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*ΗΝ ΜΕΝ ΟΥΝ προ της του Κυρίου παρογcίας εις ΔΙΚΑΙocΪΝΗΝ "ΈλλHCIN ΑΝΑΓΚλία φιλοσοφία, ΝΥΝ: Δε χρHciMH πρός θεockβείαΝ Γίνεται, προπαιδεία τις ογca τοίς τΗΝ πίστιΝ Δ’ αποδείξεως καρπογMέNoic.
CLEM. AL. Strom. Ι. C. 5 8 28.
FROM THALES TO CICERO'.
GREEK philosophy had its origin not in the mother country, but in the colonies of Asia Minor and Magna Graecia. This is owing partly to the reflectiveness belonging to a more advanced civilization, and partly to the fact that the colonists were brought in contact with the customs and ideas of foreign nations. The philoso
1 The following works will be found useful by the student. They are arranged in what I consider to be their order of import
Full references will be found in the two which stand at the head of the list and also in Ueberweg.
Ritter and Preller, Historia Philosophiae Graecae et Romanae ex fontium locis contexta (referred to as R. and P. below).
Zeller, History of Greek Philosophy (in German. Translations of portions have been published by Longmans).
Grote, History of Greece, together with his Plato and Aristotle.
Mullach's Fragmenta Philosophorum in Didot's series ought to have been more useful than any of these, but its value is much lessened by the want of discrimination shown in the selection and arrangement of the writers quoted.
:phers of the earliest, or Pre-Socratic period, are broadly
divided into the Ionic and the Italic Schools. Both had the same object of interest, to ascertain the nature, the origin, the laws, the destiny of the visible world. But while the former, with the Ionic sensitiveness to all outward influences, dwelt more upon the material element itself, and the life which manifested itself in its ever-changing developments, the latter (who, if not themselves Dorian, were yet surrounded by Dorian settlers, with their Doric ideal of discipline, order, stability, superiority to sense, as opposed to the Ionic ideal of free growth, of ease, beauty and nature,) turned their thoughts more to the laws by which the world was governed, or the one unchanging substance which they believed to underlie its shifting phenomena.
The first name in Greek philosophy is the so-called founder of the Ionic or physical school, Thales of Miletus, a contemporary of Solon (B.C. 640-550), said to be of Phenician descent. With him begins the transition from the mythological to the scientific interpretation of nature, the transition, as Grote puts it, from the question Who sends rain, or thunder, or earthquakes, and why does he send it? to the question What are the antecedent conditions of rain, thunder, or earthquakes? The old cosmogonies and theogonies suggested the idea of development under the form of a personal history of a number of supernatural beings variously related to each other. The first parent of all, according to Homer, was Oceanus (Il. xiv. 201, 240), perhaps a nature-myth to be interpreted of the sun rising and setting in the sea. Thales stripped him of his personality, and laid down the proposition that water is the one original substance out of which all things are produced. Aristotle conjectures that he was led to this belief by observing that moisture is essential to animal and vegetable life: probably it was also from the fact that water supplies the most obvious example of the transmutation of matter under its three forms, solid, fluid and gaseous.
Thales further held that the universe is a living creature; which he expressed by saying that all things are full of God,' and in agreement with this he is reported to have said that 'the magnet had a soul.'
The second of the Ionic philosophers was Anaxi. mander, also an inhabitant of Miletus (B.C. 610--540). He followed Thales in seeking for an original substance to which he gave the name of upxý, but he found this not in Water, but in the õrrelpov, matter indeterminate (i. e. not yet developed into any one of the forms familiar to us) and infinite, which we may regard as bearing the same relation to Hesiod's primaeval Chaos, as Water did to the Homeric Oceanus. The elementary contraries, hot, cold, moist, dry, are separated from this first matter by virtue of the eternal movement belonging to it; thus are produced the four elements; the earth was in the form of a cylinder, self-poised, in the centre of the uni
verse; round it was air, and round that again a fiery · sphere which was broken up so as to form the heavenly
bodies. As all substances are produced out of the Infinite so they are resolved into it, thus 'atoning for their injustice in arrogating to themselves a separate individual existence. The Infinite is divine, containing and directing all things : divine too are the innumerable
1 Διδόναι γαρ αυτά τίσιν και δίκην της αδικίας. R. and P.S 18.
worlds which it is ever generating and re-absorbing into its own bosom.
After Anaximander comes Anaximenes, also of Miletus, who is supposed to have flourished about 520
While his doctrine approaches in many respects to that of Anaximander, he nevertheless returned to the principle of Thales in so far that he assumed, as the ápxý, a definite substance, Air, in contradistinction to the indefinite arrepov of his immediate predecessor. Air is infinite in extent and eternal in duration. It is in continual motion, and produces all things out of itself by condensation and rarefaction, passing through successive stages from fire downwards to wind, cloud, water, earth and stone. As man's life is supported by breathing, so the universe subsists by the air which encompasses it. We are told that Anaximenes gave the name of God both to his first principle Air, and to certain of its products, probably the stars.
The greatest of the Pre-Socratic philosophers, Heraclitus of Ephesus, known among the ancients as the obscure and the weeping philosopher, was a little junior to Anaximenes. Following in the steps of his predecessor, he held that it was one and the self-same substance which by processes of condensation and rarefaction changed itself into all the elements known by us, but he preferred to name this from its highest potency fire, rather than to stop at the intermediate stage of air. But the point of main interest with him was not the original substance, but the process, the everlasting movement upwards and downwards, fire (including air), water, earth; earth, water, fire. All death is birth into a new form, all birth the death of the previous form. There is properly no ex