, probably Nicaea (Greek Nikaia), ancient district Bithynia, (modern-day Iznik) in province Bursa, in modern day Turkey, died: circa 300. ... For the Defense and Security Company, see Thales Group. ... Theaetetus (ca. ... Theano was one of the few women in ancient mathematics. ... This article is about Theodorus the mathematician from Cyrene. ... Theodosius of Bithynia (ca. ... Theon (c. ... Theon of Smyrna (ca. ... Thymaridas of Paros (ca. ... Xenocrates of Chalcedon (396 - 314 BC) was a Greek philosopher and scholarch or rector of the Academy from 339 to 314 BC. Removing to Athens in early youth, he became the pupil of the Socratic Aeschines, but presently joined himself to Plato, whom he attended to Sicily in 361. ... Zeno of Elea (IPA:zÉ›noÊŠ, É›lɛɑː)(circa 490 BC? – circa 430 BC?) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. ... Zeno of Sidon, Epicurean philosopher of the 1st century BC and contemporary of Cicero. ... Zenodorus (ca. ... Almagest is the Latin form of the Arabic name (al-kitabu-l-mijisti, i. ... The Archimedes Palimpsest is a palimpsest on parchment in the form of a codex which originally was a copy of an otherwise unknown work of the ancient mathematician, physicist, and engineer Archimedes of Syracuse and other authors. ... Arithmetica, an ancient text on mathematics written by classical period Greek mathematician Diophantus in the second century AD is a collection of 130 algebra problems giving numerical solutions of determinate equations (those with a unique solution), and indeterminate equations. ... Apollonius of Perga [Pergaeus] (ca. ... The frontispiece of Sir Henry Billingsleys first English version of Euclids Elements, 1570 Euclids Elements (Greek: ) is a mathematical and geometric treatise consisting of 13 books written by the Greek mathematician Euclid in Alexandria circa 300 BC. It comprises a collection of definitions, postulates (axioms), propositions (theorems... Aristarchuss 3rd century BC calculations on the relative sizes of the Earth, Sun and Moon, from a 10th century CE Greek copy On the Sizes and Distances [of the Sun and Moon] is the only extant work written by Aristarchus of Samos, an ancient Greek astronomer who lived circa... On Sizes and Distances [of the Sun and Moon] (Peri megethoon kai apostèmátoon) is a text by the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus. ... Autolycus of Pitane (c. ... For other uses, see Academy (disambiguation). ... Inscription regarding Tiberius Claudius Balbilus of Rome (d. ... Cyrene (Greek Κυρήνη, Kurene) was an ancient Greek colony in present-day Libya, the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. ... Babylonian clay tablet YBC 7289 with annotations. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... For a timeline of events in mathematics, see timeline of mathematics. ... In the history of mathematics, Islamic mathematics or Arabic mathematics refers to the mathematics developed by the Islamic civilization between 622 and 1600. ... This article is under construction. ... The Pre-Socratic philosophers were active before Socrates or contemporaneously, but expounding knowledge developed earlier. ... The Milesian school was a school of thought founded in the 6th Century BC. The ideas associated with it are exemplified by three philosophers from the Ionian town of Miletus, on the edge of Anatolia: Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. ... For the Defense and Security Company, see Thales Group. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Anaximenes (in Greek: Άναξιμένης) of Miletus (585 BC - 525 BC) was a Greek philosopher from the latter half of the 6th century, probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. ... Bust of Pythagoras Pythagoreanism is a term used for the esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were much influenced by mathematics and probably a main inspirational source for Plato and platonism. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... Philolaus (circa 480 BC – circa 405 BC) was a Greek mathematician and philosopher. ... Alcmaeon of Croton (mid-fifth century B.C.) was an Ancient Greek philosopher and medical theorist. ... Archytas Archytas (428 BC - 347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, strategist and commander-in-chief. ... Timaeus of Locri (called Timaeus Locrus in Latin, Timée de Locres in French) was a Pythagorean philosopher living in the 5th century BC. He features in Platos Timaeus, where he is said to come from Locri in Italy. ... Ephesian School sometimes refers to the philosophical thought of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, who considered that the being of all the universe is fire. ... Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ancient Greek - Herákleitos ho Ephésios (Herakleitos the Ephesian)) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure (Ancient Greek - ho Skoteinós), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor. ... The Eleatics were a school of pre-Socratic philosophers at Elea, a Greek colony in Lucania, Italy. ... Xenophanes of Colophon (Greek: Ξενοφάνης, 570 BC-480 BC) was a Greek philosopher, poet, and social and religious critic. ... Parmenides of Elea (Greek: , early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. ... Zeno of Elea (IPA:zÉ›noÊŠ, É›lɛɑː)(circa 490 BC? – circa 430 BC?) