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The book

Cosmos of the Ancients, a book by Stefan Stenudd.

Cosmos of the Ancients

The Greek Philosophers on Myth and Cosmology,
by Stefan Stenudd



The Greek philosophers lived in a time when the gods and the myths about them were very much alive, and there was no scientific evidence dismissing them. This book explores to what extent the Greeks were able to question their own mythology. This is done by examining the cosmology of their philosophers, and what roles they allowed therein for the gods.



       Stefan Stenudd is a Swedish author and historian of ideas, who studies the patterns of thought in creation myths amd ancient cosmology.



Table of Contents

Here is the book's table of contents:

Foreword 7

Introduction 9
Living Myth 9
Reality 11
The Greeks 14
God 16
Selection 17
Sources 18
Law 21
Homer and Hesiod 26
Drama and Poetry 32
Categories of Cosmology 41
Greek Philosophers Categorized 47
Some Conclusions 49

The Philosophers 53
Thales 54
Anaximander 56
Anaximenes 59
Pythagoras 61
Pherecydes of Syros 64
Xenophanes 67
Theagenes 69
Hecataeus 71
Heraclitus 73
Parmenides 79
Anaxagoras 83
Empedocles 86
Herodotus 90
Gorgias 93
Melissus 95
Protagoras 98
Philolaus 101
Leucippus 104
Democritus 106
Prodicus of Ceos 109
Antisthenes 112
Diagoras of Melos 114
Plato 116
Aristotle 125
Epicurus 128
Zeno of Citium 132
Euhemerus 134

Appendix 137
Schools of Greek Philosophy 138
List of Greek Philosophers 142
About the illustrations 144
Literature 146


Foreword of the Book

Although this book is about philosophers, its objective is not philosophy. I am mainly interested in the patterns of thought, as they appear in religion and its myths. So, I use the Greek philosophers to explore how the human mind relates to religious beliefs: does it really believe in them?

       Modern society is quite secular, and many among us have little faith in whatever religion our society supports. Still, we take for granted that in past cultures the population was homogenous in a strong belief in their gods and the myths about them. We tend to make the same assumption about any society outside of our own, and any religion except the one of our own tradition.

       That is hasty, probably also prejudiced. Why would we not start by expecting other cultures to be able the same doubts?

       The Greek philosophers lived in a society that cherished the myths about its gods, celebrated them and erected temples to their honor. It is taken for granted that the Greeks of Antiquity believed in their gods and the myths about them, as if their minds were unable of anything else. Now, the minds of the philosophers are accessible to us in the form of their words saved for posterity. Their thoughts can be traced, as for how they related to the gods worshiped by the society surrounding them.

       Those were excellent minds, of course. Maybe they had little in common with the thoughts going through the heads of the average citizens at that time. Still, there is a limit to how much different they could have been. What was conceivable to the philosophers must at least have been perceivable to other Greeks. Otherwise their words would neither have been understood nor recorded. And they were no alien beings.

       So, what the Greek philosophers were thinking, was possible for anyone in their society to think. If they doubted the existence of the gods or the accuracy of the myths, then that doubt was recognizable to other Greeks, and quite possibly present in their minds as well.

       As can be seen in this book, the doubt was definitely there just about everywhere.

       That is reason enough to start by assuming the same doubt in every culture and every era. We have our religions, our gods and myths. Even though we may cherish and praise them, we also have our doubts about them. I would say that it's not a question of whether the human mind is capable of doubt the question is really if we are at all able not to doubt. I doubt it.



Samples

Here are two short chapters from the book, as Acrobat PDF files in computer screen resolution (72 DPI):

Introduction
Heraclitus


How to get the book

If you want to buy the book, you can do so at most international web based bookstores, such as Amazon and the like. Here are links to the book on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Use the latter if you are European - then you get the book cheaper and quicker. Otherwise, you may want to buy it at Amazon US.

At Amazon US: Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd - at Amazon US.
At Amazon UK: Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd - at Amazon UK.
Now also a Kindle ebook:
Cosmos of the Ancients - Kindle ebook

Cosmos of the Ancients
The Greek Philosophers on Myth and Cosmology

by
Arriba Publ., 2007, 2011
Paperback, 148 pages
ISBN 978-91-7894-045-5






The Greek Philosophers.

The Greek Philosophers


Introduction
Thales
Anaximander
Anaximenes
Pherecydes of Syros
Pythagoras
Xenophanes
Theagenes
Hecataeus
Heraclitus
Pindar
Parmenides
Anaxagoras
Empedocles
Herodotus
Gorgias
Melissus
Protagoras
Euripides
Prodicus of Ceos
Leucippus
Democritus
Critias
Antisthenes
Diagoras of Melos
Plato
Aristotle
Epicurus
Euhemerus
Table of the Greek Philosophers
Literature
The book


Aristotle

Aristotle


Aristotle's Life
Timeline
Aristotle's Poetics
Aristotle's Cosmology


Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd.

Cosmos of the Ancients - the Book

The material on this website about the Greek philosophers and what they thought about cosmology, myth, and the gods, is now a book. It can be ordered at the Internet bookstores - printed or as a Kindle ebook. Both contain the footnotes with additional explanations as well as literary sources. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.


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Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that book's page on Amazon.

All's End, science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Te Ching - The Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained, by Stefan Stenudd. Tao Quotes - The Ancient Wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
Cosmos of the Ancients, by Stefan Stenudd. Occasionally I Contemplate Murder, by Stefan Stenudd. QI - increase your life energy, by Stefan Stenudd.
Attacks in Aikido, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido Principles, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikibatto, by Stefan Stenudd.
Life Energy Encyclopedia, by Stefan Stenudd. Tarot Unfolded, by Stefan Stenudd. Your Health in Your Horoscope, by Stefan Stenudd.



About me
I'm a Swedish writer of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.