The Life of Anaximander , an early Greek philosopher.

Essay by sixsixtysixHigh School, 12th gradeA-, May 2005

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Anaximander, who lived from 611-546 BCE, was an astronomer and was one of the first Greek philosophers. His most important work was on what is the origin of all things. He is considered to an evolutionist and worked on geography. Given this, none of his writings have survived but one fragment and thanks to the writings of latter philosophers his work will not be lost completely.


The life of Anaximander begins in Miletus, which is known today as Turkey. He was a student of Thales and we wrote a book called Concerning Nature but only a small fragment of it remains today. There is not much known on Anaxiamander's life. It is said though that he introduced the first sundial in Greece called the gnomon. This sundial was standing upright or vertical. A representation of Anaximander with the gnomon is given in Figure 1. Almost all of the information that has been obtained on Anaximander has come from Aristotle and Theophrastus.

He had a large interest in astronomy and the work that came from it is very complex. One can see how Anaximander excelled in astronomy because his ideas and theories where not simple at all. This required an enormous imagination and the ability to think outside the box, to forget the restricted old view of the universe as a tent around the earth. To be sharing ideas about this in those times was something very dangerous because most people did not accept new ideas on where the earth sits in the universe. Anaximander has generated what some say the foundations of astronomy and has created the first some philosophical and logical views of the world. For a quick view of Anximander's work and theories see Table 1.

1. Introduced Sundial into Greece

2. Mapped the know...

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