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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Anaxagoras"

Anaxagoras [Astro*Index]

(BC500-428) Greek philosopher. Born at Clazomenae, 75 miles north of Miletus, he died at Lampsacus (Lapseki), Turkey.

Migrated to Athens about BC462, taking the scientific methods of Thales to that city, teaching there for 30 years. His school began the pre-eminence of Athenian philosophy which lasted for nearly 1000 years, even into the late Roman period. His accurate, rational explanations of the phases of the Moon and of eclipses of the Sun and Moon were based on their movements. Likely stimulated by the appearance of the stony meteorite which landed, in BC468, on the north shore of the Aegean Sea, he reasoned that both the Earth and the heavenly bodies had been created by similar processes, and were composed of the same materials. A friend of the playright Euripides and the uncrowned king of the city, Pericles, he was placed on trial for impiety and atheism. Pericles appeared in his defense, and Anaxagoras was acquited, afterwhich, in BC434, he retired to Lampsacus until his death 6 years later.

See also:
♦ Lunar Phases


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