Anaxagoras

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Anaxagoras
(Gr.)
A famous Ionian philosopher who lived 500 B.C., studied philosophy under Anaximenes of Miletus, and settled in the days of Pericles at Athens. Socrates, Euripides, Archelaus and other distinguished men and philosophers were among his disciples and pupils. He was a most learned astronomer and was one of the first to explain openly that which was taught by Pythagoras secretly, namely, the movements of the planets, the eclipses of the sun and moon, etc. It was he who taught the theory of Chaos, on the principle that “nothing comes from nothing”; and of atoms, as the underlying essence and substance of all bodies, “of the same nature as the bodies which they formed”. These atoms, he taught, were primarily put in motion by Nous (Universal Intelligence, the Mahat of the Hindus), which Nous is an immaterial, eternal, spiritual entity; by this combination the world was formed, the material gross bodies sinking down, and the ethereal atoms (or fiery ether) rising and spreading in the upper celestial regions. Antedating modern science by over 2000 years, he taught that the stars were of the same material as our earth, and the sun a glowing mass; that the moon was a dark, uninhabitable body, receiving its light from the sun; the comets, wandering stars or bodies ; and over and above the said science, he confessed himself thoroughly convinced that the real existence of things, perceived by our senses, could not be demonstrably proved. He died in exile at Lampsacus at the age of seventy‐two (TG).