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Anaximander

(563 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
[German version] (Ἀναξίμανδρος; Anaxímandros). Natural philosopher of the early 6th cent. BC, belonging to the  Milesian school. A. wrote the first philosophical book, which was later commonly called Περὶ φύσεως ( Perì phýseōs). Furthermore, A. may have drawn a map and constructed a σφαῖρα ( sphaîra), a visual depiction of the heavens. He is considered to be the inventor of the γνώμων ( gnṓmōn; the pointer of the sun dial, probably adopted from the Babylonians, Hdt. 2,109 in 12 A 4 DK) and the discoverer of the most important astronomical points of referenc…

Diogenes

(4,653 words)

Author(s): Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Bringmann, Klaus (Frankfurt/Main) | Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Et al.
(Διογένης; Diogénēs). Known personalities: the Cynic D. [14] of Sinope, the philosophical historian D. [17] Laertius. I. Politically active personalities [German version] [1] Macedonian troop commander in Attica since 233 BC Athenian (?) [1. 341,1], Macedonian troop commander in Attica since 233 BC, who is supposed to have demanded Corinth from the Achaeans (Plut. Arat. 34,1-4) [2. 168,63] at the rumour of the death of  Aratus [2]; after the death of  Demetrius [3] II in 229, he facilitated the liberation of Athens from Maced…

Nausiphanes

(316 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
[German version] (Ναυσιφάνης/ Nausiphánēs) of Teos. 4th cent. BC Democritean philosopher (Democritus [1]), teacher of Epicurus, later a target of Epicurean scorn and abuse. N. is claimed to have been a pupil of Pyrrho's. Our sources do not reveal whether he professed his atomistic docrtines during his Pyrrhonist apprenticeship, or whether he needed to reject the initial Pyrrhonist inclinations in order to arrive at an atomistic philosophy of nature (Atomism). Either way N. serves as a link between …

Eleatic School

(706 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
Conventional term for the immediate successors of Parmenides (Zenon of Elea, Melissus). [German version] A. The history of Eleaticism Plato's suggestion (Soph. 242d) that Eleatic philosophy began with  Xenophanes and even earlier is inserted into a scheme of the development of philosophical thought that cannot be taken at face value. However,  Parmenides' thought had such an immense effect on later Greek thought that one can justifiably speak of an Eleatic School. It is uncertain to what extent there actually was …

Parmenides

(1,624 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
(Παρμενίδης; Parmeníd ēs). [German version] A. Life P. from Elea, philosopher of the late 6th and early 5th cent. BC, akmḗ c. 500 BC (28 A 1 DK), key figure of the Eleatic School. Plato's dialogue Parmenides (127a = 28 A 11 DK) represents a fictitious meeting between P., aged c. 65,  Zeno [1] of Elea, c. 40 years of age and a very young Socrates, in Athens in c. 455 BC. That would mean that P. was born in in 520 or even later. According to Speusippus (28 A 1 DK), Strabo and Plutarch (28 A 12 DK), P. was active as a legislator as well. Bodnár, István (Budapest) [German version] B. The didactic poem P. wrote …

Milesian School

(519 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
[German version] Although we do not know in what manner the first three natural philosopher - Thales, Anaximandros and Anaximenes [1] (end of the 7/6 cent. BC.) - interacted and collaborated with each other, it is remarkable that they originated from and were active in the same town, Miletus [2], on the coast of Asia Minor. However, they do not constitute a ‘school proper (despite [4], cf. [2]). Each of them specified a basic stuff or ἀρχή ( archḗ), of which all the phenomena of the natural world are modifications only. The three archaí - water, the ‘unlimited (ἄπειρον/ ápeiron) and air respe…

Democriteans

(192 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
[German version] A Democritean school as an institution of education and research similar to Plato's Academy or Aristotle's Lyceum did not exist. Diog. Laert. 9,58 (Vita Anaxarchi), Euseb. Praep. evang. 14,17,10 and Clem. Strom. 1,64 essentially provide the same series of succession:  Democritus ─ Nessas or Nessus of Chios (69 DK) and also  Protagoras (80 DK, who was probably rather an older contemporary of Democritus)  Metrodorus of Chios (70 DK) ─  Diogenes [13] of Smyrna (71 DK) ─  Anaxarchus o…

Melissus (Μέλισσος; Mélissos)

(825 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Bodnár, István (Budapest) | Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance)
[German version] [1] Chariot race victor M. of Thebes, son of Telesiades, addressee of Pind. I., 3 and 4 ( Pindarus). Two victories are mentioned, one in the horse or chariot race at Nemea (ibid. 3,9-13), the other in the pankration (ibid. 4,44). The two metrically identical poems are not treated separately in all MSS. The race victory was probably later, I. 3 being appended to the longer poem I. 4 in regard to a single celebration [1. 202-203]. M.'s father belonged to the family of the Cleonymidae, h…

