Cosmos of the Ancients
The Greek Philosophers on Myth and Cosmology
Diogenes Laertius gives a long list of books written by Democritus, dividing them into the groups ethics, virtue, physics, "no head", mathematics, literature and music, and the arts. Most famous were The Great Diacosmos (world order) and The Lesser Diacosmos, though Diogenes says the former is by some attributed to Leucippus.
We know nothing accurately in reality, but (only) as it changes according to the bodily condition, and the constitution of those things that flow upon (the body) and impinge upon it.
No more than his teacher did Democritus involve the gods in his cosmos, and so also with him it can be said that we have no statement of his swearing to it, but at least in all cosmological matters he should be regarded as an atheist.
LiteratureAristotle, Metaphysics, 1009b, translated by Hugh Lawson-Tancred, London 1998.
Freeman, Kathleen, Ancilla to The Pre-Socratic Philosophers, Oxford 1952.
© Stefan Stenudd 2000
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I'm a Swedish author 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.