Online Encyclopedia

ANAXARCHUS (c. 340 B.C.)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 944 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
ANAXARCHUS (c. 340 B.C.), a Greek philosopher of the school of Democritus, was born at Abdera. He was the companion and friend of Alexander in his Asiatic campaigns. He checked 944 the vainglory of Alexander, when he aspired to the honours of divinity, by pointing to his wounded finger, saying, " See the blood of a mortal, not of a god." The story that at Bactra in 327 B.C. in a public speech he advised all to worship Alexander as a god even during his lifetime, is with greater probability attributed to the Sicilian Cleon. It is said that Nicocreon, tyrant of Cyprus, commanded him to be pounded to death in a mortar, and that he endured this torture with fortitude; but the story is doubtful, having no earlier authority than Cicero. His philosophical doctrines are not known, though some have inferred from the epithet ebbat povu cbc (" fortunate "), usually applied to him, that he held the end of life to be ev5atgovia. ANA%ILAUS, of Larissa, a physician and Pythagorean philosopher, who was banished from Rome by Augustus, B.C. 28, on the charge of practising the magic art. This accusation appears to have originated in his superior skill in natural philosophy, by which he produced effects that the ignorant attributed to magic. Euseb., Chron. ad Olymp. clxxxviii. ; St Iren. i. 13; Pliny xix. 4, xxv. 95, xxviii. 49, xXxii. 52, xxxv. 50. ANA%IMANDER, the second of the physical philosophers of Ionia, was a citizen of Miletus and a companion or pupil of Thales. Little is known of his life. Aelian makes him the leader of the Milesian colony to Amphipolis, and hence some have inferred that he was a prominent citizen. The computations of Apollodorus have fixed his birth in 611, and his death shortly after 547 B.C. Tradition, probably correct in its general estimate, represents him as a successful student of astronomy and geography, and as one of the pioneers of exact science among the Greeks. He taught, if he did not discover, the obliquity of the ecliptic, is said to have introduced into Greece the gnomon (for determining the solstices) and the sundial, and to have invented some kind of geographical map. But his reputation is due mainly to his work on nature, few words of which remain. From these fragments we learn that the beginning or first principle (&px i, a word which, it is said, he was the first to use) was an endless, unlimited mass (aireepov), subject to neither old age nor decay, and perpetually yielding fresh materials for the series of beings which issued from it. He never defined this principle precisely, and it has generally (e.g. by Aristotle and Augustine) been understood as a sort of primal chaos. It embraced everything, and directed the movement of things, by which there grew up a host of shapes and differences. Out of the vague and limitless body there sprung a central mass,—this earth of ours, cylindrical in shape, poised equidistant from surrounding orbs of fire, which had originally clung to it like the bark round a tree, until their continuity was severed, and they parted into several wheel-shaped and fire-filled bubbles of air. Man himself and the animals had come into being by like transmutations. Mankind was supposed by Anaximander to have sprung from some other species of animals, probably aquatic. But as the measureless and endless had been the prime cause of the motion into separate existences and individual forms, so also, according to the just award of destiny, these forms would at an appointed season suffer the vengeance due to their earlier act of separation, and return into the vague immensity whence they had issued. Thus the world, and all definite existences contained in it, would lose their independence and disappear in the " indeterminate." The blazing orbs, which have drawn off from the cold earth and water, are the temporary gods of the world, clustering round the earth, which, to the ancient thinker, is the central figure. See Histories of the Ionian School by Ritten, Mallet; Schleiermacher, " Dissert. sur la philosophie d'Anaximandre," in the Mimoires de l'acad. des sciences de Berlin (1815); J. Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy (Lond. 1892) ; A. W. Benn, Greek Philosophers (Lond. 1883 foil.) ; A. Fairbanks, First Philosophers of Greece ((Lond. 189; Ritter and Preller, Historia Phil. §§ 17-22; Mullach, Fragmenta Phil. Graec. i. 237-240, and IONIAN SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY. ANA%IMENES, of Lampsacus (fl. 380-320 B.C.), Greek rhetorician and historian, was a favourite of Alexander the Great, whom he accompanied in his Persian campaigns. He wrote histories of Greece and of Philip, and an epic on Alexander (fragments in Muller, Scriptores Rerum Alexandri Magni). As ANBAR a rhetorician, he was a determined opponent of Isocrates and his school. The Rhetorica ad Alexandrum, usually included among the works of Aristotle, is now generally admitted to be by Anaximenes, although some consider it a much later production (edition by Spengel, 1847). See P. Wendland, Anax. von Lampsakos (1905) ; also RHETORIC. ANA%IMENES, of Miletus, Greek philosopher in the latter half of the 6th century, was probably a younger contemporary of Anaximander, whose pupil or friend he is said to have been. He held that the air, with its variety of contents, its universal presence, its vague associations in popular fancy with the phenomena of life and growth, is the source of all that exists. Everything is air at different degrees of density, and under the influence of heat, which expands, and of cold, which contracts its volume, it gives rise to the several phases of existence. The process is gradual, and takes place in two directions, as heat or cold predominates. In this way was formed a broad disk of earth, floating on the circumambient air. Similar condensations produced the sun and stars; and the flaming state of these bodies is due to the velocity of their motions. See Schmidt, Dissertatio de Anaximensis psychologia (Jena, 1869); Ritter and Preller, Historia Phil. §§ 23-27; A. Fairbanks, First Philosophers of Greece (1898) ; Mullach, Fragmenta Phil. Graec. i. 241-243; alSO IONIAN SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY; EVOLUTION.
End of Article: ANAXARCHUS (c. 340 B.C.)
ANATTO (possibly a native American name, with many ...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.