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race' In his opinions on the Gods and on religion, Empedocles was chiefly influenced by Pythagoras. He believed in the existence of Daemons intermediate between Gods and men, some of which had passed into mortal bodies as an atonement for former sins, and could only be restored to their original state after long ages of discipline. While at one time he speaks of God as one spirit pervading the world in swift thought, in other places he speaks of Gods produced like men from the mixture of the elements, but possessed of a longer existence, and then again we find divinity attributed to Sphaerus and the four elements and two moving powers.
Empedocles closes the series of those philosophers who used the medium of verse for their speculations. We have still nearly 500 verses remaining of his two great philosophical poems (the Περί φύσεως and Καθαρμοί) so highly praised by Lucretius in the well-known lines
Carmina quin etiam divini pectoris ejus
ut vix humana videatur stirpe creatus.' The claim to divinity seems to have been seriously put forward by Empedocles himself in the line χαίρετ', εγώ δ' υμίν θεός άμβροτος, ουκέτι θνητός, and one of the stories told about his death was that he had been carried up to heaven in a chariot of fire; the more common belief however seems to have been that reported by Horace
-deus immortalis haberi dum cupit Empedocles, ardentem frigidus Aetnam insiluit.
Returning now to Ionia, we see the effect of the Eleatic school in the speculations of Anaxagoras of Clazomenae (b. 500 B.c.), the friend and teacher of Pericles and Euripides, of whom Aristotle says that he appeared among the older philosophers like a sober man among drunkards. Instead of the four elements of Empedocles, which he declared to be themselves compounds, he assumed an indefinite number of 'seeds' of the different kinds of matter. To these seeds later philosophers gave the distinctive name of 'homæomeries,' denoting that the constituent particles of bodies were of the same nature as the bodies which they composed, while the unqualified atoms of Democritus gave rise to the different qualities of their compounds by the mode in which they were compounded. In the beginning these seeds were huddled together in a confused chaos, then came Nous, the pure self-moving intelligence, almighty and all-wise (this takes the place of the half-conscious Love and Hate of Empedocles), and communicated a rotatory impulse to the inert mass, by means of which the cognate particles were gradually brought together and reduced to order. Nous is the soul of the world and dwells in all living things, even plants, as the principle of their life. Whether Anaxagoras called it by the name of God is doubtful. Plato and Aristotle complain that, having begun well, he failed to make full use of the right principle with which he started, and turned his attention to mechanical causes, only having recourse to Nous as a deus ex machina when the others failed.
1 See the lines quoted in R. and P. § 175.
Diogenes of Apollonia in Crete was a younger contemporary of Anaxagoras, against whom he took up a reactionary position and defended the older Ionic doctrine, assuming Air to be the one principle out of which all things were produced, and assigning to it all the attri
butes of Nous. Both he and Anaxagoras taught at Athens, but were compelled to leave it on a charge of impiety.
Of far greater importance is Democritus, born at the Ionic colony of Abdera in Thrace, B.C. 460, the chief expositor of the Atomic theory, which was originated by his elder contemporary and friend, Leucippus the Eleatic. Briefly stated, their doctrine is that of Anaxagoras, minus Nous and the qualitative diversity in the seeds or atoms. They adopted the Eleatic view so far as relates to the eternal sameness of Being, applying this to the indivisible, unchangeable atoms, but they denied its unity, continuity and immobility, and they asserted that 'Not-being' (the Vacuum of their system) existed no less than ‘Being,' and was no less essential as an åpxý, since without it motion would be impossible. The atoms are absolutely solid and incompressible, they are without any secondary qualities, and differ only in size (and therefore in weight), in figure, position and arrangement. Though too small to be seen or felt by us, they produce all things by their combinations; and the compounds have various qualities in accordance with the differences in the constituent atoms, the mode of arrangement, and the larger or smaller amount of vacuum separating the atoms. Thus Soul, the divine element pervading the world, is a sort of fire made up of small, round, smooth atoms in continual motion, and largely mixed with vacuum. The account given by Democritus of the origin of the existing universe is that there were, to begin with, an infinite number of atoms carried downwards by their own inherent gravity at different rates in proportion to their magnitude, that thus they impinged one upon another, and gave rise to
all sorts of oblique and contrary movements, out of which was generated an all-absorbing rotatory motion or vortex. Under these various movements corresponding atoms found their fitting places and became entangled and hooked together so as to form bodies. Thus the earthy and watery particles were drawn to the centre where they remained at rest, while the airy and fiery rebounded from them and rose to the circumference, forming a sort of shell between the organized world and the infinitude of unorganized atoms on the outside. There was an endless number of such worlds in various stages of growth or decay under the influx or efflux of atoms; the destruction of each world followed upon its collision with another world.
The account given of the mind and its operations was as follows:- Particles of mind or soul were distributed throughout the body, and were continually escaping owing to their subtle nature, but, as they escaped, their place was taken by other particles inhaled in the breath. When breathing ceased there was nothing to recruit the living particles, and death speedily followed. Every mental impression was of the nature of touch, and was caused either by actual contact with atoms as in the case of taste and hearing, or by images thrown off from bodies external to us, and entering in through the pores.
These images were a kind of film consisting of the surface atoms which were continually floating off from all bodies without any disturbance of their mutual order, and were, so to speak, a sample of the object from which they were detached. Democritus used the same word (eidwla) for certain anthropomorphic combinations of the finest soul-atoms, which he believed to exist in the
air and to be at times perceived by men. These were the Gods of the popular religion, not immortal, though longer lived than men: some were friendly, some malignant; he prayed that he might himself only meet with the former.
Democritus was contrasted with Heraclitus by the ancients, as the laughing with the weeping philosopher, see Juvenal x. 28 foll. In both we find the same lofty aristocratic spirit; both stand aloof froin the herd, and s scan with critical eyes the follies of men; but the wisdom of the younger is characterized by shrewd common-sense and good-humoured contentment, and has nothing of that mysterious gloom which pervades the utterances of the elder. The writings of Democritus seem to have rivalled those of Aristotle in extent and variety, and in beauty of style to have been scarcely inferior to Plato. I select a few aphorisms from the Fragments, which fill about forty pages in Mullach's collection. Fr. 11, ‘Men have invented for themselves the phantom, fortune, to excuse their own want of prudence'' Fr. 17, ‘The chiefest pleasures come from the contemplation of noble deeds?.' Fr. 29, 'He is a man of sense who rejoices over what he has, instead of grieving over what he has not.' Fr. 30, 'The envious man is his own enemy.' Fr. 32, 'A life without a holiday is a long road without an inn. Fr. 92, “He who would be happy must not be busy about many things, nor engage in business beyond his powers.' Fr. 94, 'It is better for a man to find fault with himself than with his neighbour.' Fr. 100, ‘Reverence thyself no less than thy neighbours, and be equally on thy guard against wrong
"Ανθρωποι τύχης είδωλον έπλάσαντο, πρόφασιν ιδίης άβουλίης.