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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Democritus"

Democritus [Astro*Index]

BC470-380) Greek philosopher. Born at Abdera, Thrace.

Democritus traveled in Egypt and the East before commencing his work on philosophy in Greece. Given a rationalist view of the world by his teacher, Leucippus, he regarded the Milky Way as a vast collection of small stars. Of his 72 books, almost nothing survives. Most of our knowledge about him is due to references in the works of other writers. Disciples of Socrates such as Plato, his contemporary, rejected his theories of the universe. His fame endures to this day for his atomic theory which, while based solely on intuition, is not unlike modern Atomic Theory. He explained that atoms differed physically from each other, and used certain assigned properties to explain the behavior of other substances.



Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine