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A HISTORY
OF

GEEEK PHILOSOPHY
VOL.
I.

LONDON PHI3JTED BY SrOTXISWOODE AND CO., NEW- STREET SQUARE ASU PARLIAMENT STREET
:

A HISTOKY
OF

GBEEK PHILOSOPHY
FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO
TIME OF SOCRATES
THE-

/
/

///f/'f

WITH

GEXERAL IXTRODUCTION

DRAKsiATED FfcOM THE GERMAN OF

l
/

1D R e.

zeller

PROFESSOR IX THE UNIVERSITY OF/BERLIX

foitb

tbe

Siutijor's

^iictioit

S.

K/ALLEYNE

7 A*

TirO
VOL.

VOLUMES
I.

LONDON

LONGMANS, GEE EN, AND


1881

CO.

All

rights

reserved

INSTITUTE CF MEDIAEVAL STUDIES


10

ELS
5,

~X^r

CANADA,

MK! 3 01932

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.

The
last

present work
edition of the

is

a translation of the fourth and

first

part of Dr. Zeller's

Philo-

sophic der Griechen.'

That

this part, containing the

General Introduction to the entire subject and the history of the earliest philosophers, should appear after

others dealing with the later periods,

is

in

some meais

sure to be regretted, because Greek Philosophy treated as


a

best

whole,

and gains immensely by being


;

studied in the order of development

yet those

who

are acquainted with the previously translated portions


of Dr. Zeller's

work

will be the

more ready

to

welcome

the introductory volume, without which, indeed,

many

things in the later philosophy, and in Dr. Zeller's treat-

ment

of

it,

would have remained comparatively obscure.


no need
to speak highly of a

There

is

work

so well

known.

The

translator has endeavoured to

make

her

version as literal as possible, considering the require-

ments of the English language and


precise equivalents for

its

deficiency in

German

philosophical terms

vi

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. many


difficulties

deficiency giving rise to

which she

cannot hope to have always successfully overcome.

She

desires to express her hearty

thanks to Mr.

Evelyn Abbott, Fellow and Tutor

of Balliol College,

Oxford, for his valuable assistance in reading over the

proof sheets, especially in regard to the Greek notes.


It
is,

perhaps,

necessary

to
I.

add, respecting

the

numerous

references, that Vol.

and

II.

stand for the


I. II.

volumes of the present translation, and Part


III. for the divisions of the

and

German work.

Cuftox

December

6,

1880.

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

Twenty tears
the
first

ago.

when

I published in its later

form

volume of

this work,

originally designed on
scale,

a different plan,

and

a far

more limited
4
:

I ex-

plained in the following words the principles which

had guided
of

me

in its composition

In the treatment

my
I

subject I have constantly kept in view the task

which
viz.

proposed to myself in

my

first

approaches to

it

to maintain a

middle course between erudite en-

quiry and the speculative study of history: neither, on


the

one hand, to collect facts in a merely empirical


nor, on the other, to construct

manner;

a priori theories
cri-

but through the traditions themselves, by means of


tical sifting

and

historical combination, to arrive at a

knowledge of their importance and interdependence.


This task, however, in regard to the pre-Socratic philosophy was rendered peculiarly
difficult

by the character

of the sources and the divergencies of

modem

opinions
fulfil

respecting
it

them

it

was impossible adequately to


of
critical

without a

number

discussions,

often

descending to the minutest details. 8


2
-

That the clearness

viii

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.
might not be
also the testi-

of the historical exposition, however,

thereby impaired, I have consigned these discussions


as

much

as possible to the notes,

where

monies and references respecting the authorities find


a
fitting* place.

taken are

But the writings from which these are many, and some of them difficult to obtain,
been necessary to give the quotait

so that it has often

tions at length to

make

possible for the reader to test

the authenticity of

my exposition without an unwarrantThus the amount


of notes,
size of

able expenditure of time.

and consequently the

the whole volume, have


;

increased to a considerable extent

but I hope I have


all

chosen rightly in attending before


scientific

things to the

requirements of the reader, and in doubtful

cases preferring to economise his time rather than the


printer's paper.'
I

have kept to the same points of view in the preof the following volumes,

paration

and of the new

editions which have since

become

necessary.

The hope
work
and

that

have therein adopted the proper course has been

fully justified

by the reception given

to

my

though the principle (not previously quite unknown to

me) has recently been pressed upon my


I

attention, that the

ancient philosophers must be treated philosophically,

have never yet been able to convince myself that the


I

method hitherto pursued by me has been a mistake.


still

hold,

more strongly than

ever, that the philosophic

apprehension of systems of philosophy (which, however,

must be distinguished from philosophic

criticisrri)

en-

AUTHORS PREFACE.
tirely coincides
T

ix

with the historic apprehension of them.

can never indeed consider that a proper history has


if

been written

the author has stopped short at the bare

enumeration of isolated doctrines and statements without


enquiring as to their centre of gravity, examining their
interconnection, or tracing out their exact

meaning

without determining their relation


to the various systems collectively.

and importance
But, on the other

hand, I must protest against the misuse of the noble

name
torical

of philosophy for the purpose of depriving his-

phenomena

of their distinctive

character,

of

forcing

upon the ancient philosophers inferences which

they expressly repudiate, of effacing the contradictions

and supplying the lacuna? of their systems with adjuncts


that are pure inventions. past are

The

great

phenomena

of the

much

too great in

my

eyes for

me

to suppose

that I could do
their
historical

them any service by exalting them above


conditions

and limitations.

In

my

opinion, such a false idealisation

makes them smaller


nothing can thereby

instead of greater.

At

all events,

be gained for historic truth, before which every predilection for particular persons

and schools must give way.


re-

Whoever would expound a philosophic system must


produce the theories held by
its

author in the connection

which they had in

his

mind. This we can only learn

from the testimony of the philosophers themselves, and


from the statements of others concerning their doctrines;
but, in

comparing these testimonies, in examining their

authenticity and credibility, in completing

them by

in-

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.
we must be

ferences and combinations of various kinds,


careful to

remember two things

in the first place, the

inductions which carry us beyond direct testimony must


in

each case be founded on the totality of evidence in


;

our possession

and when a philosophic theory seems

to

us to require certain further theories, we must always

examine whether other portions of the author's system,


quite as important in his estimation, do not stand in the

way.
fied in

Secondly,

we must enquire whether we

are justi-

supposing that the philosopher we are considering

propounded to himself the questions which we are pro-

pounding to him, returned to himself the answers which

we

derive from other statements of his, or himself drew

the inferences which to us appear necessary.

To

pro-

ceed in this spirit of scientific circumspection has been


at

any rate

my own

endeavour.

To

this end, as will

be

seen in the later no less than in the earlier editions of my

work, I have also tried to learn from those writers who


here and there, on points of greater or lesser importance,

have differed from me. If I


for

am indebted

to these writers

many

things that have assisted in the completion

and correction of

my

exposition, it will nevertheless be

understood that, in

all essential points, I

could only re-

main true

to

my own

view of the pre-Socratic philo-

sophy, and have defended that view as persistently and


decidedly as the
interest

of the

subject demanded,

against objections which seemed to

me

unconvincing

and untenable.
I dedicated the second edition of the present

work

AUTHORS PREFACE.
to

xi

my

father-in-law, Dr. F. Che. Baur, of TiibingeD.

In the third I was obliged to omit the dedication,


because he to

whom
I

it

was addressed was no longer

among

us.

But

cannot refrain from recalling in this

place, with affection

and gratitude, the memory of

man who was


a friend

not only to

me

in all personal relations

and

father, but also, in regard to

my

scien tine-

labours, has left for

me and

for all his disciples a shining

example of incorruptible love of truth, untiring perseverance in research, inexhaustible diligence, penetrative
criticism,
history.

and width and coherence in the treatment of

Beblin: October

18,

1876.

CONTEXTS
OF

THE FIRST VOLUME.

Translator's Preface

PAGS v
vii

Author's Preface

GENERAL INTRODUCTION.
CHAPTER
AIM, SCOPE.
I.

AND METHOD OF THE PRESENT WORK

1-25

CHAPTER
i.

II.

ORIGIN OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


Supposed derivation of Greek philosophy from Oriental
speculation
ii.

Native sources of Greek philosophy.


1.

Religion
a.

Greek religion

......... .......
and
political conditions
.

26

49
49

b.
iii.

The Mysteries
life
:

59

Native sources of Greek philosophy (continued).


2.

Moral

civil

7-~>

iv.

Native sources of Greek philosophy (continued).


3.

Cosmology

.........
in relation to Ethics
.

S3
109

v.

Ethical reflection.
4.

Theology and Anthropology

xiv

COXTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

CHAPTER

III.
PAGR

ON THE CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY

129-163

CHAPTER

IV.

THE PRINCIPAL PERIODS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF GREEK 164-183 PHILOSOPHY

FIRST PERIOD.
THE PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.
Introduction.

On the Character and Philosophy in the First Period

....

Development of
184-210

FIRST SECTION.

THE EARLIER IONIANS, PYTHAGOREANS, AND


ELEATICS.
I. 1.

The Earlier Ionian

Physics.

Thales

211

2.
3.
1.

Anaximander Anaximenes

..........
Diogenes of Apollonia
II.

227

Later adherents of the Ionian School.

266 280

The Pythagorean's.
306 324 368
419

1.

Sources of our knowledge in regard to the Pythagorean philo-

2. 3.

sophy Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans The Pythagorean philosophy its fundamental conceptions Number and the Elements of Number
:

...........
its

4.

Systematic development of the Number system, and cation to Physics

appli-

CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.


5. 6.

xv
PACK 481

Religious and ethical doctrines of the Pythagoreans

Retrospective

summary

character, origin, and antiquity of the

7.

Pythagorean philosophy Pythagoreanism in combination with other elpmf-nts Hippasus, Ecphautus, Epicharmus
III.

.......
:

496
521

Alcmaeon,

The
.

Elkatics.
Treatise ou Melissa?,
.

1.

Sources in regard to their doctrines.

2.
3.

Xenophanes, and Gorgias Xenophanes

......
.

.533
'556

Parmenides

5s0

4.
5. 6.

Zeno
Melishus

......
. .

608 6-7
638

Historical position and character of the Eleatic School

ERRATA.
Page
for Shepherd BoaW read herds of grazing Boo-koi. from foot -for particulars read particular. 72, line 19 -for seventeenth read seventh. for sup. p. 93 read sup. p. 91, 3 cf. 98, 4. 94, 2, line 17 145, 1, line 2 for the Protagoras read Protagoras. 214, n. line 28 (first column) for Anacolius read Anatolius. 219, 3, line 10 (second column) /or affinity read, infinity. 231, n. line 20 (first column) /or 233, 1 read 228, 3. 247, 1for 223, 1 read 233. 1. 251, line 9 for surrounds read surrounded. 260, 4 for 151, 1 read 251, 1. 263, 2for pp. 197, 200 read 241, 244.
4, line

54, line 2

265, 269,
288,

3for
2, line

197 read 241.

8-for 9for

268,

read 267,

1.

3for
1, line

241, 1 read 241, 2.

289,
292,

291, 1 read 291,

2.

1for
1

290, 4 read 291, 1.

352,
444,
444,

434, 2, fine

468,
527, 527, 531,
538, 543,
554,

554, 560, 566,


608,

for 336, 4 read 336, 5. 2for 426, 6 reorf 429, 6. for conservation read assertion. 1, line 3 2for 442, 1 read 443, 1. 1, line 5 from foot (second column) /or 415 read 526. 3 for 372, 1 read 372, 4. /or 491 read 528. 4, line 4 from foot 2for 529, 5 reari 530, 2. 1/or 547, 1 read 548, 1. 1, line 14 (second column) /or 547, 1 read 548, 1. 4for 547, 1 read 548, 1. 4/or 542, 1 read 543, 1. /or infra read supra ; /or 544, 1 read 545, 1, lines 18 and 19 1/or 549, 1 read 548, 2 ; /or 560, 2 rearf 562, 5.
omit therefore
4 and
2, lines

1.

587, line 8 623, line 19

for 543 razrf 617, n. ; for 590, 1 reorf 591, for connections read connection.

1.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE GEEEKS


IN ITS

HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT.

INTRODUCTION.

CHAPTER
AIM, SCOPE AND

I.

METHOD OF THE PRESENT WORK.


as

The term Philosophy,


varied greatly in
its

in use

among
1

the

Greeks,

meaning and compass. Originally it denoted all mental culture, and all effort in the direction of culture 2 even as aocpla, the word from which it is derived, was applied to every art and every kind of knowledge. 3 A more restricted significance
;

seems

first

to

have been given to


it

it

in the

time of the

became usual knowledge by means of more


Sophists,
1

when

to seek after a wider


special
.

and adequate
of

Cf. the valuable evidence


in
sect.

of

fxaXaKias

The same vague use

Hayni

Ersch andGruber's^/^eiii.

meine Encyklopaedie,
p. 3 sqq.
2

b. 24,

the word is long after to be met with even among writers who are not unacquainted with the stricter
sense.
3

Thus Croesus says


i.

to Solon

(Herodotus,
u>s

30) that he had heard

Cf. Aristotle's Eth. Nic. vi. 7,


init.,

(piKoaocpewu yr\v tto\Kt]v dewpir^s tlvsKtv iTre\7)\vdas. Similarly, Pe-

and the verse quoted by him from the Homeric Margites.


sub
Cf. also infra, the

ricles (Thucydides,
:

ii. 40), in the funeral oration <pi\oKa\ovfiev yap /jlt' VTe\*tas /cat (pi\oao<pov[X(v avev

section on the

Sophists.

VOL.

I.

INTRODUCTION.

instruction than ordinary education and the unmethodical routine of practical life could of themselves afford. 1

By

Philosophy was now understood the study of things

of the mind, pursued not as

an accessory employment and matter of amusement, but exclusively and as a The word Philosophy, however, was separate vocation.
its

not as yet limited to philosophic science in

present

acceptation, nor even to science in general,

for
:

which

other designations were

much more

in vogue

to philo-

sophise was to study, to devote oneself to any theoretic


activity. 2

Philosophers in the narrower sense,

down

to

the time of Socrates, were ordinarily designated as wise

men

or Sophists, 3 and,

more

precisely, as physicists. 4

A
Plato.

more

definite use of the

Plato calls

met with in that man a philosopher who in his


word
is first
it, is

speculation and his practice has regard to essence, and

not to appearance

Philosophy, as he apprehends
it

1 Pythagoras indeed, according to a well-known anecdote, had previously assumed the name of phi-

in this

calls his

way (Pan eg. c. 1) when he own activity tt\v irspl tovs

losopher but the story is in the first place uncertain; and in the second it keeps the indeterminate sense of the word according to which philosophy signified all
;

striving after wisdom. 2 The expression, for example,


in

\6yovs QiKoacxpiav, or even simply (Panath. c. 4, 5, 8; irepl aundoa-. 181-186, 271, 285 and elsewhere. Plato himself adopts this wider maaning in Gorgias 484 C and 485 A sqq., Protagoras 335 D, Lysis 213 I). Cf. also the commencement of the
<pi\ocro(pia, tyiXoaocpelv

Xenophon (Mem.
;

iv.

2,

23) has

for the philosophy of Euthydemus (according to section 1) consists in his studying the writhis sense

Mencxenus. 3 This name was given, for instance, to the seven wise men, to Solon, Pythagoras and Socrates;
also to the pre-Socratic natural philosophers. Vide infra, loc. cit. 4 $v<riKoi, (putrioXoyoi, the recognised name for the philosophers especially of the Ionian schools, and those connected with them,

tings of the poets

and Sophists
1, 5,

Socrates compares himself, as avrovpybs ttjs <f>t\ocro(pias, with Callias, the disciAlso in Cgrop. pie of the Sophists. vi. 1, 41, <pi\o<ro<piv means generally to cogitate, to study. Isocrates uses

and similarly in Conv.

DEFIXITIOX OF PHILOSOPHY.
the elevation of the
scientific

:',

mind towards

true Reality.

the
:

cognition and moral exposition of the idea.


still

Finally, Aristotle

farther limits the sphere of Philoit

sophy, by wholly excluding from

practical activity

but

he fluctuates between a

wider

and a narrower
according to the

definition.

According to the wider, Philosophy includes

all scientific

knowledge and research


of things, the so-called
'

narrower,

it is

restricted to enquiries concerning the ultiFirst Philosophy.'

mate causes

Scarcely, however,

had

this

beginning been made


Philosophy in the

towards a precise

determination of Philosophy when


;

the attempt was again abandoned


post-Aristotelian schools
is

sometimes exclusively dehardly discriminated

fined as the practice of wisdom, the art of happiness,

the science of

life

sometimes
This

it is

from the empirical sciences, and sometimes confounded


with mere erudition.
confusion

was promoted,

not only by the learned tendencies of the Peripatetic


school and of the whole Alexandrian period, but also

and more especially by Stoicism, since Chrysippus had


included in the
circle

of his

so-called philosophical

enquiries the arts of

grammar, music,

&c., while his

very definition of Philosophy, as the science of things


divine and

human, must have rendered


domain.
1

difficult

any

precise limitation of its

After

this

period

science

became more and more involved with mythology

and theological poetry, to the increasing disturbance of and the concepthe boundaries of both these spheres
;

Appealing to this definition, Strabo, at the opening of his work, declares geography to be an essen.tial part of philosophy for poly1 ;

mathy. says he. is the business of a philosopher. Further authorities for the above will be given in the course of this work.

b 2

INTRODUCTION.
On
the

tion of Philosophy soon lost all distinctness.

one

hand,
as

the the

Neo-Platonists
first

regarded Linus
the

and

Orpheus

of

philosophers,

Chaldean

oracles as the primitive sources of the highest

wisdom,

and the sacred

rites,

asceticism and theurgic superstition


;

of their school as the true philosophy

on the other, the

Christian theologians, with equal right, glorified


nastic
life

mo-

as

Christian

philosophy, and gave, to the

various sects of monks, including even the Shepherd


Boovco/, a

name which

Plato and Aristotle had reserved

for the highest activity of the

But

it is

not merely the

human intellect. name which is wanting


1

in

accurate limitation and fixity of import.

Uncertainty

of language usually implies uncertainty of thought, and

the present case forms no exception.

If the extent of

the term Philosophy was only gradually settled, Philo-

sophy

itself

only gradually appeared as a specific form


life.

of intellectual

If the

word fluctuates between a


restricted to

wider and a narrower significance, Philosophy similarly


fluctuates
scientific
;

being sometimes

definite

sphere, and sometimes

mingled with alien


pre-Socratic Philo-

ingredients of various kinds.

The

sophy developed
logical ideas.
1

itself partly in

connection with mythois

Even

for

Plato the mythus


bius's

a necessity,
iv.

<pt\o(ro(pe?v and (piXoacxpia are the ordinary terms employed at that period to designate the ascetic life and its various forms; so that, for example, Sozomenus, in the case

Church History,
as
r)

26,

7,

speaks of the Judaic-Christian religion


Kaff
??/xar <pi\ocro(pia.

above mentioned (Hist.

Eccles. vi.

33"), concludes his statemfnt about the BoaKoi with the words Ka\ ol Christianity fxkv cSSe i<pi\o<r6<povu. itself is not unfrequently called (pt\oo~o<pia thus Melito, in Euse;

Philo similarly (quod omnis probus liber, 877 C, D vita contemplat. 893 D) describes the theology of the Essenes and Therapeutae, with its allegorical interpretation of
;

Scripture,
(pi\oo-o<pia.

as

<pi\oao<p7i/,

ira.Tpt.os

DEFIX1TI0X OF PHILOSOPHY.
and
after the period of

Xeo-Pythagoreism, polytheistic
an influence over Philosophy

theology acquires such

that Philosophy at last becomes merely the interpreter


of

theological

traditions.

With

the

Pythagoreans,

the Sophists, Socrates, the Cynics and the Cyrenaics,


scientific

speculation was connected with practical en-

quiries,

which these philosophers did not themselves Plato reckons moral discriminate from their science.
conduct as

much

a part of Philosophy as knowledge

while after Aristotle, Philosophy was so increasingly

regarded from the practical point of view, that

it

ulti-

matelv became identified with moral culture and true


religion.

Lastly,

among

the Greeks, the sciences (in

the

modern acceptation of the term) were only by slow degrees, and at no time very accurately, discriminated
from Philosophy.
converge

Philosophy in Greece
all

is

not merely
efforts

the central point towards which


;

scientific

it

is,

originally, the

whole which includes

them

in itself.
let
;

The
rest

sense of form peculiar to the Greek


in

cannot
things

him

any partial or isolated view of


first so

moreover, his knowledge was at

limited

that he was far less occupied than


of the particular.

we

are with the study

From

the outset, therefore, his glance

was directed to the

totality of things,

and

it

was only

by

little

and

little

that particular sciences separated

themselves from this collective science.


excluding the mechanical and practical

Plato himself,
arts, recognises

only Philosophy and the various branches of mathematics


as sciences proper
;

indeed, the treatment he claims for


it

mathematics would make


sophy.
Aristotle

simply a part of Philo-

includes

under Philosophy, besides

INTRODUCTION.
all his

mathematics,

physical enquiries, deeply as these


It

enter into the study of the particular.

was only in

the Alexandrian period that the special sciences attained


to independent cultivation.

We

find,

however,

among

the Stoics, as well as the Peripatetics, that philosophic

enquiry was blended with, and often hampered by, a


great mass of erudition and empirical observations.

In

the

eclecticism

of

the

Eoman

period,

this

erudite

element was

still

more prominent ; and though the


its

founder of Neo-Platonism confined himself strictly to


questions of pure philosophy, his school, in
reliance

on the authorities of antiquity, was apt to overlade


its

philosophic

expositions with a superabundance of

learning.
If,

then,

we
all

are to include in the history of

Philosophy

that
is

was called Philosophy

Greek by the

Greeks, or that
ings,

brought forward in philosophic writall

and exclude
it is

that does not expressly bear the

name,
part,

evident that the boundaries of our exposition

will be in part too narrow,

and in

part,

and

for the

most

much

too wide.

If,

on the other hand, we are to

treat of Philosophy in itself, as

we

find it in Greece,
arises

whether called Philosophy or not, the question

how
it

it is

to be recognised
is

and how we are to distinguish


It
is

from what
can only

not Philosophy.

clear that such a

test

lie

in the conception formed of Philosoplry.

This conception, however, changes with the philosophic


standpoint of individuals and of whole periods
;

and

thus

would appear that the sphere of the history of Philosophy must constantly change in like manner and
it

in

the

same proportion.

The dilemma

lies

in

the

DEFIXITIOX OF PHILOSOPHY.
nature of things and
is

7 least

in

no way to be avoided

of all by basing our procedure, not on fixed conceptions,

but on confused impressions, and indefinite, perhaps


contradictory, ideas
;

or

by trusting, each writer


historical

for

himself, to an obscure

sense to determine

how much he
from
it.

shall include in his exposition or reject


if

For

philosophic conceptions alter, subjective

impressions alter yet more, and the only resource that

would

at last

remain to us in

this uncertain

method

namely, a reference to learned usage

would not improve

One thing, at any rate, follows from these reflections. We must have, as the basis of our exposition, as true and exhaustive a theory as we can of the essence of Philosophy. That this is not altogether impracticable, and that some
matters from a scientific point of view.
degree of unanimity
is is

attainable on the subject, there

all

the more reason to hope, because

we

are here
/

concerned not with the terms and constituents of anv

one philosophic system, but with the general and formal


conception of Philosophy, as
it is

assumed, tacitly, or
Different opinions
:

in express terms, in every system.


are possible, to

some extent, even here

but this

diffi-

culty

is

common

to all walks of knowledge.

We

can

only, each one of us according to his ability, seek out

the truth, and leave what

we
be

find to be corrected,

if

necessary, by advancing science.

How

Philosophy

is

to

defined,

is

therefore a
I

question which philosophic science alone can answer.

must here confine myself to a statement of the results at which I have arrived in regard to the matter, so far
as this is necessary for the task I

have in hand.

I con-

8
sider Philosophy,

INTRODUCTION.
first,

as

a purely theoretic activity


is

that

i^,

an activity which
;

solely concerned

with the

ascertainment of reality
I exclude
all

and from

this point of view,

from the conception and history of Philosophy

practical or artistic efforts as such, irrespective of

their possible connection with

the world.
science.

any particular theory of I next define Philosophy more precisely as

I see in it not merely thought, but thought

that

is

methodical, and directed in a conscious

manner

to the cognition of

things in their interdependence.

By

this characteristic, I distinguish it as well

from the

unscientific reflection of daily life as

from the religious


this

and poetical view of the world.


tinction between Philosophy

Lastly, I find the disis


:

and other sciences

that

all

other sciences

aim

at the exploration of

some

specific

sphere, whereas

Philosophy has in view the

sum

total of existence as a whole, seeks to


its relation

know the

individual in
of the whole,

to the whole,

and by the laws

and

so to attain the correlation of all

knowledge.

So

far, therefore, as this

aim can be shown

to exist, so far

and no farther

I should extend the do-

main
first

of the history of Philosophy.

was not clearly

That such an aim evident from the beginning, and was at

abundantly intermingled with foreign elements, we

have already seen, nor can we wonder at it. But this need not prevent our abstracting from the aggregate of

Greek

intellectual life all that bears the character of


it

Philosophy, and considering


historical manifestation.

in
is,

and

for itself, in its

There

indeed, some danger,

in

this

mode

of procedure, of doing violence to the


;

actual historical connection

but this danger we

may

GREEK PHILOSOPHY.
the following

escape by allowing full weight to such consideration^ as


:

the constant interminglement of philo;

sophic with other elements

the gradual nature of the


for itself

development by which science won


pendent existence
syncretism
; ;

an inde-

the peculiar character of the later

the importance of Philosophy for culture

in general, and its dependence on existing conditions.


If

due account be taken of these circumstances,

if in

the several systems


is

we

are careful to distinguish


is

what

philosophical from what

merely accessory, and to

measure the importance of the individual, in regard to


the development of philosophic thought, by the precise

standard

and

concept

of Philosophy,

the

claims

of

historic completeness

and

scientific exactitude will

be

equally satisfied.

The

object

of

our exposition having been thus


its sides,

determined on one of
akin to
farther

and the Philosophy of

the Greeks clearly distinguished from the


it

phenomena

and connected with

it,

there remains the

question

as to the extent
;

and boundaries of
it

Greek Philosophy

whether we are to seek


of the
;

only

among
field of

the

members

Greek

race, or in the

whole

Hellenic culture
is

and, in the latter case,

how
is,

the area of that field


course,

to be determined.
;

This

of

more

or less optional

and

it

would in

itself

be

perfectly legitimate either to close the history of


science with its passage into the

Greek

Eoman and

Oriental

world, or, on the other hand, to trace


to our
call

its effects

down
to
a pre-

own time.

It seems, however,

most natural
is

Philosophy Greek, so long as there

in

it

ponderance of the Hellenic element over the foreign,

10

INTRODUCTION.

and whenever that proportion


the name.

is reversed to abandon As the former is the case not only with the Groeco-Koman Philosophy, hut also with the NeoPlatonists and their predecessors as even the Judaic;

Alexandrian school

is

much more

closely related to the

contemporary Greek Philosophy, and had much more influence on its development, than any phenomenon of
the Christian world, I include this school in the compass
of the present exposition.

On

the other hand, I exclude


first

from

it

the Christian speculation of the

centuries,

for there

we

see Hellenic science overpowered


it

by a new
character.

principle in which

henceforth lost

its specific

The scientific treatment of this historical material must necessarily follow the same laws as the writing of
history

Our task is to ascertain and to expound what has happened a philosophic construction of it, even if this were possible, would not be the affair
in general.
;

of

the

historian.
for

But such a construction


First, because

is

not
will

possible,

two reasons-

no one

ever attain to so exhaustive a conception of humanity,

and

so exact a

knowledge of
its

all

the conditions of

its

historical

development, as to justify his deducing from


empirical circumstances,
;

thence the particulars of

and the changes undergone by these in time


because the course of history
that
it
is

and next,

not of such a nature

can be

made the
is

object of

an a priori con-

struction.
free

For history

essentially the product of the

and though in this very activity an universal law is working, and through this activity fulfilling itself, yet none of its special effects, and not even the most important phenomena of history
activity

of individuals,

HISTORICAL METHOD; AGAINST HEGEL.

11

in all their particular features, can be fully explained

from the point of view of a priori necessity.


which
the heritage of the
;

The

actions of individuals are subject to that contingency


is

finite

will

and undercollision,

standing

and

if

from the concurrence, the


is finally

and the friction of these individual actions, a regular


course of events as a whole

produced, neither
is

the particular in this course, nor even the whole,

at

any point absolutely necessary.


far only as
it

All

is

necessary in so

belongs to the general progress* the logical

framework
closely

as it

were of history
is

while as to

its

chrono-

logical manifestation, all

more

or less contingent.

So

are

the
it

two elements interwoven with each


impossible, even
in our reflections,

other that

is

wholly to separate them.


itself

The necessary accomplishes


it is

by

number

of intermediaries, any one of which


;

might be conceived other than


historical necessity in notions

but, at the

same
of

time, the practised glance can detect the

thread

and actions apparently


ajjo,

the most fortuitous

and from the arbitrary conduct of and thousands of years


1

men who
all

lived hundreds

circumstances

may

have arisen which work on us with

the strength of such a necessity.


is

The sphere

of

historv, therefore,

distinct in its nature

from that of

Philosophy.
things, exhibit

Philosophy has to seek out the essence of


;

and the general laws of events


definite

history has to

given phenomena of a certain date,

and to explain them by their empirical conditions.


more particular discussion of these questions will be found in my dissertation on the freedom of the human will, on evil, and the
1

Theolomoral order of the world. gisches Jahrbuch, v. vi. (1816 and 1847); cf. especially vi. 220 sqq.; 253 sqq.

12

INTRODUCTION.
of these sciences requires the other, but neither
for the other
;

Each

can be supplanted by or substituted

nor

in its procedure can the history of Philosophy take the

Mime course that would be applicable to the formation


of

philosophic

system.

To

say that the historical


is

sequence of the philosophic systems

identical with

the logical sequence of the concepts which characterise

them.
as

is

to confound

two very different things.

Logic,

Hegel conceived

it,

has to expound the pure cate;

gories of thought as such

the history of Philosophy

is

concerned with the chronological development of


thought.

human

If the course of the one were to coincide with

that of the other, this would presuppose that logical


or,

more

precisely,

ontological

conceptions
;

form the

essential content of all systems of Philosophy

and that

these conceptions have been attained in the progress


of history from the

same

starting-point,

and in the
is

same order
cepts.

as in the logical construction of pure conthis


is

But

not the case.


;

Philosophy
is,

not

merely Logic or Ontology


sense, the Real.

its

object

in a general

The

various philosophic systems show

us the

sum

total of the attempts hitherto

made

to gain

a scientific view of the world.

Their content, therefore,

cannot be reduced to mere logical categories without


1 Hegel's Geschichte der Philosop hie, i. 43. Against' this assertion objections were raised by me in the Jahrhucher der Gegenwart, and by .Sehweg1843, p. 209, sq. ler in his Geschichte der Philosowhich objections phie, p. 2 sq. I repeated in the second edition of This gave o^cathe present work. sion to Herr Monrad, professor at
;
;

Christiania, in a letter addressed to me, bearing the title Be vi logics rationis in describenda philosophies historia (Christiania, 1860), to defend the proposition of Hegel. In consequence of this treatise, which I cannot here examine in detail, I hare made some changes in the form of my discussion, and also some additions.

HISTORICAL METHOD; AGAIXST HEGEL.


depriving
in the
it

13

of

its

specific

character and merging

it

universal.

Moreover, while speculative Logic

begins

with the most abstract conceptions, in order

thence to attain to others more concrete, the historical

development of philosophic thought


consideration of the concrete,
first

starts

with the

in external nature,

then in man, and

leads only

by degrees to logical and

metaphysical abstractions.
also is different in

The law

of

development
Logic
is

Logic and in History.

occupied merely with the internal relation of concepts,


irrespective of

any chronological relation History treats of the changes effected in course of time in the notions Progress, from anterior to posterior conof mankind.
;

cepts,

is

regulated,

in

the

former case, exclusively


;

according to logical points of view


therefore linked to the next that

each conclusion

is

is

properly deducible

from

it

by thought.
constructs

In the latter case, progression


;

takes place according to psychological motives

each

philosopher

out of the doctrine inherited

from

his

predecessors,
it

and each period out of that


tradition,

handed down to

by

whatever their own

apprehension of the doctrine, their modes of thought,


experiences, knowledge, necessities,
sources enable

and

scientific

re-

them

to construct

but this

may

possibly

be something quite other than what we, from our standpoint, should construct out of
it.

Logical consequence

can only regulate the historical progress of Philosophy


to the extent that
it is

recognised by the philosophers, and


it

the necessity of following


is

acknowledged

how

far that

the case depends on

all

the circumstances by which

scientific convictions are conditioned.

Over and above

INTR OB UCTIOK
earlier

what may be directly or indirectly derived from the


fluence
is

Philosophy, either by inference or polemic, a decisive inoften exercised in this respect by the conditions

and necessities of practical life, by religious interests, and by the state of empirical knowledge and general culture.
It
is

impossible to regard

all

systems as merely the

consequences of their immediate predecessors, and no

system which contributes special thoughts of can in its origin


is

its

own

and contents be thus

restricted.

What
for

new

in those thoughts arises from

new experiences

having been made, or new points of view gained


such as had been previously

made

aspects and elements

of these which before were unnoticed are


into account,

now taken

and some particular moment is invested with another meaning than heretofore. Far, then, from assenting to the Hegelian position, we must rather
maintain that no system of Philosophy
that
its
is

so constituted

principle
;

may

be expressed by a purely logical


its

conception

not one has formed itself out of


the past will show us

pre-

decessors simply according to the law of logical progress.

Any survey of

how impossible it is to

recognise, even approximately, the order of the Hegelian

or any other speculative logic in the order of the philo-

sophic systems, unless

we make out

of

them something
This attempt

quite different from what they really are.


is,

therefore, a failure both in principle


it

and practice, and

the truth

contains

is

only the universal conviction


is

that the development of history

internally governed

by regular

laws.

This conviction, indeed, the history of Philosophy

ought on no account to renounce

we need not

confine

LAWS AND UNITY OF HISTORY.


ourselves to the
traditions,

15

mere amassing and


to

critical testing of

or
is

that

unsatisfactory

pragmatic pro-

cedure which

content to explain particulars severally

in reference to individual personalities, circumstances

and influences, but attempts no explanation of the

Our exposition must, of course, be grounded upon historical tradition, and all that it treats of must either be directly contained in tradition, or derived from it by strictest deduction. But it is impossible even to establish our facts, so long as we regard them merely in an isolated manner. Tradition is not we shall never succeed in proving its trustitself fact
whole as such.
:

worthiness, in solving
lacunae,
if

its

contradictions, in supplying

its

we do not keep

in view the connection of

single facts, the concatenation of causes

and
Still

effects,
less,

the

place of the individual in the whole.


ever,
is it

howthis

possible to understand facts, apart

from

interconnection, or to arrive at a knowledge of their


essential
lastly,

nature

and

historical
is

importance.

Where,
sys-

our exposition

concerned with

scientific

tems, and not merely with opinions and events, there


the very nature of the subject demands, more urgently

than in other
be

cases, that the particular shall be studied


;

in relation to the aggregate


satisfied

and

this

demand can only

by the concatenation of every particular known to us through tradition, or deducible from


tradition, into one great whole.

The
viduals.

first

point

of

unity

is

constituted
is

by

indi-

Every philosophic opinion

primarily the
therefore, to
cir-

thought of some particular man, and

is,

be explained by his intellectual character and the

10

INTRODUCTION.
it

cumstances under which

was formed.

Our

first

task,

then, will be to unite the opinions of each philosopher

show the connection of those opinions with his philosophic character, and to enquire into the causes and influences by which they were
into a collective whole, to
originally conditioned.

That

is

to say,

we must

first

ascertain the principle of each system, and explain


it

how
is

arose

and then consider how the system was the out:

come

of the principle

for the principle of a

system

the thought which most clearly and fundamentally expresses the specific philosophic character of its author,

and forms the focus of union


plained by
its

for all his views.

Every

individual thing in a system cannot, of course, be exprinciple


;

all

the knowledge which a

philosopher possesses, all the convictions which he forms


(often

long
all

before

his

scientific

thoughts

become

matured),

the

conceptions which

he has derived

from multifarious experiences, are not brought even by himself into connection with his philosophic principles
accidental
faults

influences,

arbitrary incidents,

errors

and

of reasoning

are constantly interposing

them-

selves, while the

gaps in the records and accounts often

prevent our pronouncing with certainty on the original


connection of the various constituents of a doctrine.
this lies in the nature of things
;

All

but our problem must


all

at any rate be kept in view until we have exhausted the means in our power for its solution.

The
selves

individual, however, with the


;

mode

of thought

peculiar to him, does not stand alone

others ally

them-

with him, and he

allies

himself with others

others

come

into collision with him, and he comes into

LAWS AND UNITY OF HISTORY.


collision

\7

with others

schools of philosophy are formed

having with each other various relations of dependence,


agreement, and contradiction.

sophy traces
it is

As the history of Philoout these relations, the forms with which


perceive that
it

concerned divide themselves into larger or smaller

groups.

We
that

is

only in this definite

connection with others that the individual became and


effected

which he did become and

effect

and

hence arises the necessity of explaining the specific


character and importance of the individual by reference
to the

group which includes him.


all

But even such an


respects suffice
;

explanation as this will not in

for

each individual, besides the characteristics


his class,

common

to

possesses

much
to

that

is

peculiar to himself.

He

not only continues the work of his predecessors, but

adds something
suppositions

new

it,

or else disputes their pre-

and conclusions.
has

The more important,


its

however, a personality has been, and the farther


historical

influence

extended, the

more

will

its

individual character, even while opening out

new

paths,

disappear and lose itself in the universal and necessary


course of history.

For the

historical

importance of the
so far only as this

individual depends upon his accomplishing that which


is
is

required by an universal need

and

the case, does his work become part of the general

possession.

The merely individual


;

in

man

is

also the

transitory

the individual can only work in an abiding


a grand scale

manner and on
and
executes

when he

yields himself

his personality to the service of the universal,

and

with his particular activity a part of the


work.
c

common
vol.
i.

18

INTR OD UCTION.
But
if this

hold good of the relation of individuals


it

to the spheres to which they belong, is

not equally
the greater

true of the relation of

these spheres to
?

wholes in which they are comprehended

Each nation
its

and, generally speaking, each historically coherent portion of

mankind, has the measure and direction of


it,

spiritual life traced out for


specific

partly by the inherent

qualities

of

its

members, and partly by the


conditions that determine its
it,

physical

and

historical

development.

No

individual, even if he desires


this

can

withdraw himself from

common

character

and he

who

is

called to a great sphere of historical action will


it,

not desire

for

he has no ground

for his activity to


;

work on except in the whole of which he is a member and from tins whole, and thence only, there flows to him by numberless channels, for the most part unnoticed, the supplies by the free utilization of which his own But spiritual personality is formed and maintained.
for the

past.

same reason all individuals are dependent on the Each is a child of his age as well as of his nation,
he will never achieve anything great
1

and

as

if

he does

not work

in the spirit of his nation, so surely will he fail

unless he stands on the ground of all previous historical

acquirement.
kind, as the

If,

therefore, the spiritual store of

manand
is

work

of self-active beings,
is

is

always subject
;

to change, this change

of necessity continuous

the same law of historical continuity holds good also of

each smaller sphere, so far as

its

natural development

not hindered by external influences.


1

In this process of
school, or

Or of the whole
it

to

which he belongs his church,

what-

ever

may

be.

LAWS AND UNITY OF HISTORY.

19

development each period has the advantage of the culture and experience of the previous periods; the historic

development of mankind,- therefore,

is

upon the whole

development towards ever higher culture

a progression.

But particular nations, and entire groups of nations, may nevertheless be thrown back into lower stages by
external misfortunes, or their

own

internal exhaustion

important tracts of
progress itself
direct
fect

human
at first

culture

may

long

lie

fallow

may

be accomplished in an inIn defining, then, the law

manner, through the breaking up of some impercivilisation.

fomi of

of historical

progress in

its

application to particular

phenomena, we must be careful to explain progress merely as the logical development of those qualities
and conditions which are originally inherent in the
character and
culture.

circumstances of a nation, or

field

of
is

This development in every individual case


;

not necessarily an improvement

there

may come

dis-

turbances and seasons of decay, in which a nation or a

and other forms work their way forward, perhaps painfully and by long and circuitous paths, to carry on the development of
form of
civilisation

ceases to exist,

history.

Here, too, a law

is

present

in
is

the historic

evolution,

inasmuch

as its
;

general course

determined

by the nature

of tilings

but this law

is

not so simple,

nor this course so direct, as we might have anticipated.

Moreover, as the character and sequence of the historic


periods are the result of law and not
of chance, the

same may be said of the order and character of the Xot that various developments contained in them.
these

developments can be constructed a priori


c 2

in

20

INTRODUCTION.

reference to the general concept of the sphere in question


;

that of the State, for instance, or

Keligion, or

Philosophy.
its

But

for

each historic whole, or for each of


is

periods of development, a definite course


its

marked

out by

own fundamental
its

character,

circumstances, by

place in history.

by its external That the course


should be acfulfil-

thus prescribed by existing conditions


tually followed,
is

not more wonderful than the


probabilities.

ment

of

any other calculation of

For,

though accidental circumstances often give an impulse

and a direction to the activity of individuals, it is natural and necessary that among a great number of

men

there should be a variety of dispositions

of

cul-

ture, of character, of forms of activity, of external con-

ditions

**

sufficient to furnish representatives of all the

different tendencies possible

under the given circumhistorical

stances.

It is natural

and necessary that each

phenomenon should

by attraction or repulsion, evoke others which serve to supplement it that the various dispositions and forces should display themselves
either,
;

in

action

that

all

the different views of a question


all

that

may be taken

should be stated, and

the different

methods of solving given problems should be tried. In a word, the regular course and organic articulation of
history are not an

of historic

a priori postulate but the nature conditions and the constitution of the human
;

mind

involve that the historic development should, notall

withstanding
follow,

the

contingency of the individual,


;

on the whole and in the main, a fixed law and to recognize the working of such regularity in any given case, we need not abandon the terra firma of

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY.
facts,

21

we need only examine the

facts thoroughly,

and

draw the conclusions to which they themselves contain


the premises."**

What we

ask, therefore,

is

but the complete applica-

would have no theoretic construction of history, proceeding from theory


tion of a purely historic method.
to fact
;

We

our history must be built up from below, out


It stands to

of the materials that are actually given.

reason, however, that these materials cannot be

made

use of in their rough state

we must

call in the aid of

a searching historical analysis to

determine the essence

and internal connection of all the

phenomena concerned.
I trust,

This conception of our problem will not,

be

open to the charges raised against the Hegelian construction of history.

Rightly understood,

it

can never lead

to the distortion of facts, or the sacrifice of the free

movement
is

of history to an abstract formalism, since

it

upon

historical facts

and

traditions,

and upon these

we propose to base our reasoning as to the relation of past phenomena vonly in what has been freely produced shall we seek for historical necessity. If this be thought impossible and paradoxical, we might
alone, that
:

appeal to the universal conviction of the

rule of a
all

Divine Providence a conception which before


implies that the course of history
is
is

things

not fortuitous, but

determined by a higher necessity.


are
dissatisfied

In case, however,

we

(as

an argument resting

we may reasonably be) with solely on faith, we have only to

examine more closely the concept of liberty to convince ourselves that liberty is something other than caprice
or chance, that the free activity of

man

has

it-

inborn

22

INTRODUCTION.
in the primitive essence of spirit,

measure
laws of

and in the
this

human

nature

and that by virtue of

internal subjection to law, even


in the

what

is

really fortuitous

individual act becomes necessity in the grand

course of historic evolution.


detail
is

To

follow this course in

the

main problem

of history.
it

Whether
is

in regard to the history of Philosophy

necessary or even advantageous for the

writer

to

possess

any philosophic conviction of his own, is a question that would scarcely have been raised had not
dread
of

the

philosophic

construction

of

history

caused some minds to overlook the most simple and


obvious truths.

Few would maintain


would

that the history

of law, for instance,

find its best exponent in a

person

who had no
;

opinions on the subject of juris-

prudence

or political history, in one


It
is

theory of politics.

hard to see

who embraced no why it should be

otherwise with the history of Philosophy.

How
of

can
the

the

historian
;

even understand the

doctrines

philosophers

by what standard

is

he to judge of their

importance

how can he

discern the internal connection

of the systems, or form any opinion respecting their


reciprocal relations, unless he
is

guided in his labours


?

by fixed philosophic principles


the more must

But the more dea definite system

veloped and mutually consistent these principles are,

we

ascribe to

him

and
are

since clearly developed

and consistent

principles

undoubtedly to be desired in a writer of history, we


cannot avoid the conclusion that
it is

necessary and

good that he should bring with him to the study of the


earlier

Philosophy a philosophic system of his own.

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY.
It
is

23

possible,

indeed,

that

his

system
he

may

be too
of his
it

contracted to interpret for


predecessors
:

him the meaning

it is

also possible that

may

apply

to

history in a perverse manner, by introducing his

own

opinions into the doctrines

of previous

philosophers,

and constructing out of

his

own system
its

that which he
help.

should have tried to understand by

But we

must not make the general principle answerable for and still less can we hope these faults of individuals to escape them by entering on the history of Philosophy devoid of any philosophic conviction. The human mind
;

is

not like a tabula rasa, the facts of history are not


it

simply reflected in

like a picture

on a photographic

plate, but every view of a given occurrence is arrived at

by independent observation, combination, and judgment


of the facts. y Philosophic impartiality, therefore, does

not consist in the absence of

all

presuppositions, but in

bringing to the study of past events presuppositions


that are

true> The man who


is

is

without any philo-

sophic stand-point

not on that account without any


;

stand-point whatever

he who has formed no


questions

scientific

opinion on philosophic

has

an

unscientific
to

opinion about them.

To

say that

we should bring we should


as

the history of Philosophy no philosophy of our own,


really

means that
to

in dealing with

it

give the

preference

unscientific

scientific ideas.

compared with And the same reasoning would apply


notions

to the assertion

that the historian ouo-ht to form his

system in the course of writing his history, from history


itself; that
1

by means of history he

is

to emancipate
sq.

By

Vv'irth in the

Jahrbuchcr der Gegenvjart, 1S44. 709

24

INTR OB UCTION.
From what point of that it may do him
rightly

himself from any preconceived system, in order thus to


attain the universal

and the

true.

view then

is
?

he to regard history,

this service

From

the false and narrow point of view

comprehend history ? or from the universal point of view which The history itself must first enable him to attain? one is manifestly as impracticable as the other, and we
which he must quit that he
are ultimately confined within this circle r that he alone

may

completely understands the history of Philosophy who


possesses true

and complete philosophy

and that he
led to it

only arrives at true philosophy

who
this

is

by

understanding history.
entirely escaped
:

Nor can
and
to

circle
is

ever be

the history of Philosophy


;

the test

of the truth

of systems

have a philosophic

system

is

the condition of a man's understanding history.

The

truer and the


it

more comprehensive a philosophy

is,

the better will


philosophies
;

teach us the importance of previous

and the more unintelligible we find the history of Philosophy, the greater reason have we to

doubt the truth of our own philosophic conceptions.

But the only conclusion to be drawn from this is that we ought never to regard the work of science as finished in the historic any more than in the philosophic domain. As in a general manner, Philosophy and Experimental
Science mutually require and condition one another, so

Each forward movement knowledge offers new points of view to


it
is

here.

of philosophic
historic reflecearlier systems,

tion, facilitates the

comprehension of the
;

of their interconnection and relations

while, on the

other

hand,

each,

newly attained perception of the

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY.
manner
in which the problems of Philosophy have

25

solved or regarded by others, and of the internal con-

nection and consequences of their theories, instructs us


afresh concerning the questions
to answer, the different courses

which Philosophy has


it

may

pursue in an-

swering them,

and the consequences which may be

anticipated from the adoption of each course.

But

it

is

time that we should approach our subject


eloselv.

somewhat more

20

INTRODUCTION.

CHAPTER

II.

ORIGIN OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.

I.

Is

Greek Philosophy derived from Oriental


Speculation ?

In order to explain the growth of Greek Philosophy, we

must
arose

first
;

enquire out of what historical conditions


it

it

whether
spirit

evolved itself as a native product

and culture of the Greek people, or was transplanted from without into Hellenic soil, and grew up under foreign influences. The Greeks, we know,
from the
were early inclined to ascribe to the Eastern nations
(the only nations whose culture preceded their own) a

share in the origin of their philosophy

but in the most

ancient period, certain isolated doctrines merely were

thus derived from the East.

As

far as our information

extends, not the Greeks, but the Orientals, were the


first

to attribute

such an origin to Greek Philosophy

The Jews of the Alexandrian school, educated under Greek influences, sought by means of this theory to explain the supposed harmony of their sacred
generally.

writing- with the doctrines of the Hellenes, agreeably


to their

own
infra,

stand-point and interests


priests, after
on

2
;

and in the same

manner the Egyptian


1

they had become

Cf.

the

chapters

ject will be found in the chapter

Pythagoras and Plato. 2 Further details on this sub-

relating to the Judaic Alexandrian

Philosophy.

ORIEXTAL OBI GIN OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.

27

acquainted, under the Ptolemies, with Greek Philosophy,

made

great boast of the wisdom, which not only pro-

phets and poets, but also philosophers were said to have

acquired from them.

Somewhat
its

later, the

theory gained

admittance
pect

among

the Greeks themselves.

When Greek

Philosophy, despairing of
its

own

powers, began to exrevelation,

salvation from

seek for

and to such a revelation in religious traditions, it was

some higher

natural that the doctrines of the ancient thinkers should


1

as to

AVe find nothing in Herodotus any Egyptian origin of Greek

As the by repeated enquiries. priests then represented themselves


ligion,

Philosophy. In regard to religion, on the other hand, he not only maintains that certain Greek cults and doctrines (especially the worship of Dionysus and the doctrine of Transmigration, ii. 49, 123) were imported from Egypt to Greece, hut says in a general manner (ii. 52) that the Pelasgi at first adored their deities simply under the Dame of the gods, and afterwards received the particularnames of these gods (with the few exceptions enumerated in c. 50) from Egypt. That this assertion is chiefly founded on the statements of the Egypt an priest appears probable from c. 50 and still more fromc. 54, where Herodotus relates from the mouth of these priests a story of two women who, carried off by Phoenicians from the Egyptian Thebes, founded the first oracles one in Hellas, the other in Libya. This story manifestly arose
:

to be the founders of the Greek reso at a later period they

claimed to be the founders of Greek Thus Grantor (ap. Philosophy. Procius in Tim. 24 B) says, in reference to the Platonic myth of the Athenians and Atlantides fxaprvpoiicri 8e kcu ol Trpocprirai rau Alyv:

mltop iv (TTT)K0US TCC?i Tt ffoo^ojXivais ravra yeypdcpOai \eyovrzs therewith giving a valuable hint for estimating the worth of such statements and Diodorus asserts, i. 96 the Egyptian priests related, 4k t&v avaypaepwv tUv iv Tats tepats that Orpheus, Muspeus, $ifi\ois. Lycnrgns, Solon, &c, had come to them and moreover, Plato, PyEudoxus, Democritus, thagoras, and CEaopides from Chios, and that relics of these men were still shown These philosophers had in Egypt. burrowed from the Egyptians the

doetrines,

arts,

and

institutions
to the

which they transmitted


;

Hel-

a rationalistic interpretation of the Dodonaic legend of the


(c. 55), and was imposed on the credulous stranger through the assurances of the priests, that what they told about the fate of these women thev had ascertained

from

Pythagoras, for example, lenes his geometry, his theory of numcritus, his astronomical

tivo doves

Demoand transmigration knowledge Lycnrgns, Plato and Solon, their


bers,
;
;

laws.

28

INTRODUCTION.
;

be ascribed to the same source


there

and the more

difficulty

was in explaining these doctrines from native

tradition, the

more readily was

their origin attributed

to races,

long since revered as the teachers of the

Greeks, and whose wisdom enjoyed the highest reputation, because the

unknown has
is

generally a
it

charm

for

the imagination, and seen, as

must

be,

through a

mysterious haze,

wont to look greater than it really Thus, after the period of Neo-Pythagoreism there is. spread, chiefly from Alexandria, the belief that the most important of the ancient philosophers had been instructed by Eastern priests and sages, and that their most characteristic doctrines had been taken from this
source.

This opinion in the following centuries begeneral,


it

came more and more

and

the

later

Neo-

Platonists especially carried

to such an extent that,

according to them, the philosophers had been scarcely

more than the promulgators of doctrines perfected ages before in the traditions of the Asiatic races. No wonder
that Christian authors, even after the time of the Eefor-

mation, continued the same strain, doubting neither the

Jewish statements as to the dependence of Greek Philosophy on the religion of the Old Testament, nor the

which made Phoenicians, Egyptians, Persians, Babylonians and Hindoos the instructors of the ancient Modern science has long ago discarded philosophers.
stories
1

the fables of the Jews respecting the intercourse of the

Among these the Alexandrians were again preeminent. Clemens dwells with especial predilecfion on this theme in his Stromata. Plato to him is simply b e'| E/3paiW 4>iA6ao<pos (Strom, i. 274 B); and
1
;

the Hellenic philosophers generally are represented as having borrowed portions of the truth from the Hebrew prophets, and given them out as their own (ibid. 312 0, 320 A).

OPINIONS OF ANCIENTS

AND MODERNS.
;

20

Greek sages with Moses and the prophets but the idea that Greek Philosophy partly or entirely originated in the Pagan East has more facts to urge in its behalf.
It has also

found support in the high opinion of Oriental

wisdom induced by our better acquaintance with the Chinese, Persian and Indian sacred records, and by our researches into Egyptian antiquity an opinion which
;

harmonizes with certain philosophical speculations concerning a primitive revelation and a golden age. More
sober philosophy, indeed, questioned the truth of these
speculations,

vainly for

and thoughtful students of history sought traces of that high culture which was said
childhood of the world.

to have adorned the

Our

admiration, too, for the Oriental Philosophy, of which,

some fragments had reached the Greeks, has been considerably modified by our growing knowledge of its true content and character. When, in addition to this, the old units

according to

enthusiastic admirers, only

critical

manner

of confusing separate

modes of thought

had been abandoned, and every notion beo*an to be studied in its historical connection, and in relation with the peculiar character and circumstances of the people

among whom

was natural that the differences of Greek and Oriental cultivation, and the selfdependence of the Greek, should again be more strongly
it

appeared,

it

emphasized by those best acquainted with


quity.
recently,
Still,

classical anti-

there have not been wanting, even quite


to maintain that the East

had a decisive influence on the earliest Greek Philosophy; and the whole question seems by no means so entirely settled that the
History of Philosophy can avoid
its

some

repeated discussion.

30

INTR 01) UCTION.


One
point, however,
is

to

be noted, the neglect of


this

which has not un frequently brought confusion into


enquiry.

In a certain sense, the influence of Oriental

conceptions on Greek Philosophy

may

well be admitted

even by those who consider that Philosophy to be purely


a

Greek creation. The Greeks, like the other IndoGermanic races, arose out of Asia, and from this their

earliest

home they must


their religion

originally have brought with

them, together with their language, the general ground-

work of

and manners.

After they had


still

reached their later abodes, they were


fluences which reached

open to in-

them from the Oriental nations, partly through Thrace and the Bosphorus, partly by The national way of the iEgean and its islands.
character of Greece, therefore, was even in
its

origin

under the influence of the Oriental


religion, especially,

spirit,

and Greek

can only be understood on the sup-

position that foreign rites and religious ideas from the

North and South-east were superadded to the

faith of

Greek antiquity, and, in a lesser degree, even to that of The latest of these immigrant gods, the Homeric age. such as Dionysus, Cybele, and the Phoenician Heracles,
can now with sufficient certainty be proved alien in
their origin
;

while in the case of others, in the present

stage of the enquiry,

we have
In

still

to be content with

doubtful
origin of

conjectures.

considering

the

Oriental

Greek philosophy, however, we can only take

into account those Eastern influences, the entrance of

which had nothing to do with the early religion of Greece, or the development of the Greek character
generally
;

for the scope of

our work involves our re-

ORIENTAL ORIGIN OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


garding the philosophy of the Greeks,
primarily,
as a product of
at

31

any rate
;

the Greek spirit

and to
so far

enquire

how

that spirit was formed would be beside the

purpose of the History of Philosophy.


as the Oriental

Only in

element maintained

itself in its sjDecific

character, side by side with the Hellenic element, are

we now concerned with


rect in asserting, as

it.

If,
1

indeed, Roth were cor-

he does, that Philosophy did not


life

spring from the civilisation and spiritual

of the

Greeks, but was transplanted


foreign,
its

among them

as

something

and that the whole

circle of notions lying at

came ready made from without, then, and then only, we might derive Greek Philosophy absolutely from the East. But if, on the other hand, it was the immediate product of the Greek philosophers' own reroot
flection, in that case it has essentially a native origin,

and the question can no longer be whether, as a whole, it came from the East, but whether Oriental doctrines had any share in its formation, how far this foreign influence extended, and to what exten we can still recoo-nize in
it

the Oriental element proper, as distinct from the


element.

Hellenic

These

different

cases

have not
;

always hitherto been sufficiently discriminated

and

the advocates of Oriental influence especially have fre-

quently

neglected

to

explain

whether

the

foreign

element came into Philosophy directly or through the

medium

Greek religion. There is a wide difference between the two alternatives, and it is with the
of the

former alone that we are here concerned.

Those who maintain that Greek Philosophy origin1

Geschichte unserer abcndlandisched Philosophic,

i.

74, 241.

32
ally

INTROD UC TION.
came from the East, support
their opinion partly

on the statements of the ancients, and partly on the

supposed internal affinity between Greek and Oriental


doctrines.
tory.

The

first

of these proofs
it
is

is

very unsatisfac-

Later writers,

true, particularly the adher-

Neo-Pythagorean and Neo-Platonic Schools, speak much of the wisdom which Thales, Pherecydes and Pythagoras, Democritus and Plato, owed to the teaching
ents of the
of

Egyptian

priests,

Chaldeans, Magi, and even Brah-

nians.

But

this evidence could only be valid if


it

we were

assured that

rested on a trustworthy tradition, reaching

back to the time of these philosophers themselves. And who can guarantee us such an assurance ? The assertions
of these comparatively recent authors respecting the

ancient philosophers

must be cautiously received even


references
;

when they mention their sense and critical faculty

for their historical

are almost invariably so dull,

and the dogmatic presuppositions of subsequent philosophy are so intrusively apparent in their language, that

we can
hope

trust very few of

them even

for a correct version

of their authorities, and in no single instance can


for a

we

sound judgment concerning the worth and

origin of those authorities, or an accurate discrimination


of the genuine from the spurious, the fabulous from the
historic.
us,
is

Indeed,

related

when anything, otherwise unknown to by them of Plato, Pythagoras, or any of the


for

ancient philosophers without any reference to authorii

Les,

we may take

granted that the story

is

founded,

in

the great majority of cases, neither on fact nor on

respectable tradition, but at best on

some unauthenti-

eated rumour, and

still

oftener, perhaps, on a misunder-

ORIENTAL ORIGIN OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.

39

standing, an arbitrary conjecture, a dogmatic presupposition, or

even a deliberate invention.

This

is

true in

an especial manner of the question as to the relation of Greek Philosophy with the East for, on the one hand.
;

the Orientals had the strongest inducements of vanity

and

self-interest to invent
;

an Eastern origin

for

Greek
with

science and culture

and, on the other, the Greeks were


It is preciselv

only too ready to allow the claim.

such unauthenticated statements that we have here to


do,

and these statements are

so suspiciously connected

with the peculiar standpoint of the authors who

make

would be very rash to build hypotheses of great importance in history on a foundation so insecure.
them, that
it

If

we put
;

aside,

then, these untrustworthy witnesses.


is

and have recourse to older authorities, the result


better

no

we

find either that they assert

much

less

than

the later writers, or that their assertions are based far

more upon conjecture than historical knowledge. Thales may have been in Egypt we have no certain evidence
:

of the fact

but

it is

not likely that he there learned

more than the

first

rudiments of mathematics.
thence,

That

Pythagoras visited that country, and that his whole


philosophy originated
Isocrates, in a passage

was

first

asserted

by
of

which

is

more than suspected

being a rhetorical

fiction.

Herodotus says nothing

about his having come to Egypt, and represents him


as having derived from the Egyptians only a very few

doctrines and customs, and these at third hand.


distant journeys of Dernocritus are better attested
:

The
but
bar-

what he learnt
barians
VOL.

in the course of

them from the

we
I.

are not certainly informed, for the story of

84

INTROD UCTION.
Atomist Mochus deserves no
credit. 1

the Phoenician

Plato's travels in

Egypt

also

seem to be

historical,

and

have

at

any rate much more evidence in their favour

than the subsequent and improbable statements as to


his intercourse with Phoenicians, Jews, Chaldeans

and

Persians.

Whatever

later authors

may have
of the

said, or

rather surmised, about the fruits of these travels, Plato

himself clearly expresses his


of the Egyptians,

own opinion

wisdom
and
for

when

he ascribes to the Greeks, as

their special characteristic, a taste for knowledge,

2 to the Egyptians, as to the Phoenicians, a love of gain.

As a

fact,

he praises them in various passages, not


3

philosophic discoveries, but for technical arts and political institutions

there

is

not a trace, either in his

own

writings or in credible tradition, of his

having

taken his philosophy from them.


as to the dependence of

Thus the

assertions

Greek on Oriental Philosophy,


that are wholly untrustworthy,
rest,

when we exclude those


small

and rightly understand the

dwindle down to a very

number

even these are not altogether beyond

question, and at most only prove that the Greeks in


particular cases

may have

received

certain

impulses

from the East, not that their whole philosophy was

imported from thence.

more important

result

is

supposed to be derived

from the internal


Oriental doctrines.
1

affinity of the

Greek systems with But even the two most recent advo-

Further details, infra. Bep. iv. 435 E. A passage on which Eitter, in his careful enquiry into the oriental origin of Greek
2

Gesch. dcr Phil,


3
ii.

i.

153 sqq.

Cf. Zeller, Phil, dcr Gr.

Part

358, note 2; also Brandis, Gesch. dcr Gr.-rom. Phil. i. 143.


a, p.

philosophy, rightly lays much stress.

THEORIES OF GLADISCII AXD HO TIL


cates of the theory are not

!)

agreed as to the precise

meaning of
thinks
it

this affinity.

''

Gladisch, on the one hand, 1 *

evident that the principal pre-Socratic systems

reproduced without any material alteration the theories


of the universe of the five chief Oriental nations.

xThe

Philosophy of the Chinese, he considers, reappears in

Pythagoreism
tians in

that of the Hindoos in the Eleatics


;

that of the Persians in Heracleitus

that of the

Egyp-

Empedocles

that of the Jews in Anaxagoras.


less

* Roth,^ on

the other hand, 2 no

distinctly affirms

that Ancient

Greek speculation arose out of Egyptian creeds, intermingled, though not to any great extent except in the cases of Democritus and Plato, with the
ideas of Zoroaster.
'

In Aristotle, he says, Greek Philo;

sophy first freed itself from these influences but in Neo-Platonism Egyptian speculation once more renewed
its

youth, while, at the same time, the Zoroastrian doc-

trines,

with a certain admixture of Egyptian notions,

produced Christianity.
If
shall

we examine
find

impartially the historical facts,

we

ourselves

compelled to reject both these

theories,

and the improbability of an Eastern origin

and character in regard to Greek Philosophy generally


will
1

more and more appear.

The phenomenon which

Einleitungin das Verstandniss dtr Wrttgeschickte,2T\\. 1841,1844. Das Mysterium der Mgyptischcn Pyramiden iind Obdisken, 1846. On Heracleitus, Zeitschrift far Altertkums-Wissenschaft, 1846, No. 121 sq.. 1848 Die No. 28 sqq.
;

Hyperhorcer mid die alien 8eJdnesent Die Religion wad die Philo1866. sophie in ikrer WeUgeschichtliehen
Entu-icJdung, 1852. In -what lows I keep principally to this
treatise.
i.

folla.-t

Gesck.

v.ns.

Abend!.

Phil.

verschleurte Isis, 1849. Empedolcks and die JEgypter, 1858. Heraeieitos und Zoroaster, 1859. Anax-

agoras unddic Israeliten, 1864. Die

74 sqq., 22S sq.. 459 sq. In the second part of this work he ascribes to the doctrines of Zoroaster a share in Pythagoreism.
2

36

INTRODUCTION.
it

Gladisch flunks he perceives, even supposing

to exist,

would admit of a twofold explanation.


either ascribe
it

We

might

to an actual connection between the

Pythagorean Philosophy and the Chinese, between the


Eleatic and the Hindoo, &c.
;

or

we might regard the

coincidence of these doctrines as naturally resulting,

without any external connection, from the universality

Greek genius, or some other cause. In the latter case the phenomenon would give no clue to the origin of Greek Philosophy, nor, however striking such
of the

a fact might appear to us, would


historical

add much to our on the If, knowledge of Greek science.


it
l

other hand, there were really such an external historical

connection as Gladisch assumes

between these Greek

systems and their Eastern prototypes, we ought to be


able in

some way
;

or other to prove the possibility of

such a connection

to show, from a survey of the actual

circumstances, that there

was a probability of such

accurate intelligence concerning Chinese and Hindoo


doctrines having reached Pythagoras and Parmenides

we must
different

explain the inconceivable


Oriental ideas

phenomenon that the did not become intermingled

on their way to Greece, nor in Greece itself, but arrived there and maintained themselves separately, side by side, so as to produce exactly the same number

Greek systems, and that in the very order corresponding to the geographical and historical position
of

of the peoples

among whom they

arose.

Lastly,

must give some kind


theories,
1

of answer to the question

we how

so

evidently

borrowed from Parmenides by


Anaxagoras und
die Israelii en, x. sq.

Cf. especially, in reference to this,

THEORIES OF GLAD1SCII AND ROTII.


Empedocles and Anaxagoras, and
their

;J7

so deeply rooted in

own

doctrines that they

must be considered

their

scientific points of

departure (e.g. the impossibility of

an absolute origination or decease), could be derived in the case of one philosopher from India, in that of a
second from Egypt, in that of a third from Palestine.
All this appears equally impossible, whether

we suppose
impossible

the influence of Oriental doctrines on Greek Philosorjhv


to have been indirect or direct.

That

it

is

to believe in a direct influence of the kind Gladisch

himself admits

;
'

appealing, with justice, to the ut-

terances of Aristotle and of the other ancient authors

concerning the origin of the systems anterior to Plato,

and urging the reciprocal interdependence of these But does the theory become more probable if systems.

we assume

that the Oriental element

'

entered Philo-

sophy through the instrumentality of Greek religion?' 2

Where do we

find in

Greek

.religion, especially in

the

religious tradition
to the pre-Socratic

of the

centuries which gave birth

Philosophy (except, indeed, in the

dogma
it ?

of transmigration), a trace of all the doctrines

to which the philosophers are said to have been led

by

How

is it

credible that a speculative system like

the Vedanta Philosophy

should be communicated by
;

means of Greek mythology to Parmenides and Judaicmonotheism, by means of Hellenic polytheism, to


Anaxagoras
?

How

could the Oriental doctrines after

their convergence in the

Greek religion have issued


this

from
1

it

unchanged in

definite

order

And

niss,

Einhitung in das VerstdndAnax. und &o. ii. o~Q sq.

die Isr. xi. sq.


-

Anax. v.nd

die 1st. xiii.

38
if

IXTIi OD UCTIOX.
they had done
so,

how can

that which the various

philosophies produced from the same source (their national religion), even
it

when they undoubtedly borrowed

one from the other, be referred to utterly different It is easy to meet these objections, Oriental sources?
1

which might be greatly multiplied, by saying, whether all this be possible, and how it may have come about,

we

will

not here enquire, but content

ourselves at

present with simply establishing the facts.

Such an

answer might

suffice if the

evidence for the facts only

included the hearing of unimpeachable witnesses, and But that is by no a comparison of their testimony.

means the case. The proofs of the parallelism between Greek and Oriental doctrines which Grladisch claims
to have discovered, would, under

any circumstances,

demand

investigations

much

too complicated to leave

the question of

its possibility

and reasonableness wholly


his

untouched.
this

we consider parallelism, we are met


If

own

representation of

at decisive points

by such
and
later

uncritical reliance on interpolated writings

and untrust-

worthy statements, such confusion of


concerned, that
it is

earlier

authorities, such arbitrary interpretation of the theories

plain

we have
fact,

to do not merely

with the proof of the historical

but with a connecfarther. 2

tion and interpretation extending

much

We

Loc.cit.xiv.
Cf.

p.

what
;

is

said,

infra,

of

29 sq.) This I do not repeat here, not because Gladisch's counter-

Heracleitus, of Empedocles, and of Anaxagoras also in the text of this passage, as it appeared in the second and third editions, about the Pythagorean and EbaticPhilosophy (Zeller, Phil, der Gr. 3rd ed.

arguments seem to me unanswerable, but because a thorough refutation of his hypothesis would require more space than I can devote to it, and because the derivation of Pythagoreism from China, and the

THEORIES OF GLADISCH ASJ) ROTH.


become involved,
contradictions
in several
:

30

as a

heady remarked,

in the following

that characteristics equally to be found

Greek philosophers must have had an entirely


;

different origin in every case

that doctrines evidently

borrowed by one philosopher from another must have

communicated independently to both from an Eastern source, and to each man from a separate Eastern
been
source
]

that systems which evolved themselves out of


is

one another, in a historic sequence which

indisputable,

must each have merely reproduced what


that Oriental predecessor.
of Gladisch comports

it

had already
construction

received, irrespectively of that sequence, from this or

How
2

little this

with actual facts

may

also

be

n
with

from the impossibility of bringing, into connection


it

two such radical and important phenomena

in

the history of Greek Philosophy as the Ionic Physics


before Heracleitus, and the Atomistic Philosophy.

As
in

to Roth, his view can only be properly considered

the

examination of the separate


is

Greek systems.

So

far as it
it,

carried out, I am,, however, unable to


fail to

agree with

because I

see in his exposition of


.

Egyptian theology a faithful


doctrines of Parmenides from India is really inconceivable, and has i. ever been elsewhere entertained.
Cf. supra, p. 36. Thus according to Gladisch, Pythagoras got his doctrine of Transmigration from China (where, however, it did not originate), and Empedocles his
1

historical picture.

I can-

from the Eleatic doctrine. But the dependence is in this case no. other and no greater than in the caAnaxagoras and Empedocles; and Atomistic has an equal right with
their doctrines to he considered an

independent system.

The omisand

sion of Thales, An;>xhnander,

from Egypt.
2 In regard to the Atomistic philosophy, Gladisch attempts to justify this {Anas, und d.iehr. xiv.) saying that it was developed

Gladisch (loc. cit.) leaves unexplained. Yet Thai the founder of Greek Philosophy, and Anaximander the immediate predecessor of Heracleitus.

Anaximenes,

40

IN TR OD UCTION.
now
enter into a discussion of the philosophy of

not

religion,

nor stop to refute the theory

that abstract

concepts, such as spirit, matter, time and space, and

not presentations of personal beings, formed the original

content of the Egyptian religion, and other religions of


antiquity.
results

must also leave the task of examining the which Both derives 2 from Oriental texts and
I

hieroglyphic

monuments

to

those

better

acquainted

with the
enquiry,

subject.

For the purposes of the present

enough to notice that the affinity assumed by Roth between the Egyptian and Persian doctrines, and the myths and philosophic systems of the Greeks,
it is

can only be proved, even on the authors own showing,


if

we consent

to repose unlimited confidence in untrust-

worthy witnesses, uncertain conjectures and groundless


etymologies.
of
If,

indeed, each transference of the

names

Greek gods

to foreign deities were

an adequate proof

Greek religion would hardly be distinguishable from the Egyptian if it were


of the identity of these gods, the
;

permissible to seek

out barbarian etymologies, even

where the Greek

signification of a

word

is

ready to

hand, 3 we might perhaps suppose the whole mythology,


together with the names of the gods, to have emigrated

from the East to Greece;


1

if

Iamblicbus and Hermes


is
;

Loc.

cit.

p.

50

sq.,

228, 131

sqq.
2 3

Tra.T4ofj.cu,

e.g. p.

131 sqq., 278 sqq.

As, for instance, when Eoth derives Pan and i'ersephone from the Egyptian language translating Pan as Deus cgressus, the emanated creative spirit (loc. cit. 140, 284), and Persephone (p. 162) as the slayer of Perses, i.e. of Eore Seth or Typhon whereas it is clear
;

and comes from irepdw; and that Greek mythology says nothing
Tlip(rr\s

that the rout of Uav Lat. pasCO Tl<;p(re(p6vr), as well as

irdw, Ion.

and

that

Uepcrevs,

of a creator spirit Pan, or of a Perses in the sense of Typhon (if even one of the Hesiodic Titans be so named), or of any slaying of this

Perses by Persephone. 4 Scarcely, however,

even

in

IMPROBABILITY OF THE ORIENTAL THEORY.

41

Trismegistus were classical authorities for Egyptian antiquity, we might congratulate ourselves on the ancient
records

with which they acquaint us, and the Greek philosophical savings which they profess to have dis\

covered
trine of

in old

Egyptian writings;

if

the Atomistic dochistorical fact,

Moschus the Phoenician were a


like Roth, 3

we might,

attempt to find in the theories of

Phoenician cosmology, respecting the primitive slime,


the sources of a doctrine hitherto believed to have been
derived from the metaphysic of the Eleatics.

But

if

the
this,

universal
as

principle

of

criticism be applicable to
viz.

to

other

cases

that
is

history

accepts

nothing as true the truth of which

not guaranteed

by credible testimony, or by legitimate conclusions from such testimony then this attempt of Both will

only show that the most indefatigable efforts are insufficient

to prove

a foreign origin

in regard to the

essential

content
4

of

so

indigenous

production as

Greek
who on

science.

that ease, -with the facility of Both, the strength of the above etymologies, and without citing any authority, transfers the whole mythus of the rape of Persephone and the wanderings of Demeter to the Egyptian mythology, in order then to assert that it first came from Egypt to the Greeks (loc. cit.
p. 162).

Alexandrian syncretism, and worth about as much, in the light of Egyptian historical evidence, as the book of Mormon is in regard
to Jewish.
- For example, the distinction of vovsandrpuxf]- Cf. Roth's Anmer-

kungen,
3
4

Loc.

220 sq. 274 sqq. more detailed examination


p.
cit.

the book of Bitys, which Roth (p. 211 sqq.) (on the ground of a very suspicious passage in the work of the Pseudo-lamblichus on the Mysteries) places in the eighteenth century before Christ. If this book ever existed, it was probably a lute invention of the period of
1

e.g.

of Roth's hypotheses wdl find a fitting place in the chapter on the to fur, according Pythagoreans him, it was Pythagoras who transplanted the whole Egyptian science Cf. and theology into Greece. also what is said of Auaxirnander,
;

infra.

42

INTR OB UCTIOy.

proof of this kind

is,

generally

speaking, very

difficult to establish

when

it is

based solely on internal


not only particular

evidence.

It

may happen

that

notions and customs, but whole series of

them may bear

a resemblance to another series in some other sphere of


civilisation
;

it

may

also

happen that fundamental con-

ceptions

may seem

to repeat themselves without thus

affording adequate proof that they are historically inter-

connected.

Under analogous conditions of develop-

ment, and especially between races originally related


to each other,

many

points of contact invariably arise,

even when these races

have

no actual

intercourse;

chance often brings out surprising similarities in details

and among the more highly civilised races scarcely any two could be named between which striking paralBut though it may be natural lels could not be drawn.
;

in that case to conjecture

an external connection, the


is

existence

of this

connection

only probable

if

the

similarities are so great that they cannot be explained

by the above more general causes.

It

must have been


Dionysus and
;

very astonishing to the followers of Alexander to find

among

the

Brahmans not only

their

Heracles, but also their Hellenic philosophy

to hear

of water being the origin of the world, as with Thales of Deity permeating all things, as with Heracleitus
a transmigration of souls, as with Pythagoras
;

of

and Plato;
l

of five elements, as with Aristotle

of the prohibition

of flesh diet, as with Empedocles and the Orpines

and no doubt Herodotus and


1

his successors

must have
1,

Cf.

sthenes,

the accounts of 3IegaAristobulus, Onesicritus

and >7earchus in soq., p. 712 sqq.

.^trabo xv.

58

IMPROBABILITY OF THE ORIENTAL THEORY.


been often inclined to derive Greek doctrines and usa_

43

from Egypt.

But

for us, all this is not sufficient proof

that Heracleitus, Plato, Thales and Aristotle borrowed


their theorems from the
It
is

Hindoos or Egyptians.

not merely, however, the want of historical

evidence which prevents our believing in the Oriental


origin of

Greek Philosophy

there are several positive

reasons against the theory.


lies

One

of the

most decisive

in the general character of that philosophy.

The

Greek philosophers have, as Eitter well observes, all the simplicity and independence of first attempts and their ulterior development
doctrines of the most ancient
1 ;

is
is

so continuous that the hypothesis of alien influence-

never required to explain

it.

We

see here

no

conflict

of the original Hellenic spirit with foreign elements, no

adaptation of misapprehended formulae and conceptions,

no return to

scientific traditions of the past, in short,

none of the phenomena by which, for example, in the Middle Ages, the dependence of philosophy on foreign
sources
is

evinced.

All developes itself quite naturally


life,

from the conditions of Greek national


to be

and we

shall

find that even those systems which have been supposed

most deeply influenced by doctrines from without,

are in all essential respects to be explained

by the
if

inter-

nal civilisation and spiritual horizon of the Hellenes.

Such a feature would certainly be inexplicable


Philosophy were really so
countries
as

Greek
other

much

indebted

to

some writers both ancient and modern have believed. On this theory there would be another strange and unaccountable circumstance, that the

Gesch. dcr Phil.

i.

172.

44

INTRODUCTION.

theological character of Oriental speculation should be


entirely

Whatever science there was in Egypt, Babylonia or Persia, was in possession of the priestly caste, and had grown up in one mass with the religious doctrines and institutions. In regard to mathematics and astronomy, it is quite
absent

from

Greek

philosophy.

conceivable that Oriental science should have been de-

tached from this

its

religious basis,
;

and transplanted

separately into foreign lands

but

it is

most improbable

that the priests should have held theories about the

primitive constituents and origin of the world, capable


of being transmitted and adopted apart from their doctrines concerning the gods

and mythology.
find

Now

in the

most ancient Greek Philosophy we


nection even with Greek myths
is

no trace of
its

Egyptian, Persian or Chaldaean mythology, and


very slight.

con-

Even

the Pythagoreans and Empedocles only borrowed from the mysteries such doctrines as had no intimate relation with their philosophy (that is, their attempt at a scienneither the Pythagorean tific explanation of nature)
:

doctrine of numbers, nor the Pythagorean and

Empe-

doclean cosmology, can be connected with any theological tradition

as

their source.

The

rest of the pre-

Socratic philosophy does, indeed, remind us in certain


isolated notions of the

mythic cosmogony, but in the


independently of
it.

main

it

developed

itself either quite

the religious belief, or in express opposition to

How

could this possibly be


of the sacerdotal

if

Greek science were an


of the East
?

offshoot

wisdom

We

must

further enquire whether the Greeks at the


first

time of their

attempts at Philosophy could have

IMPROBABILITY OF THE ORIENTAL THEORY.

45

been taught anything considerable in this sphere by


Orientals.

There

is

no historical or even probable

evidence to show that either of the Asiatic nations with

which the)7 came in contact possessed any philosophicscience.

We

hear, indeed, of theological

and eosmofanciful that

logical notions, but all these, so far as they really appear

to go back to antiquity, are so rude

and

them any impulse towards philosophic thought which their own myths could not jnst as well have afforded. The sacred books of Egypt probably contained only prescripts for
the Greeks could scarcely have received from
ritual, ecclesiastical

and
;

civil laws, interspersed

perhaps

with religious mvths

in the scanty notices remaining


is

of their contents there

no trace of the

scientific,

dogmatic theology which modern writers have sought to


discover. 1

To

the Egyptian priests themselves, in the

time of Herodotus, the thought of an Egyptian origin


in regard to

Greek Philosophy never seems to have

occurred, eagerly as they strove, even then, to derive

Greek myths, laws,


1

and
sqq..

religious

ceremonies from

Roth.

loc.

c:t.

p.

112

and p. 122. He appeals to Clemens, Strom, vi. 633 B sqq. Sylb., where the Hermetic books being mentioned it is said there are ten books, to. ds ttjv Tifxrjv aviKoir a tu>u
:

Trap'

sv<ji$eiav
6vu.ot.Tav,

avrols de&v kcu ri)v Alyinrriav TTepiexovra- olov irepl

airapx^v, vauwv, etrx&v, eopriv kcu tcL'V tovtois u/jloiwv, and ten other books vepi T6 vofiwv kcu Qewv kcu T7?s oAtjs 7rcu5eias tS)v Upiwv. But that the contents of these books were even in part scientific, cannot be deduced from the words of Clemens;
TrofxTToov,

even the last-mentioned ten probably treated, not of the nature of the gods, but of religious worship, and perhaps, in connection with this, of mythology when Clemens says that these writings contained the whole 'Philosophy' of the Egyptians, the word must be taken in the indeterminate sense of which I have spoken above, p. 1 sq. Moreover, we do not know in the least how old these books were, or whether they continued up to the time of Clemens without alterations
:

and additions,

40

INTR OD UCTIOX.
little as
1

Egypt, and
parent

they shrank from the most transin

inventions

pursuance of this end.

The

scientific discoveries
2

which they claim to have given to

the Greeks are confined to astronomical determinations


of time.
in

That the doctrine of transmigration originated Egypt is only a conjecture of Herodotus 3 and when
(ii.

he says

109) that the Greeks appear to have learnt

geometry there, he founds the assertion not on Egyptian statements, as Diodorus does, but on his own observation.

This justifies the supposition that in the

fifth

century the Egyptians had not troubled themselves

much about Greek


the
fourth book

or

any other Philosophy.


'

Even

Plato, judging from the previously quoted passage in


of the

Republic,'

must have been

ignorant of the existence of a Phoenician or Egyptian

Philosophy.

Nor does

Aristotle

seem to have been

aware of the philosophic efforts of the Egyptians, willing as he was to acknowledge them as forerunners of 4 Demothe Greeks in mathematics and astronomy.
Thus' (ii. 177) Solon is said have borrowed one of his laws from Amasis, who came to the throne twenty years later than the date of .Solon's code and (c. 118)
1

to

the priests assure the historian that what they related to him about Helen they had heard from Menelaus' own mouth. We have already seen examples of this procedure, supra, p. 27, note 1 2 Herod, ii. 4.
s
ii.

123.

the astronomical observaof the Egyptians (on the conjunctions of the planets with each other and with fixed stars) he appeals in Meteorol. i. 6, 343,
4

To

b 28; and in Metapk. i. 1,981, b 23 Sib irepl AXyvxrov at he says jj-aQ^jxaTiKaX irpwrou rex val cw*aT-qaav. ewe? yap acpeiOri axoXa^iv rb twv Up4u>v eOvos. This very passage, however, makes it probable that Aristotle knew nothing of any philosophic enquiry pursued in Egypt."* He contends loc. cit. that knowledge is on a higher level when it is pursued only for the end of knowing, than when it serves the purposes of practical necessity, and observes, in connection with this,
:

tions

that purely theoretic sciences therefore first arose in places where people were sufficiently free from anxiety about the necessaries of

IMPROBABILITY OF THE ORIENTAL THEORY.


eritus assures us that

47

he himself, in geometrical knowfor the


1

ledge, was quite a

match

acquaintance he made.

So

late

Egyptian sages whose as the time of Diodorus,


in

when Greek

science

had long been naturalised

Egypt,

and the Egyptians in consequence claimed

for themselves

the visits of Plato, Pythagoras, and Democritus, 2 that

which the Greeks are said to have derived from Egypt is confined to mathematical and technical knowledge,
civil

laws, religious institutions,

and myths

3
;

these

Thebans (i. 50) 'that Philosophy and the accurate knowledge of the stars was first invented among them,' for the word
Philosophy
is

only are referred to in the assertion of the

here equivalent to Astronomy.

Admitting, then, that the


referred to

Egyptian mythologies by Diodorus may have given to the congods a naturalistic interpretation in
4

ceptions of the

the spirit of the Stoics


life to

that later syncretists (like the


cians; perhaps Eudemus had already expressed the same opinion, if indeed Proclus in Euclid. 19, o (6-1 f. Eriedl.) took this statement from him. In the fragment in Clemens. Strom, i. 304 A, where he says of himself after mentioning his distant journeys Kal Xoyiccu avQpwiruv
1
:

be able to devote themselves

to such sciences.^he above-quoted words indirectly confirm this assertion.

Had

Aristotle

considered

Philosophy as well as Mathematics to be an Egyptian product, he would have been particularly unlikely to omit it in this connection, since it is Philosophy of which he
asserts that as a purely theoretical

irAeiffTccv

science

stands higher than all merely technical knowledge. That the rudiments of astronomy came to the Greeks from the barbarians, and more particularly from the Syrians and Egyptians, we are told in the ESpinomis of Plato 986 Esq. 987 D sq. Similarly Strabo xvii. 1. 3, p. 787. ascribes the invention of Geometry to the Egyptians, and that of Arithmetic to the Phoeniit

|vi/0eVios fxera

^e

Kal ypaixuewv a-FoBe^os ovSeis kw 7rap^AAa|e, oi>5' ol Alyvirriwv

iarjKovaa

KaXeofievoL 'Ap-rrsBo- dirrai.

The in-

terpretation of the last word is questionable, but the term must in any case include those of the Egyptian sages who possessed t most geometrical knowledge.
2 3
4

i. 96, 98. Of. c. 16, 69, 81, 96 sqq. Diod. i. 11

48

IN TR 01) UCTION.

author of the book on the mysteries of the Egyptians,

and the theologians quoted by Damascius) may have imported their own speculations into Egyptian myths
1

that there

may have

existed in the time of Posidonius a

Phoenician manuscript reputed to be of great antiquity,

and passing under the name of the philosopher Moschus 2 that Philo of Byblus, under the mask of or Moehus
Sanchuniathon,

may have

constructed a rude cosmology

from Phoenician and Greek myths, from the Mosaic history of creation, and from confused reminiscences of
Philosophy

such questionable witnesses can in no way


among
these nations, at

prove the real existence of an Egyptian and Phoenician


Philosophy.

Supposing, however, that

the time that the Greeks became acquainted with them, philosophic doctrines had been found, the transmission
of these doctrines to Greece was not at all so easy as

may

perhaps

be

imagined.

Philosophic conceptions,

especially in the childhood of Philosophy, are closely

bound up with their expression in language, and the knowledge of foreign languages was rarely to be met
with among the Greeks.
preters,

On

the other hand, the inter-

educated as a rule for nothing but commercial

intercourse and the explanation of curiosities, were of


little

use in enabling people to understand instruction

in philosophy.

Moreover, there

is

not a single allusion,

on which we can rely, to the use of Oriental svorks by Greek philosophers, or to any translations of such works.
1

I) c

Prince. 125.

Damascius
oi

expressly calls

them

Al-yvirnoi

Had' r]ucis^)th6ao(poiyeyoj/6Ts.

They

"worthy source fur the history of Egyptian antiquity. J Vide infra, the chapter on
'

are

therefore

the most

untrust-

Democritus.

NATIVE SOURCES OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


If

40

we ask

ourselves, lastly,

by what means the

doctri:

of the Hindoos and the other nations of Eastern Asia

could have been carried into Greece before the time


of Alexander,

we

shall find

that

the matter presents

numerous

difficulties.

All such considerations as these


:

would, of course, yield to well-attested facts


a different matter

but

it is

where we are concerned, not with

historical facts, but for the present with tures.

mere conjecits

If the Eastern origin of

Greek Philosophy were

to be maintained by trustworthy evidence, or by

own

internal characteristics, our conception of the scientific

condition of the Eastern nations and of the relation in

which the Greeks stood to them must be formed in


accordance with that fact
is
:

but since the fact in

itself

neither demonstrable

nor probable,
its

it

is

rendered

still

more improbable by

want of harmony with what

we know from other

sources on these two points.

II.

The.

Native Sources of Greek Philosophy.

RELIGION.

We
cedents

have no need, however, to seek for foreign ante:

the philosophic science of the Greeks

is

fullv

explained by the genius, resources, and state of


sation

civili-

of the Hellenic

tribes.
its

If ever

there

was a
Greeks

people capable of creating

own

science, the

were that people.


culture, the

In the most ancient records of their

Homeric Poems, we already meet with that freedom and clearness of spirit, that sobriety and moderation, that feeling for the beautiful and harmonious, which place these poems so distinctly above the heroic
VOL.
I.

60

iyTJt OB UCTION.
exception.
;

legends of all other nations without


scientific

Of

endeavour, there

is

nothing as yet

no neces-

sity is felt to investigate the natural causes of things

the writer

is

content to refer

them

to personal authors

and divine powers, the explanation that comes uppermost in the childhood of mankind. The technical art*
which support science, are in a very elementary stage in the Homeric period even writing is unknown.
too,
;
'

But when we consider the glorious heroes of the Homeric Poems when we see how everything, each phenomenon

of nature, and each event of

human

life, is set

forth in

pictures which are as true as they are artistically perfect

when we study the

simple and beautiful develop-

ment

of these masterpieces, the grandeur of their plan,

and the harmonious accomplishment of their purposes, we can no longer wonder that a nation capable of apprehending the world with an eye so open, and a spirit so unclouded, of dominating the confused mass of phenomena with so admirable a sense of form, of moving
in life so freely

and surety

that

such a nation should

soon turn

its

attention to science,

should not be satisfied

and in that field merely with amassing knowledge


strive to

and observations, but should


lars

combine particufor

into

a whole, to

find

an intellectual focus

isolated

phenomena, to form a theory of the universe based on clear conceptions, and possessing internal unity to produce, in short, a Philosophy/ How natural
;

is

the flow of events even in the Homeric world of gods!


find ourselves, indeed, in the

We

wonderland of imagi-

nation, but

how seldom

are

we reminded by anything
and disturbing an

fantastic or monstrous (so frequent

THE RELIGION OF THE GREEKS.

51

element in Oriental and Northern mythology) that this fabled world is wanting in the conditions of reality

Amidst
is

all

the poetry

how

clearly

we recognise that

sane and vigorous realism, that fine perception of what

harmonious and natural, to which, in later times,


study of the universe and of man, this

after deeper

same Homeric heaven necessarily proved such a stumbling-block.


of the

Thus, although the intellectual culture


is

Homeric period
the peculiar

separated by a wide inter-

val from the rise of philosophy,


in
it

we can already

trace

genius

out of which Philosophy

sprang.
It
is

the farther

development of

this

genius as

manifested in the sphere of religion, of moral and civil

and in the general cultivation of taste and of the intellect, which constitutes the historical preparation for
life,

Greek Philosophy. The religion of the Greeks,


relation partly

like

every positive

religion, stands to the philosophy of that people in a

of

affinity
it

and partly of opposition.

What
races,

distinguishes

however,
it

is

from the religions of all other the freedom which from the very
attention
first

beginning
thought.
ritual

allowed to the evolution of philosophic

If

we turn our
its oldest

to the public
is

and popular

faith of the Hellenes, as it

repre-

sented to us in

and most authentic records,


Hesiod,
its

the poems of

Homer and
is

importance in the

development of philosophy cannot be mistaken.


religious presentation

The
the
all

always, and so also

among

Greeks, the form in which the interdependence of

phenomena and the

rule of invisible powers


E
'l

and uni-

52

IXTROD UCTION.
laws
first

versal

attains

to

consciousness.

However
knowledge

great

may

be the distance between faith in a divine


scientific

government of the world, and the

and explanation of the universe as a connected whole, they have at any rate something in common. Religious faith, even under the polytheistic form it assumed in Greece, implies that what exists and happens in the world depends on certain causes concealed from sensuous perception.

Nor

is

this all.
all

The power

of the

gods must necessarily extend over

parts of the world,

and the plurality of the gods is reduced to unity by the dominion of Zeus and the irresistible power of

Thus the interdependence of the universe is proclaimed all phenomena are co-ordinated under the same general causes by degrees fear of the power of the gods and of relentless Fate yields to confidence in the divine goodness and wisdom, and a fresh problem
Fate.
; ;

presents itself to reflection


this

viz. to

pursue the traces of


Philosophy,

wisdom in the laws of the indeed, has itself been at work

universe.

in this purification of
first

the popular faith, but the religious notion

con-

tained the germs from which the purer conceptions of

Philosophy were afterwards developed.

Greek religious belief, also, was not without influence on Greek Philosophy. The Greek religion belongs in its general character to the

The peculiar nature

of

class of natural religions

the Divine, as
is

is

sufficiently

proved by the plurality of gods,


Finite,

represented under

a natural figure essentially of the

same kind

as the

and only exalted above it in degree. Man, therefore, does not need to raise himself above the

THE RELIGION OF THE GREEKS.


nature, that he

53

world that surrounds him. and above his own actual

Deity

outset.

communion with the he feels himself related to God from the very Xo internal change of his mode of thought,
enter into of
is

may

no struggle with his natural impulses and inclinations,


is

demanded

him
is

on the contrary,

all

that

is

in

human
most

nature

legitimate in the sight of

most godlike man


effectually,

he who cultivates
religious

God the Ms human powers


that which
is

and

duty essentially consists

in man's doing to the glory of

God

acis

cording to his own nature.

The same stand-point

evident in the Philosophy of the Greeks, as will be

shown further on; and, though the philosophers


rule,

as a

took few of their doctrines directly from religious

tradition,

and were often openly

at variance

with the

popular faith, still it is clear that the


to

mode

of thought

which the Hellenes had become accustomed in their


their scientific
It

religion was not without influence on

tendencies.

was inevitable that from the naturalistic


first

religion of Greece there should arise, in the


stance, a naturalistic philosophy.

in-

The Greek

religion, furthermore,

is

distinguished
it

from other naturalistic religions in that

assigns the

highest place in existence neither to external nature,

nor to the sensuous nature of man, as such, but to hu-

man

nature that
is

is

beautiful and transfigured by spirit.

Man

not, as in the

East, so entirely the slave of

external impressions that he loses his


in the forces

own independence
he
is

of nature,

and

feels that

but

part of nature, irresistibly involved in

its vicissitudes.

Neither does he seek his satisfaction in the unbridled

54

IKTM01) UCTION.
rude and half-savage races.

-freedom of

But, while

living and acting with the full sense of liberty, he considers

that the highest exercise of that liberty

is

to

obey the universal order as the law of his own nature.


Although, therefore, in this religion, Deity
as similar to
is

is

conceived

man,
it.

it is

not

common human
is

nature that

ascribed to

gods idealised as
their essential

Not only the image


is

the outer form of the

of the purest beauty, but


case
of the

nature, especially in the

Hellenic gods proper,


activities.

formed by ideals of human

The

relation of the

Greek to

his gods

was
no

therefore free and

happy

to an extent that

we

find in

other nation, because his


idealised in

own nature was


affinity,

reflected

and

them

so that, in

contemplating them, he

found himself at once attracted by


to purchase this boon by the pain
ternal conflict.

and elevated

above the limits of his own existence, without having

and trouble of an inThus, the sensuous and natural become


;

the immediate embodiment of the spiritual

the whole

religion assumes an aesthetic character, religious ideas

take the form of

poetry

divine worship

and the
;

object of that worship are

made
is

material for art

and

though we are

still,

speaking generally, on the level of


only regarded as the

naturalistic religion, nature

manifestation of Deity, because of the spirit which reveals itself in nature.

This idealistic character of the

Greek religion was no doubt of the highest importance in the origin and formation of Greek philosophy. The exercise of the imagination, which gives universal
significance to the particulars of sense,
is

the prepara-

tory stage for the exercise of the intellect which, at-

THE RELIGIOX OF THE GREEKS.


stracting from the particular
as

66
for the

such,

seeks
of

general essence and

universal causes

phenomena.

While, therefore, the Greek religion was based upon an


ideal

and

aesthetic

view of the world, and encouraged to


setting forth this view,

the utmost
it

all artistic activity in

must have had indirectly a stimulating and emancipating effect upon thought, and have prepared the way
for

the scientific study of things.

From

material

point of view, this idealistic tendency of religion was


beneficial principally to

Ethics

but from a formal


all

point of view, the influence of religion extended to


parts of Philosophy
;

for

Philosophy presupposes and

requires an endeavour to treat the sensible as a manifes-

and to trace it back to spiritual causes. Some of the Greek philosophers may possibly have been
tation of spirit,

too rash in their procedure in that respect

but this

we shall not at present consider. The more readily we admit that their doctrines often give us the impression
of a philosophic

poem

full

of bold inventions, rather

than a work of science, the more clearly we shall see


the

connection
of the

of those

doctrines

with the

artistic

genius

Greek nation, and with the

aesthetic

character of

its religion.

But although G-reek Philosophy may owe much to religion, it owes more to the circumstance that its dependence on religion never went so far as to prevent, or
essentially to
restrict,

the free

movement

of science.

The Greeks had no hierarchy, and no inviolable dogmatic code. The sacerdotal functions were not with them the exclusive property of a class, nor were the priests
the only mediators between the gods and

men

but

56

INTRODUCTION.

each individual for himself, and each community for


itself,

had a right to

offer

up

sacrifices

and prayers.

In

Homer, we
self,

find kings

and

chiefs sacrificing for their

subjects, fathers for their families, each person for

him-

without the intervention of priests.

Even

at a later

when the development of a public cult in temples gave more importance to the sacerdotal order, the funcperiod,
tions of the priests were always limited to certain offer-

ings

and ceremonial observances


;

in

their particular
offered by the

localities
laity,

prayers and sacrifices were


class of

still

and a whole

matters relating to religious

ceremonial were

left,

not to priests, but to public func-

tionaries designated

by

election, or

by

lot

in part in
state
priests,

combination with
to

officers of

the

individuals

and heads of

families.

community or The

therefore, as a class, could never acquire an influential

position in Greece at all comparable with that Tvhich

they enjo}T ed

among
is

the Oriental nations.

Priests of

certain temples, it

true, did attain to considerable

importance on account of the oracles connected with


those temples, but, on the whole, the priestly office conferred far

more honour than influence;

it

was a

politi-

cal dignity, in respect to

which reputation and external


2

qualifications

were more regarded than any particular


;

mental capability
1

and Plato

is

quite in

harmony

This, by the way, is one of themost striking arguments against the hypothesis of any considerable transmission of cults and myths into Greece from the East; for

these Oriental cults are so closely bound up with the hierarchical system that they could only have

been transmitted in connection with If this had anywhere been the case, we should find the importance of the priests become greater the farther we went back into antiquity, whereas in point of fact it is exit.

actly the contrary,


z

Polit.

290

C.

THE RELIGION OF THE GREEKS.


with the spirit
of his

57

country when

he makes the
1

priests, in spite of all the

honours accorded to them,

merely servants of the


there
is

commonwealth.

But where
a
for there

no hierarchy, a dogmatic code, in the sense of


is

general law of faith,


are

manifestly impossible
it.

no organs to frame and maintain


it

Even

in itself,

however,

would have been contrary


That religion
is

to the essence of

Greek

religion.

not a finished and per-

grown up from one particular spot. The ideas and traditions which the Greek races brought with them from their original abodes were carried by each individual tribe, community and family into different surroundings, and subjected to influences of the most various kinds. Thus, there arose a multiplicity
fected system that had

of local rites and legends

and from

these, a

common

Hellenic faith gradually developed

itself,

not by the

systematising of theology, but by a free convergence

which convergence the most important factor, beside the personal intercourse and religious ceremonies of the national games and festivals, was Art,
of minds
;

in

and above

all,

Poetry.

This explains the

fact, that in

Greece there was never, properly speaking, a system of


religious doctrine generally admitted, but only a
;

mythology and that the conception of orthodoxy was absolutely unknown. Every one was indeed required to honour the gods of the State and those who were
;

convicted of withholding the prescribed honours, or of


trying to overthrow the religion of the State, were
often
1

visited

with

the

severest
cler

punishments.

But

Cf.

Hermann. Lehrhuch
,

44

sq. for

more detailed proofs

Griech. Antiqidtaten

ii.

158

sqq.,

the above statements.

58

INTR OB UCTION.
itself

though Philosophy
in

was thus hardly dealt with,


its

the person of some of

representatives, on the

whole, the relation of individuals to the faith of the

community was

far

freer

than

among
of
faith

nations

who

possessed a definite

confession

guarded by
Greeks

a powerful priesthood.

The
;

severity

of the

against religious innovation had immediate reference

not to doctrines, but to cult

only so far as a doctrine

seemed

to

involve consequences prejudicial to public


it

worship did

become the object of

attack.

As

to

theological opinions, properly so called, they were left

unmolested.

The Greek

religion possessed neither a

body of theological doctrine nor written sacred records. It was founded entirely upon traditions respecting
the temples, descriptions of the poets, and notions of the people
:

moreover, there was scarcely any tradition


in that

which was not contradicted by others, and


lost

way
its

much

of

its

authority.

Thus, in Greece, faith was

too indefinite and elastic in its form to admit of

exercising upon reason either an internal supremacy,


or

an external restraint, to the extent that we find to


This free attitude of Greek science in respect to

have been the case in other countries.


religion was full of important results, as will be evi-

dent

if

we consider what would have become


All the historical analogies that

of

Greek

Philosophy, and indirectly

of our own, without this

freedom.

we can adduce
na-

will give us

but one answer

namely, that the Greeks


philosophic science.

would then have been


tions to attain

as little able as the Oriental

an

independent

The

speculative impulse might indeed have been awake,

THE RELIGION OE THE GREEKS.


but, jealously watched as
it

59

would have been by theology,

internally

cramped by religious presupposition?, and shackled in its free movement, thought could scarcelv

have produced anything more than a religious speculation akin to the ancient theologic cosmologies and
;

even supposing that at a


turned to other questions,

much
it

later

period

it

had

could never have had the

acuteness, freshness, and freedom by which the Philo-

sophy of Greece became the teacher of

all

the

ao-es.

The Hindoos were the most


yet

speculative nation of the

East, and their civilisation was of the highest antiquity,

how

greatly inferior were they, as regards philoso!

phic achievement, to the Greeks


said of the Christian

The same must be


Philosophy in

and

Mohammedan

the Middle Ages, though

this.

preceded by the Greek.

had the advantage of being In both cases, the principal and the Greeks

cause of the inferiority manifestly lay in the depen-

dence of science upon positive dogmas

are to be considered as singularly fortunate in having

escaped this dependence through the force of their


peculiar genius, and the favourable course of their historical

development.

It has been usually supposed that

between Philo-

sophy and the religion of the mysteries a closer bond exists. In the mysteries, according to this view, a
purer, or at any rate a

more
;

speculative, theology was

imparted to the initiated


teries,

and, by

means of the mys-

the secret doctrines of Eastern priests were transmitted to the Greek philosophers, and through them to
the Greek people in general.
better foundation than the one

But this theory lias no we have just been dis-

GO

IXTJR OB UCTIOX.
It
is

cussing in regard to Oriental Science.

proved

beyond a doubt, by the most recent and thorough


investigations
l

of the subject, that originally no philo-

sophic doctrines were conveyed in these religious cere-

monies

and that at a

later period,

when such doctrines


this occurred

began to be connected with the mysteries, under the, influence of scientific researches.

Philosophy,

therefore, should be regarded rather as having imparted

wisdom
them.

to the mysteries than as having received it from

The mysteries were

originally, as

we have every

reason to believe, ritualistic solemnities, which, in their


religious

import and character, differed nothing from

the public worship of the gods, and were only carried on


in secret because they were designed for

community,

sex, or class, to the exclusion of

some particular any other,

or because the nature of the divinities to

whom

they
for

were sacred demanded this form of

cult.

The

first,

example, applies to the mysteries of the Idaean Zeus and


the Argive Here, the second to the Eleusinian mysteries,

and

especially to the

secret rites

of the

Chthonian

deities.

Mysteries

first

appeared in a certain opposition

and forms of worship which had gradually disappeared from the one were maintained in the other, and partly because foreign rites like those of the Thracian Dionvsus and
to public religion, partly because elder cults

Among which the following have been chiefly consulted Lobeck's fundamental work (Aglaophamus, 1829), and the short but thorough exposition of Hermann
1
:

(Griech. Antiq.
cially Preller's

ii.

149 sqq.), espeDemcter mid Per-

sephone, as well as his investiga-

(under the Mysteria, Elcu&inia, Orpheus) lastly, the Griechische Mythologie of the same author. On the mysteries in general, cf. also Hegel's Phil, der Gcschichte, 301 sq. Muthetilc, ii. 57 sq. Phil, der Rel. ii. 150 sqq.
der
Klass.
Alterth.

headings

Mythologie,
;

tions in Pauly's Rccd-Encyklopxedie

THE RELIGION OF THE MYSTERIES.


the Phrygian Cybele were introduced as private cults

under the form of mysteries, and blended themselves, in


course of time,
rites.

more

or less with the ancient secret

But

in neither case can the mysteries have con-

tained philosophic theorems, or doctrines of a purer

theology essentially transcending the popular faith.

This

is sufficiently

proved by the circumstance that the


priests possessed

mysteries most frequently celebrated were accessible to


all

the Greeks.

For even had the


?

any
to

higher wisdom, how could they have imparted


such a mixed multitude

it

And what

are

we
a

to think of

a secret philosophic doctrine into

which

whole nation

could be initiated without a long course of previous in-

and without having its faith shaken in the traditional mythology? Speaking generally, it is not at
struction,
all in

keeping with the habits of the ancients to take

advantage of ceremonial observances for the purpose of


instructing the people by

means of
classical

religious discourses.

Julian might

make
;

the

attempt in imitation of
times there
is

Christian customs
single instance of

but in
it,

not a

nor does any trustworthy witness

ever assert that the mysteries were designed for the instruction of those

cular

who took part end appears far more in


;

in them.

Their partirites,

those sacred

the

witnessing of which was the privilege of the initiated

(Epoptae)

whatever oral communication was combined

with these ceremonies seems to have been restricted to


short liturgical formulae, directions for the performance
of the holy rites, and sacred traditions As Lobeck, loe. cit. i. 6 sqq.. has exhaustively shown. Leibniz, with the sound historical judgment
1

Ispol \6yoi), like


-

"which distinguishes him. expr himself to the same effect in the Preface to the Tkeodicee, section 2.

62

IXTIi OD UCTION.

those which were elsewhere connected with particular


acts of worship
;

tales

about the founding* of cults and


in a word,

holy places, about the names, origin, and history of the

gods to
or even

whom

this

worship was sacred

my-

thological explanations of the cult given

by the

priests,

by laymen, to those who asked for them. These liturgical and mythological elements were afterwards made use of to combine philosophical and theological
doctrines with the mysteries, but that such was the case

from the beginning


There
is

is

a theory

without foundation.
for it,

no trustworthy authority
it is

and on general

grounds

unlikely that the mythopceic imagination

should ever have been dominated by philosophic points


of view; or that at a later period there should have been

introduced into mystic usages and traditions ideas and


hypotheses which the scientific reflection of the Greeks

had not

as yet attained.

In course of time, indeed, with

the deepening of the moral consciousness, the mysteries


gradually acquired a higher signification.
school of the
are parallel to
1

When

the
first

Orphics, whose doctrines from the

Greek Philosophy, was founded


1

in the

The

first

certain trace of the

Orphic writings, and of the Orphico-Dionysiac consecrations, is to be found in the well-attested statement (vide Lobeck, loc. cit i. 331 sqq., 397 sqq., 692 sqq. cf. Gerhard, U(bi.r Orpheus und die Or;

phiker,

Abhandlungen
;

cier

Berl.

