An Early Ionian Model
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.
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