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Parmenides Empedocles and Anaxagoras


Exploring Ancient Cosmologies

Parmenides (c. 450 BCE) The Sphere of All, Wreaths of Fire

Parmenides of Elea in Italy challenges conventional physics by arguing against the existence of motion, change, and differences in matter (quoted by Simplicius in Phys. 146.5). Despite this, he describes the “beliefs of mortals,” representing his view of the deceptive physical world Ionic Thought’s Influence, akin to the Buddhist concept of maya. Parmenides envisions heavenly bodies as concentrations of fire-vapor, regulated by “Necessity” to move between an inner “wreath” of fire and an outer solid sphere (Aetius 2.7.1). It is unclear whether he perceived the “wreath” as an asteroid belt and the outer shell as a true sphere, leaving ambiguity about the shape of the earth.

Empedocles and Anaxagoras Reflections of Light

Empedocles of Acragas (mid-5th century BCE) seeks

One Night part 2


Deciphering Cosmos