Hist. Phil. Kl. p. 22, Acad. 1861 Schuster, Be vet. OrphiccB 75 theogonicB indole, 1869, p. 46 sqq.) that Ouomacritus (who resided at the court of Pisistratus and his sons, and with two or three other persons, undertook the collection
;

Homeric poems) published, under the names of Orpheus and Musseus, oracular sayings and hymns (TeAerat) which he had himself composed. This forgery falls somewhere between 640 and 520 B.C. It is probable, however, not only that Orphic hymns and oracles had been in circulation previously to this, but that the union of the Dionysiac mysteries with the Orphic poetry had long ago been accomplished. Two or three
of the

generations later, the names of the Orphics and Bacchics were used

THE RELIGION OF THE MYSTERIES.


sixth century before
Christ, or even earlier, the

03
in-

fluence of the philosophers

upon

this

mystic theology

seems to have been

far greater
;

than the reaction of the

theologians upon Philosophy


sider particular detail, the

and the more we conit

becomes whether on the whole Philosophy ever borrowed anything considerable from the mysteries or mystic doctrines.

more doubtful

There are two points especially, in regard to which


the mysteries are supposed to have exercised an important influence on Philosophy
:

these are

Monotheism

and the hope of a future life. A speculative interpretation has also been given to some other doctrines, but
they appear to contain nothing beyond the
by Herodotus (ii. 81) as identical, and Philolaus appeals in support
of the doctrine of transmigration {videinfra, Pythag.) to the utterances of the ancient theologians and soothsayers, by whom we must chiefly understand Orpheus and the other founders of the Orphic mysteries. Aristotle's testimony certainly cannot be adduced in favour of the higher antiquity of Philoponus the Orphic theology.

common

their form that they are not a quotation from Aristotle, but a remark of Philoponus and he is probably
;

only repeating a Neo-Platonic expedient, by which the Aristotelian criticism of the Orphic poems was to be rendered harmless; that Aristotle never so expressed himself is clear, from the passage in Cicero, N. B. i. 38, 107, which probably refers to the same writing of Aristotle Orpheum Poetam docet
:

indeed observes {Be an. F, 5, in reference to a passage from Aristotle, Be an. i. 5, 410, b. 28) that Aristotle, speaking of the Orphic poems, says the poems 'called'' Orphic
eVeiSrj fxr) So/cel 'Op<p4cos eivai ra eirrj, &s Kal avrbs iu to7s irepl (piKococplas \eyei avrov /xhu yap etVt to 807'

Aristoteles

nunquam
;

fuisse.

The

fxara

'

ravra 84

(pr/cnv

(for

which
read Kara-

we

ought,

most

likely,

to

<paa\v) ovo/xa Kpelrrov iveneae

TeTvai

KtxTaQtivai).
jj.ev

(read 'Ovo/xaKpLTov eV eirecri But the words civtov yap eia ra doyp.aTa show by

Orphic theogony is not ascribed to Onomacritus other Orphic writings are said to have been composed by Cercops, the Pythagorean Brontinus, Zopyrus of Heraclea (the same who worked with Onomacritus at the edition of Homer), Prodicus of Samos, and others. ^Suidas, 'Op<p. Clemens, Strom, i. 333 A: cf. Schuster loc. cit. and For further remarks p. 00 sq.
vide infra.)

64

IXTROD UCTIOX.
1

Even, however, and ordinary thoughts of all mankind. in these two cases, the influence seems neither so
certain

nor so

considerable

as

lias

commonly been

believed.

In regard to the unity of God, the theistic


is

conception proper

as little to be

found in the mystic

as in the popular theology.

It is impossible to

imagine
2

how

the unity of

God

in the Jewish or Christian sense

could be incidcated at the feasts of the Eleusinian


deities,

or

of the Cabiri, or of Dionysus.

It

is

different matter, certainly, in respect to the

pantheism

which appears in a fragment of the Orphic theogony, 3 where Zeus is described as the beginning, middle, and end of all tilings, the root of the earth and sky, the
substance and essence of air and of
;

fire,

the sun and


his his

moon, male and female where the sky is called head, the sun and moon are his eyes, the air is
breast, the earth his body, the lower world

his foot,

the aether his infallible, royal, omniscient reason.


a pantheism

Such

soil

was not incompatible with polytheism, which the mysteries never quitted. As the

gods of polytheism were in truth only the various


1

For example, the mythus of

Empedocles to have made allusion


to

tie slaying ofZagreus by the Titans (for further details cf. Lobeck, i. 615 sqq.), to which the Neo-Platonists, and before them even the Stoics, had given a philosophic interpretation.

it v. 70
2

(142).

"We find the unity of God in


sense

hut which

in

its

original

only a crude variation of the well-worn theme of the death of Nature in winter, with which the thought of the decay of youth and This its beauty was connected. myth had no influence on the earlier philosophy, even if we suppose

meaning
rather

was

probably

affirmed in so-called (Orphica, ed. Hermann, Fr. 1-3), of which some were probably, and others certainly, composed or altered by Alexandrian Jews. 3 Vide Lobeck, p. 520 sqq.; and Hermann, Fr. 6. Similarly the fragment from the Atadrjiccu (in
this

Orphic

fragments

Lobeck,

p.

440j in Hermann, Fr. 4)


'AtS^s, els "H\tos, Oebs ev -navreocri.

was

els Zeus, els

e?s Ai6vvcros, els

THE EELIGIOX OF THE MYSTERIES.


parts

65

and
of

forces of the world, the different spheres of

nature and of
tions

human

life,

it

is

natural that the relathemselves,

these

spheres

among
;

and the
all

preponderance of one of them over others, should in

time be brought to light


deities

and, therefore, in

highly

developed naturalistic religions, we see that kindred

become blended together, and the whole polytheistic Olympus is resolved into the general concep-

tion of an all-embracing divine essence (Ozlov).

But
is

the Greek religion, because of


just one of those which
definite forms of deity.

its plastic

character,

most

resists

this

fusion of

In Greece, consequently, the

idea of the divine unity was arrived at less by


.syncretism

way

of

than of criticism
into one, but

not

by blending the

many gods
polytheism.
first

by combating the principle of The Stoics and their successors were the
to reconcile

who sought

polytheism

with their

philosophic pantheism, by giving a syncretic interpretation to polytheism


;

the older pantheism of Xenophanes

was, on the contrary, bitterly and openly hostile to the

doctrine of the plurality of gods.

The pantheism
above described,

of
is

the Orphic poems,

in

the form
first

probably

much

later

than the

beginnings of Orphic

literature.

The

XiadrjicaL are certainly not anterior to


;

the Alexandrian Syncretism

nor can the passage restands, date from the


'

specting the theogony, as

it

now

time of Onomacritus, to which Lobeck


greater part of the poem.

assigns the

For

this passage

was in
in

close connection with the story of Phanes-Ericapsus,

devoured

by

Zeus.
1

Zeus
Loc.
cit,

includes
611.

all

things

VOL.

I.

66

IXTJROD UCTIOX.
because
or
lie

himself,

swallowed

the

already

created
all

world,

Phanes, that he might then produce

things

from himself.

We
l

the swallowing of Phanes


of the Orphic theogony.

show that originally formed no part


shall presently

We
may

must, therefore, in

all

cases distinguish the original text of the Orphic passage

from the modifications


gone.

it

afterwards have under-

As part of the original text we may apparently


is
3
:

claim the verse so frequently quoted, 2 and which probably referred to by Plato
Zevs Kecpa\r]
)

Zei/s fxeaaa,

Albs

8' tic

navTa. ttvktcli.*

The

idea in this verse, however, and other similar ideas

to be found in those portions of the Orphic writings

supposed to be ancient, contain nothing essentially in

advance of a conception familiar to Greek religion, and


the gist of which was already expressed by

Homer when
5

he

calls

Zeus the Father of gods and men.

The unity

of the divine element which polytheism itself recognises,

was made concrete in Zeus as king of the gods

and

so far, all that exists

and

all

that happens

is

ulti-

mately referred to Zeus.

This idea

may

perhaps be

expressed by calling Zeus the beginning, middle, and

end of

all

things

but the expression certainly does not


the circumstance that the words quoted from Orpheus by Proclus in Timans, 310 D Plat. Theol. 17, tw 5e Aiicy -koXvtoivos 8, p. 363: e\j>enreTo, coincide with the Pla;

1 In the enquiry into the Orphic cosmogony, infra. 2 Ap. Proclus in Thnmts, 95 F, and the Platonic scholiast, p. 451,

Bekk.
s

Lavs,

iv.

715 E.

Further

references as to the employment of this verse by the Stoics, Platonists, Neo-Pythagoreans and others, are

Aiktj is also called tonic passage. iroKvnoivos in Parmenides v. 14.


;

given by Lobeck, p. 529 sq. This theory is supported by

also Terpander (about 650 b a), Fr. 4 Zcu tt&vtwv apx& 7iav;a>y LyrjTwp.
Cf.
:

THE RELIGION OF THE MYSTERIES


imply that Zeus
of all thing-.
1

67

himself the ideal comjilet^Iiibegriff) There is consequently no evidence that


is

the standpoint of the religious notion, which conceives


the gods as personal beings, side by side with the world,

has here been exchanged for that of philosophic speculation,

which regards them as representing the general


case
is

essence of the universe.

The

somewhat

different

in regard

to the

second point in question, belief in immortality.

The

doctrine of metempsychosis seems really to have passed

from the theology of the mysteries into Philosophv. Even this doctrine, however, was in all probabilitv
originally connected, not with
all,

but only with the

Bacchic and Orphic mysteries.

Those of Eleusis, being

sacred to the Chthonian divinities, were regarded as


specially important in their influence
life.

The Homeric hymn

to

upon man's future Demeter already speaks of


2

the great difference in the other world between the lots

and there are later eulogies of these mysteries, from which it is clear that they guaranteed happiness not only in this life, but in
;

of the initiated and uninitiated

the

life

to come. 3

There

is

nothing here, however, to

imply that the souls of the initiated are to

come

to life

again, or that they are immortal in any other sense

than was admitted by the ordinary faith of the Greeks.


1

Even monotheism allows


such
/ecu

exkcl\

oAfiios,

bs t<x5'

uircanev

litixQoviwv
t'

pressions
8t'

as

abrov

avOpuTrw
bs
8'

abrov

(Is

(Romans
K<xl

xi.

36)

eV

abrov ra iravra

o.t*\7]s

Upxv, bs

zfifjiopos,

abry

&ij.ev

ovirod' o/xoiritf

Kivovixeda

17, 28),

/ecu icr/x4v (Apg. without meaning by them

aiaav ex 6I ebpwevn.
>

(pQ'i/J-evos

wep, vnb 6<p&

that the Finite

is

actually

merged

^
2

eity
v.

;o ft 480 sqq.

3 Cf the references l 69 N-

in

Lobeck,

F 2

68

INTRODUCTION.
fields
1

In this world wealth and fruitful

were expected

from Demeter and her daughters in return for worship rendered to them and in a similar manner, after death,
;

the partakers of the mysteries were assured that they

should dwell in Hades, in closest proximity to the divinities they

had honoured, while the uninitiated were


If these

threatened with being cast into a marsh. 2

rude notions, at a later period, and

among

the more
3

educated, received a spiritual interpretation, there

is

no reason to suppose that


that

this

was so

originally, or

the

initiated

were

promised anything

in
;

the

future except the favour

of the infernal gods

the

popular

opinions about

Hades

remained quite un-

affected by them.

Even

Pindar's celebrated utterances


in saying that the partakers

carry us no farther.

For

of the Eleusinian mysteries

know the beginning and


this
still
1

end of their
doctrine
1

life,
5

he does not assert the doctrine of

transmigration,
is

and though in other passages undoubtedly brought forward, 6 it is


!> iffrif to7s 8'

Hymn to Ceres, 486 sqq. Anstides, Eleusin. p. 42 1 Bind. The same is asserted of the Dionysiau mysteries (to which perhaps
2

aWoicri

ko.vt' c/cet

Ktucd.

this belief itself may originally

have

been peculiar) in Aristophanes, Frogs, 145 sqq. Plato, Phado, 69 C Gorgias, 493 A Republic, ii. 363 C cf. Diog. vi. 4. 3 Thus Plato in the Plicedo and
;
; ;
;

Gorgias, and, in a lesser degree, Sophocles, in the words (in Plutarch, aud. poet, c. 4, p. 21 F):
ntivoi

Pporwy,

ot

us rpicrAXjSivi ravra $ei)(d4v?es


TO?o"5e

reAij

fioXova' 4 s "Sow
e4

yap

Fr. 8 (114 Bergk): I5wv Kilv e?tr' inrb Xd6v' o75e fxkv filov reKevrdu, ol5ev 5e &iO(r5oToi> apx&v. 5 For the words can only properly mean that he who has received the consecration regards life as a gift of God, and death as the transition to a happier state. Preller's explanation {Demeter v.nd Persephone, p. 236) seems to me less natural. 6 Thren. Fr. 4, 01. ii. 68 sqq. and infra, p. 70, note 4.
*

Thren.

uXfiios,

oar is

>

[xo-vois

THE RELIGION OF THE MYSTERIES.


questionable whether the poet borrowed
it

69

from the

Eleusinian theology

and even

if

he did apply the


it

Eleusinian myths and symbols in this sense,

would not
1

certainly follow that such was their original meaning.

In the Orphic theology, on the contrary, transmigration


is

clearly to

be found, and the probabilities are


its

very strongly against


the

having come there through


Several
writers

medium

of

the

philosophers.

mention Pherecydes as the first who taught immor3 but the tality, 2 or more precisely, transmigration; testimony of Cicero and other later authors is not sufficient, in the absence of older evidence.
4

to prove this

statement.

Even

if

we admit the probability that

Pherecydes spoke of transmigration, the assertion of his having been the first to do so rests only en the fact
that no previous writings are
1

known

to contain that
yiyvovrai 4k
i.

The

revival of dead nature

atyiKvovvrai

kcll

tup
after
7.

in the spriug

cult of souls fro in the under world, and harvest was looked upon as the descent of the souls thither (vide
Preller, Bern, trad

was considered in the Demeter as the return of

redvewTwv.
-

Cic. Tusc.

16, 3 Q ,
Instil,

and
vii.

him Lactantius,

8.

Augustan c.Acad. iii. 37 (17)i E/pist. 137. p. 407. B. Maur.


s

Pars.
i.

Grieeh. Mytholoyk-.
this does not

2.34.

228 sqq. 483) and


;

Suidas; QepenvSris
c.

Hesyehius,
;

Be

his qui erud. clar. p. 56, Orelli

apply solely to the souls of plants, to which it primarily relates, but to the souls of men. At these seasons also departed spirits appear in the upper world. It was easy to interpret these notions as implying the eutrance
visible

Tatian

Grcec.

c. 3.

25, according

correction in the Cf. Porphyry, edition of Alaurus. Antr. Nymph, c 31. Preller also
to the obvious

{Skein. Mas.

some what
vi. p.

iv. 388) refers with. appearance of probability is quoted by Origen (e. Gels.

of

human

souls

into

the

world from the invisible,

and

their return into the invisible again. Cf. Plato, livedo, 70 C Ta\aibs fiv ovv Ian tij \6yos,
.
.

ws

etclv

[at

^uxatj
teal

ertfeVoe

a<pi-

304) from Pherecydes, TheniisL Or. ii. 38. a, to the trine of Transmigration, * Cf. Aristaxenus, Duris Hermippus so far as they been quoted in Dicg. i. 116

and
doe-

and have
-

aSfievai

ine?

tt&Xlv

ye

devpo

and

viii. i BQ,

70
doctrine.
Still

INTRODUCTION.
more uncertain
first
;

is

the
it.

theory

that

Pythagoras was the

to introduce

Heracleitus

clearly presupposes this

Philolaus expressly appeals to

the ancient theologians and soothsayers 2 for the theory

that souls were fettered to the body, and as

it

were

same theory from the mysteries, and more particularly from the Orphic mysteries and Pindar teaches that certain
buried in
it,

as a punishment.

Plato

derives the

favourites of the gods are to be permitted to return to the upper world,

and that those who thrice have


will

led a blameless

life

be sent to the islands of

the blest in the kingdom of Cronos. 4


representation,
trine
1

In this

last

we

perceive an alteration in the doclife is else-

for

whereas the return to corporeal


Tvr. xvi. 2
v.
;

Maximus
viii.

genes,
19.
2

14; Porph.

DioPyth.

oi(Ti

5e

Qepaetyova iroivav iraXaiov

irivQeos

Several, is rbu vwepBev a\iov ks'ivwv

Ap. Clemens, Strom, iii. 433 A, and previously ap. Cicero, HorThis tens. Fr. 85 (iv. 6, 483 Or.) passage, as -well as others from Plato, will be quoted at length in the section on the Pythagorean
Metempsychosis, infra. 3 Phado, 62 B; Crat. 400 B. Laws, ix. Cf. Phcedo, 69 C. 70 C 870 D; and Lobeck, Aglaoph. ii. 795 sqq.
;

ivarcp

e-rei

avdiSol rpox^v iraXiv T in tuv fiaaihrjes ayavol

/fai

adivei

Xpcuirvoi (To<pia peyurTOi

avSpes

av^ovr''

is

rbv Aonrbv
avdpunrcvv

XpSvov

ifipwes ayvo'i trpbs

KaAevvrai,

And

01. ii. 68, after mention of the rewards and punishments in Hades
ocroi 5'

iro\fxaaav icrpis
ns'ivavrts

Pindar's eschatology follows no fixed type (cf. Preller's Demeter und Persephone, p. 239), while, in many places, he adopts the usual notions about Hades, in Threw. 2 it is said that after the death of the body, the soul, which alone springs from the gods, remains alive and in two places transmigration is alluded to, viz. in Thren. Pr. 4 (110), quoted by Plato, Meno, 81 B:
;

knaripiaOi

anb

irafxirav

adtKwv %X* lv tyvxav, Tei\av Albs ofibv irapa Kpovov Tvpffiv ivQa fxan&poov vuoos \ya<jov\ wKecwiSes avpai ireptTTVOl(TlV.

Thren.

Fr.

(109),

where the

wicked have the lower world, and


the righteous, heaven, assigned as their dwelling-place, cannot be accepted as genuine.

THE RELIGION OF THE MYSTERIES.

71

where always regarded as a punishment and a means of improvement, in Pindar it appears as a privilege
accorded only to the best, giving them an opportunity
of earning higher happiness in the islands of the blest,
instead of the inferior happiness of Hades.

But
itself,

this

use of the doctrine presupposes the doctrine

and

according to the quotations from Plato and Philolaus,

we must assume
mysteries.
still

that Pindar derived

it

from the Orphic


it

It

is

certainly conceivable that

might

have reached the mysteries through Pythagoreism,


1

which must early have been connected with the Orphic cult. But the most ancient testimonies, and the Pythagoreans themselves, refer
it

solely to the mysteries

and

it is

besides very doubtful whether the Pythagorean

doctrines could have been prevalent in Thebes, in the

time of Pindar, 2 whereas that city

is,

on the other hand,

known
is

to have

been an ancient seat of the Bacchic and


Lastly, the doctrine of metempsychosis

Orphic religion.

ascribed to Pherecydes, and regarded as anterior to

Pythagoras, not only by the writers we have quoted,

but indirectly by

all

those
3

who make Pherecydes the

teacher of Pythagoras.

We

have,

therefore, every

reason to believe that

it

was taught in the Orphic

mysteries prior to the date of Pythagoras.

According

to Herodotus, the Orphics obtained it from


1

Egypt: 4

A number

of Orphic "writings

are said to have been invented by the Pythagoreans; vide Lobeck, Aglaoph. i. 347 sqq., and supra,
p. 62, note.
2 Cf. what "will hereafter be said in the history of the Pythagorean philosophy, of the propagation of that philosophy.

3 On which vide infra. Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. 4 ii. 123: Trpwrou deKaliovrou rbv Xoyov Al-yimTioi eUrt ol e'nrovTes, ccs dvOpwirov tyvxh dOdvaros iari, rod (Tcjuaros 5* Kara<pQlvovros is aAAo (wov alel yLvoueuov iaSverar "1 iirtav 5e irepieAdrj irduTa to x^
"

al 7 a dahdaata nal ireTeipd, avris

72

INTRODUCTION.

but this theory either rests upon a mere conjecture


of his own, or a
still

more untrustworthy statement of


;

the Egyptian priests

as historical evidence, it is of

no value whatever.
history tells

As to the real state of the case, us nothing, and no guess that we can

make even approximates to certainty. It is possible that Herodotus may be right in the main, and that
the belief in transmigration was really transplanted

from Egypt into Greece, either


certain intermediaries

directly, or

through

which cannot precisely be de-

termined.

But

in that case,

we can

scarcely agree with

him
with

in supposing the Greeks to have


it

become acquainted

in the first beginnings of their culture, still less

can we connect this acquaintanceship with the mythical


personalities of

Cadmus and Melampus

the most pro-

bable assumption would then be, that the doctrine had

been introduced into Greece not very long before the


date

when we
it
is

first

meet with
about

it

in

Greek writings
century.

perhaps, therefore,

the

se vent awn tk

But

also conceivable that this belief, the affinity

Hindoo and Egyptian doctrines indicates an Eastern source, may have originally immigrated from the East with the Greeks themselves, and have been at first confined to a narrow circle, becoming afterwards more important and more widely diffused. It
of which with
tsav6pu>TTOv
(joi/ia

yiv6ixevov ecrhvueiv

tV irepfh\v<Tiv
npdrepov
ewvrui'
tolgi
oi

5e avrrj yiveaBat iu

TpiaxiXioHTi %Ticn. tovtc}) tw Aoyy ' fieri 01 'EW-qpatu ix?'h <ravru 1 f**v
-

Se
%

venepov,

ws
el8a>s
c.

I5iq)

16vti

rwu iyu
Cf.

ovi/6/xara ov

ypd<pw.

to 81:
Kou

*Op<piKo7(Ti

KakeofxivoL(Tt

BaK^Kolai,

odai

5e

AlyvirTiotai.

Herodotus thought (according to Melampus had introduced the cult of Dionysus, which he had learned from Cadmus and his followers, into Greece; but, on the other hand, in C. 53, he intimates that he considers the Orphic poems more recent than Homer and Hesiod.
eh. 40) that

THE EELIGIOX OF THE MYSTERIES.


might be urged, in support of this view, that similar notions have been found among races which never in any way came under Egyptian influence. Nor can we
1

altogether dispute the possibility of different nations,

without any historical connection, having arrived at


the same opinions concerning a future state.

Even

so

strange a theorv as transrni oration seems to us

mav

thus have been reached in several cases independently

one of the other.

For

if

the natural desire to escape

death engenders a universal belief in immortality, a


bolder fancy, in nations not yet capable of spiritual ab-

might well shape this desire and belief into the hope and expectation of a return to earthly life. 2
straction,
According to Herodotus, iv. the Thracian Getse believed that the dead came to the god Zalmoxis or Gebeleizin and every live years they sent a messenger to this god by means of a special human sacrifice, entrusted with communications to their departed friends. That the theory of transmigration was involved in this cannot be deduced from the statement of the Greeks of the Hellespont, that Zalmoxis was a scholar of Pythagoras, who had taught the belief in immortality to the Thracians. Herodotus says that it was the custom of another Thracian tribe (Her. v. 4) to bewail the newly born, and to praise the dead as happy because the former are about to encounter the ills of life, whiie the latter have escaped from them. But this custom proves even less than the other in regard to metempsychosis. The Gauls, however, are said to have believed, not only in immortality, but also in transmigration C*sar, B. Gall. vi.
1

94

sq..

14, in primis hoc volimt persuadere (Drvides) non interire anbnas, sed ab aliis post mortem traadre ad alios.Diodot.Y. 28. sub fin. eVicrxuei yap irao avrols 6 Tludayopov \6yos, otl Tas -j/vxas twj/ dfS^wTrwj' adavdrous eivai auu3eBri Ke Kat 8t" irur OOpLffjxivWV 7T0A.1I/ fZlOVV, IS %TpOV
:

(Twfia ttjs tyvxys elaSvouevr]?. On this account many persons, adds Dio-

dorus, place letters to their friends on the funeral pile. So Ammian. Marc. xv. 9. sub fin.
2 If the soul is conceived as a breath-like essence which dwells in the body, and leaves it after death according to the opinion of the ancients, and especially of the Greeks, the question inevitably arises whence this essence comes,

and whither

it goes. For answer to this question, a child-like imagi-

nation is most easily satisfied with the simple notion that there is a place, invisible to us, in which the

departed souls remain, and from which the newly born come forth.

And we

do. in fact,

find in

many

74

IXTROD UCTIOX.
However
this

may

be,

it

appears

certain,

that

among

the Greeks the doctrine of transmigration

came

not from the philosophers to the priests, but from the


priests to the philosophers.

Meantime

it is

a question

whether

its

philosophic importance in antiquity was


It is found, indeed, with

very great.
his school,

Pythagoras and
spoken of by

and Empedocles
life after

is

in this respect allied with


is

them

a higher

death

also

Heracleitus.

But none

of these philosophers brought

the doctrine into such a connection with their scientific


theories as to

make
:

it

an essential constituent of their


stands with

philosophic system

it

them

all for

a self-

dependent dogma side by side with their

scientific

theory, in which no lacuna would be discoverable if it were removed. A philosophic basis was first given to

the belief in immortality by Plato

and

it

would be
it

hard to maintain that he would not have arrived at


for its exposition.

without the assistance of the myths which he employed

From

all

that has

now been

said, it

would appear

that Greek Philosophy in regard to its origin was no

more indebted

to the religion of the mysteries than to

the public religion.

The views

of nature which were

may have given an impulse the idea that all men need religious conto thought secration and purification may have led to deeper study but as of the moral nature and character of man
contained in the mysteries
; ;

different nations,

not merely the

this

belief in a kingdom of the dead, but the idea that souls return to

the body from the lower regions of the earth or from heaven. From

there is but a step to the theory that the same souls which previously inhabited a body should afterwards enter another body,

TEE RELIGION OF THE MYSTERIES.


scientific

75

instruction was not originally contemplated

in

the

tales

and practices of the mystic

cult,

any

philosophic exposition of these presupposed that the


expositor had already attained the philosophic stand-

point

and

as the mysteries

were after

ail

only

made

up of general perceptions and everyone, a hundred other things could


for

experiences accessible to
really perform

Philosophy the same service that they did.


reveal the alternation
life

Philo-

sophy did not require the myth of Kore and Demeter


to

of

natural
life

conditions, the
to death
;

passage from death to

and from

daily

observation sufficed for the acquisition of this


ledge.

know-

The

necessity of moral purity, and the advan-

tages of piety and virtue, needed not to be proclaimed

by the glowing descriptions of the


profane.

priests concerning

the happiness of the initiated and the misery of the

These conceptions were immediately contained in the moral consciousness of the Greeks. Nevertheless, the mysteries were by no means without
importance in regard to Philosophy, as the results of But their importance is not our enquiry have shown.
so great, nor their influence so direct, as has often

been

imagined.

III.

The Native Sources of Greek Philosophy continued.

MOBAL

LIFE, CIVIL

AND TOLITICAL CONDITIONS.

The

ideality of the

part in

Greek religion finds its counterit is the freedom and beauty of Greek life
;

impossible

to

regard either of these

characteristics,

strictly speaking, as the

ground or consequence of the

76

IXTR OD UCTION.
;

other

they grew up side by

side,

mutually requiring

and sustaining one another, out of the same natural

temperament and under the same favourable conditions. As the Greek reverenced in his gods the natural and
moral order of the world, without therefore renouncing
in regard to

them

his

own

value and freedom, so Greek

morality stands in a happy


license of barbarous

mean between

the lawless

and semi-barbarous races and the slavish obedience which subjects the peoples of the
East to the will of another and to a temporal and
spiritual despotism.

strong feeling of liberty, and


susceptibility to measure, form,

at the

same time a rare


;

and order and action

a lively sense of
;

a social

community in existence impulse which made it an absolute

necessity for the individual to ally himself to others,


to subordinate himself to the

common
and
his

will,

to follow

the tradition of his

family

country

these

qualities, so essential in the Hellenes,

produced in the

limited

area

of

harmonious
can exhibit.

life,

Greek states a full, free and such as no other nation of antiquity


the
of the sphere in
itself

The very narrowness

which their moral perceptions moved was in


favourable to this result.

As the individual knew that


as being

he was

free

and had a right to protection only

a citizen of this or that state, and as, in the same way,


his relation to others

was determined by their relation

which he belonged, every one from the beginning had his problem clearly marked out for him. The maintaining and extension of his civil importance,
to the state to

the fulfilment of his civil duties, work for the freedom

and greatness of

his people, obedience to the laws,

GREEK POLITICAL
these

LITE.

77

end which the Greek definitely proposed to himself, and in the pursuit of
constituted

the

simple

which he was

all

the

less

disturbed because his glances

and endeavours seldom strayed beyond the limits of his home, because he excluded the idea of seeking the
rule of his actions elsewhere than in the

laws
all

and
the

customs of his
reflections

state,

because he dispensed with

by which the man of modern times labours to reconcile, on the one side, his individual interests and natural rights with the interest and laws of the

commonwealth, and, on the

other, his patriotism with

the claims of a cosmopolitan morality and religion.

We

cannot, indeed, regard this narrow conception of


as the highest possible conception,

moral problems

nor

can we conceal from ourselves

how

closely the

dismemits civil

berment of Greece, the consuming disquiet of

wars and party struggles, not to speak of slavery and


the neglect of female education, were connected with
this

narrowness

but our eyes must not therefore be


on this
soil

closed to the fact that

and from these

presuppositions

give to

freedom and culture arose which the Greeks their unique place in history. It is
a

easy also to see

how deeply and

essentially Philosophy
state.

was rooted in the freedom and order of the Greek

There was not, indeed, any immediate connection between them. Philosophy in Greece was always the
private

concern of individuals, states only troubled


it

themselves about
all

in so far as they interfered with

doctrines

morally and politically


positive encouragement
late period,

dangerous

it

received no
cities

or support

from

and princes until a

when

it

had long

78

INTRODUCTION.
its

passed beyond the highest point of


or science of any kind.

development.

Nor was public education concerned with philosophy,


At Athens, even
in the

time

of Pericles,

it

scarcely included the first rudiments of


;

what we should call scientific culture nothing was attempted beyond reading, writing, and a certain

amount
the

of arithmetic

history, mathematics, physics,


so

study of foreign languages, and

forth,

were

altogether ignored.

The philosophers themselves, and

especially the Sophists, were the first to induce certain

individuals to seek for wider instruction, which, however,

was even then restricted almost exclusively to


Besides the

rhetoric.
arts,

above-mentioned

elementary

ordinary education consisted entirely of music and


;

gymnastics
so

and music was primarily concerned, not


intellectual training as with proficiency

much with

in the Homeric and Hesiodic poems, and the popular songs, singing, playing on stringed instruments, and But this education formed complete and dancing. vigorous men, and the subsequent discipline of public life engendered such self-confidence, demanded such

an exercise of

all

the powers, such acute observation

and

judgment of persons and circumstances, above all, such energy and worldly prudence, as must necessarily have borne important fruit to science whenThat it could not fail ever the scientific need arose. to arise was certain ; for in the harmonious manysidedness of the Greek character, the development of moral and political reflection called forth a corresponding and natural development of speculative thought and not a few of the Greek cities had attained, by
intelligent

EEK EDUCATION.
means

70

of civil liberty, a degree of prosperity which

ensured leisure for scientific activity to some at least


of their citizens.

Although, therefore, in ancient times,

the

political

no direct

and education of the Greeks had concern with Philosophy and although,
life
:

on the other hand, the


ing of

earliest Philosophy, as a rule,

neglected ethical and political question-, yet the train-

men and

the fact that circumstances took the

form required
important

for the

production of Philosophy were


its

elements in

history.

Freedom

and

severity of thought were the natural fruits of a free

and law-directed
could not
fail,

life

and the sound and sterling

characters which grew up on the classic soil of Greece

even in science, to adopt their standpoint


it

with decision, and to maintain


with
full

clearly
1

and

definitely,

and unwavering purpose.

Lastly, it was one of the chief excellences of

Greek

education that

it

did not split up

human

nature, but,

man, soight to make of him a beautiful whole, a moral work of art. This trait we may venture to connect with the fact that Greek science, especially in its commencement,
by the even development of all the powers of
chose the path that
in its infancy
is

indeed generally taken by thought


;

the path downward from above


city,

that

it

did not form a theory of the whole from the aggrega1

politics

This intimate connection of with philosophy is strik-

ingly shown by the fact that many of the anc'ent philosophers were distinguished as statesmen, legislators, pol tical reformers and renerals. The political activity of Thales and of the Pythagoreans is well known. are told that

Parmenides gave laws to his native and that Zeno perished in his attempt to free his countrymen, Empedoeles restored democracy in Agrigentum: Archytas was no less
great as a general than as a states-

man

and Melissus

is

probably

We

the same person who vanquished the Athenian fleet.

80

INTRODUCTION.

tion of individuals, but sought to gain a standard for

the individual from the study of the whole, and at once


to shape a collective representation from the existing

fragments of cosmical knowledge

that philosophy in

Greece preceded the particular sciences. If we examine somewhat more closely the circumstances which conditioned the progress of Greek culture

before the appearance of philosophy, two


especially claim our attention
:

phenomena

these are the republican

form of the government, and the spread of the Greek The centuries which immediraces by colonisation.
ately preceded the earliest

Greek Philosophy, and those

which partly coincided with it, are the times of the legislators and of the tyrants, of the transition to those constitutional forms of government on the soil of which

Greek

political

life

attained

its

highest perfection.

When
tion,

the patriarchal monarchy of the Homeric period,

in consequence of the Trojan

war and the Doric migra-

and through

the extinction, disqualification or

banishment of the ancient royal houses, had entirely


given place to oligarchy, the aristocracy became the

means of spreading freedom and higher culture throughout the smaller circle of the ruling families.
After-

wards when the oppressions and internal deterioration


of these

had evoked the resistance of the masses, the popular leaders came mostly from the ranks of their hitherto masters, and these^demagogues almost
families

everywhere eventually became tyrants.

But

as
its

the

government by a single person, because of


origin,

very

found

its

chief adversary in the aristocracy, and,

as a counterpoise,

was forced to

fall

back

for support

POLITICAL LIFE OF THE GREEKS.


upon the people,
it

81

means of training and educating the people to freedom. The courts of and when the tyrants were centres of art and culture their rule was overthrown, which generally happened in
itself a
1

became

the course of one or two generations, their inheritance


of

power did not revert

to the earlier aristocracy, but to

moderate constitutions founded on fixed laws.


the political training of the Greeks.
struggles of this political

This

course of things was as favourable to the scientific as to

In the
all

efforts

and

movement,

the powers

which public
liberty

brought to science must have been aroused and employed, and the feeling of youthful
life

imparted to the

spirit of the

Greek people a

stimulus which must needs have affected their speculative activity.

the scientific

Thus the laying of the foundations of and artistic glory of Greece was eagerly
;

earned on side by side with the transformation of her political circumstances a connection of phenomena

which

is

very striking, and which shows that

among

the

Greeks, as

among

all

healthy nations, culture has been

the fruit of liberty.

This general revolution was effected more quickly


in the colonies than in the mother country
;

and the

existence of these colonies was of the highest importance


in regard to

During the 500 years which elapsed between the Doric conquests and the rise of Greek Philosophy, the Greek races had spread themselves, by
it.

means of organised emigration, on


For example, those of Periander, Polycrates, Pisistratus, and his sons. But, excepting the fetory of Periander's relation to the seven
1

all sides.

The

islands

wise men, there is no tradition of the philosophers beiDg connected with tyrants before the appearance of the Sophists.

VOL.

I.

82

INTR OD UCTION.
Crete and Rhodes
;
;

of the Archipelago, as far as

the

western and northern coasts of Asia Minor


of the Black Sea, and the Propontis
;

the shores

the coasts of
Graecia and

Thrace, Macedonia and Illyria


Sicily,

of

Magna

were covered with hundreds of settlements


colonists

Greek

had penetrated even

to distant Gaul,

Most of these settlements attained to prosperity, culture, and free constitutions, sooner than the states from which they emanated. Not
to Cyrene,

and to Egypt.

only did the very disruption from their native


.

soil

pro-

duce a

freer

movement, and a

different organisation of

civil society,

but their whole situation was

much more

convenient for trade and commerce, for enterprising


activity,

and

for all

kinds of intercourse with strangers


cities of

than was the case with the

Greece proper

it

was therefore natural that in


outstrip the older states.

many

respects they should

How

greatly they did so, and


colonies was in
is

how important the rapid growth of the


seen from the fact that
all

regard to the development of Greek Philosophy,

best

the Greek philosophers of

note before Socrates, one or two Sophists only excepted,

belonged either to the Ionian and Thracian colonies, or


to those in Italy

and

Sicily.

Here at the

limits of the

Hellenic world were the chief settlements of a higher


culture,
gift

and

as the

immortal poems of

Homer were
east

from the Greeks of Asia Minor to their native

country, so also Philosophy


to the centre of Greek
perfection,
forces,
life

came from the


;

and west
highest
all

there to attain

its

favoured by a happy combination of


all

and a coincidence of
when, for

necessary conditions,
colonies,

at

an epoch

most of the

the

COSMOLOGY.
brightest period of their history had passed

83

away be-

yond

recall.