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. ... Melissus of Samos, Greek philosopher of the Eleatic School, was born probably not later than 470 BC. According to Diogenes Laërtius, ix. ... The Pluralist School was a school of presocratic philosophers who attempted to reconcile Parmenides rejection of change with the apparently changing world of sense experience. ... Anaxagoras Anaxagoras (Greek: Αναξαγόρας, c. ... Empedocles (Greek: , ca. ... Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: discussions of existence of atoms among prominent physicists up to the end of 19th century. ... This article is about the philosopher. ... Sophist redirects here. ... Protagoras (in Greek Πρωταγόρας) was born around 481 BC in Abdera, Thrace in Ancient Greece. ... Gorgias (in Greek Γοργἰας, circa 483-376 BC) // Introduction Due to his ushering in of rhetorical innovations involving structure and ornamentation and his introduction of paradoxologia – the idea of paradoxical thought and paradoxical expression – Gorgias of Leontini has been labeled the ‘father of sophistry’ (Wardy 6). ... Prodicus of Ceos (Πρόδικος Pródikos, born c. ... Hippias can also refer to a son of Pisistratus and a tyrant of Athens. ... Diogenes Apolloniates or Diogenes of Apollonia (c. ... Pherecydes of Syros (in Greek: Φερεχύδης) was a Greek thinker from the island of Siros, Magna Graecia of the 6th century BC. Pherecydes authored the Heptamychia, one of the first attested prose works in Greek literature, which formed an important bridge between mythic and pre-Socratic though. ... The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... Look up Aegean Sea in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Helespont/Dardanelles, a long narrow strait dividing the Balkans (Europe) along the Gallipoli peninsula from Asia Anatolia (Asia Minor). ... Ancient Macedons regions and towns Macedon or Macedonia (Greek ) was the name of an ancient kingdom in the northern-most part of ancient Greece, bordered by the kingdom of Epirus to the west and the region of Thrace to the east. ... For modern day Sparta, see Sparti (municipality). ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ... Corinth, or Korinth (Greek: Κόρινθος, Kórinthos; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a Greek city-state, on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece. ... For the clipper ship, see Thermopylae (clipper). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Antakya. ... This article is about the city in Egypt. ... View of the reconstructed Temple of Trajan at Pergamon Sketched reconstruction of ancient Pergamon Pergamon or Pergamum (Greek: Πέργαμος, modern day Bergama in Turkey, ) was an ancient Greek city, in Mysia, north-western Anatolia, 16 miles from the Aegean Sea, located on a promontory on the north side of the river... The lower half of the benches and the remnants of the scene building of the theater of Miletus (August 2005) Miletus (Carian: Anactoria Hittite: Milawata or Millawanda, Greek: Μίλητος transliterated Miletos, Turkish: Milet) was an ancient city on the western coast of Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey), near... For other uses, see Delphi (disambiguation). ... Olympia among the principal Greek sanctuaries Olympia (Greek: Olympía or Olýmpia, older transliterations, Olimpia, Olimbia), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. ... For other uses of Troy or Ilion, see Troy (disambiguation) and Ilion (disambiguation). ... The art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries from ancient times until the present, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture. ... Kylix, the most common drinking vessel in ancient Greece, c. ... TRENT IS SOOOOOOOOO HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ancient Greek law is a branch of comparative jurisprudence relating to the laws and legal institutions of Ancient Greece. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... To the ancient Greeks, Paideia (παιδεία) was the process of educating man into his true form, the real and genuine human nature. ... Pederastic courtship scene Athenian black-figure amphora, 5th c. ... Bilingual amphora by the Andokides Painter, ca. ... Courtesan and her client, Attican Pelike with red figures by Polygnotus, c. ... Funerary stele: the slave represented as a shorter person, beside the mistress, Munich Glyptothek Slavery was an essential component of the development of Ancient Greece throughout its history. ... Ancient Greek technology is a set of artifacts and customs that lasted for more than one thousand years. ... Ruins of the training grounds at Olympia The Ancient Olympic Games, originally referred to as simply the Olympic Games (Greek: ; Olympiakoi Agones) were a series of athletic competitions held between various city-states of Ancient Greece. ... Ancient Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... Anaxagoras Anaxagoras (Greek: Αναξαγόρας, c. ... This article is about the Pre-Socratic philosopher. ... Anaximenes (in Greek: Άναξιμένης) of Miletus (585 BC - 525 BC) was a Greek philosopher from the latter half of the 6th century, probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. ... Portrait bust of Antisthenes Antisthenes (Greek: , c. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Diogenes Apolloniates or Diogenes of Apollonia (c. ... Diogenes (Greek: Diogenes o Sinopeus) the Cynic, Greek philosopher, was born in Sinope (modern day Sinop, Turkey) about 412 BC (according to other sources 399 BC), and died in 323 BC at Corinth. ... Epicure redirects here. ... Empedocles (Greek: , ca. ... Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ancient Greek - Herákleitos ho Ephésios (Herakleitos the Ephesian)) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure (Ancient Greek - ho Skoteinós), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor. ... This article is about the philosopher. ... Parmenides of Elea (Greek: , early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... Protagoras (in Greek Πρωταγόρας) was born around 481 BC in Abdera, Thrace in Ancient Greece. ... Pythagoras of Samos (Greek: ; born between 580 and 572 BC, died between 500 and 490 BC) was an Ionian Greek mathematician[1] and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. ... This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... For the Defense and Security Company, see Thales Group. ... Zeno of Citium Zeno of Citium (The Stoic) (sometime called Zeno Apathea) (333 BC-264 BC) was a Hellenistic philosopher from Citium, Cyprus. ... Ancient Greek literature refers to literature written in the Greek language until the 4th century AD. // Wikisource has original text related to this article: an essay on the transition to written literature in Greece This period of Greek literature stretches from Homer until the 4th century BC and the rise... This article is about the ancient Greek playwright. ... Nofootnotes|date=February 2008}} Aesop, as conceived by Diego Velázquez Aesop, as depicted in the Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel in 1493. ... For other uses, see Aristophanes (disambiguation). ... Euripides (c. ... Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: HÄ“ródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Roman bronze bust, the so-called Pseudo-Seneca, now identified by some as possibly Hesiod Hesiod (Hesiodos, ) was an early Greek poet and rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BC. Hesiod and Homer, with whom Hesiod is often paired, have been considered the earliest Greek poets whose work has survived... This article is about the Greek poet Homer and the works attributed to him. ... For other uses, see Lucian (disambiguation). ... Bust of Menander Menander (342–291 BC) (Greek ), Greek dramatist, the chief representative of the New Comedy, was born in Athens. ... For the PINDAR military bunker in London, please see the PINDAR section of Military citadels under London Pindar (or Pindarus, Greek: ) (probably born 522 BC in Cynoscephalae, a village in Boeotia; died 443 BC in Argos), was a Greek lyric poet. ... Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ... Polybius (c. ... For other uses, see Sappho (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Greek tragedian. ... For other uses, see Thucydides (disambiguation). ... Xenophon, Greek historian Xenophon (In Greek , ca. ... The restored Stoa of Attalus, Athens Architecture, executed to considered design, was extinct in Greece from the end of the Mycenaean period (about 1200 BC) to the 7th century BC, when urban life and prosperity recovered to a point where public building could be undertaken. ... The Parthenon west façade For other uses, see Parthenon (disambiguation). ... The site of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in Turkey. ... The Acropolis of Athens is the best known acropolis (high city, The Sacred Rock) in the world. ... Remains of the agora built in Athens in the Roman period (east of the classical agora). ... [Image:http://www. ... A 1908 illustration of the temple as it might have looked in the 5th century BCE Ruins of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece Metope showing Hercules and the Cretan Bull The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece was built between 470 BCE and completed by 456 BCE to... “The Colossus of Rhodes” redirects here. ... Temple of Hephaestus, an Doric Greek temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted) Temple of Hephaestus, Athens: eastern face The Temple of Hephaestus in central ancient Athens, Greece, is the best-preserved ancient Greek temple in the world, but is far less well... General location of Samothrace The Samothrace Temple Complex, known as the Sanctuary of the Great Gods is one of the principal Pan-Hellenic religious sanctuaries, located on the island of Samothrace within the larger Thrace. ... Insert non-formatted text here This is a timeline of ancient Greece. ... Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age civilizations of Greece and the Aegean. ... The Minoan civilization was a bronze age civilization which arose on the island of Crete. ... This article is about the Greek archaeological site. ... The Greek Dark Ages (ca. ... The archaic period in Greece is the period during which the ancient Greek city-states developed, and is normally taken to cover roughly the 9th century to the 6th century BCE. The Archaic period followed the dark ages, and saw significant advancements in political theory, and the rise of democracy... Parthenon This article is on the term Classical Greece itself. ... The Hellenistic period of Greek history was the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the Greek peninsula and islands by Rome in 146 BC. Although the establishment of Roman rule did not break the continuity of Hellenistic society and culture, which... Roman Greece is the period of Greek history following the Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC until the reestablishment of the city of Byzantium and the naming of the city by Emperor Constantine I as the capital of the Roman Empire (as Nova... This an alphabetical list of ancient Greeks. ... For the film of the same name, see Alexander the Great (1956 film). ... // Lycurgus Lycurgus (Greek: , Lukoûrgos; 700 BC?