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Ionic Thought’s Influence


Concepts of Celestial Wheels and Bowls of Fire

This section explores the impact of Ionic thought on early Greek cosmology, focusing on key figures such as Xenophanes of Colophon and Heraclitus of Ephesus. Their contributions, building upon Milesian theories, delve into the condensation of heavenly bodies into fiery clouds and circular courses, providing insights into the evolving understanding of the universe.

Xenophanes of Colophon (c. 570-490 BCE)

Xenophanes migrated from Ionia to Italy, fleeing the Medes’ takeover, and carried forward Milesian theory. While emphasizing the de-anthropomorphization of god Anaximander of Miletus, he shared the view of heavenly bodies condensing from earth’s exhalations into fiery clouds. Similar to Anaximines, Xenophanes envisioned these bodies following circular courses, conceived as bands or zones, and becoming obscured behind high parts of the earth (Aetius 2.20.3).


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