How

thought gradually developed

itself

under these

circumstances up to the point at which the earliest


scientific endeavours, in the
strict

sense of the word,


still

were made, we learn to some extent from the


our information from these sources

existing records of early cosmology and ethics, though


is

far

from

beincr

complete.

IV.

Native Sources of Greek Pliilosophj continued.

COSMOLOGY.

In a people so richly endowed as the Greeks, and so

eminently favoured by circumstances in regard to their


intellectual

development, reflection must soon have

been awakened, and attention directed to the pheno-

mena

of nature and of

human

life

and attempts must

made, not merely to explain the external world in reference to its origin and causes, but also to
early have been

consider the activities and conditions of

mankind from
it

more general points of view.


indeed, at
first

This reflection was not,

of a specifically scientific kind, for

was not as yet regulated by the thought of any general


interdependence of things according to fixed law.
Cosallied

mology, until the time of Thales, and, so far as


itself

it

with religion, even longer, retained the form of


;

a mythological narrative

Ethics,

until

the time

of

Socrates and Plato, that of aphoristic reflection.


fortuitous,

The

and sometimes even miraculous, interference


g 2

of imaginary beings took the place of the interdepen-

84

INTRODUCTION.
;

dence of nature
life,

instead of one central theory of

human

we

find a

number

of moral sayings and prudential

maxims, which, abstracted from various experiences, not unfrequently contradicted one another, and, at the best, were reduced to no general principles and brought iuto
no
scientific

connection
it

with

any theory of human

would be a mistake to overlook this distinction, and to place either the mythic cosmologists or the gnomic poets in the number of the philosophers, as has been done by some writers, both ancient and
nature.

Though

modern, yet we ought not, on the other hand, to underrate the importance of these early attempts, for they
were at
least useful in calling attention to the questions

which science had first to consider, and in accustoming thought to combine particular phenomena under general and thus a good deal was done towards points of view
;

a beginning of science.

The most ancient record of mythic cosmology among the Greeks is the Theogony of Hesiod. How much of this work is derived from still more ancient
tradition,
self

and how much


is

is

invented by the poet him-

and

his later revisers, cannot

now be discovered
It
is

with certainty, nor

this the place to enquire.

1 As was certainly done in the most flourishing period of Greek Philosophy by the Sophists and by

ally addicted to representing the ancient poets as the earliest philo-

the adherents of systems of natural Plato is evidence of Philosophy. the former in Trot. 316 D, cf. ibid, 338 E sqq. and of the latter there
;

is

and mention in Crat. 402 B also in Aristotle, Metaph. i. 3,983 b, 27 (cf. Schwegler on this passage), The Stoics afterwards were especi;

sophers, by the allegorical interpretation of their writings and in the Neo-Platonists this practice passed all bounds. Tiedemann was the first to declare Thales the starting-point of Philosophy, vide his Geist der speculativen Philosopkie, i. Preface, p. xviii.
;

COSMOLOGY. HESIOD.
enough
for our

85

purpose to observe that the Theogony,


philosophers in

with the exception of a few subsequent interpolations,

was undoubtedly known to the


its

earliest

present form.

We

find in it nothing approaching

to a scientific apprehension or solution of the cosmological problem.

The poet proposes


all

to

himself the

question from which

cosmogonies and histories of

creation start, and which, indeed, obviously suggests


itself

even to the most undisciplined intellect,


all

the
But

question as to the origin and causes of


in the

things.

Theogony

this question

has not the scientific

importance of an enquiry into the essence and reasons


of phenomena.

With
things
?

childlike curiosity the poet asks

Who made

all

and how did

He make them ?

and the answer simply consistsbeing something that cannot thought, and making the rest means of some analogy drawn

in positing as the first

be explained away by
originate from this

by

from experience.

Xow
that

experience points out two kinds of origin.

AH
is

we

see

either forms itself naturally, or else

made

with a design by definite individuals.


ments, by growth, or
either mechanically

In the former

case production takes place by the action of the ele-

by generation

in the

latter,

material, or
1

by the elaboration of some given dynamically, as we work upon other men


(

Cf. Petersen

Ursprung und

Alter der He&iod : Theog. (Progr.der Hamburgischm Gyrnn,), 1862), who seems to me to have proved at any rare this much, "whatever we may

shall hereafter consider) and the remarkable utterance of Herodotus,


li.

think of his other theories. The polemic of Xenophanes and Heracleitus

against Hesiod (which

we

53, are decided evidence against the supposition that the Theogony is no older than the sixth century the general character of its conceptions and language, however, attest this even more strongly.
;

S6

INTR OB UCTIOX.
will.

by the mere expression of our


to the origin of the world

All these analogies

are applied, in the cosmogonies of different nations,

and of the gods

as a rule,

several of

them

at once, according to the nature of

the object in question.


of generation

To the Greeks the analogy

must have been the most obvious, be-

cause, in accordance with the particular bent of their

imagination, they had personified the various parts of


the world as beings akin to humanity, whose origin

could be represented in no other way.

In any case

they must have kept to an analogy drawn from nature,


for

Greek thought was too naturalistic and polytheistic

to maintain, like the Zoroastrian

and Judaic

religions,

that everything had been called into existence by the

mere

fiat

of a creator.

In Greek mythology the gods

themselves were created, and the deities worshipped by


the people belong altogether to a younger race of gods
there
is,
;

therefore,

no divinity who can be regarded as


things, without beginning,

the

first

cause of

all

and who
it

possesses absolute
is

power over nature.

So in Hesiod

the genesis of the gods on which his whole cosmogony

turns.

Most of these genealogies, and the myths connected with them, are nothing more than the expression
of simple perceptions, or picture-thoughts, of the kind

that imagination everywhere produces

when the know-

ledge of nature

is

in its infancy.

Erebus and Nyx are

and Hemera, for day in its brightness is the son of night and darkness. The earth brings forth the sea of herself alone, and rivers in her
the
parents
of ^Ether

union with the sky

for the sources of streams are fed.

by the

rain, while the ocean

appears to be a mass of

COSMOLOGY. HESIOD.

87

water which has been from the beginning in the depths


of the earth.

Uranus

is

emasculated by Cronos,

for

the

sun-heat of harvest time puts an end to the fertilising

showers of the sky.

Aphrodite springs from the seed

of Uranus, for the rain in spring


tive impulse of nature.

awakens the genera-

The Cyclopes, Hecatonchires


I

and giants, the Echidna and Typhosus are children of other monsters are the progeny of night or of Graea
;

the waters, partly because of their originally physical

import, partly because what

is

monstrous cannot spring

from the bright heavenly gods, but only from darkness

The sons of Gsea, the and the unfathomable deep. for as the Titans, were overthrown by the Olympians
;

light of heaven subdues the mists of earth, so the all-

ordering Deity has bound the wild forces of nature.

The thought contained in these myths is very limited whatever in them transcends the most obvious perceptions
is

the result, not of reflection concerning the

natural causes of things, but of an activity of fancy

from which, even when


significant,

it

produces something really

we must be

careful not to expect too

much.
is

Even

in

the

combination of these

myths, which
1

principally,

no doubt, the work of the poet, we

fail to

discover any leading thought of deeper import.


der (Geschichte Brandis Griech-Rbm. Phil. i. lb) finds not merely in the beginning of the Theogony, but also in the myths of the dethronement of Uranus, and the conflict of the sons of Cronos with their father and the Titans, the doctrine that the determinate
1

The

But tion of the higher principle. these thoughts are much too abstract to admit of our seeking in them the motive of the mythopceic The poet does not seem to fancy. hare been influenced by any speculative idea even in the arrangement the three generaof these myths tionsofthe gods merely form the
;

proceeds from the indeterminate, and that there is a gradual eTolu-

thread on which he strings his

88

INTRODUCTION.

Theogony which sounds most like a philosophic conception of nature, and was almost the only passage employed by the ancient philosophers in
passage in the
that sense, 1
sqq.).
is

the

commencement
first

Chaos was the

(with the abyss, or Tartarus)

poem (v. 116 to exist, then came Earth and Eros. Of Chaos were
of the
first

born Erebus and Night

Earth

brought forth of
;

herself the sky, the mountains, and the sea

then in

marriage with the sky she produced the progenitors of the different families of gods, except the few that are
derived from Erebus and Night.
certainly attempts to get at
origin,

This representation

and we may so

far

some notion of the world's consider it as the beginning


;

of cosmology

among

the Greeks

but as a whole

it is

The poet asks himself what was really the first of all things, and he finally abides by Outthe Earth as the immovable basis of the Cosmos. side the Earth was nothing but gloomy night, for the
very crude and imperfect.

luminaries

of heaven

were not as yet in existence.

Erebus and Night are therefore as old as the Earth. In order that another should be produced from this first one,
the generative impulse or Eros must have existed from

the beginning.

Such then are the causes of all things. If we exclude all these beings from our thought, there
remains for the imagination only the idea of infinite space, which at this stage of culture it does not conceive in an abstract

manner

space, but concretely as

empty mathematical an immeasurable, waste and


as
the edition of Hesiod of GaisfordReiz, verse 116.

genealogies, and

nects
1

by which he conthem together externally.

Proof of this will be found in

COSMOLOGY. HESIOD.
formless mass.
reality
is

80

The

first

of all things, therefore, in

Chaos.

In some such way as this perhaps the

foregoing theory of the beginning of the world

may
to

have arisen in the mind of


attain
clear
it

its

author.

It

is

founded,

indeed, upon a desire for enquiry, an endeavour

and coherent notions, but the


is

interest

which rules

that of the imagination rather than

that of thought.

Xo

question

is

asked concerning the

essence and general causes of things, the problem

merely how to leam something about the actual


ulterior developments

fact-

relating to the primitive condition of the world and to


its
;

and in the solution of


is

this

problem, we naturally find that the poet

guided by

the intuitions of his imagination, and not by intelli-

gent reflection.
is,

The commencement
its

of the

Theogony

considering
it is

date,

thoughtful and pregnant

myth, but

not as yet a philosophy.

The next writer after Hesiod of whose cosmology we know anything at all definite is Pherecydes of Syros, 2
1 "Whether this author or some older poet was the composer of the Theogony is. as has already been observed, of little importance, Brandis {Gesck. der Cfr.-Bom.Pkil. i. 7-1) supports the latter theory, It is unlikely, he -ays. that the poet, had he invented the myth of Tartarus as one of the first principies of the world, or of Eros as the creative principle, would have made no further use of them in his Cosmology. But not to speak of the doubtful origin of the 119th verse,

plain this circumstance as shewing that the myths subsequently intro-

duced belonged to the older traand the opening vera to the author of the Theogony
dition,
-

itself.
For his life. age. and writings, Sturz. Pkerecydis Fragment a. p. sqq. Preller in the Skein. Mus.

cf.
1

iv.

(1846) 377 sqq.

Allgem. Eniii.

cyclop, of
22,

Ersch and Gruber,

240 sqq. Art. Pherecydes, Zim

mermann

which which

mentions Tartarus, but wanting in Plato (Symp. 178 B), and Aristotle (Mttapk. i. 4. 984 b, 27). I should rather exis

inFichte's Zeitschrift fur Philosophic, &c. xxiv. B, 2 H. S. 161 sqq. (reprinted in Zimmermann's

Vienna, 1870, p. 1 sqq.). Studten. This last, however, credits the old mythographer with much that is

90
a

INTRODUCTION.
l

contemporary of Anaximander
2

in later story a mira-

culous person like Pythagoras.


of which
is

In a work, the

title

variously given, he says that there existed

before all things, and from eternity, Zeus, Chronos, and

Chthon. 3
alien to him.

By Chthon he seems
Conrad, De Pherecyatquc cosmologia.
2

to have understood the


Cf. the anecdotes in Diog.
sq.
i.

dis
1

Syrii atate

116
3

Coblenz, 1857He is described as such by Diogenes, i. 121, and Eusebius, Ckron. 60 01. The former, probably following Apollodorus, places his most flourishing period in the 59th Olympiad (540 B.C.), and the latter in the 60th Olympiad. Suidas *epe/f.) in a very obscure passage fixes his birth in 01. 45 (600-596 B.C.). His age is given by the Pseudo-Lucian (Macrob. 22, a passage where he certainly seems to be meant) as 85. Neither of these statements, however, is altogether trustworthy, though perhaps neither is far from the truth and there are besides other reasons against our drawing any such definite conclusion as Conrad, who thus sums up (p. 14) his careful discussion of this question Pherecydes was born in the 45th Olympiad or shortly before, and died, octogenar ins fere' towards the end of the
(

The commencement of this i. 119 (cf. Damascius, De Princ. p. 384 and Conrad, p. 17, 21) was as follows: Zeus fxkv kcu XpSvos is del ical Xdwv
work, in Diog.
;

5e ovojxa iyevero Trj, Zeus yepas 5i8ot. By 7epas Ave cannot, with Tiedemann (Griechenlands erste Philosophen, 172), Sturz (loc. cit. p. 45) and others, understand motion nor with Braudis the original qualitative determination, for this latter is far too abstract a conception for
i]V.

Xdouir)

eVetSTj avrfj

Pherecydes, and he can hardly have regarded the earth as moved. Neither interpretation, in fact, can be got out of the word; what it means is Since Zeus conferred
:

'

(Between 01. 45, to 62, 4, moreover, there are only Nor does the asser7 1-72 years.) tion that Pythagoras tended him in his last illness help us at all, partly
1,

62nd Olympiad.

because it is itself very untrustworthy, and partly because this occurrence is placed by some before Pythagoras' emigration to Italy, and by others in the last period of his life. Cf. Porph. Vita Pythag. 4oo sq. Iamb. Vita Pythag. 184,
;

honour upon her. We may either understand by this honour, what always seems to me the most probable, the adornment of her surface, mentioned immediately after (the garment with which Zeus covered the earth) or else, with Conrad, p. 32, the honour of her union with Zeus, by which the Earth became the mother of many gods (p. 74, 2). Pherecydes means to derive the name 77? from yepas. This circum;

stance of itself forbids the substitution of irepas for yepas, proposed by Rose, De Arist. libr. ord. 74 but the sense we should get by this change is, in my opinion, very un;

satisfactory.

252

Diog.

viii.

40.

COSMOLOGY. PHERECYDES.
earth
1 ;

91

by Chronos, or Cronos, that part of heaven nearest the earth, and the deity ruling it 2 by Zeus, the highest god, disposing and forming the whole universe,
;

and himself at the same time the highest heaven. 3


1

So he

is

called

by Hermias

expressly says that Kpovos is the same as Xpovos. In Darnascius, on the contrary, where Conrad, p. 21, also reads Kpovov, I find in the manuscripts no other reading than Xpovov. 2 By the Cronos of Pherecydes is generally understood Time so
(Irrisio, c. 12),

who

Hermias

loc.

cit.

and Probus on

Virgil's Eclogues, vi. 31. Pherecydes himself indicates this signification when he puts Xpovos instead of Kpovos. Yet it is scarcely credible that so ancient a thinker should have placed the abstract conception of Time among the primitive causes and Cronos, in fact, appears as a much more concrete nature when it is told of him (vide infra) that he created from his seed fire, wind and water, and that he was the leader of the gods in the conflict with Ophioneus. That this only means that in course of time fire, wind and water arose, and that in course of time Ophioneus was conquered, I cannot believe. If the gods at strife with Ophioneus represent certain powers of nature, Cronos, their leader, must be
;

presented in the mythus of Uranus as the seed of the god of heaven that Chronos, according to this original import, was not the god of Time in abstracto, but the god of the warm season, of the time of harvest, of the sun-heat (Preller, Griech. Mythol. i. 42 sq.), and, as such, was a god of heaven that he was so regarded by the Pythagoreans when they identified the vault of heaven with XpSvos, and called the sea the tears of Chronos (vide infra, Pythagorean system) if we consider all this, the opinion given above, concerning which even Conrad's (p. 22) and Brandis's adverse judgment ( Gesck. der Entw. der Griech. Phil. i. 59) have not shaken me, will appear to have far the most probability in its favour. 3 To Zeus, as the divine creator of the universe, the passage in Aristotle's Metaphysics, xiv. 4, 1091 b, o'L ye jxejxiyjxevoi avrcvv 8, refers (scil. tuu apxatwv ttoitituv) kul t
;

fj.7}

/ivPiKws

airavra
Kal

Keyeiv,
rives,

oTov

something more real than merely and if fire, wind and water were formed from the seed of Chronos, this seed must be conceived as a material substance, and Chronos must consequently represent a

Time

certain part, or certain constituents, of the world. If we consider that


fire,

wind and water are formed in the atmosphere during tempests, and that the fertilising rain is re-

t6 apiarov Tideacn. As the notion of Zeus as god of heaven is based upon the idea of the sky itself, and as the gods of Pherecydes generally represent at the. same time certain parts of the world, we may assume that he did not discriminate the world-creating power, which he calls Zens, from the upper portion of the sky. The assertion of Hermias and Probas (loc. cit.) that by Zeus he understood iEther, and of Probus (loc. cit.) that he understood fii*e, show
4>epeKvSr]s

erepoi

yevvrjaav

Trp&rov

02

INTRODUCTION.
fire,

wind and water the three primal beings then beget numerous other gods When Zeus, in order that he might in five families.
Chronos produces from his seed
1

fashion the world, 2 had changed himself into Eros (who,

according to the ancient theory, must be the worldthat we are here concerned with an interpretation of the .Stoics, and not with an original and authentic
text.
at five.

Conrad's modification also


interpretation,

cf

this

by which

That Hermias should reduce iEther and Earth to the iroiovvmyl

the five nvxol are made to signify the five layers, circumfolding each other, of earth, water, air, fire and
Aether (loc.
cit.

Trdaxov is also entirely in harmony with the Stoic point of view. Cf. Zeller, Phil, der Gr. Part III. a, 119, second edition. Damascius, loc. cit. rbu fih Xpdvov Tvoirjcrai 4k rov yovov kavrov
1
:

p. 35),

attributes to

TTvp nal Trvevfxa kcu


ojf

vficcp,

e|
rr)v

iv

ireVTe

/Uu%o7s

fiirip^/xei^cci'

ttoXXt]v yeueav avarrivai

i)ea>y,

TTevrefxvxov Ka\ovu4vr)v.

To the
Porphyry

same ^u^oi
81)

(as Brandis thinks, p.

the statement

of

perhaps refers (Be antro nymph. e. 31), according to which Pherecydes mentions fxvxovs ko.1 fioQpovs koX dvrpa na\ 6vpas nal irvXas though Porphyry himself sees in
;

Pherecydes, as it appears to me. a view of the world that is too scientific and too similar to Aristotle's the theory, especially, of a fierjsphere invisible to us, and the precise discrimination of aether from fire and air, is, according to all It other traces of it, much Inter. would be more reasonable to suppose that Pherecydes distinguished Olympic gods, fire-gods, wind-gods, water-gods and earth-gods. Suidas says that the work of Pherecydes
;

was named k-maixvxos, from the


fivxoi.

them the yeveaeis nal ^vxw. Preller (Eh.

aTroyeveffeis

Mm.

382,

E?icycL243) thinks that Pherecydes here intends to speak of five admixtures, in various proportions, of the elementary substances (iEther,Fire. Air, Water, Earth), in each of which one of these elementary substances predominates. It seems to me, however, very hazardous to ascribe to the ancient, philosopher of Syra a theory of the Elements in the sense of Empedocles or Aristotle (a theory which presupposes a far more developed stage of philosophic reflection), or to believe that he anticipated Philolaus in fixing the number of these elements

Preller (Rh. Mm. 378) itsvtiivxos. instead conjectures Conrad (p. 35) adds to the abovementioned five fj.vx l the two divisions of the lower world, Hades and Tartarus. It is supposed(thoughthis is not quite clear from Origen, C. Cels. vi. 42) that Pherecydes himself distinguished Hades and Tar-

Nothing certain, however, can be made out on the subject. 6 jikv (jxvov Plato, in Soph. 242 C Strj76JTai) cos rpia ra ovtcl, TToXejxel
tarus.
:

fie

aXXr]XoLS
/cat KO.1

eviore avrocv &tto.


Koi

ttt),

Tore 84
T

<piXa yiyv6/j.eva yd/j.ois

70KOVS

Tpu(paS

TCOV

iicySvoav irapex^Tai,

doubtless refers

to the exposition considering.


2

we have been

Proclus in Tim. 156 A.

COSMOL OGY. rilEUECYDES.


forming' force), he made,

we

are told, a great robe, on

which he embroidered the earth and Ogenos (Oceanos), and the chambers of Ogenos he spread this robe over
;

an

oak upborne by wings

(vTroTrrspos), that

is,
2

he

clothed the framework of earth floating in space

with

the varied surface of land and ocean. 3


in Clemens, Strom. Zas Trotet A, run thus (papas /x4ya re /cat Ka\6v kcl\ iv
1

Ophioneus, with

His words

vi.

621

tends Chaos, the primitive matter, which contains all matters, except
aether,

'

in

itself.

Out

of

this,

avT<2 irOLKiWei yr\v

/cat

uyr)i>hv /cat

to wyyvov SwuaTa.

In reference
:

to this, Clemens (642 A) sayq virowTepos 8pvs /cat to eV avTrj


TTTrOtKl\UVUV (papOS.
-

The wings

in this ease denote

only free motion.

suspension,

not

swift

3 Conrad opposes the above explanation on two accounts. First he agrees (p. 40) with Sturz (p. 51), that the winged oak is not merely the framework of the earth, but of the whole universe, and that the woof spread over the oak is the sky. Against this, I can only repeat what I have, already, in the second edition of this work, replied to Sturz, that the tissue on which land and sea are embroidered (this alone can be meant by the words

through the working of Zeus or iEther, the elemental matters earth, water, air, and fire were made; and the earth itself when separated from the primitive matter was called Xdovi-n, as distinguished from XQwv. But the words quoted from Diog. p. -72, 3, already exclude such a theory; for who would infer from the mere interchange between Xdicv and XQovit] that in the one case we are concerned with the mixture of all substances, and in the other with the earth which resulted from this mixture? Damascius, whom we have no right to charge with error in thi- matter, expressly mentions Zevs, Xpovos and
Xdovia as the three first principles of Pherecydes (Be princ. c. 124. p. Again, when Pherecydes. 384). according to Damascius, says that
air and water were made by Chronos e/c rov yovou kavrov, how can it be maintained that Zeus separated them out of XQwv ? Conrad, lastly, urges that his theory best explains the statement (vide Achilles Tatius in Phcenom. c. 3, 123 E; Schol. in Hesiodi 'Incog. 116 Tzetz. in Lycophron, 145) that
fire,
;

iv

avrcp

iroiKiKKei;

and Clemens

also calls the (papas itself ireiroiklKu4iov) cannot signify the sky.
It
it

would be easier
as

to

understand

'the visible things that: encompass the world therefore the surface of the earth and skv (ef. Preller, Eh. Mus. 387, Encyklo. 244) but since earth and ocean are mentioned as the only objects embroidered on the woof, we have no ground for thinking of anything besides the terrestrial surface. Secondly, Conrad (p. 24 sqq.) supposes that by XQwv Pherecydes in'

Pherecydes, like Thales. made water his first principle but this does net help him much. For that statement rests upon suspicious testimony, and is besides entirely
;

04

INTRODUCTIOX.

his hosts, representing probably the unregulated forces

of nature, opposes this creation of the world, but the

divine

army under Chronos

hurls thern into the deep of


1

the sea, and keeps possession of heaven.


further battle
2

As to any of the gods, between Zeus and Chronos,


silent.

Pherecydes seems to have been


erroneous on the chief point, and Conrad himself acknowledges (p.26) that in the chaotic primal matter which he thinks is denoted by the name of XOwv, Earth must have preponderated, to occasion the If there is choice of this name. any error, the cause of it may lie elsewhere, either in the doctrine of Pherecydes himself, or in a misapprehended account of the doctrine. Even an antithetical comparison of Pherecydes and Thales, like that in Sextos" Pyrrh. iii. 30, Math. ix. 360 (Pherecydes made earth, and Thales water, the principle of all things), might, by the careless hand of a copyist or compiler, be turned into a parallel between them or someone who found Pherecydes classed with Thales, as one of the oldest philosophers, may have ascribed to him Thales' doctrine. Perhaps even what Pherecydes said of Oceanus, or his statement about the seed of Cronos, or some other definition that has not come down to us, may have been explained in this way. "Whether Pherecydes thought that the sea oozed out of the earth conceived as moist in its primeval condition, or was filled by water from the atmosphere (the water arising from the 701/7? of Cronos), is not clear from our documents for it is certainly possible that the production of water by Cronos may not apply to the water of the sea. Celsus ap. Origen c. Cels. vi.
; ;

This
;

is

the

42 Max. Tyr. x. 4 Philo of Byblus ap. Eus. prcsp. Ev. i. 10, 33 (the latter represents Pherecydes as having borrowed this trait from the Phoenicians) Tertullian, Be
;

cor. mil. c. 7.
2

Preller (Eh. Mus. 386) seeks

and I followed him in my second edition. But though we find traces, with Apollonius and others (v. infra), of a theogony in which Ophion, Kronos and Zeus follow one another as rulers of the universe, we have no
to establish the contrary,

right to refer this representation "With him to Pherecydes himself.

Ophioneus fights indeed for the possession of heaven, but that he had it to begin with is not stated, and it is irreconcilable with the assertion that Zeus had been there

from
;

eternity,

and

still

more with

the utterance of Aristotle (supr. p. 93) for he adduces as a peculiarity of Pherecydes that in contradistinction to the older Theogonies he had declared the first principle to be the most perfect, as they are blamed

because i$a<n\sveiv

k<x\

&.px*iv <p<ta\v

ov robs irpwTnvs, oTov vvkto,, k.t.A.., oAAa tov Ala, and did not therefore

regard the world-ruling power or Zeus as the irpwrov. Pherecydes must himself have so regarded him.
This, as Conrad rightly observes, also excludes the theory that Zeus first became lord of heaven and king of the gods by the overthrow of Cronos.

COSMOLOGY. PHERECYDES.
essential result to be gathered

95

from scattered fragments

and traditions respecting the doctrine of Pherecydes. If we compare it with the Hesiodic cosmogony, it undoubtedly evinces progress of thought. We find,
even thus early, a definite attempt to discriminate, on the one hand, between the material constituents of the

and the atmospheric elements and, on the other, between matter and plastic force. In what is said of the conflict of Chronos with Ophiuniverse
earth,
:

the

oneus,

we seem

to

discern the thought

that in the

attainment of the present cosmical order the forces of the abyss were limited by the influence of the higher
elements.
1

But the expression of

all this is

mythical,

and in accordance with the older cosmological mythology. The world is not formed by the natural operation
of original matter and forces
;

it

is
;

wrought bv Zeus
the reduction of

with the mysterious power of a god

phenomena to natural causes, which is the first real commencement, of Philosophy, is not here to be found.
It

would therefore

be

of

little

importance

to

the

history of Philosophy to

know

that Pherecydes took

certain details of his theory, such as the personality


of Ophioneus,

logy

from Phoenician or Egyptian mythobut whether important or not, the statement


as

cannot be adequately proved by the testimony of so

untrustworthy a writer
distinction

Philo of Byblus
destroying

2
;

and the

god of Pherecydes and the serpent-shaped Agathodaemon is so


serpent
1 The serpent is a cbthonic animal, probably signifying Ophioneus. Vide Preller, Rhein. Mus.

between

the

loc. cit..
2

and AUg, Encyclo.


loc. cit.

p.

244.

In Euseb.

96

INTllOD UCTION.
we might
as well identify the

apparent, that

former

with the serpent form of Ahriman, or even, like Origen


(Joe. cit.),

with the serpent of the Mosaic paradise,

if so

obvious, and

among

the Greeks so

common,

a symbol
it.

required a foreign derivation to account for

The

impossibility of referring the whole cosmogony of Pherecydes, in its essential features,


1

to the Egyptians, will

at once appear on an intelligent comparison of his pre2 The assertions sentations with the Egyptian myths.
3 of certain later and untrustworthy writers as to his

Oriental teachers are of


If our

little

importance as evidence. 4

knowledge

is

imperfect in regard to Phere-

cydes,

it is still

more

so in respect to

some

others,

who

contemporaneously, or nearly contemporaneously, with him set up various cosmological theories. Of Epimenides, the
1

well-known hierophant of Solon's time, 5 we


loc. tit.

Zimmermann,
Another

attributed to Pherecydes, and which equally must have come from the East,
doctrine

the dop;ma of Transmigration, has already been discussed, p. 68 sq. 3 Josephus, Contr. Apion. 1, 2, end, reckons him as belonging to the Egyptian and Chaldsean schools, Cedren., Synops. i. 94 B, represents him as travelling into Egypt. Suidas (QepcK.) says he used the secret writings of the Phoenicians; the Gnostic Isidorus in Clem ens, Strain, 642 A, represents him as in-*i. spired by the prophecy of Cham by which, huwever, is probably int ended, not the Egyptian and Phcenician wisdom as a whole, but a Gnostic work bearing that title. 4 We are, in the first place, entirely ignorant on what tradition these statements are based; and
;

next, it was easy and obvious to connect the teacher of Pythagoras (who was known to have held the Egyptian doctrine of Transmigration), as well as Pythagoras himself, with the Egyptians. The Chaldaeans, in what concerns Phe-

were perhaps first added by Josephus; while the statement of Suidas probably originates with Philo of Byblus. 5 On the personality of Epimenides, his activity in Athens, and the stories that connected themselves with him, cf. Diog. i. 109
recydes,
Suidas, 'EmixeviSris Plusqq. tarch's Solon, 12 S. Sap. Conv. 14;
; ;

An scni a. gcr. rtsp.


orac.
i.

i. 1 2, p. 784 Def. l,p. 409; Be fac. lun. 24, 25, p. 940; Plato, Laws, i. 04? (and also my treatise on the Anachronisms of Plato, Abhandlungen der Berlinischen Akademie, 1873.
;

EPIMEXIDES.
are told by

97

Damascius
first

that,

according to Eudemus, he
Air and Night
2

admitted two

causes,

the

and

proceeding from these a third, Tartarus.

From them
a denotation

sprang two other beings, not precisely designated, whose

union produced the egg of the universe


of the celestial sphere which
is

found in several cos-

mogonies, and which very naturally resulted from the


representation of the world's origin as analogous to the

development of animal

life.

Whether

this notion

was

transplanted from Western Asia to Greece, whether it was arrived at independently by Greek mythology, or whether, lastly, it had been preserved in ancient tradition from the earliest sources of the

Greek

race,

are

questions

we must

leave unanswered.

From

this eo-g

other existences were produced.

The thought contained


meagre information

in this cosmogony, as far as our

enables us to criticise

it,

is

unimportant, whether we

consider Epimenides himself to have

made

the altera-

tion in the Hesiodic representation, or, in doing so,


to

have followed the example of some more ancient predecessor. The same holds good of Acusilaos, 3 who
allied to Hesiod, for

was much more closely


sents

he repre-

Chaos as bringing forth a male and a female being Erebus and Night .Ether, Eros, 4 Metis, and

History of 'Philosophy, p. 95 sq.) What Damascius quotes from him is taken from his own theogony, Diog. i. 111. DePrinc. c. 124, p. 384, Kopp. 2 These two principles evidently represent, after the manner of the Hesiodic Theogony, a sexual B tne Air, 6 a-hp, is the male yfjgy principle Night, the female prin1
:

ciple.
3 Ap. Damascius (Joe. according to Eudemus
;

eit.)

again

Brandis,

p. 85, also rightly refers to Plato,

Symposium, 178 0, Schol. Theocrit. argum. Id. xiii. Clem. Al. Stro?n. vi. 629 A. Josephus contra Apionem, i. 3.
4

Schol.

Theocrit.

classes

him

as the son of

Night and Either.

VOL.

I.

98

INTRODUCTION.
of divinities being the result of their union.
l
;

number

There are some other traces of cosmogonic tradition

but we pass them over, in order to proceed at once to the consideration of the Orphic cosmogonies. 2

Four versions of such cosmologies are known

to us

under the name of Orpheus. In one of these, the version used by Eudemus 3 the Peripatetic, and most probably before his time by Aristotle 4 and Plato, 5
1

Alluded to by Brandis.
86.

loc.

possible

cit., p.

It is said that Ibycus,

Fr. 28 (10), like Hesiod,


;

made Eros

spring from Chaos and that the comic poet Antiphanes, ap. Irenaeus (adv. Hcer.
2
ii.

14, 1), differed


cf.

on somp points from Hesiod.

For what

follows,

Schuster,
indole.

Be

Orphicce Leipzig, 1869.


vet.
8

Theogonia
c.

Damascius,
this

124, p.
is

382.

That by

Eudemus

intended

the pupil of Aristotle, is plain from Cf. DamasDiogenes, Prooem. 9. cius, p. 384.
*

Mctaph.

xii.

6,

1071

b,

26

cos

\iyovo~iv oi d<zoA6yoi oi 4k I'VKrbs

yevvwvTes.

Ibid.xiv. 4, 1091 b, 4 : oi 8e iroir)TCu oi apxcuoi ravrr] Suolcos, % fiacriXeveiv /ecu &px*w (paalv ov robs TrpwTovs, oiov vvktol na\ ovpavbv ^ wiceavbv, &AAa rrbv Aia. 7) X"0S

These words cannot refer simply to systems in which Night, though


placed among the oldest deities, occupies only a third or fourth place (as is the case in the Hesiodic and ordinary Orphic theogony). They presuppose a cosmology in

for the theologians, who things arise out of Night, and for the physicists, who commpnce with the mixture of all things, to explain the beginning of motion. Also the second passage agrees so little with the ordinaryOrphic cosmology, that Syrianus, commenting on it (Schol. in Aris. 935 a, 18), finds fault with Aristotle for misrepresenting the Orphic doctrine. This passage must equally point to atheogony like that spoken of by Eudemus for here Night is made the first principle as with Hesiod, Chaos, and with Homer, Oceanus the sky it certainly is not in either of the representations known to us but in the Eudemic Orpheus, the sky occupies the second place, and in Hesiod the third. As the Eudemic Orpheus alone,- as far as we know, with the exception of Epimenides. puts Night in the place of Chaos as the first of all things, it is very probable that Aristotle, as well as his scholar Eudemus, may be referring to him.

make

all

which either Night

alone, or

Night

in conjunction with other equally original principles, has the first place for Metaph. xii. 6 treats of the primitive state which preceded and in reference to all Becoming
;
;

this, Aristotle says it is equally

im-

6 Schuster (loc. cit. 4 sqq.) thinks this is probable from Crat. sq. (where 402 B, and Tim. 40 by the poets who affirm themselves to be the sons of the gods are meant Orpheus and Musseus these are mentioned by name, Rep. 364 E, while nothing of the kind is said

ORPHIC COSMOGONIES.
Night
is

80

represented as the

first

of all things.
1

Beside

Night are placed the Earth and the sky, both of which apparently proceeded from Night, as with Hesiod the Earth came forth from Chaos Night being here sub;

stituted
(xaea

for

Chaos.

The

children
3
;

of

Uranus and

are

Oceanus and Thetis


the

obviously a very slight


tradition.

departure from

Hesiodic

second

theogony (perhaps an imitation, or possibly the foundation of Pherecydes' story of the battle of the gods)

seems to be alluded to by Apollonius, 4


his

for

he represents

and sky and water separated themselves out of the commingling of all things, how sun and moon and stars began their courses, and mountains, rivers and animals came into
Orpheus
as singing

how

at first earth

being
ruled

how Ophion and Eurynome, daughter of Oceanus, in Olympus, how they were afterwards hurled into
;

It is no argument of Hesiod). against it (as Schuster shows), that in the rerses quoted by Cratylus. the marriage of Oceanus and Thetys is described as the first marriage. whereas they themselves are the children of Uranus and Ga?a; and because the Tvrnmis begins the sketch of the Theogony with the words, Trjs re na.1 ObpaVov iraTdes 'n/cecwos Te koli Tr]6vs iyeueadrjv. it does not follow that Plato denies Nightto be the first principle. If the passage related to the HesiodicTheogony (which does not, like Plato, make Cronos and Phea children of Oceanus and Thetys), Chaos and

yeveaOai tuv au/xaTwu), Chaos. He begins with those gods who. as parents, open the series of _ springing from sexual union; what was prior to the earth and the heavens he does not enquire,

Eudemus. loo. cit. Joannes Lydus, Be mensibus, ii. 7. p. 19, Schow. His words, rpe7s irpwTcu nar'
;

Op(pea i^^Xdarrjcrai' apyal, vv kcl\ kclI obpavbs, are rightly applied to this Eudemic 'Theology of Orpheus by Lobeck, i. 494. 2 In favour of this theory, vide Arist. Metaph. xii. 6 (supra, 98, 4), and especially Damascius, p. 382
yrj
'
:

7)

8e -napa t<2 TlepnraTrjTiKa: Ei5^uo>


-kolv

Night would still have been passed over but Plato could as well leave out Night in this passage as Aristotle, Metaph. xiv. 4, the earth and Metaph. i. 8, 989 a, 10 (c^Tjcri
;
;

avayeypa/ifxewr]

deoAoyia

...
tt\v

airb

oe
-

els rod 'Op<pea>s ovcra to vot)tov iaia>Tr7]<reu rfjs vvurbs i-rroL-fjaaTo

Se

Kai

'Ho-ioSos

tt]v

yr\v

TrpaTT,v

o-x^ v 3 According toPlato cf. p. * Argonaut, i. 494 sqq.


