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Science before SocratesParmenides, Anaxagoras, and the New Astronomy$
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Daniel Graham

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199959785

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199959785.001.0001

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Azure Pastures

Azure Pastures

An Early Ionian Model

(p.41) Chapter 2 Azure Pastures
Science before Socrates

Daniel W. Graham

Oxford University Press

The mythographer Hesiod presented a picture of the world in which divine beings, many identified with cosmological and astronomical bodies, beget each other in a theogony. Early Ionian theories replaced mythological with scientific assumptions. Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Xenophanes, and Heraclitus developed cosmological theories and models of the heavens based on natural rather than supernatural entities and processes. Since none of Thales’ students and successors understood eclipses, it is doubtful that he did either. What we rather find among the early Ionians is a Meteorological Model in which astronomical phenomena are understood as continuous with weather patterns and events, and heavenly bodies as fires fed by vapors from the earth or sea.

Keywords:   cosmology, meteorology, Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Hesiod

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