Metrodorus

(1,340 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest) | von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne) | Et al.
(Μητρόδωρος/ Metródōros). [German version] [1] M. of Chios Democritan philosopher, 5th/4th cent. BC Democritan philosopher ( Democritus [1]) of the 5th-4th cent. BC who recognised Fullness and Emptiness, Being and Non-Being as the first principles. This orthodoxy, however, does not go beyond the fundamental theoretical views of Atomism: M. is said to have had his own views in other matters (70 A 3 DK). M. propounds the uncreatedness of the universe (τὸ πᾶν) in the Eleatic manner ( Eleatic School) because a c…

Zeno

(6,572 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest) | Inwood, Brad (Toronto) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Ameling | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ζήνων/ Zḗnōn.) [German version] [1] Z. of Elea Eleatic philosopher, 5th cent. BC (Son of Teleutagoras). Eleatic philosopher of the 5th cent. BC; a pupil and intimate friend of Parmenides who became famous for his paradoxes. According to the Suda (29 A 2 DK), Z. wrote many books; but his Λόγοι ( Lógoi, 'Arguments', 40 according to Proclus, 29 A 15 DK) probably belonged to a single book, the one he read aloud to his closest circles in Athens (cf. Pl. Prm. 127c-d). In the lost dialogue Sophistes, Aristotle (Aristoteles [6]) declares Z. to have been the 'inventor' ( protos heuretes

Alcmaeon

(821 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Stein-Hölkeskamp, Elke (Cologne) | Bodnár, István (Budapest)
(Ἀλκμαίων; Alkmaíōn). [German version] [1] Figure of Greek myth: son of Amphiaraus Son of Amphiaraus and  Eriphyle (Apollod. 3,81; Hes. fr. 198 M-W, cf. 197; traditions, see [1; 2]). He avenged his father with his younger brother Amphilochus by murdering Eriphyle. A. went insane and wandered erratically through the Peloponnese and north-western Greece (Eur. TGF 65, 87). In Psophis he was healed by Phegeus, and married his daughter Arsinoe, to whom he gave Eriphyle's ill-fated necklace and veil. The land bec…

Xeniades

(256 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
(Ξενιάδης; Xeníadēs). [German version] [1] Proto-sceptic philosopher from Corinth, 5th cent. BC X. from Corinth. Proto-sceptic philosopher of the 5th cent. BC. Sextus [2] Empiricus (the only source) repeatedly cites him, together with other philosophers who rejected a criterion of truth and falsehood (S. Emp. P. H. 2,18; S. Emp. Adv. math. 7,48), as an example of an archetypical negative dogmatist; he is said to have considered all phenomena or opinions as misleading or false (S. Emp. P. H. 2,76; S. Emp. Ad…

Leucippus

(603 words)

Author(s): Leitao, David (San Francisco) | Bodnár, István (Budapest)
(Λεύκιππος; Leúkippos) is the name of at least 12 different persons of myth, linked in particular to stories about colonization and coming-of-age. The most important among them are the following: [German version] [1] Son of Lamprus Son of Lamprus. Although he was born as a girl, the pubescent L. is transformed into a man by Leto. In memory thereof, young men in Phaestus underwent a ritual of changing their clothing during the Ekdýsia, when they probably wore women's clothes instead of their male armour. Brides (and bridegrooms?) lay down next to a statue of L. (Anto…

Anaximenes

(648 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest) | Weißenberger, Michael (Greifswald)
(Ἀναχιμένης; Anaximénēs). [German version] [1] Nature philosopher, 6th cent. BC Nature philosopher of 6th cent. BC, last representative of the  Milesian School. Although the arche (ἀρχή; archḗ) is unlimited with A. as with  Anaximander, it is specified as air. Air envelops the world, and a part of this is a component of the world. A. developed the first, still rudimentary theory of metamorphosis: in densifying (πύκνωσις; pýknōsis) and ephemeralizing processes (μάνωσις [ mánōsis] or ἀραίωσις [ araíōsis]) air and the various substances change into each other, in this sequ…

Atomism

(619 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest)
[German version] After the Eleatic School had rejected the possibility of a coherent representation of daily experience,  Leucippus and  Democritus (2nd half of the 5th cent. BC) presented as a response a doctrine, according to which the world consists of two immutable principles: the not further divisible (ἄτομα, átoma) bodies and the void (κενόν, kenón). Later, this representation was taken up by  Epicurus (342/1-270/1) and his school, modified and defended. Even if atomism received its designation from just the first of the two principles, both are constitutive…

Democritus

(1,541 words)

Author(s): Bodnár, István (Budapest) | Baltes, Matthias (Münster) | Lakmann, Marie-Luise (Münster) | Degani, Enzo (Bologna)
(Δημόκριτος; Dēmókritos). [1] of Abdera Atomist philosopher, 2nd half of the 5th cent. BC [German version] A. Life and Writing D. was active in the 2nd half of the 5th cent. and one of the main representatives of ancient  Atomism, which he adopted from  Leucippus. Their respective contributions to the theory of the atom are difficult to differentiate. It is characteristic in this context that the ‘Great World Order’ (Μέγας διάκοσμος; Mégas diákosmos) listed in an index of D.'s writings (by Diog. Laert. 9,45 = 68A33 DK) was a treatise by Leucippus according to Theoph…