;

98,5.

100

INTRODUCTION.

the ocean by Cronos and Rhea, and these in their turn

were overthrown by Zeus.


also to be

Traces of this theogony are


1
-,

met with elsewhere

but philosophic concepit

tions are as little to be detected in

as in the
2

poems

of Hesiod.

third Orphic cosmogony

places at the

beginning of cosmical development water and primitive slime,

which

latter solidifies

and forms the earth.


lion,

From

these two a dragon arises, winged, and with the

face of a

god

on one side he has the head of a

and on the other that of a bull. He is called by the mythologists, Heracles and Chronos, the never-aging
one
;

with him

is

united Necessity, or Adrastea (accordis

ing to

Damascius, in a hermaphrodite form), who


remotest ends.
3

said to be spread abroad incorporeally throughout the

universe to

its

Chronos-Heracles prolower, the

duces a gigantic egg,

which, dividing in the midst,


its

forms with
earth.
1

its

upper half the sky, and with

There seems to have been further mention 4 of a


what
is cited
iv.

Cf.

by

Preller,

aside Opliion
2

and Eurynome.
Athec.

385 sq., from Lycophr. Alex. v. 1192; and Tzetzes, in h. 1., Schol. Aristoph. Nub. Schol. Mschyl. Prom. 955 247 Though Lucian, Tragodopod. 99.
Rhein. Mus. X. F.
;

Ap. Damascius, 381.

Orpheus
sages,

is

not

named

in these pas-

them, as in the Orpheus of Apollonius, thatOphion, Chronos and Zeus are regarded as the three kings of the gods, of whom the two first were overthrown
find in

we

by

their

successor.

Perhaps the

statement of Nigidius Eigulus relates to the same theogony (Serv. ad Eel. iv. 10), namely, that according to Orpheus, Saturn and Jupiter were the first rulers of the world the tradition which he follows, however, seems to have set
;

15 (18). 3 According to Brandis, i. 67, Chronos first begot iEther, Chaos and Erebus, and afterwards the egg of the world Lobeck's view of the passage (Aglaoph. i. 485 sq.), however, seems to me undoubtedly correct; according to this view, what is said of the begetting of iEther &c. is referred, not to the cosmogony of Hellanicus, but to the usual Orphic theogony in which it is really to be found. 4 The confused representation of Damascius leaves it somewhat uncertain whether these features really belong to this theogony.
nag. Supplic.
;

ORPHIC COSMOGONIES.

101

god who had golden wings on his shoulders, bulls' heads on his haunches, and a huge snake appearing among
various animal forms on his head
;

this god, described

by Damascius as incorporeal, is called Protogonos or Zeus, and also Pan, as bringing order into all things. Here not only is the symbolism far more complicated than with Eudemus, but the thoughts, too, are in
advance of the cosmogonies we have been considering.

Behind Chronos and Adrastea are the abstract notions the incorporeality of Adrastea of time and necessity and Zeus presupposes a discrimination of corporeal and spiritual which was unknown even to Philosophy until
;

the appearance of Anaxagoras

the spreading out of

Adrastea through the universe


ception of Zeus as

reminds
;

us

of

the

Platonic doctrine of the World- soul

and in the cona pantheism, the

Pan we recognise

germ
be

of which lay, indeed, from the beginning in the of the Greeks, but which cannot

naturalistic religion

proved by

authentic

evidence to

have actually
syn-

existed before the period

when the

individuality of the

various

gods had been

destroyed by religious

cretism, and

when Stoicism had done much


;

to spread
for

abroad the pantheistic theory of the universe

none

of the older systems, however pantheistic in tendency,

had

so great or so general
still

an influence.
1

The

pantheistic

more clearly in the story of the birth and swallowing of Phanes {infra, pp. 104, 106).
element comes out
That this trait was present in the Orphic theogony of Hellanicus is clear from Athenag. c. 16 (20), for it is most improbable that he should have taken the Orphic verses
1

mentioning Phanes from any other exposition than that from which he had previously made quotations exactly corresponding with the Hellanicus theogony of Damascius.

102
If,

INTRODUCTION.
therefore, this cosmogony, as
is

usually supposed,

was known to Hellanicus of Lesbos in the middle of


the
fifth

century,

we must

assign

many

ideas which ap-

peared only in the later Greek Philosophy to an earlier


period.

Lobeck, however

question

whether

and Miiller 2 rightly such could have been the case.


(loc. cit.),

Damascius himself hints at the doubtful source of the account he follows 3 its content bears pretty evident
;

internal traces of an after date, and as

we

certainly

know that spurious


circulated
4

writings of a very late period were

under the name of the Lesbian logographer,


Schuster calls, I know not why, Apollodorus. This conjecture has in its favour that Sandon, according vnudeaeis ets Suidas, wrote to

Cf. Schuster, p. 32, whose other conjectures, however, p. 83, do not commend themselves to me.
1

Which Brandis
66.

accepts,

loc.

cit. p.
2 3

Fragmenta hist. Grcec. His words, loc. cit.,a,ve


7]

i.

xxx.
r)

Toiavrr)

fiev

avvr)6r)s 'OpipiKr)

deo\oyia.

Kara rbv 'lepcovvfiou Qpof.ievr) teal 'EWdviKoy, efrrep fir) kcu 6 <xvt6s ccttiv, ovTws ex et They appear to me to convey that the work of which they are treating was attributed to Hierorymus as well as to
Se
-

Hellanicus, and that Damascius himself, or his authority, was of opinion that under these two names one and the same author was concealed who in that case naturally could not have been the ancient logographer of Lesbos. * Vide Mulltr, loc. cit. Schuster, in his excursus on the theogony of Hellanicus, loc. cit. pp. 80100, conjectures with Lobeck that its author was Hellanicus, otherwise unknown to us, the father of the philosopher Sandon (Suidas, Sai/Su;*/), whose son (the Stoic Athenodorus of Tarsus) was the instructor of Augustus, and whom
;

and if Hellanicus. like his grandson, and probably also his son, was a Stoic, this would agree with the fact that the theogony (as Schuster, loc. cit. 87 sqq. proves) has points of contact with the Stoic pantheism and treatment of myths. The saying of Damascius, however, quoted in note 3, seems to me to contradict this assumption. If Hellanicus of Tarsus, in the end of the second century before Christ, published an Orphic theo'Op<p4a
;

gony under

his

difficult to see

own name, it is how this work could

bear the name of Hieronymus as well, and how Damascius could imagine that the same author was concealed under these two names. Schuster (p. 100) believes that Hellanicus wrote the theogony, but borrowed the material of the first part from a work by Hieronymus. But this theogony cannot hare been known as the production of Hellanicus. for Athenagoras expressly ascribes to Orpheus the

ORPHIC COSMO G0X1ES.


there
is

103

every probability that the Orphic theology does

not belong to
as

him

at

all,

whatever

may be
its

the truth

to its authorship

and the time of

composition.
;

verses -which Schuster rightly considers as having belonged to this

work

besides,

it

was natural that

a poem professing to set forth an Orphic theogony should announce itself as a work of Orpheus. Damascius does not say that Hellanicus and Hieronymus were described as the author* of the theogony but as he calLs the theogony
;

Epictetus, Diss. li. 19, 14 cf. Photius, Cod. 161, p. 104 a, 13 sq., for the type of a book of fables, an 1 cannot possibly have emanated from the Lesbian writer, if only

because Moses

is

mentioned in
10
a).

it

(v. Justin, Cohort. 9, p.

We

hear, on the other hand (Joseph. Ant. i. 3, 6, 9). of an Egyptian

used by Eudemus,
jueVrj
;

c.

124:

f)

irapCL

Hieronymus, who wrote an apxaioXoyia cpoiviKiKT}, but who cannot


possibly (as Miiller,
lieves) be the
loc.
cit.,

tu) Trepnra.TT)TiK(f Ev8r)/j.cp avayeypaij.-

be-

so

by

f]

Kara rbv

'Iepuvu/j.ov

same person as the

qxpojxivT) teal

'EWavinov. he must

mean a theogony, the contents of which Hieronymus and Hellanicus


had expounded, but the author of which, as of all the other theogoB, was Orpheus. As to the fact that the divergences from the commonly received Orphic thecgony are the same in both cases, and that Damascius conjectures the two authors to be one and the same, the easiest explanation seems to be that this exposition may have been found in two manuscripts, of which one bore the name of Hellanicus, and the other that of Hieronymus, and that Damascius believed one of these to have been falsely ascribed to its so-called author by the real author of the other. Xow it appears from Porph. ap. Euseb.
prop. ev. x. 3, 10, Suidas. Za,uoA|is. Athen. xiv. 652 a. and others (cf. 3Iuller, loc. cit. and i. 65 .sqq. ), that in later times writings about foreign nations were in circulation
tinder the

Peripatetic of Rhodes. It seems a probable conjecture (Miiller, ii. 450j that he was the person who, according to Damascius, had trans-

mitted this Orphic theogony and the idea gains considerable support from the observation (Schuster, loc. cit. 90 sqq.) that this theogony in
;

its

differs

commencement, just where it from the ordinary Orphic

name of Hellanicus of Lesbos, the authenticity of which there was good reason to doubt in particular, the PdyxntriaKa is mentioned as a work that stands in

theogony, coincides with the Phoenician cosmogonies. This Hieronymus may have affixed the name of Hellanicus to the AlyvTmaKa at the same time that he published the Phoenician history under his own name, and may have expressed himself in both works to the same effect concerning the Orphic theogony. That he composed such a theogony is, as we have said, unlikely. He seems rather to have confined himself to developing what he took from the common theogony by borrowing the notion of water and primitive slime from His the Phoenician cosmology. exposition must have been used by

Athenagoras as well as by Damascius, for a

Neo-Platonist can hardly be suspected of dependence on the

104

INTROD UCTION.

Lobeck considers that we have a more ancient Orphic cosmogony in that designated by Damascius
(c.

123, p. 380) as the usual Orphic theogony, or the

one contained in the rhapsodies, and of which

many
Here

fragments and

notices 1 have been


first

preserved.

Chronos
or Chaos

is

represented as the

of all existences.

He

brings forth iEther and the dark immeasurable abyss,


:

from these he then forms a


all

silver egg,

out of
2

which, illuminating

things, proceeds Phanes, the

first-born god, called also Metis, Eros,

and Ericapseus
all

he contains within himself the germs of


for this reason, as it

gods, and

would appear,

is

described as her-

maphrodite, and endowed with various animals' heads,

and other attributes of the kind.


Echidna, or

Phanes alone begets Night, and, in marriage with her, Uranus

and

Grasa,

the progenitors of the intermediate races of

gods, whose history and genealogy are essentially the

same

as with Hesiod.

When

Zeus attains sovereignty


is
3
)

he devours Phanes, and consequently


our previous quotation from Orpheus
(Inbegriff) of
all

himself (as in
the ideal

sum
all

things.

After having thus united

Christian apologist (Schuster, p. 81); and besides, the exposition of Damascius goes farther than that what is said in of Athenagoras the former of Hellanicus and Hieronymus is wanting in the latter.
;

jority of commentators, I consider an Eastern origin probable, though


I

whether

Cf. Lobeck. loc. cit. 405 sqq. There have been many conjee-

it an open question Delitzsch (cf. Schuster, loc. cit.) has most reason for referring it to the Cabbalistic designation of the first of the ten Sephiroth, pQ3X q'HX (loug-visaged),

must leave

tures as to the signification of this name. Cf. Gottlmg, Be Ericap. (Jena, 1862), who derives it from %a 9 and k6.itos or Kanrvs (breath), ventorum vernalium afflatus SchusWith the mater, he. cit. 97 sq.
;

W
D
'

or Schelling

Gotth.
viii

v.

Samothr.

W.

Abth
''

pre fer ring


,"
_.
'
'"

^ N ^
-

the

402 sq> ) for Old Testament


64
s

(bng-suffering).
>

Cf suP ra

P-

ORPHIC COSMOGOSIES.
things in himself, he again puts

105

them

forth,

producing

the gods of the last generation, and forming the world.

Among
which
striking

the stories of the younger gods (for the rest of


I

must
is

refer the reader to Lobeck), the

most

that of Dionysus Zagreus, son of Zeus and

Persephone, who, rent in pieces by the Titans, comes


to life again in the second Dionysus, after

Zeus has

swallowed his heart, which was

still

entire.

The theory that


time of Lobeck
l

this

whole theogony dates from the

period of Onomacritus and the Pisistratida?, since the


has found
it.

much

favour, but I

am

unable to support

The utterances

of ancient authors
to

which are supposed to contain allusions

such a

theogony, do not carry us beyond the theogony which

Eudemus made
attested
in

use

of.

Its existence is first distinctly

the

pseudo-Aristotelian

treatise

on the

world,
at

subsequently therefore to the Christian era, or


it; 3 for, as

any rate not long before


p.

(supra,
(iv.

65

sq.),

the passage from the


still

we have seen Platonic Laws

less can be deduced from the Aristotelian citation, 4 on which Brandis 5

715 E) proves nothing, and

relies so

much. Since Plato in the Symposium (178 B does not mention Orpheus among those who assert the
i
'
)

antiquity of Eros,
1

we may

rather indeed suppose that


is

(p.

Lobeck, however, advances it 611) very cautiously, ut statim,

rather

earlier.

Yarro

in

Au-

cessurus, si quis
certe

Theogoniam Orjphi-

cam Platone aut


non
;

recentiorem ant madia antiquiorem esse

gustine's Civit. Dei, vii. 9, gives us two verses of his, which seem to refer to the Orphic theogony, and

demonstraverit. 2 C. 7 according to

Lobeck

(i.

perhaps to the particular pa?- _ quoted from 7repl k6<tjj.ov. Yet he was only a later contemporary of
Cicero.
4

522 and elsewhere) we must suppose this to be an interpolation. 3 The date of Valerius Soranus

Metaph.xW. i;ct supra, p. 98,4.


Loc. at. p. 69.

106

INTRODUCTION.
doctrine
of
this

the

theogony, in
;

regard

to

Eros-

Phanes, was unknown to him


dications, as

and since

Aristotle's in-

above noted, only correspond with the


however, Plato, Aristotle, and

theogony used by Eudemus, we cannot refer them to

any other.
trines,

If,

Eudemus
we
was

did not possess that representation of the Orphic doc-

winch was at a

later period in ordinary use,


1

must conclude with Zoega

and

Preller,

that

it

not in circulation until after their time.


Apollonius 3 would scarcely have

I agree like-

wise with Zoega that so learned a mythographer as

made Orpheus

siog of

Ophion and Eurynome as the first rulers of the world, and Cronos and Rhea as the second, if the Orphic tradition then current had recognised Phanes and the elder
gods.

Even subsequently

to this there are still traces

to show that Phanes, the illuminating one, the centre

of the subsequent Orphic cosmogony, was only another

name
tion,

for Helios,

who, according to the later representagod. 4


Lastly, if

was a

much younger
it,

we consider
is

the story of Phanes, with the description of Zeus that

involved in

with reference to

its

internal character

and purpose, we
1

shall find that it is impossible to assign

Abhandlungcn, edited by WeiIn Pauly's Real-Encyl. v. 999.


Cf. supra, p. 99. Diodorus, i. 11 many ancient
:

Mus.

c.

47, p.
'6pKoi:

164, Bull, from the


7]4Xl6v tc,

cker, p. 215 sqq.


2 3 4

Orphic
fieyav,

p-iyau, Kal vvkto. p-iXaivav

(pdv-qra
<pavT\Ta

poets call Osiris, or the sun, Dionyacrrposus &v Ev/xoXttos /j.eu <pavr\ Aiovuaov 'Op(p(bs 8e' Tovvkicd fxiv Ka\4ovai 4>af7jTa Te kcu Aitwauv. Macrob. i. 18: Orpheus xolem volensintelliqi ait inter cetera : ov St] vvv Kaheovai $avT}Ta. re
:

standing here, as the want of a connecting particle shows, in apposition to t}\iov. Helios the great illuminator. Iamblichus, Theol. A/ith. p. 60 the Pythagoreans call the number ten (pdv-qra Kal H\kiov. Helios is often named Oae'flwv; e.g. Iliad, xi. 735. Od. in the epitaph in Diog. viii. v. 479
: ;

/cat

Aioyvaoi/.

Theo. Smyrn.

De

78,

and elsewhere.

ORPHIC COSMOGONIES.
this story to a very early period.

107
clearly

Xot only do we

discover in
1

it

that pantheism of which we have already

spoken, but the story can only be accounted for by a


desire to reconcile the later interpretation, according to

which Zeus
represents
of gods.

is

the ideal

sum

of all things, and the unity

of the world, with the mythological tradition

which

him as the progenitor of the last generation To this end the Hesiodic myth of the swalits

lowing of Metis by Zeus (in


the god)
the

origin most likely a

rude symbolical expression for the intelligent nature of


is

introduced, Metis

being combined with

Helios-Dionysus of the earlier Orphic theology,

with the creative Eros of the cosmogonies, and also


perhaps with Oriental divinities, to form the personality
of Phanes.

Such an attempt,

it

is

clear,

could not

have been made until the period of that religious and


philosophic syncretism, which from the third century
before Christ gradually gained ground,

and was

first

reduced to a system by the allegorical interpretation of

myths among the


1

Stoics. 2
sq.

To

that period therefore

we

Vide supra,
Schuster
is

p.

61
of

a different opinion, though he agrees with me in placing the rhapsodic theogony not earlier than the hist century, or last but one, before Christ. The verses, he says (p. 42 sq.), which are quoted in the writing irepl Kocr/xov, loc. cit., could very well date from the time of the Pisistratids, as they do not go beyond the wellknown fragment of iE^chylus
(cited Part II. a. 28, 2) ; and the myth of Phanes-Ericapa?us, as well as that of Dionysus Zagreus, need

In this, however, as it seems to me, the peculiar character of the Orphic fragments has not been sufficiently attended to. Pantury.
theistie conceptions are

certainly

found in the poets of the fifth century, and even earlier but it is one thing to say generally, 'Zeus
;

is

Heaven and

Earth,'

and quite

another to identify Zeus in detail, as these verses do, with all the different parts of the world, and

among
both

other things to attribute sexes to him (Zeus &.p<rr]v


Zei/s
'd/xfipoTos

yevero,
pvp.(pr}).

en-Aero

not have come to Greece from the East earlier than the sixth cen-

representation of the latter kind can be proved to have

No

108

INTRODUCTION.

must assign the elaboration of the Orphic theogony which we have now been considering. To sum up, then, the results of our enquiry, the
direct

gain which

Philosophy has derived from the

ancient cosmologies appears to be less than

we may

have been disposed to believe.

Firstly, because the

conceptions on which they are founded are so simple


that thought could well have attained to

them without
itself to

any such help, so soon

as it

began to apply
;

the scientific investigation of things

and, secondly,

because these cosmologies in their mythical symbolism


are
so

ambiguous, and intermingled with so

many

fantastic elements, that they afford a very uncertain

foundation for intelligent reflection.

If,

therefore, the

ancient theologians are to be considered the precursors


of the later physicists, their merit, as was asserted at

the outset of our enquiry, mainly consisted in this


that they turned the current of reflection towards cos-

mological questions,

and
its

left

to their successors the

problem of explaining the totality of phenomena by


the investigation of
existed in the

ultimate causes.
theogony. There is nothing analogous to this thought before the appearance of the Stoic philosophy, It seems the most probable suppothat this feature really imported from the Stoics into the Orphic theology, and was merely a lifeless imitation of the theory (Part III. a, 139, second edition) that the Deity from time to time took all things back into himself, and again put them
sition, therefore,

more ancient period,

We

cannot even argue directly from ^Eschylus, or his son Euphorion (the probable author of the fragment), to Onomacritus and of the Pisistratidse. the time
Lastly, in the Orphic verses, Zeus is said to be all, because he has concealed all things in himself, and brought them again to light and
;

was

that (as already shown on p. 65) is the true meaning of the stories about Phanes in the later Orphic

forth.

ETHICAL REFLECT10 X.

109

V.

Ethical Reflection.

Theology and Anthropology in

their relation to Ethics.

If the external world roused the Greeks in their


lively feeling for nature to
lation,

attempt cosmological speculess

the

life

and ways of men must no

have

occupied the mind of a nation so intelligent and versatile, so full

of freedom

and capability in practical

life.

It was inevitable, however, that reflection should take

a different course in regard to Ethics from that which


it

followed

in

regard to
itself

cosmology.

The
is

external

world presents
whole,

a building, the

even to sensuous perception as a


floor of
;

which

the earth, and

the roof, the vault of heaven

in the moral world, on

the contrary, the unpractised glance sees nothing at


first

but a confused mass of individuals or small aggregates moving about capriciously and promiscuously.

In the one

case,

attention

is

chiefly fixed

upon the

cosmos, the grand movements of the heavenly bodies,

the varying conditions of the earth, and the influence


of the seasons,

in short,
;

upon universal and regularly


There the

recurring

phenomena
is

in the other case, the interest

centres on personal actions and experiences.

imagination

required to

knowledge of nature by
tions
;

fill up the lacunae in man's means of cosmological inven-

here we require the understanding to set rules

for practical

conduct in specific
reflection
is

cases.

While

therefore,

cosmological

from the outset employed


to

upon the whole, and seeks


tions

elucidate

its

origin,

ethical reflection restricts itself to particular observa-

and rules of

life,

which are indeed founded on a

110

IXTliOD UCTION.

uniform manner of regarding moral relations, but are


not consciously and explicitly reduced to general principles

and are only connected with more universal considerations respecting the lot of man, the future
;

destiny of the soul, and the Divine government, in the

indeterminate and imaginative


sentation.

mode

of religious pre-

Ethical reflection
;

is

therefore

much more
and

barren than cosmological


intelligent observation of

starting from a sound

what

is real, it

has certainly

contributed not a

little to

the formal exercise of thought

but having arisen from a practical rather than a scientific interest, and being concerned rather with particular cases

than with general laws and the essential nature

of moral action,

from

a material point of view

its

influence on philosophic enquiry has been far less im-

mediate than that of the old cosmology. The preSocratic Nature-Philosophy was directly connected
with cosmology, but
it

was only in the sequel that

there arose a scientific moral Philosophy, as the philosophic counterpart of popular wisdom.

show the growth of this ethical reflection, the Homeric poems must first be mentioned. The great moral importance of these
the

Among

writings which

poems

rests,

however, far

less

on the maxims and moral

observations which occasionally appear in them, than on

the characters and events which they depict.

The tem-

pestuous force of Achilles, the self-forgetful love of the

hero for his dead friend, his humanity to the suppliant

Priam, Hector's courage in death, Agamemnon's kingly


presence, the ripe

wisdom of Nestor, the inexhaustible cunning, the restless enterprise, the wary persistence of

ETHICAL REFLECTION'. HOMER.


Odysseus, his attachment to
sight of

Ill

home and

kindred, the

whom

he prefers to immortality with the seato

goddess, the faithfulness of Penelope, the honour every-

where accorded in the poem


fidelity, liberality, generosity

valour,

prudence,

to strangers

and needv

persons

and, on the other hand, the woes which ensued

from the outrage of Paris, from the crime of Clvtemnestra, from the treachery of the Trojans, from the
discord of the

Greek

princes, from the arrogance of

the suitors,
of

these and
for the

the like traits

made

the poems

Homer,
still

in spite of all the

barbarism and violence

that

prevailed in the spirit of that time, a hand-

book of wisdom

Greeks and one of the principal


Philosophy, too.

instruments of their moral education.

has profited more in an indirect manner from these


pictures of

human

life

than directly from the reflections

accompanying them. The latter are confined to short scattered moral sayings, like the beautiful utterance of Hector on fighting for one's country, or that of Alcinous on our duty to desolate strangers, 2 or exhorta1

tions to courage, constancy, reconciliation,

and

so forth,

which are given for the most part, not in a general


form, but
occasion
3
;

poetically,

in

reference

to

the

particular

observations on the acts and ways of


reflections

men,
of

and their consequences, 4


1

on the

folly

II.

xii.

243

els

olwvbs apt-

gtos, a/AvvecrdaL
2

irep) -rrdTprjs.

Od.

viii.

546:

avrl Kam-yvi]-

rov e7v6s 0' Iktt)s re rervKrai. Cf. Od. xvii. 485 and elsewhere. 3 Such as the numerous speeches of the chiefs: avepes eVre &c. or the discourse of Odysseus, reT\a6i 877 Kpa5i77, Od. xx. 18 or the ex;

hortation of Phoenix, P. ix. 496, 508 sqq. or Thetis' injunction to Achilles, H. xxiv. 128 sqq. * Such as the sentences 77. xviii. 107 sqq. 11. on anger. xx. 248, on the use of the
: :

tongue

11.

xxiii.

315

sqq.

praise of prudence; the observiition in Od. xv. 399, and others.

112

INTRODUCTION.
the

mortals,

wretchedness

and uncertainty of

life,

resignation to the will of the gods, abhorrence of injustice. 1

Such utterances incontestably prove that not only moral life, but also reflection on moral subjects, had made a certain degree of progress in the time to
which the poems of Homer belong, and what has previously been said on the importance of popular

wisdom

in

regard to Philosophy applies

with equal

force here.

We

must

not, however, on the other hand,

overlook the distinction between these incidental and


isolated reflections,

and a methodical moral Philosophy,


it is

conscious of the end

pursuing.

and moral observations are of a similar character but it must be regarded as some approximation to the modes of scientific reflection, that
Hesiod's rules of
life
;

he utters
didactic

his thoughts

on

human

life,

not merely in-

cidentally in the course of an epic narration, but in a

poem designed

for this

express purpose.

In

other respects, even apart from the economic directions,

and the various superstitious


the second part of the
are as
'

prescripts,

which occupy

Works and

Days,' the thoughts

incoherent, and as

much
in the

derived

from single

experiences, as the

maxims

The poet exhorts


the actions of
x

to justice,

Homeric discourses. and warns against inof Zeus

justice, for the all-seeing eye

watches over
;

men

well-doing alone brings blessing


:

Thus
II.

aKihvoTepov youa
etc.
oitj

in Od. xviii. 129 ovdkv avOpwiroto Tpe'(f>e:

sity as he wills. Od. vi.

188

bear
the

what Zeus has ordained.


other hand,
cf.

On

vi.

146

(cf.

xxi.

464):
ko.1

-nep <pv\hoi/
11.

yever)

toi^S?
:

ai>Spwv.

xxiv. 525

of mortals is to live Zeus decrees prosperity or adver-

The fate among sighs

Od. 132: Man is wrong to call the gods the authors of evil, which he himself has brought down upon himself by his
faults.

HOMER AND
He recommends

HESIOD.

113
1

crime, on the contrary, will be punished by the gods.


frugality, diligence

and contentment, and warmly rebukes the opposite faults 2 he says it is better to keep the toilsome path of virtue than to
;

follow the

more

attractive road of vice

3
;

he counsels

prudence in business, friendliness to neighbours, courtesy


to all

who

are courteous to us. 4


life,

He

complains of the

troubles of

the cause of which he seeks, like the

mythologists, in wrong done to the gods by the pride

and presumption of men. 5

In the account of the


(it

five

ages of the world, 6 he describes

may
7
)

be under the

influence of historical reminiscences


terioration of
this

the gradual de-

man and

his circumstances.

Though

in

Hesiod departs considerably, in


reflection

many

respects,

from

the spirit of the Homeric poems, yet the stage attained

by moral
same.

is

in
it

both cases essentially the

But

in

Hesiod

assumes a more independent


of

attitude, for

which reason only we recognise in him,

rather than in
poets.

Homer, the precursor

the Grnomic

We
1

should be better able" to trace the farther dethis reflection if


7]fx4pai y

velopment of
y

more remained

to us of

Ep7o

ko!

200-283,
sqq.

318 sqq.
2

Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid.

359 sqq.

11

296

sqq.
9
4

285 sqq. 368 sqq. 704 sqq. 340

sqq.

In the myth of Prometheus ("Ep7a Ka\ T)fx4pai, 42 sqq. Theognis, 507 sqq.). of which the general
;

significance is the same as other mythical explanations of the evils

by which we
pressed;

feel

ourselves

op-

contented with his originally happy and childlike state, stretched forth his hand towards good things which God had forbidden him. 6 "Epya kcu y/xepai, 108 sqq. 7 Cf. Preller, Demeter und Persephone, 222 sqq. Grieck. Mythol. i. 59 sq. Hermann, Ges. Abh. p. TVe must 306 sqq. and others. not, however, be too minute in our conjectures concerning the historical circumstances on which this mythus is founded.
; ;

namely, that man, disI.

VOL.

114

INTRODUCTION.

the numerous poems written in the next three centuries.

Very few of such fragments as we possess carry us beyond the beginning of the seventh century, and
these contain scarcely anything relevant to our present

enquiry.

Even from the fragments


little.
1

of the seventh

century we can glean but very


indeed, to Tyrtseus,

We may

listen,

exalting courage in battle, and


;

death for one's country


get from Archilochus
2

or describing the disgrace of


;

the eoward and the unhappiness of the conquered


(Fr. 8, 12-14, 51, 60, 65),
1

we
4

from

Simonides of Amorgos 3 (Fr.


(Fr. 2 et

sqq.),

from Mimnermus

passim), complaints of the transitoriness of

youth, the burdens of old age, the uncertainty of the


future, the fickleness of

men

and, at the same time,

exhortations to limit our desires, to bear our fate


fully, to

man-

commit the

results of our actions to the gods,

to be moderate both in sorrow

and in joy.
as these
:

We
'

find in

Sappho
4

gnomic sentences, such


good, the good
is also

The beau-

tiful is also

beautiful' (Fr. 102)

Wealth without virtue does not profit, but in their union lies the acme of happiness.' Nor must we omit to mention in this connection Simonides' elaborate
satire

on

women

(Fr. 6).

On

the whole, however, the

older lyricists, as also the great poets in the end of the

seventh century, Alcaeus and Sappho, and long after

them Anacreon, seem

to have dealt but sparingly in


It

such general reflections.

was not until the sixth

century, contemporaneously, or nearly so, with the rise


1

Greek

Fr. 7-9 in Bergk's edition of lyrics, to which the follow-

2
3 4
5

About 700 b.c. Before 650 b.c.

ing quotations relate. lived about 685 b.c.

Tyrtseus

About 600 About 610

b.c. b.c.

GXOMIC POETS. SIXTH CENTURY.


of

115

Greek Philosophy, that the didactic element in poetry appears to have again attained greater importance.

To that period belong the Gnomic


;

poets

Solon,

Phocylides, and Theognis


irrespective of

their sayings, however, even


to be interpolated, are

what we know

mostly of doubtful authenticity.


of the sixth century ^Esop also

During the first half lived, whose legendary


that
instructive

form seems
fables

at

any rate to
reflection,

prove

about animals, in connection with the general

growth of moral
find,

had then become greatly developed and popularised. In all these writers we
as

compared with the older poets, an advance had ripened by the acquisition of more varied experience, and by the study of more complex situations. The Gnomic poets of the
clearly indicating that thought

had before their eyes an agitated political existence, in which the manifold inclinations and passixth century
sions of

men found ample


been

scope, but in

which

also the

vanity and evil of immoderate aims and intemperate

conduct had

demonstrated on a grand
affairs of
;

scale.

Their reflections, therefore, are no longer concerned

merely with the simple


village, or the ancient

the household, the

monarchy

the condition of

man

as to his political circumstances is the

prominent and

determining element even in their general moral prescripts

and observations.
life,

They heap up lamentations


all

over the misery of

the illusions and instability of

men, and the vanity of


is

human endeavours
that

but

it

only to assert the more forcibly

the

moral

problem consists in seeking man's greatest happiness


in the

maintenance of just measure, in the order


i

ot

116

INTRODUCTION.

the commonwealth, in the impartial distribution of


justice,
in
is

the reasonable repression of his

desires.

This tone
to Solon.

already predominant in the elegies ascribed


mortal,
1

No

we

are there told,

is

happy,

all

are full of trouble


right,

(Fr. 14); each thinks to find the

and yet no one knows what will be the result of his doings, and no one can escape his destiny (Fr. 12, 33 sqq., Fr. 18) 2 hardly any can be trusted (cf. Fr.
;

41), none keeps measure in


its

his efforts

the people by

own

injustice destroys the city,


3,

which the gods would

have protected (Fr.


these evils, the
state,
first

12, 71
is

sqq.).

necessity

As opposed to law and order for the


for the individual
;

contentment and moderation


is

not wealth, but virtue,

the highest good


;

superfluity

of possessions begets only self-exaltation

man

can be

happy with a moderate amount, and ought in no case to draw down upon himself the certain punishment of G-od by unrighteous gains. 3 The well-being of the Lawlessness state depends upon a similar disposition. and civil discord are the worst evils, order and law the greatest good for a commonwealth right and freedom
;

for all,

obedience to the government, just distribution

of honour and influence

these
4

are the points

which

the legislator should keep in view, no


offence he
1

matter what

may
ou5e

give by
jxaKap

it.

Fr.

14.

ov8eh
irovnpoi

in Hesiod, Fr. 43, 5


2

et 'passim.

ireAercu

fiporbs,
;

a^Xa

irdvTes

hore7roj/7jpbs, in

opposition

1, 31, Solon distinctly says that death is better

In Herodotus,
life,

to fxinap. is not to be understood actively (ir6vos, causing evil), but passively (irdvos, suffering evil, well-known itriirovos). as in the verse of Epicharmus' (vide infra, chapter on Pythagoreism, sub Jin.)

for

men than
s

15, 16, and the well-known story of Herodotus, i. 30 sqq.

Fr.

7,

12,

Fr.

3,

30 sqq. 4-7, 34, 35, 40.

PIIOCYLIDES.

THEOGNIS.

117

We

meet with the same principles


B.C.).

in the few au-

thentic fragments that remain to us of the writings of

Phocylides (about 540


avail
state,

Noble descent is of no to individuals, nor power and greatness to the unless in the one case wisdom is superadded, and
Mediocrity
;

in the other order (Fr. 4, 5).

is

best

the

middle rank
ideal
also

is

the happiest (Fr. 12)


1

justice is the
2

sum

of all virtues.

With
;

these ideas Theog-nis

substantially agrees

but in this writer we find


politics,

sometimes his aristocratic view of


of his

and some-

times his dissatisfaction with his lot (a consequence

into

own personal and political experiences), brought undue prominence. Brave and trustworthy people
77 sqq.
Mistrustful circumspection
is

are rare, Theognis thinks, in the world (v.

857

sqq.).

the more to

be recommended in our intercourse with our fellow

men
1135

(v.

309, 1163), the harder


(v.

it

is

to

fathom their
(v.

sentiments
sqq.),

119

sqq.).

Truth, he

complains

and

virtue, sincerity
;

and the

fear of Grod

have deserted the earth


alter

hope alone remains.


as unjust as

Vain

is

the attempt to instruct the wicked, instruction will not

them. 3

Fate, however,

is

mankind.

The good and the bad fare alike in the world (v. 373 sqq.) good fortune does more for a man than virtue
;

(v.

129, 653); foolish conduct often brings happiness,


(v.

and wise conduct, misery

133,
;

161

sqq.);

sons

suffer for their fathers' crimes


1

the criminals

them-

Fr. 18,

of Theognis, or

according to others, perhaps taken from

some unknown writer. A native of Megara, contemporary of Phocylides. 3 V. 429 sqq., with which (as

Plato remarks in the Meno, 95 D) it is not very consistent that Theognis should say in v. 27, 31 sqq. ct passim, that from the good we learn good and from the evil, evil.
;

118
selves

INTRODUCTION.
go unpunished (731 sqq.). men admire he who
l

Wealth
is

is

the only

thing that
so

poor, be he never
sqq.

virtuous, remains wretched (137

649).
;

The
the
:

best thing for

man, therefore,

is

never to be born

next best to die as soon as possible (425 sqq. 1013)

no

one

is

truly happy.

