Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Anaximander

1837547Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition — AnaximanderWilliam Wallace (1844-1897)


ANAXIMANDER, the second of the physicn1philoso— phers oi Ienn, helullgefl, lilre his predecessor Thnles, to the city uf Milehls. I-[is lliogiilplly is e blzulk. The eernputntirnrs of Apcl.loc'lorus have lirerl the yner of his birth lit G11, and of his llcalh a short while after 517 3.5. Tmditioll, prohehly correct in he gelloml estimate, repre- senre hiur nu n sirrnnsunrl elude-nt of nsmllmmy and gee gmplly, and ns end of the pionenrs of exnet science Ihe Gl-mks. But it is nut to his delinclltious of the (ii of lhe globe, er Lu his dialling, or to his enlnrgerl llcql nuw u-llhlhc celestial ph-.nomt-n:t, wpocially of the obliquity nf ihe eeliptie, that we eun nttrihule the prescrlmtioll er his name to llllz prnscnt (lay. That lJOI1l he owes lathe broml view»: of the origin of things which his glilllpscs ei nntlmll lulowlcdgc suggested, and which he propollndcd in n treatise on nature or gr-oulh (qiiicris). or that work only it few words are Icill. The beginning or firut plilltillllz (apxri, n word which, it is enirl, he was the flrst to use) was an and- less, unlhnited mass (l"L"lr£I.]K7V), subject neither to old llgc nor lleuty, .-unl perpetunlly yilzlding lreeh materials for the series oi beings which issued from it. It emhl-ilu-Ll every- thing, and rhreeled the movcment of things, by which there grew‘ up a host of slnrpes and differences. out of the vague and hrnillees body there sprung n eeutrnl mass,— this earth of runs, cylindrical in sl.lnpc,1loised equidistant lrnnr surroumling orbs of the, which hurl enginnlly clung 10 ll like the bail: ruunel ti tree, until their continuity was sevcl-ed, runl they per-terl iutn several wheekslmpell and fircrfilled lJIll)l)lQS of nil". Mull himself and the lminmls hnd come into being by like trunsnuumlions. Mnllkintl was supposed by Anuxirnnudur to lure sprung irnnr some ether species or animals, probably erprnlir. llui ns the lnl-ALslll-elem and cnzllws had been the prime cause of (ha nation into sepnnlte ehistences and imlividlml iox-ms, su ulse, in-conlillg tn the just. nu-nrnl nf desliuy,t1rnne for-his would ut en nppoilltcd eeneen sufiel' the vengmllce due in their earlier not at s(‘1):lrnilml,nll(l return into the vague imulellsity uheuee they had issued. Thus the Worltl, and all definite cxintenccs cuntaincnl in it, would lose their indu- penrlenee and tlisllppem‘. The “indctcn1-linnte" nlene is pcmnuinl and godlilrc, nllernluneing nnd :Ll1—,v;1xi:ling. The llhlzing orbs, which have dl-.m-n off from the will cm-tll and water, are llre hznlpomry gods of the world, chlslcriilg round the leartll, which, to the ancient tlriul-er, ie the eeutrul figure. (see hitter et Pl-ul.lcr, Ilistorirt 11/nl. §§ 17- - llllllllcll, Frtq/vzleizta Pllil. Grad. i. 237-240.)

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