Slide #107

TITLE: World according to Anaximenes
6th century B.C.
Anaximenes of Miletus
DESCRIPTION: This slide shows a reconstruction by Arthur Cavanagh of the world-view as conceived by the Ionian Anaximenes of Miletus. As the successor to Anaximander, and the third in the series of Ionic philosophers, Anaximenes is said (by Aristotle) to have held that the earth was of irregular quadrangular form, in consequence of its pressing it down like the lid of a vessel. This concept consists of a rectangular world supported by compressed air. Shown here is the Mediterranean Sea and a circumfluent Ocean Sea. He maintained also that the sun and stars did not descend beneath the earth, and rise again at its other extremity, which appears to have been the prevalent doctrine in his day, but that they were carried around the earth, at a great distance, and that the light of the sun was intercepted during the night by high mountains.

The age of Anaximenes is not determined with certainty, but he was certainly intermediate between Anaximander of Miletus and Anaxagoras, and may be regarded as having flourished in the last half of the 6th century B.C.

Index of Ancient Maps