But though

this sounds very dis-

consolate, Theognis ultimately arrives at the


tical result as Solon
;

same pracpolitics,

not indeed in reference to

for he is

a decided aristocrat
;

the nobly born are with


uncertain, and because
tells us

him the good


v.

the mass of the people, the bad (e g. 31-68, 183 sqq. 893 et passim). His general moral

standpoint, however, approaches very nearly to that of


Solon.

Because happiness

is

our lot does not depend upon ourselves, he

we

have

all

the greater need of patience and courage, of

equability and self-possession in good fortune and in


evil

(441 sqq. 591 sqq. 657).


is

What

is

best for

man

is

prudence, what
sqq.)
;

worst

is

folly (895,

1171 sqq. 1157


the height

to guard against arrogance, not to overstep the


is

right measure, to keep the golden mean,

of

wisdom (151
still

sqq.

331,

335,

401, 753,

1103
is

et

passim).
course

Here, a philosophic moral principle


wanting, for these scattered rules of

of
are

life

not as yet based upon general enquiries concerning the


essence of moral activity, but the various influences and

experiences are already beginning to unite,

much more
life.

consciously and definitely than with the older poets, to

form a uniform and connected theory of human


1

V.

699

sqq.

Cf.,

among

others, the

of Alcseus in Diog. i. 31, and the saying there quoted of Aristodemus the Spar-

Fragment

tan, who by some authors is reckoned one of the seven wise

men.

THE SEVEN SAGES.


Antiquity
itself

119

when

ethical

marked the importance of the epoch reflection began to be more decidedly


Their
1

developed, by the legend of the seven sages.

names,
lives
2

as

is

well

known, are variously given,

and

such details as have come down

to us respecting their

sound

so

improbable that we must regard them


than history.
3

as fiction rather

The maxims,

too,

which

are ascribed to
1

them
:

are intermingled to such an extent


mione, Anaxagoras
;

Only four are mentioned in enumerations Thales, the Bias, Pittacus and Solon. Besides
all

if

we add Pam-

these, Plato (Frot.

343 A) names

also Cleobulus, Myso and Chilo instead of so, most writers (as Demetrius Phalereus ap. Stobaeus,

My

Floril. 3. 79; Pausanias, x. 24; Diog. i. 13, 41; Plutarch, Con v. Periander substitute Sap.) S. for My so. Euphorus ap. Diog. i. the author mentioned 41, and

philus and Pisistratus, and the three named by Hippobotus (ap. Diog. he. cit., together with nine others), Linus, Orpheus, and Epicharmus. we get in all twenty-two persons of very various periods, who were counted among the seven

wise men.
2 For instance, the anecdote related in Diog. i. 27 sqq., Phoenix in Athen. xi. 495, and elsewhere in different versions, of the tripod (or. as others say, the goblet, cup, or dish) which was fished up out of the sea, and intended fur the wisest, was first given to Thales. passed on by him to another, and so on. uutil at last it returned to him again, and was dedicated 1 y him to Apollo. Cf. the accounts of the meetings of the four sages in Diog. i. 40 Solon, 4 Plutarch (where two descriptions of such meetings, probably analogous to those of Plutarch, are quoted from Ephorus and a certain Arehetimus statement of Plato cf. also the (Prolog. 343 A) about the inscriptions they dedicated together at the temple of Delphi the interpolated letters, ap. Diogenes, the assertion
;
;

anonymously in Stobgeus, Floril. 48, 47, have Anacharsis. Clemens,


Strom,
i.

299 B, says the accounts

fluctuate between Periander, Anacharsis and Epimenides; the last


is
<\\<o

mentioned by Leander, who has Leophantus in place of Cleo;

bulus (Diog. loc. oil.) Diciearchus leaves the choice of the three doubtful sages to be decided between Aristodemus, Pamphilus, Chilo, Cleobulus, Anacharsis, and Periander. Some include also Pythagoras, Pherecydes, Acusilaus, and even Pisistratus, in the number (Diog. and Clemens, loc. clt.). Hermippus ap. Diog. {loc. cit.) mentions seventeen names among which the accounts are divided viz. Solon, Thales, Pittacus, Bias, Chilo, Myso, Cleobulus, Periander, Anacharsis, Acusilaus, Epimenides. Leophantus, Pherecydes, Aristodemus. Pythagoras, Lasus of Her;

Be Ei. c. 3, p. 385, about Periander and Cleobulus. 3 Vide Diog. i. 30, 33 sqq.; 58 sqq. 63, 69 sqq. 85 sq. 97
in Plut.

1 20

INTR OD UCTION.

with later ingredients, and with proverbial expressions


of

unknown

origin, that very few can be


1

traced with

They are all, any certainty to either of these men. however, of the same character, consisting of isolated
observations,

maxims

of prudence,

and moral sentences

belonging entirely to the sphere of popular and practical

wisdom. 2

This quite accords with the circumstance


lawgivers. 3
4

that most of the seven sages were celebrated as states-

men and
fore,

We

cannot

but agree, there-

with Dicsearchus

in regarding

them

as intelligent

men, and capable


or wise

legislators,

but not as philosophers,

men

in the sense of the Aristotelian School. 5

They only represent the


in connection with the

practical culture which, about

the end of the seventh century, received a


political

new impulse
philo-

circumstances of the

Greek nation.
sqq.

Though they cannot be reckoned


;

Clemens, 103 sqq. 108; the collections i. 300 A sq. of Demetrius Phalereus and Sosiades ap. Stobseus; Floril. 3, 79 sq. Stobseus himself in different parts of the same work, and many others, Por example, the lyric fragments in Diog. i. 71, 78, 85; the word of Pittacus, which Simonides quotes in Plato, Prot. 339 C; that of Cleobulus, also quoted by Himonides, ap. Diog. i. 90; that of Aristodemus, quoted by Alcaeus,
Sworn,
;

apophthegms. 3 Solon and Thales were thus


distinguished, as is well known Pittacus was Aesymnetes of Mytilene; Periander, tyrant of Corinth Myso,
;
;

Diog.
'

i.

31.

l The remarkable statement of Sextus {Pyrrh. ii. 65, X, 45) which would presuppose physical enquiriesin others of the wise men Thales viz. that Bias besides maintained the reality of motion stands quite aloiie, and is probably only an idle and ingenious deduction from one of his poems or

according to Hipponax (Pr. 34 b, Diog. i. 107), had been declared by Apollo the mosc blameless of men the name of Bias was used proverbially for a wise judge (Hipponax, Demodicus, and Heracleitus ap. Diog. j. 84, 88; Strabo, xiv. 12, p. 636 Cos. Diodorus, Exc. de virtute Chilo is said et vit. p. 552 Wess). by Herod, (i. 59) to have interpreted a miraculous portent, 4 Similarly PluDiog. i. 40. tarch, Solon, c. 3 sub fin. The assertion to the coutrary in the Greater Hippias, 281 c, ascribed to Plato, is manifestly incorrect, 5 Cf. Arist. Metaph. i. 1, 2; Eth. N. vi. 7.
; ;

THE SEVEN SAGES.


sophers,
in

121

the stricter

meaning

of

the term, they

stand on the threshold of Philosophy, a relation which


tradition has strikingly expressed

the wisest of the seven, to


turns after completing
first

whom

by distinguishing as the mythic tripod re-

its

round, the founder of the

school of Natural Philosophy.

In order to acquaint ourselves thoroughly with the


soil
still

from which Greek Philosophy sprang, we have


to

consider

how

far

the notions of the Greeks

about

God and human

nature, before the middle of

the sixth century, had been altered in the course of

advancing culture.

That some change had occurred


moral

we may take
consciousness

for granted, for in proportion as the


is

purified
is

Deity, from which

and extended, the idea of derived the moral law and the moral

government of the universe, must also become purified and extended and the more man realises his liberty
;

and

his

superiority to other

natural

existences,

the

more

will

he be inclined to distinguish the spiritual


its

element of his own nature in


gress of morals

essence, origin

and

future destiny from the corporeal element.

The probut

and of ethical
to theology

reflection

was therefore
;

of great

moment

and anthropology

their influence was

more broadly apparent when Philosubsequent to

sophy had attained to an independent development.

The
the

older

poets,

Homer and
;

Hesiod,

in their notions of Deity, do not essentially transcend

standpoint

of their

predecessors

we

can

only

discover,

by slight indications, that a purer idea of God was gradually forming itself, and the presupposed
plurality of gods

more and more giving place

to the

122

INTRODUCTION.

conception of Zeus as the moral ruler of the universe.

Under

this aspect Archilochus celebrates

him when he

says (Fr. 79) that he beholds the works of men, both

the evil and the good, and even watches over the doings
of animals
fate
;

and the more the poet

is

convinced that

and fortune order all things, that the mind of man changes like the day which Zeus allots to him, that the
gods raise those that are
that stand (Fr. 14, 51, 69)
exhortations to
fallen,

and cast down those

the

commit

all

more earnest are his things to God. So also


introduction
of

Terpander
things

consecrates

the

hymn
all

(Fr. 4) to Zeus, as the beginning


;

and director of
1 )

and the elder Simonides sings (Fr.


all

that Zeus

has in his hand the end of


as

that exists, and orders it

he

wills.
;

But
is,

similar passages are to be found even


this respect the difference

in

Homer

and in

between
Solon

the two poets

perhaps, only one of degree.

more decidedly passes beyond the


idea of Grod,

older anthropomorphic'

when he
all
is

(13, 17 sqq.) says,

Zeus, indeed,

watches over

things,

and nothing

is

hidden from

him, but he

not aroused to anger by individual acts


;

as mortals are

when crime has accmnulated, punishtempest which sweeps the


sooner or later, retribution
so,

ment breaks

in like the

clouds from the sky, and

Here the influence of moral reflection reacting upon the notion of Deity cannot be mistaken. 2 We see the same reflection in Theognis
overtakes everyone.'

A later contemporary of Archilochus, about 680 B.C. 2 That the Divine retribution is often long withheld is a thought which we continually meet with, even as early as Homer {II. iv.
1

160, and other passages), but the express antithesis of Divine retributive justice, and of human passion, shows a purer conception of Deity.

ANTHROPOLOGY.
with a different result
;

123
9

thought of the gods knowledge leads him to doubt their justice. power and
for the
1

The thoughts

of men,' he says, 'are vain (v. 141, 402)


all

the gods bring to pass

things as seemeth
efforts
if

them
the
(v.

gx>od,

and vain are

all

man's

the

daemon has

I*

stined

him

to adversity.

The gods know

mind
887).
in
v.

and deeds of the just and of the unjust' This consideration is sometimes connected

(as

445, 591, 1029 sqq.) with exhortations to resignation,

but in other places the poet irreverently accuses Zeus of


treating good and evil alike, of loading sinners with

wealth, of condemning the righteous to poverty, and of


visiting the sins of fathers on their innocent children.
1

If

we may suppose such


that

reflections to

have been

at all

frequent in those times,

we can the more

easily under-

stand

some of the ancient

philosoj)hers

should

contemporaneously have opposed to the anthropomorphic notions of polytheism an essentially different


conception of God.
tion did no

This conception, indeed, could only have come from Philosophy unphilosophic reflec;

more than prepare the way

for

it,

without

actually quitting the soil of the popular faith.

The history of this order of ideas is completely bound up with the theories about death and a future state. The dissaid of anthropology.

The same may be

crimination of soul and body originates in the sensuous


1

373.
-

iv tcivtt]
ttolv-

jJiolpa toi>

re hiKaiov %x* LV

>

ZeO <i'A.e, 0au,ucza> ae ah yap rsaaiv avdaazis


.
. .

etc.

av6pcI>Truv

5'
.

e3 olada voov koX


.

6v/u.bi>

ticdo-Tov

ttws

S-f]

crev,

KopovlSr},

To\/j.a vuos

similarly 731 sqq., where the ques tion is likewise asked tout adavdrccu $acri\ev t irws kt.1
* ff T\

avfjpas aAiTpuvs

diKaiov k.t.A.

124

INTROD UCTIOX.
his

man from

experience

of their actual separation,

from beholding the corpse out of which the animating


breath has departed.
at
first

Therefore the notion of the soul

contains nothing but what

may

be immediately
is

derived from that experience.

The

soul

represented
;

as an essence of the nature of breath or air

as cor-

poreal (for
in the

it

dwells in the body and quits


of something extended
*),

it

at death

manner

but without the

completeness and power of the living man.

In regard

to the soul after its separation from the body

and departure to the other world, we know from the Homeric representations what was thought on the subject 2 the
substance of the

man

is

his

body

the bodiless souls in

Hades are

like

shadows and shapes of mist, or like forms

which appear in dreams to the living, but cannot be grasped vital power, speech, and memory have deserted
;

them

the sacrificial blood of offerings restores their


little

speech and consciousness, but only for a

time.
5

few favoured ones, indeed, enjoy a happier fate


soul of a murdered perinstance, escapes through the wound. Cf. II. xvi. 505, 856 xxii. 362, and many other passages in Homer. 2 Od. x. 490 sqq.; xi. 34 sqq. 151 sqq. 215 sqq. 386 sqq.; 466 11. i. 3 ; xxiv. sub init. ; sqq.
1

while

The

son, for

and beneath the earth (Od. xi. 297 sqq.) Menelaus and Ehadamanthus, who, the one as the son;

in-law, the other as the son of Zeus, were taken to Elysium instead of The dying. {Od. iv. 561 sqq.)

xxiii.
3

69 sqq.

The avrbs
II- i-

in

opposition to

strange statement that Hercules himself in Olympus, while his shadow remained in Hades Od. xi. 600) a notion in which

was
(

the

tyvxT),
4

4.

later allegorists

the usual description, with which Od. xi. 540 sqq. 567

This

is

sqq. is certainly at variance. 5 by Tiresias, who e.g.

the

favour of Persephone retained his


consciousness in Hades
daridse,
;

the Tyn-

so to be explained simply from the fact that vv. 601-603 are an interpolation of a later period, when the hero had been deified, and it was therefore impossible to think of him as

many profound meanings is

have sought

who

alternately lived above

any longer

in

Hades

ANTHR orOL OGY.


the saying of Achilles that the
life

25

of the poorest la-

bourer
all

is

better than dominion over shadows, applies to

the rest.

But

as this privilege is limited to solitary

cases,

and

is

connected not with moral worth, but with

some

arbitrary favour of the gods,

we can hardly seek


This idea comes

in it the idea of future retribution.

Homer, when he speaks of the punishments undergone by souls after death but here again only marked and exceptional
out, it
is

true,

more strongly

in

offences against the gods

incur these extraordinary

penalties, which, therefore, have rather the character of

personal revenge
as

and the future

state generally, so far

any part of

it,

either for good or for evil, goes beyond


is

an indistinct and shadowy existence,

determined

far

more by the favour or disfavour of the gods than by the merits of mankind. A more important conception of the future life might be found in the honours accorded to the dead, and
the
idea
of universal moral
retribution.

From

the
first
is

former sprang the belief in daemons, which we

meet with

in

Hesiod. 2

This

origin

of

daemons

shown, not only by the hero-worship which afterwards sprang up, but by the passage in Hesiod
1

which says

The Odyssey,

xi.

575
;

sqq., re-

lates

the punishment of Tityus, Sisyphus and Tantalus and in 11. perjured persons are iii. 278, threatened with punishment hereafter.

na\ r]^pai, 120 sqq. 250 sqq. 8 Loc. cit. 165 sqq. Cf. Ibycus Fr. 33 (Achilles we read married

Ep7<x

139

sq.

Medea

in

Elysium).

The same

poet represents (Fr. 3-1) Diomede, like the Homeric Menelaus, as becoming immortal. Pindar, Nem. x. 7, says the same thing. Achilles is placed by Plato in the Islands of the Blest {Symp. 179 E; cf. Pindar, 01. ii. 143); Achilles and Diomede likewise ride the Scolion of Callistratus on Harmodius (BergJc Lyr. gr. 1020, 10, from Athen. xt. 695 B).

126

INTMOD UCTIOX.
The

that the great chiefs of the heroic times were taken


after their

death to the Islands of the Blest.


contained in the doctrine

theory of opposite states, not merely for individuals,

but for

all

the dead,

is

we lately

considered of the mystic theologians, that in Hades the

consecrated ones live with the gods, the unconsecrated


are plunged in night

and a miry swamp.


it

But

this

notion must have acquired a moral significance later

on

at

first,
it

even when
still

was not

so crudely appre-

hended,

was

only a means of recommending the


fear.

initiatory rites

through the motives of hope and


1

Transmigration
considerations
;

took

its rise

more

directly from ethical

here

it is

precisely the thought of moral


life

retribution which connects the present


his previous

of

man

with

and future

life.

It appears, however, that

this doctrine in early times

was confined to a somewhat

narrow sphere, and became more widely diffused first through the Pythagoreans and then through Plato.

Even the more general thought on which

it is

founded,

the ethical conception of the other world as a state of


universal retribution, seems to have been slow to receive
recognition.
tion,
2

Pindar, indeed, presupposes this concep-

and

3 in after writers, as in Plato, it appears as

an

ancient tradition already set aside by the enlightenment


of their time.

In the Lyric poets, on the other hand,


of the life beyond, that they

we

find,

when they speak

still

keep in

all essential respects to

the Homeric reprerecoil

Not only does Anacreon from the terrible pit of Hades (Fr.
sentations.
1

with horror

43), but Tyrtaeus


i.

Vide supra,
Vide supra,

p.

p. 70,

67 sqq. note

Rep.
4.

330 D,

ii.

363 C.

AXTIIROPOLOGY.

127

too (9, 3) has no other immortality to set before the

brave than that of 2)osthumous fame; Erinna (Fr. 1) says the glory of gTeat deeds is silent with the dead
;

and Theognis (567 sqq. 973 sqq.; encourages himself in the enjoyment of life by the reflection that after
death he will
there
is

lie

dumb,
all

like a stone,
life's

and that

in

Hades
is

an end of

pleasures.

There

no

evidence in any Greek poet before Pindar, of the hope


of a future
life.

We

find then, as the result of our enquiry

up

to this

point, that in Greece, the path of philosophic reflection

had been in many ways cleared and prepared, the advent of Thales and Pythagoras, but that
never been actually attempted.
institutions,

before?
it

had
civil

In the religion,

and moral conditions of the Greeks, there was abundant material, and varied stimulus for scienthought
:

tific

reflection

already began to appropriate

this material

cosmogonic theories were propounded


its

human

life

was contemplated in

different

aspects

from the standpoint of religious


of worldly prudence.

faith, of morality,

and

Many

rules

of action were set

up, and in

all

these ways the keen observation, open

mind and

clear

judgment

of the Hellenic race asserted

But there was as yet no attempt to reduce phenomena to their ultimate ground, or to explain them naturally from a uniform point of view from the same general causes. The formation
and formed themselves.
of the

world appears in the cosmogonic poems as a


;

fortuitous event, subject to no law of nature


ethical reflection pays

and

if

more attention

to the natural
it

connection of causes and effects, on the other hand

28

INTR OD UCTION.
more than cosmology within the
Philosophy learned indeed
in regard both to its

confines itself far

limits

of

the

particular.

much

from these predecessors,


matter
;

form and

but Philosophy did not itself exist until the


the question was propounded concerning

moment when

the natural causes of things.

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.

129

CHAPTER

III.

ON THE CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


In seeking to determine the

common

characteristic

which distinguishes a long

series of historical

pheno-

mena from
this

other series,
:

we

are at once encountered

by

difficulty

that

in the course of

the historical

development
quently
it

all

particular traits alter,

appears impossible to find

and that conseany single feature

which

shall

belong to every

member

of the whole that

we want

to describe.

Greek Philosophy.
systems
display

Such is the case in regard to Whether we fix our attention on


important
differences

the object, method or results of Philosophy, the Greek

such

among
rest

themselves, and such numerous points of contact with


other systems, that, as
it

would seem, we cannot

upon any one characteristic as satisfactory for our purpose. The object of Philosophy is in all ages the same Reality as a whole but this object may be approached from various sides and treated with more or less comprehensiveness and the Greek philosophers

differ in this respect so greatly

we cannot say
from others.

among themselves, that wherein consists their common difference In like manner, the form and method
it

of scientific procedure have so often altered both in

Greek and other philosophies, that VOL. I. K

seems hardly

1 30

IXTli OB UCTION.

possible to

borrow any characteristic distinction from

thence.

I cannot, at

any

rate, agree

with Fries

in his

assertion that ancient Philosophy proceeds epagogically,

and modern epistematically that the one advances from facts to abstractions, from the particular to the univer;

sal,

the other from the universal, from principles, to the

particular.

For among the ancient philosophers, we

find the pre-Socratics

employing almost exclusively a


;

dogmatic, constructive method

and the same

may

be

more especially, of Even Plato and Aristotle so little the Neo-Platonists. confine themselves to mere induction that they make
said of the Stoics, Epicureans, and,
science,

in the

strict

sense of the word, begin with


first

the derivation of the conditioned from

principles.

On

the other hand,

among

the moderns, the whole of

the large and influential empirical school declares the

epagogic method alone to be legitimate


the other
schools

while most of
construction.

unite induction with

This distinction, therefore, cannot be carried out.


2

Nor

can we assent to the observation of Schleiermacher, that the intimate relation persistently maintained between
poetry and philosophy
is

characteristic of Hellenic, as
ele-

compared with Indian Philosophy, where the two

ments are

so

blended as to be indistinguishable from

each other, and with the Philosophy of northern nations,

where they never entirely coincide and that as soon as the mythologic form loses itself, with Aristotle, the
;

higher character of Greek science


last assertion is

is

likewise lost.

indeed untrue,

for it

was Aristotle

The who

conceived the problem of science most clearly and defi1

Geschichte der Phil.

i.

49 sqq.

Ibid. p. 18.

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


nitely
;

131

and of the other philosophers, not a few were quite independent of the mythological tradition for

example, the Ionian physicists, the Eleatics, Atomist-,

and Sophists, Socrates and the Socratic Schools, Epicurus and his successors, the Xew Academy, and the
Sceptics; others, with the freedom of a Plato,

made
it

use of mythology merely as an artistic ornament, or


sought, like

the

Stoics

and Plotinus, to support

by a philosophic interpretation, without allowing their philosophic system to be conditioned by it. On the other hand, Christian Philosophy was always dependent on positive religion.

In the Middle Ages,

this

dependence was
times

far

greater than the

dependence of

Philosophy upon religion in Greece, and in modern


it has certainly been no less great. It may be urged that the Christian religion has a different origin and a different content but this is a secondary con;

sideration in regard to the general attitude of Philoso-

phy

to Religion.

In both cases, unscientific notions are


But, in
is

presupposed by thought without any previous demonstration of their truth.


fact,

no such decisive
definite

contrast in scientific procedure


as

anywhere discoverable
method,

would justify us in ascribing one

universally and exclusively, to Greek, and another to

modern Philosophy.

As

little

do the results on each

side bear out such a distinction.

We

find anions: the

Greeks, Hylozoistic and Atomistic systems, and these


are also to be found
Aristotle
terialism,

among the moderns

in Plato

and

we

see a dualistic idealism

opposed to ma-

and it is this view of the world which has become predominant in Christendom we see the senk2
;

132

IXTIi OB UCTION.
of the
Stoics

BuaMsm
lie

and Epicureans reproduced


;

in

English and French empiricism


i

and the scepticism of

New Academy

in

Hume;

the pantheism of the

Eleatics and Stoics

may

be compared with the doctrine

of Spinoza; the Neo-Platonic spiritualism with Christian

mysticism and Schelling's theory of identity; in


respects also with the idealism of Leibnitz
:

many

even in
analogies

Kant

and Jacobi, in Fichte and Hegel,


;

many

with Greek doctrines can be shown

and in the ethics which

of the Christian period there are few propositions

have not parallels in the sphere of Greek Philosophy.


Supposing, however, that in
forthcoming,
to Greek,
still

all cases parallels

were not

the features peculiar on the one hand

and on the other to modern Philosophy, could


if all

only be regarded as generally distinctive of each,

they existed in

the Greek systems, and were absent

from

all

the modern.
?

And
true

of

how many

characteristics

could this be asserted


failed to discover
an}?"

Here again,

therefore,

we have
likeness

mark

of distinction.

Nevertheless,

an

unmistakable

family

binds together the remotest branches of Greek science.

But

as the

countenances of

men and women,


alike, so
is

old people

and children, often resemble one another, though their


individual
features

are not

it

with the

spiritual affinity of
torically.

phenomena that
the similarity

are connected his-

It is not this or that particular characteristic

whicn

is

the same

lies in

the expression

of the whole, in the formation of corresponding parts


after the

same model, and


;

their combination in

an ana-

logous relation

or if this is

no longer the case, in our


earlier,

being able to connect the later phase with the

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


as its

138

natural consequence, according to the law of a

continuous development.

Thus the aspect of Greek


;

Philosophy altered considerably in the lapse of years

yet the features which subsequently showed themselves

were already present in


strange
its

its

earliest
last

shape

and however
its his-

appearance in the

centimes of
will

torical existence, closer observation

show that the

original forms are even then discernible, although time-

worn and decomposed.


find

We

must

not, indeed, expect to


its

any particular quality unaltered throughout

whole
:

course, or equally present in each of the systems

the

general character of Greek Philosophy will have been


rightly determined if

mitive type, iu

we succeed in indicating the prireference to which the different systems.


from
it,

in their various declensions


If, for

are intelligible.

this purpose,

we compare Greek Philosophy

with the corresponding productions of other nations,


first strikes us is its marked difference from the more ancient Oriental speculation. That speculation, the concern almost solely of the priests, had wholly

what

developed

itself

from religion, on which


:

its

direction

and content constantly depended

it

never, therefore,

attained a strictly scientific form and method, but re-

mained partly in the shape of an external, grammatical, and logical schematism, partly in that of aphoristic prescripts and reflections, and partly in that of imaginative and poetical description. The Greeks were the first

who gained

sufficient

freedom of thought to seek

for the

truth respecting the nature of things, not in religious


tradition, but in the things themselves
first
;

among them

a strictly scientific

method, a knowledge that follows

134

INTROD VCTION.
its

no laws except

own, became possible.

This formal

character at once completely distinguishes Greek Philo-

sophy from the systems and researches of the Orientals

and

it

is

scarcely necessary to speak of the "material

opposition presented by the two methods of conceiving

the world.

The

Oriental, in regard to nature,

is

not

free,

and has consequently been able neither to explain phenomena logically from their natural causes, nor to attain
liberty in civil life, nor purely

human

culture.

The
can

Greek, on the contrary, by virtue of his liberty, can perceive in nature a regular order,
strive to

and in human

life

produce a morality at once free


characteristics distinguish

and

beautiful.

The same
in the
vpiiry
:

Greek Philo-

sophy from that of the Christians and

Mohammedans

Middle Ages.
science
is

Here, again, we find no free en-

by a double authority by the theological authority of positive religion, and by the philosophical authority of ancient authors who had been the instructors of the Arabians and of the Christian nations. This dependence upon authority would
fettered

of

itself

have sufficed to cause a

development

of

thought quite different from that of the Greeks, even

had the dogmatic content of Christianity and Moham-

medanism borne greater resemblance to the Hellenic doctrines than was the case. But what a gulf is there
between Greek and Christian in the sense of the early

and mediaeval Church!


loses all

While the Greek seeks the

Divine primarily in nature, for the Christian, nature

worth and

all

right to existence in the thought


;

of the omnijDotence and infinity of the Creator

and

nature cannot even be regarded as the pure revelation

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


of this omnipotence, for it
sin.
is

135

distorted and ruined

by

While the Greek, relying on his reason, seeks to


the laws of the universe, the Christian flees from
errors

know
the

of reason,
sin, to

which to him
all

is

carnal,

and

darkened by
of

a revelation the ways and mysteries

more bound to reverence, the more they clash with reason and the While the Greek endeavours natural course of things. human life the fair harmony of spirit and to attain in nature, which is the distinctive characteristic of Hellenic
which he thinks himself
the

morality

the ideal of the Christian


off all alliance

lies

in an asceti-

cism which breaks


sense
:

between reason and

instead of

men, he has saints of Gods full of sensual desires, sexless angels instead of a Zeus who authorises and indulges in all earthly
;

and enjoying like displaying monkish apathy instead


heroes, fighting
;

delights

God who becomes man,

in

order by his

death openly and practically to condemn them.

So

deeply rooted an opposition between the two theories of


the world necessitated an equal contrast in the tendencies of Philosophy
:

the Philosophy of the Christian

Middle Ages of course turned away from the world and

human

life,

as that of the

Greeks inclined to them.

It

was, therefore, quite logical and natural that the one

Philosophy should neglect the investigations of nature

which the other had commenced

that the one should


;

work

for

heaven, the other for earth


;

the one for the

Church, the other for the State

that the science of the

Middle Ages should lead to faith in a divine revelation, and to the sanctity of the ascetic as its end, and Greek
science to the understanding of nature's laws,

and to the

136

IXTROD UCTION.
human
life

virtue which consists in the conformity of


to nature
;

that, in short, there should exist

between the

two Philosophies a radical opposition coming to light even when they apparently harmonise, and giving an
essentially different

ancients in

meaning to the very words of the the mouths of their Christian successors.

Even the Mohammedan view of the world is in one respect nearer to the Greek than the Christian is, for in
the moral sphere
it

does not assume so hostile an attilife.

tude to man's sensuous

The Mohammedan philosoless

phers of the Middle Ages bestowed also greater attention

on natural research, and restricted themselves


clusively to

ex-

theological

and theologico-metaphysical

questions than the Christians.

But the Mohammedan


in-

nations were wanting in that rare genius for the intel


lectual treatment
stincts

and moral ennobling of natural

by which the Greek was so favourably distinguished from the Oriental, who was careless of form, and carried both self-indulgence and self-mortification

The abstract monotheism, too, of the Koran is even more directly opposed to the deified world of the Greeks than the Christian doctrine is. The Mohammedan Philosophy, therefore, in regard to its general
to excess.

tendency, must, like the Christian, be pronounced essentially different

from the Greek.

In

it

we miss

the free

outlook upon the actual world, and therewith the activity

and independence of thought, and though


it starts

so natural to the

Greeks

from a zealous desire

for the

knowits

ledge of nature, the theological presuppositions of

dogmatic creed, and the magical conceptions of the


latest antiquity, are always

in the way.

Lastly, the

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


ultimate aim which
it

137

proposes to itself

consists far

more

in the

consummation of the

religious life

and the

attainment of mystic abstraction and supernatural illumination, than in the clear and scientific understanding
of the world and its

phenomena.

On

these points, however, there can he little conIt


is

more difficult task to determine the specific character of Greek Philosophy as distinFor modern Philosophy guished from the modern. itself arose essentially under Greek influence, and "by
troversy. a far

means

of a partial return to

Greek intuitions

it

is,

therefore, in its whole spirit, far

more

allied to Hellenic

Philosophy than the Philosophy of the Middle Ages, in


spite of its

dependence on Greek authorities, ever was.


is

Tins similarity
differentiating

heightened,
increased,

and the
its

difficulty

of

them
the

by the

fact that the old

Philosophy,

in

course

of

own development,

approximated to the Christian conception of the world


(with which
it

has been blended in modern science) and


for

paved the way

that

conception.

The

doctrines

which were the preparation


original

for Christianity are often very


;

like Christian doctrine modified

by classical studies the Greek doctrines resemble in many respects the modern doctrines which subsequently developed themselves

under the influence of the ancients; so that

it

seems

hardly possible to assign distinctive characteristics that


are generally applicable.
this

But there appears

at the outset

fundamental difference between the two Philoso-

phies

viz.
is

that the one

is

the earlier, the other the later

the one

original, the other derived.


soil of

Greek Philosophy
life

sprang from the

Greek national

and of the

88

IMROD UCTION.
;

Greek view of the world

even when

it

passes beyond

the original limits of the Hellenic sphere and prepares

the transition from the ancient period to the Christian,


its essential

content can only be understood in relation

to the development of the

Greek
the
it

spirit.

Even

at that of

period

we

feel

that

it

is

abiding

influence

classic ideas

which hinders

from really adopting the

later standpoint.

Conversely, with the


at first sight

sophers, even

when

modern philothey seem wholly to

return to the ancient modes of thought,

we can
is,

always,

on

closer inspection, detect motives

and conceptions
therefore,

foreign to the ancients.

The only question

where these motives and conceptions are ultimately to


be sought?
All

human

culture

results

from the

reciprocal

action of the inward and the outward, of spontaneity

and receptivity, of mind and nature


therefore, principally determined
exists

its

direction

is,

by the relation that


which
relation, as

between these two

sides,

we

have already seen, was always more harmonious in the

Greek race than in any other, by reason of character and historical conditions. The
peculiarity of the Greeks
lies,

its

peculiar

distinctive

indeed, in this unbroken


is

unity of the spiritual and the natural, which

at once

the prerogative and the confining barrier of this classical


nation.

Not that

spirit

and nature were

as yet wholly

undiscriminated.
of

On the

contrary, the great superiority

Greek civilisation, as compared with earlier or contemporary civilisations, essentially depends on this fact

that

in the light of the Hellenic consciousness there

disappears, not only the irrational disorder of primitive

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


and natural
life,

139

but also that fantastic confusion and


in the

interminglement of the ethical with the physical, which

we almost everywhere meet with


Greek by the
as
free exercise of his

East.

The

attains his independence of the powers of nature

mental and moral activity


spiritual.

transcending merely natural ends, he regards the sensible

an instrument and symbol of the

Thus

the two spheres are to

him

separate

and

as the ancient

gods of nature were overpowered by the


deities,

Olympian

so his

own

natural

state

gives

place to the

higher state of a moral culture that


beautiful.

is free,

human, and
and nature

But

this discrimination of spirit

does not as yet involve the theory of radical opposition

and contradiction the systematic breach between them which was preparing in the last centuries of the ancient
world, and has been so fully accomplished in the Christian world.

The

spirit is

always regarded as the higher


;

element in comparison with nature


his free

man

looks

upon
in

moral activity as the essential aim and content


existence
:

of

his

he

is

not

satisfied

to enjoy

sensuous manner, or to work in servile dependence on


the will of another
;

what he does he

will

do

freely, for

himself
attain

the happiness which he strives for he will

by the use and development of his bodily and mental powers, by a vigorous social life, by doing his share of work for the whole, by the respect of his fellow
citizens

and on this personal capability and freedom is founded that proud self-confidence which raises the
;

Hellene so far above


that Greek
life

all

the barbarians.

The reason

has not only a more beautiful form, but

also a higher content

than that of any other ancient

140
race, is because

INTRODUCTION.
no other was able to
rise

with such

freedom above mere nature, or with such idealism to

make

sensible existence simply the sustainer of spiritual.

If then this unity of spirit with nature were understood as a unity without difference, the expression

would

ill

serve to characterise

it.

Rightly apprehended, on the

other hand,

it

correctly expresses the distinction of the

Greek world from the Christian Middle Ages and from modern times. The Greek rises above the world of outward existence and absolute dependence on the forces
of nature, but he does not on that account hold nature
to be either

impure

or not divine.

On

the contrary, he

sees in it the direct manifestation of higher powers


his very gods are not

merely moral beings, they are at


;

the same time, and originally, powers of nature


plurality of beings, created, and like unto

they

have the form of natural existence, they constitute a

men,
and

restricted

in their power of action, having the universal force of

nature

as

eternal chaos before them,

as pitiless

fate above

them

far

from denying himself and his

nature for the sake of the gods, the Greek knows no


better

way

of honouring
life,

joyment of

them than by the cheerful enand the worthy exercise of the talents
Accordingly moral
life also

he has acquired in the development of his natural


powers of body and mind.
is

throughout founded upon natural temperament and

circumstances.
it is

From

the standpoint of ancient Greece

impossible that

man

should consider his nature

corrupt,

and himself,

as originally constituted, sinful.