–630 BC) was the legendary lawgiver of Sparta, who established the military-oriented reformation of Spartan society in accordance with the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. ... For the Shakespeare play, see Pericles, Prince of Tyre. ... Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (Greek: ; English /ælsɪbaɪədi:z/; 450 BC–404 BC), also transliterated as Alkibiades, was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. ... Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek: Δημοσθένης, DÄ“mosthénÄ“s) was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. ... Themistocles (Greek: ; c. ... For other uses, see Archimedes (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Hippocrates (disambiguation). ... The Charioteer of Delphi, Delphi Archaeological Museum. ... The great kouros of Samos, the largest surviving kouros in Greece (Samos Archaeological Museum) The Ancient Greek word kouros meant a male youth, and is used by Homer to refer to young soldiers. ... The Lady of Auxerre, an example of a kore Kore (Greek - maiden), plural korai, is the name given to a type of ancient Greek sculpture of the archaic period, the female equivalent of a kouros. ... The Kritios boy belongs to the Late Archaic period and is considered the precursor to the later classical sculptures of athletes. ... The Doryphoros of Polykleitos The Doryphoros (Greek δορυφόρος, lit. ... Statue of Zeus The Greek sculptor Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall Statue of Zeus in about 435 bc. ... Townley Discobolus, London, British Museum, with incorrectly restored head defying the balance of the figure The Discobolus of Myron (discus thrower Greek Δισκοβόλος του Μύρωνα) is a famous Roman marble copy of a lost Greek bronze original, completed during the zenith of the classical period between 460-450 BC. Myrons Discobolus was... -1... The statue of Laocoön and His Sons, also called the Laocoön Group, is a monumental marble sculpture, now in the Vatican Museums, Rome. ... Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Phidias (or Pheidias) (in ancient Greek, ) (c. ... Death of Sarpedon, painted by Euphronios Euphronios was a Greek painter and potter of red-figure vases, active in Athens between 520 and 470 BC, the time of the Persian Wars. ... Polykleitos (or Polycletus, Polyklitos, Polycleitus, Polyclitus) the Elder was a Greek sculptor of the 5th century BC and the early 4th century BC. Next to famous Phidias, Myron and Kresilas he is the most important sculptor of the Classical antiquity. ... Minotaur, from a fountain in Athens, reflecting Myrons lost group of Theseus and the Minotaur (National Archeological Museum, Athens) Myron of Eleutherae (Greek Μύρων) working 480-444 BCE, was an Athenian sculptor from the mid-fifth century BCE.[1] He was born in Eleutherae on the borders of Boeotia and... Cavalry from the Parthenon Frieze, West II, British Museum. ... Praxiteles of Athens, the son of Cephisodotus, was the greatest of the Attic sculptors of the 4th century BC, who has left an imperishable mark on the history of art. ... Pre-Socratic philosophers are often very hard to pin down, and it is sometimes very difficult to determine the actual line of argument they used in supporting their particular views. ... Ancient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek-speaking world in ancient times. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 5th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC - 450s BC - 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC Years: 465 BC 464 BC 463 BC 462 BC 461 BC - 460 BC - 459 BC 458 BC... Abdera, was a town on the coast of Thrace near the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. ... Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak  Thrace (Bulgarian: , Greek: , Attic Greek: ThrāíkÄ“ or ThrēíkÄ“, Latin: , Turkish: ) is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC - 370s BC - 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC 320s BC 375 BC 374 BC 373 BC 372 BC 371 BC - 370 BC - 369 BC 368 BC 367...

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Democritus [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] (748 words)
Democritus, according to Diogenes Laertius, was instructed by these Magi in astronomy and theology.
Credit cannot be given to the tale that Democritus spent his leisure hours in chemical researches after the philosopher's stone -- the dream of a later age; or to the story of his conversation with Hippocrates concerning Democritus's supposed madness, as based on spurious letters.
Democritus has been commonly known as "The Laughing Philosopher," and it is gravely related by Seneca that he never appeared in public with out expressing his contempt of human follies while laughing.
The Atomistic Philosophy of Leucippus and Democritus (1282 words)
With the work of Leucippus and Democritus ancient Greek philosophy reaches its zenith when the initial question of Thales after the true nature of matter culminated 180 years later in the subtle concept of atoms, which bears an amazing resemblance to the twentieth century's view of chemistry.
Democritus began with stating a notion of space that served as its premise.
Democritus' theory had no place for the notion of purpose and the intervention of gods in the workings of the world.
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