There

is,

consequently, no

demand

that he should re-

nounce

his natural inclinations, repress his sensuality,

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


and be
radically

141

changed by a moral new birth

demand even
our moral law

for that struggle against sensuality


is

no which
;

accustomed to prescribe even when

it is

no longer based upon positive Christianity.


trary, the natural

On the

con-

powers as such are assumed to be good,


as such to be legitimate
:

and the natural inclinations

morality consists, according to the truly Greek conception of Aristotle, in guiding these powers to the right

end, and maintaining these inclinations in right measure

and balance virtue is nothing more than the intelligent and energetic development of natural endowments, and
:

the highest law of morals

is

to follow

the course of
is

nature freely and rationally.


a result of reflection,
it

This standpoint

not

is

not attained bv a struggle

with the opposite demand for the renunciation of nature,


as is the case

with the moderns when they profess the


:

same principles it is, therefore, quite untrammelled by doubt and uncertainty. To the Greek it appears as natural and necessary that he should allow sensuality
its

rights a^ that he should control

it

by the exercise of

will

and

reflection

he can regard the matter in no


he
justified in so

other light, and he therefore puisnes his course with


full security, honestly feeling that
is

But among the natural presuppositions of free activity must also be reckoned the social relations in which each individual is placed by his birth. The Greek allows these relations an amount of influence over his morality, to which in modern times we are not accustomed. The tradition of his people is to him the
doing.

highest moral authority,

life

in

and

for the state the


;

highest duty, far outweighing all others

beyond the

42

IXTE OD UCTIOX.
and
political

limits of the national

community, moral
;

obligation

is

but imperfectly recognised

the validity of

a free vocation determined by personal conviction, the


idea of the rights and duties of

man

in the wider sense,

were not generally acknowledged until the transitional period which coincides with the dissolution of the ancient

Greek standpoint.
view of

How

far

the classical epoch and

human

life

are in this respect

removed from
especially

ours, appears in the constant confusion of morals with


politics, in the inferior

position of

women,

among

the Ionian races, in the conception of


relations,

marriage

and sexual

but above

all in

the abrupt opposi-

and barbarians, and the slavery which was connected with it, and was so indispensable an institution in ancient states. These shadow-sides of
tion between Greeks

must not be overlooked. In one respect, however, things were easier for the Greek than for us. His range of vision, it is true, was more limited, his
Greek
life

were narrower, his moral principles were less pure and strict and universal than ours but, perhaps, on that very account, his life was the more fitted to
relations
;

form complete, harmoniously cultured


characters. 1

men and

classical

The
scribing.
is

classic

form of Greek art was also essentially

conditioned by the mental character

we have been
2

de-

The

classic

ideal, as Vischer
is

well remarks,

the ideal of a people that


1

moral without any break


;

Cf. Hegel's
sq.

Phil, der

Gesch.
;

p.

297 sqq. 305 sqq. Msthetik, ii. 56 sqq. 73 sqq. 100 sqq. Phil. Gesch. der Phil. i. 170 sq. der Eel. ii. 99 sqq. Braniss, Gesch.
291
; ;

der Phil. s. Kant, i. 79 sqq. and especially the thoughtful and foroible remarks of Vischer in his Msthetik, ii. 237 sqq. 446 sqq.
2

Msth.

ii.

459.

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


with nature
tent of
ideal,
:

143

there

is

consequently in the spiritual con-

and therefore in the expression of that no surplus which cannot be unrestrainedly poured
its ideal,

forth in the form as a whole.

The

spiritual

is

not ap-

prehended
in
artistic

as

opposed to the sensible phenomenon, but


it
;

and with

consequently, the spiritual attains to


it

representation only so far as


sensible form.

is

capable of

direct expression in the

A Greek work

of ait bears the character of simple, satisfied beauty,


of plastic

calm

the idea realises itself in the pheno-

menon,
itself

as the soul in the


its

body with which


;

it

clothes

by virtue of

creating force

there

is

as vet

no

spiritual

content which resists this plastic treatment,


its

and which could not find

adequate and direct repre-

sentation in the sensible form.

Greek
it

art consequent!

only attained to perfection where, from the nature of the


subject, no task

was proposed to

which could not be comjust described.


architecture, the
for all

pletely accomplished in the

way we have

In

plastic art, in the epic, in classic

time on the other hand, in music they seem to have been far behind the moderns because this art, more than anv
;

Greeks have remained unrivalled models

other,

by

its

very nature leads us back from the fugitive

external elements of tone to the inner region of feeling

and of subjective mood. For the same reasons their painting seems only to have been comparable with that

moderns in respect of drawing. Even Greek lyric poetry, great and perfect as it is of its kind, differs no
of the
less

from the more emotional and subjective modern lyric poetry than the metrical verse of the ancients from
the rhymed verse of the moderns
;

and

if,

on the one

1 44

INTR 01) UCTION.

hand, no later poet could have written a Sophoclean

drama, on the other, the ancient tragedies of fate as

compared with modern tragedies


fail

since

Shakespeare,

in

the

natural

evolution

of

events

from

the

characters,

from the temperament of

the

dramatis

personce

and thus,
its

like lyric

poetry, instead of fully

developing
still

own

particular form of art, tragedy has

in a certain sense the epic type.

In

all
:

these traits

one and the same character is manifested Greek art is distinguished from modern by its pure objectivity the artist in his creation does not remain within himself,
;

in the inner region of his thoughts


his

and

feelings,

and

work when accomplished suggests nothing internal which it has not fully expressed. The form is as yet
absolutely filled with the content
;

the content in

its

whole compass

attains
still

determinate existence in the

form

spirit is
is

in undisturbed union with nature,

the idea

not yet separated from the phenomenon.


to find the
is

We

must expect
it

same character

in

Greek

Philosophy, since

the spirit of the Hellenic people

that created that Philosophy, and the Hellenic view of

the world that there receives

its

scientific expression.

This character
is

first

shows

itself in

a trait which indeed

not easy to define in an exhaustive and accurate


strike every student in
:

manner, but which must

the

writings and fragments of ancient Philosophy

in the

whole mode of treatment, the whole attitude which the author adopts in reference to his subject. That freedom

and simplicity, which Hegel praises in the ancient philosophers, that plastic repose with which a Parmenides, a
1

Gesch. der Phil.

i.

124.

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


Plato, an Aristotle handle the
is

145

most

difficult questions,

the same in the sphere of scientific thought as that


in the

which

sphere of art

we

call
first
:

the classic style.


place reflect

The philosopher does not


himself and

in the

upon

his personal condition

he has not to deal

with

number

of

preliminary presuppositions and

make abstraction of his own thoughts and interests that he may attain to a purely philosophic mood he is in such a mood from the very beginning. In the treat;

ment, therefore, of
his

scientific

questions he does not

allow himself to be disturbed by other opinions, nor by

own wishes

he goes straight to the matter in hand,


it,

desiring to absorb himself in

to give free scope to its

working within him


itself to

he

is

at peace as to the results of

his thought, because ready to accept

whatever approves

him
our

as true

and

real.

This objectivity was no

doubt
than

far

more

easily attainable for


;

Greek Philosophy
before
it

for

own thought, having then

neither

a previous scientific

development nor a fixed religious

system, could grapple with scientific problems from their

very

commencement with complete freedom.

Such obfor it
is

jectivity, furthermore, constitutes not only the strength,

but also the weakness of this Philosophy


essentially conditional on

man's having not yet become

mistrustful of his thought, on his being but partially


1

Take, for example, the wellis

the

shortness

of

human
in

life.'

known utterances ofJJ^JProtagoras


the measure of all things, of Being how it is, of non-Being how it is not.' Of the gods I have nothing to say neither that they are, nor that they are not for there is much that hinders me, the obscurity of the matter and

These propositions were

Man

'

the highest degree offensive at that period; there was in them a demand for a complete revolution of all hitherto received ideas. Yet how statuesque is the style With what classical calmness are they enunciated!
!

VOL.

I.

146

INTROD UCTION.

conscious of the subjective activity through which his


presentations are formed, and therefore of the share

which

this activity has in their content

in a word, on
difference,
is

his not having arrived at self-criticism.

The

however, between ancient Philosophy and modern


here strikingly and unquestionably displayed.

This characteristic suggests further points for reflection.

So simple a relation to

its

object was only

Greek thought, because, as compared with modern thought, it started from a much more incomplete experience, a more limited knowledge of nature, The greater a less active development of inner life. the mass of facts with which we are acquainted, the
possible to

more complicated

are the problems which have to be

solved in attempting their scientific explanation.

The
to in;

more accurately, on the one hand, we have come

vestigate external events in their specific character

the

more, on the other, has our inner eye become keen for
introspection, through the intensifying of religious

and

moral

life

the more our historical knowledge of


is

human

conditions widens, the less possible


analogies of

it

to apply the

human

spiritual life to natural

phenomena,

and the analogies of the external world to the pheno-

mena

of consciousness

to rest satisfied with imperfect

explanations abstracted from limited and one-sided experience, or to presuppose the truth of our conceptions

without accurate enquiry.


fore, that

It naturally followed, thereall

the problems with which

Philosophy

is

concerned should in modern times partially change their


scope and significance.

Modern Philosophy begins with


doubt of the previous science

doubt

in Bacon, with

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


in Descartes, with

147

doubt of the truth of our concepdoubt.

tions generally

absolute

Having

this starting-

point,

it

is

forced from the outset to keep steadily in

view the question of the possibility and conditions of


knowledge, and for the answering of that question
institutes
all
it

those enquiries

into the origin of our

new turn that they have gained in profundity, in importance, and in taken have These enquiries were at first remote from extent.
conceptions, which at each

Greek
Real.

science, which, firmly believing in the veracity

of thought, applied itself directly to the search for the

had been shaken by Sophistic, and the necessity of a methodical enquiry had been asserted by Socrates, this enquiry is still far from
after that faith

But even

being the accurate analysis of the intellect undertaken by modern Philosophy since Locke and Hume. Aristotle
himself, though he describes

how conceptions

result

from

experience, investigates very incompletely the conditions

on which the correctness of our conceptions depends and the necessity of a discrimination between their
objective and subjective constituents

never seems to

Even the scepticism posterior to Aristotle gave no impulse to any more fundamental and theoreticinvestigations. The empiricism of the Stoics and the
occur to him.

sensualism of the Epicureans were based as

little as

the

neo-Platonic and neo-Pythagorean speculation on enquiries tending to supply the lacunae in the Aristotelian

theory of knowledge.

The

criticism of the faculty of

cognition, which has attained so great an importance


for

modem

Philosophy,

in

ancient

Philosophy was
clear

proportionally undeveloped.
L 2

Where, however, a

143

INTRODUCTION.
is

recognition
scientific

wanting of the conditions under which

enquiry must be undertaken, there science

must

necessarily itself be

wanting in that certainty of

procedure which due regard to those conditions alone

Thus we find that the Greek philosophers, even the greatest and most careful observers among them, have all more or less the failing with which They are philosophers have been so often reproached. apt to cease their enquiries prematurely, and to found general concepts and principles upon imperfect or incan give.
sufficiently

proved experiences, which are then treated

as indisputable truths

and made the

basis of farther

inferences

to

display,
is

in short, that dialectical

ex-

clusiveness which

the result of employing certain

presentations universally assumed, established by lan-

guage, and recommending themselves by their apparent


accordance with nature, without further enquiring into
their origin
so

and legitimacy, employing them their


this

or keeping in view while


real

foundation

in

fact.

Modern Philosophy has


in

itself

been sufficiently faulty


the
a later philosopher with

respect

it

is

humiliating to compare

speculative rashness of

many

the circumspection displayed by Aristotle in testing the


theories of others,

and in examining the various points


is

of view that arise out of the questions he

discussing.

But

in the general course of

for a strict
itself felt,

and exact and even where the philosophers themselves

demand method has more and more made


science the

modem

have not adequately responded to this demand, the other


sciences have afforded

them a

far greater
;

mass of

facts

and laws empirically established

and

further, these

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


facts

149

have been much more carefully

sifted

and tested,

and these laws much more accurately determined, than was possible at the period of ancient Philosophy. This
higher development of the experimental sciences, which

modern times from antiquity, is closely connected with that critical method in which Greek Philosophy and Greek science generally were so greatly
distinguishes
deficient.

The

distinction of subjective
is

and objective in our

conceptions
intellectual

nearly allied to the distinction of the

and corporeal, of phenomena within us and


This distinction, like the other.

phenomena without.
is

generally wanting in clearness and precision with the

ancient philosophers.
spirit

Anaxagoras,

it is

true, represents
;

as

opposed to the material world


School
this

and

in the
its

Platonic

opposition

is

developed to

fullest extent.

Nevertheless, in Greek Philosophy, the

two spheres are constantly overlapping one another.

On

the one hand, natural phenomena, which theology

had considered to be immediately derived from beings


akin to men, continued to be explained by analogies
derived from

human

life.

On

such an analogy were

based not only the Hylozoism of


cists,

many

ancient physi-

and that

belief in the

animate nature of the world

which we find in Plato, the Stoics and neo-Platonists,


but also the teleology which, in most of the philosophic
schools since Socrates, has interfered with,

and not unof

frequently
nature.

overpowered, the

physical

explanation

On

the other hand, the true essence of psychic


also not

phenomena was
if

determined with accuracy

and

only a certain

number

of the ancient philosophers

150

INTROD UCTION.
simple materialistic
of the pre-Socratic

contented themselves with such


explanations as were set up by
physicists, after

many

them by the

Stoics
;

and Epicureans,
yet even in the

and

also

by individual Peripatetics

spiritualistic

psychology of a Plato, an Aristotle, or a


are surprised to find that the difference
forces is almost igis

Plotinus

we

between conscious and unconscious


nored, and that hardly any attempt

made

to conceive

the different sides of


unity.

human

nature in their personal


of distinct and raditoo, in their

Hence

it

was easy to these philosophers to

explain the soul as

compounded
;

cally heterogeneous elements

and hence,

conceptions relating to Grod, the world-soul, the spirits


of the stars, and similar subjects, the question of the

personality of these beings


sidered.
It

is

generally so

little

con-

was in the Christian period that the feeling

of the validity and importance of


first

human
;

personality
so it is

attained

its

complete development

and

in

modern

science that

we

first

find

on this point con-

ceptions sufficiently precise to render the confusion of

personal and impersonal characteristics so frequently

met

with in ancient philosophy henceforward impossible.

The
that
all

difference

between Greek ethics and our own has


;

been already touched upon

and

it

need scarcely be said


as

our previous remarks on this subject equally

apply to philosophic ethics.

Much

Philosophy

itself

contributed to transform the old Greek conception of

moral

life

into a stricter,

more

abstract,

more general

morality, the characteristic features of the ancient view

were in

Philosophy only gradually effaced, and were


less

always more or

present

down

to the latest period of

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


antiquity.

151

Not

until after Aristotle was the close union

of morals with politics, so inherent in the Greeks, dis-

solved
clearly

and down to the time of Plotinus, we can


recognise

still

the

aesthetic

treatment of

ethics,

which was also essentially distinctive of the Hellenic


spirit.

The

spiritual life

of the Greeks in the thousand

years that elapsed between the rise and close of their

Philosophy certainly underwent great and important


changes,

and Philosophy was

itself

one of the most

efficient causes

by which these changes were brought about. As Greek Philosophy represents generally the character of the Greek spirit, it must also reflect the transformations which in course of time that spirit has undergone and the more so, because the greater number and the most influential of the philosophic systems
;

belong to the period when the older form of Greek


spiritual
life

was gradually melting away

when the

human mind was


upon
itself

increasingly withdrawing itself from

the outer world, to be concentrated with exclusive energy

and when the transition from the


For

classic to

the Christian and modern world was in part preparing,

and in part already accomplished.


characteristics
classical

this reason, the

which appeared in the philosophy of the


yet the early character

period cannot be unconditionally ascribed to


;

the whole of Greek Philosophy

of that Philosophy essentially influenced its entire sub-

sequent course.

We

see, indeed, in the

whole of

its

development, the original unity of


gradually disappearing
Hellenic ground,
;

spirit

with nature

but as long as we continue on


find the abrupt separation

we never

152

INTRODUCTION.

between them, which was the starting-point of modern


science.

In the commencement of Greek Philosophy,


tention.

it is

before all things the external world which claims at-

The question
is

arises as to its causes

and the

answer

attempted without any preliminary enquiry

into the

human

faculty of cognition

the reasons of
to us through
it.

phenomena

are sought in

what
is

is

known

the external perception, or

at

any rate analogous to

But, on the other hand, just because as yet no exact


discrimination
is

made between

the external world and

the world of consciousness, qualities are ascribed to corporeal forms and substances,

and

effects are

expected

from them, which could only in truth belong to spiritual


beings.

Such are the


to the time

characteristics of

sophy up

of

Anaxagoras.

Greek PhiloDuring this

period, philosophic interest chiefly confines itself to the

consideration of nature, and to conjectures respecting

the reasons of natural


sciousness are not
special

phenomena
recognised

the facts of conor

yet

investigated as

phenomena.
for the cognition of things,

This Philosophy of nature was opposed by Sophistic,

which denied man's capacity

and

directed his attention instead to his

own

practical

aims.

But with the advent of

Socrates, Philosophy

again inclined towards a search for the Eeal, though


at first this was not formulated into a system.
lesser

The

Socratic

schools, indeed, contented

themselves

with the application of knowledge to some one side


of man's spiritual
life,

but Philosophy as a whole, far

from maintaining

this subjective

view of the Socratic

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


principle, culminated

158

in the vast

and comprehensive

systems of Plato and Aristotle, the greatest achieve-

ments of Greek science. These systems approximate much more closely to modern Philosophy, on which they have had an important influence, than the preXature is with them neither the Socratic physics.
sole nor the principal object of enquiry
;

side

by side
ethics

with

physics, metaphysics

has a

higher, and
is

an equal prominence, and the whole


firmer basis by the
of

placed on a
the origin

enquiries concerning

knowledge and the conditions of


is

scientific

method.

Moreover, the unsensuous form

distinguished from

the sensible phenomenon, as the essential from the accidental,

the eternal from the transitory


of
is

only in the
in pure

cognition

this

unsensuous

essence

thought
sought.
is

only

the highest and purest knowledge to be


in the explanation of nature, preference

Even

given to the investigation of forms and aims as com;

pared with the knowledge of physical causes


the higher part of his nature in
is

in

man,

its

essence and origin


:

discriminated from the sensual part


for

and the highest

problem
of

mankind

is

accordingly found exclusively


spiritual life,

in the development of his


his knowledge.

and above

all

Although, however, the Platonic

and Aristotelian systems show themselves thus akin in

many

respects to

stamp of on them both.

modern systems, yet the peculiar the Greek spirit is unmistakably impressed
Plato
is

an

idealist,
:

but his idealism

is

not the modern subjective idealism


Fichte, that the objective world
of consciousness
;

he does not hold with


a

is

mere phenomenon

he does not, with Leibniz, place per-

154

IXTROD UCTIOX.
;

cipient essences at the origin of all things

the ideas

themselves are not derived by him from thought, either

human

or divine, but thought

is

derived from partici-

pation in the ideas.


of things
is

In the ideas the universal essence

reduced to plastic forms, which are the

object of an intellectual intuition, in the

same way

that things are the object of the sensuous intuition.

Even the Platonic theory


derns.

of knowledge has not the

character of the corresponding enquiries of the

mo-

With them, the main point


;

is

the analysis

of the subjective activity of cognition


is

their attention

primarily directed to the development of knowledge

in

man

according to

its

psychological course and

its

conditions.

Plato, on the other hand, keeps almost

exclusively to the objective nature of our presentations;

he enquires
tions

far less

about the manner in which intuiarise in us,


;

and conceptions
is

than about the value


the theory of know-

attaching to them in themselves


ledge
therefore with
:

him

directly connected with

metaphysics

the enquiry as to the truth of the pre-

sentation or conception coincides with that respecting

the reality of the sensible phenomenon and of the Idea.


Plato, moreover, however low

may

be his estimation of
is

the phenomenal world in comparison with the idea,


far

removed from the prosaic and mechanical modern


;

view of nature

the world

is

to

him the

visible god,

the stars are living, happy beings, and his whole expla-

nation of nature

is

dominated by the teleology which


in his ethics he passes

Greek Philosophy posterior to Socrates. beyond the ancient Greek standpoint, by the demand for a philosoplays so important a part in

Though

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


phic virtue founded on science, and prepares the
for Christian morality

loo

way
;

by flight from the world of sense

yet in the doctrine of Eros he maintains the aesthetic,

and in the institutions of his Republic the political character of Greek morality in the most decided manner and despite his moral idealism, bis ethics do
;

not disclaim that inborn Hellenic sense of naturalness,


proportion, and

harmony which

expresses itself in his

successors by the principle of living according to nature,

and the theory of goods and of virtue founded on that principle. The Greek type, however, comes out mo?t clearly in Plato's mode of apprehending the whole
problem of Philosophy.
In
his inability

to separate

science from morality and religion, in his conception of

Philosophy as the complete and universal culture of

mind and

we clearly recognise the standpoint of the Greeks, who made far less distinction between the different spheres of life and culture than the moderns, because with them the fundamental opposition
character,

of spiritual

and bodily perfection was much

less

de-

veloped and insisted on.


point
is

Even

in Aristotle this stand-

clearly

marked, although, in comparison with

that of Plato, his system looks

modern

in respect of

its

purely scientific form,

its

rigorous conciseness, and

its

broad empirical
tions in
as

basis.

He,

too, regards the concep-

which thought sums up the qualities of things


forms antecedent to our

objective

thought

not

indeed distinct from individual things as to their existence,

but as to their essential nature, independent

and in determining the manner in which these forms are represented in things, he is guided throughout by the

1 56

INTE 01) UCTION.


Although, therefore, he

analogy of artistic creation.


bestows

much

greater attention on physical

phenomena

and their causes than Plato does, his whole theory of the world bears essentially the same teleologic aesthetic
character as Plato's.

He

removes the Divine

spirit

from

all

living contact with the world, but in his con-

ception of nature as a uniform power working with full

purpose and activity to an end, the poetic liveliness of


the old Greek intuition of nature
is

apparent

and

when he

attributes to matter as such a desire for form,


all

and deduces from that desire


corporeal world,

motion and

life

in the

we

are reminded of the Hylozoism which

was

so closely related to the

view of nature we are

considering.

His notions about the sky and the heaHis ethics alto-

venly bodies which he shares with Plato and most of


the ancients, are also entirely Greek.

gether belong to the sphere of Hellenic morality.


sual instincts are recognised

Sen-

by him

as a basis for

moral

action, virtue is the fulfilment of

natural activities.
that of

The sphere
politics,

of ethics

is

distinguished from
is still

but the union between them

very close.

In

politics itself

we

find all the distinctive features of


its

the Hellenic theory of the state, with


imperfections
:

advantages and

on the one hand, the doctrine of man's

natural vocation for political community, of the moral


object of the state, of the value of a free constitution

on the other hand, the justification of slavery and contempt for manual labour. Thus, while spirit is still
closely united to its natural basis, nature is directly

related to spiritual

life.

In Plato and Aristotle we see

neither the abstract spiritualism, nor the purely physical

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


explanation of nature of modern science
strictness
;

157

neither the

and universality of our moral consciousness,

nor the acknowledgment of material interest which so


often clashes with

human
relation

life
is

The oppositions between which and thought move are less developed, their
it.

more genial and harmonious, their adjustment easier, though certainly more superficial, than in the modern theory of the world, originating as it does from far more comprehensive experiences, more difficult struggles, and more complex conditions. Xot until after the time of Aristotle does the Greek spirit begin to be so greatly estranged from nature that
the classical view of the world disappears, and the
is

wav

being prepared
its

for the Christian.

How

greatly this

change in

consequences affected also the aspect of

Philosophy, will hereafter be shown.


transition, however,
it is all

In this period of
sufficiently

the more striking to observe


still

that the

old

Greek standpoint was


ours.

influential to divide the Philosophy of that

time very

clearly

from

Stoicism no longer carries on any


;

independent investigation of nature


entirely

it

withdraws

itself

from objective enquiry and substitutes the interest of moral subjectivity. Yet it continues to look

upon nature
divine
;

as the

thing which

is

highest and most


it

it

defends the old religion, inasmuch as


;

was

a worship of the powers of nature


laws, life according to nature,

subjection to natural

is its

watchword; natural

truths ((pvcrtKal svvoiai) are its supreme authority; and

though, in this return to what


it

is

primitive and original,

concedes only a conditional value to civil institutions,


it

yet

regards the mutual interdependence of

all

men,

158

INTR OB UCTION.

the extension of political community to the whole race, as an immediate requirement of human nature, in the

same manner as the earlier Greeks regarded political While in Stoicism man breaks with the outer life.
world in order to fortify himself in the energy of his inner life against external influences, he yet at the

same time
that
it is

entirely rests

spirit feels still

upon the order of the too much bound to nature

universe,
to

know

in its self-conciousness independent of nature.

But

nature, consequently, appears as if filled with spirit,


this direction Stoicism goes so far that the dis-

and in

tinction between spiritual and corporeal, which Plato

and Aristotle so clearly recognised, again disappears, matter becomes directly animate, spirit is represented as a material breath, or as an organising fire and, on the
;

other hand,
to nature

all

human aims and

thoughts are transferred

by the most external teleology possible. In Epicureanism the specific character of the Greek Hylozoism and teleogenius is otherwise manifested.
logy are

now abandoned
exchanged
for

for

an entirely mechanical

explanation of nature; the vindication of popular religion


is

an enlightened opposition to
his

it,

and the individual seeks

happiness, not in sub-

mission to the law of the whole, but in the undisturbed But that which is security of his individual life.

according to nature
to the Stoic
;

is

the highest, to the Epicurean as

and

if

in theory he degrades his external

nature into a spiritless mechanism, so


does

he endeavour to establish in

much human

the more
life

that

beautiful

harmony

of the egoistic

and benevolent imspiritual activity,

pulses, of sensuous

enjoyment and

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.

159

which made the garden of Epicurus the abode of Attic This form refinement and pleasant social intercourse.
of culture
is

as yet without the

polemical asperities
it,

which are inseparable from modern repetitions of


account of the contrast
it

on

presents to the strictness of

Christian ethics; the justification of the sensual element

appears as a natural presupposition which does not


require any preliminary or particular apology.

However

much then Epicureanism may remind


modern opinions, the
original

us of certain

difference between that which is

and of natural growth, and that which is derived and the result of reflection, is unmistakable on closer examination. The same may be said of the
scepticism of this period as compared with that of

modern

times.

Modern scepticism has always someit,

thing unsatisfied about

an inner uncertainty, a secret


it is

wish to believe that which

trying to disprove.

Ancient scepticism displays no such half-heartedness, and knows nothing of the hypochondriacal unrest which

Hume himself

so vividly describes; it regards ignorance

not as a misfortune, but as a natural necessity, in the Even while recognition of which man becomes calm.
despairing of knowledge
it

maintains the attitude of

compliance with the actual order of things, and from this very source evolves the arapa^ia which is almost
impossible to modern scepticism, governed as
subjective interests.
2

it is

by

Even neo-Platonism,
1

far

removed
-

as it is

from the

On Human
iv.

Nature, book
1,

i.
;

Cf.

part

section Jacobi's translation.

509

sqq.

subject.
sq.

Hegel's remarks on the Gcsch. dcr Phil. i. 124

1 GO

INTR OD UCTION.
it

ancient Greek spirit, and decidedly as

approaches that
still

of the Middle Ages, has its centre of gravity

in the

antique world.

This

is

evident, not only from


last

its close

relation to the heathen religions, the


for

apologist

which

essential

would certainly not have become had no and internal affinity existed between them, but
it

also in its philosophic doctrines.

Its abstract spiritual-

ism contrasts, indeed, strongly with the naturalism of the ancients but we have only to compare its concep;

tion of nature with


writers,

that of contemporary Christian

we need only hear how warmly Plotinus defends

the majesty of nature against the contempt of the


Gnostics,

how keenly Proclus and Simplicius dispute


spirit.

the Christian doctrine of the creation, in order to see


in
it

an offshoot of the Greek

Matter

itself is

brought nearer to mind by the neo-Platonists than by


the majority of modern philosophers,

who

see in the
;

two principles essentially separate substances for the neo-Platonists opposed the theory of a self-dependent
matter, and explained the corporeal as the result of the

gradual degradation of the

spiritual

essence.

They

thus declared the opposition of the two principles to

be not original and absolute, but derived and merely Again, though the neo-Platonic metaquantitative.
physics, especially in
their
later

form, must

appear

to us very abstruse, their origin was similar to that of

Plato's theory of Ideas

for

the properties and causes

of things are here regarded as absolute essential natures,

over and above the world and man, as objects of an


intellectual intuition.

Moreover, these essences bear

to each other a definite relation of higher, lower,

and

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


terpart of the mythical gods,

161

coordinate, and thus appear as the metaphysical coun-

whom

neo-Platonic alle-

gory

itself

recognised in them, recognising also in their

progressive emanation from the primitive essence the

analogue of those theogonies with which Greek speculation in the earliest times began.

To sum up what we have been


alien

saying.

In the

Philosophy of the middle ages, spirit asserts itself as

and opposed to nature

in

modern Philosophy,

it

strives to regain unity

with nature, without, however,


in

losing the deep consciousness of the difference between

the spiritual and the natural

Greek Philosophy

is

represented that phase of scientific thought in which

the discrimination and separation of the two elements


are developed out of their original equipoise and har-

monious co-existence, though


therefore, in Greek, as in

this separation

was never
While,
find

actually accomplished in the Hellenic period.

modern Philosophy, we

both the discrimination and the union of the spiritual

and the natural,


different

this is

brought about in each case in a


different connection.

manner and by a

Greek
spirit

Philosophy starts from that harmonious relation of


to nature in

which the distinguishing characteristic of


;

ancient culture generally consists

step

by

step,

and

half involuntarily, it sees itself compelled to discrimi-

nate them.

Modern Philosophy, on the


in the

contrary, finds
effec-

this separation already

accomplished in the most

tual

manner
effort

middle ages, and only succeeds by

an

in discovering the unity of the two sides.

This difference of starting-point and of tendency deVOL.


I.

102

INTR OB UCTIOX.

termines the whole character of these two great phe-

nomena. which it
even in
this

Greek Philosophy
finds impossible to
its

finally results in a dualism,

overcome

scientifically

and

most flourishing period the development of


Sophisticism breaks with
of

dualism can be traced.

simple faith in the


thought.

veracity

the

senses

and of

Socrates breaks with unreflecting obedience

to existing custom.

Plato opposes to the empirical


is

world an ideal world, but

unable to find in this ideal

world any explanation of the other; he can only explain

matter as something non-existent, and can only subject

human

life

to the idea

by the arbitrary measures of

his State.

Even

Aristotle keeps pure spirit entirely

and thinks that man's reason is infused into him from without. In the lesser Socratic schools and the post-Aristotelian Philosophy this dualism
is
still

distinct from the world,

more evident.

But we have already seen


;

that,

in spite of this tendency, the original presupposition of

Greek thought
concile these
refusal to
spiritual

asserts itself in decisive traits

and we
in
its

shall find that the true cause of its incapacity to re-

contradictions

satisfactorily

lies

abandon that presupposition.


and natural,
is

The unity of which Greek thought demands


;

and presupposes,
classic theory of

the direct unbroken unity of the

when that is cancelled, there remains to it no possible way of filling up a chasm which, according to its own stand-point, cannot The Hellenic character proper is not of course exist.
the world

stamped with equal clearness on each of the Greek systems in the later periods especially, of Greek
;

CHARACTER OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY.


Philosophy
elements.
character
it

163

became gradually blended with foreign


directly
or
indirectly,
this

Nevertheless,

may

plainly be recognised in all the systems


as a whole,

and Greek Philosophy,


in the

may

be said to move

same direction to which it belongs.

as the general life of the people

04

INTR OB UCTION.

CHAPTER
PRINCIPAL

IV. OF

PEKIODS

IN

THE

DEVELOPMENT

GREEK

PHILOSOPHY.

We

have divided Greek Philosophy into three periods, of which the second begins with Socrates and ends with The propriety of this division must now be Aristotle..

more

closely examined.

The

utility of such a course

may seem
as Bitter
l

indeed doubtful, since so eminent a historian


is

of opinion that history itself recognises no


all

sections,

and that therefore

division of periods

is

only a means of facilitating instruction, a setting


resting places to take breath
;

up

of

and since even a

disciple

of the Hegelian school

declares that the History of

Philosophy cannot be written in periods, as the links of


History consist wholly of personalities and aggregates
of individuals.

This latter observation

is

so far true

that
line

it

is

impossible to draw a straight chronological


of historical

across a series
is

phenomena without
and linking together

separating what

really united,

what
other

is

really distinct.

For, in regard to chronology,

the boundaries of successive developments overlap each


;

and

it is

in this that the whole continuity and

connection of historic as of natural development con1

Gesch. der Phil., 2nd edition,

Marbach,
viii.

Gesch.

der Phil.,

Pref. p. xiii.

Pref. p.

PRINCIPAL PERIODS.
sists.

165

The new form has already appeared, and has


to assert itself independently, while the old

begun
is still
is

form

in existence.

The

inference from this, however,


is

not that the division into periods


it

to be altogether

must be based upon facts, and not merely upon chronology. Each period lasts as
discarded, but only that

long as any given historical whole continues to follow

one and the same direction in


this ceases to be the case, a

its

development
begins.

when

new period

How

long the direction


part in which

is

to

be regarded as the same must


according to the

be decided, here and everywhere,


lies

the centre of gravity of the whole.


off,

When

from a given whole, a new whole branches


to

its beginnings are to be referred

the

subsequent

period in proportion as they break with the previous


historical connection,

and present themselves under a


If

new and
merely
reader,

original form.

any one supposes, however,

that this grouping together of kindred


for

phenomena
or

is

the

convenience

of the

historian

his

and has no concern with the matter itself, the discussions in our first chapter are amply sufficient to
It surely cannot be considered un-

meet the objection.


the divisions are
if this

important, even for the purposes of convenience, where

made
it

in a historical exposition

and,

be conceded,

cannot be unimportant in regard


If one division gives us a clearer
it

to the matter itself.

survey than another, the reason can only be that

presents a truer picture of the differences and relations of historical


therefore, lie in

phenomena the differences must, the phenomena themselves, as well as


;

in our subjective

consideration of them.

It

is

un-

166

INTB OB UCTION.

deniable, indeed, that not only different individuals, but


also different periods,

have each a different character,

and that the development of any given whole, whether


great or small, goes on for a time in a definite direction,

and then changes


course.
It
is

this direction to strike out

some other
the

this

unity and diversity of historical


;

character to which the periods have to conform


periodic division

must represent the internal

relation
is

of

phenomena

at the different epochs, and it

con-

sequently as

little

dependent on the caprice of the

historian as the distribution of rivers and mountains on

that of the geographer, or the determination of natural

kingdoms on that of the

naturalist.

What

division then shall

we adopt
?

in regard to the
clear

history of

Greek Philosophy

It

is

from our

second chapter that the

commencement

of this history

ought not to be placed earlier than Thales. He was the first, as far as we know, who, in speaking of the
primitive
causes
;

of
it

all
is

things,

abandoned mythical
is

language

though

true that the old custom of

making the

history of Philosophy begin with Hesiod


1

not even in our days, wholly discarded.

Socrates

is

generally considered as the inaugurator of the

next

great movement, and for this reason the second period


is

usually said to open with him.


first

Some

historians,

however, would bring the


the time of Socrates
Braniss.
;

period to a close before

for example, Ast, 2 Kixner, 3

and
it

Others, again, like Hegel, would prolong

beyond him.
It is still followed by Fries, Gesch. der Phil., and Deutinger, Gesch. der Phil., Vol. 1.
1

Grundriss

einer

Gesck.
i.

der

Phil., 1
3

43.

Gesch. der Phil.,

44

sq.

FIRST PERIOD.

167

Ast and Rixner distinguish in the history of Greek


Philosophy the three periods of Ionian Realism, Italian
Idealism, and the Attic combination of these two tendencies.
JBraniss
'

starts

with the same fundamental dis-

tinction of Realism

both these tendencies to each of the

and Idealism, only he attributes first two periods.

According to him, therefore, Greek thought, like Greek


life,
is

determined by the original opposition of the


Absorption in the objective
;

Ionic and Doric elements.

world
self,

is

the characteristic of the Ionic

absorption in

of the Doric race.

In the

first

period, then, this

opposition develops itself in two parallel directions of

Philosophy, the one realistic, the other idealistic


the second, this opposition
is

in
in

cancelled,
;

and and

lost

the consciousness of the universal spirit


third, the spirit, deprived of its content

in

the

through So-

phistic, seeks in itself a

new and more

lasting content.

According to Braniss, therefore, there are three periods

Greek Philosophy. The first, beginning with Thales and Pherecydes, is further represented on the one side by Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Heracleitus and on the other by Pythagoras, Xenophanes, and Parmenides
of
;

a Doric antithesis being opposed at each stage of this

period to the Ionic thesis


previous development are

finally,

the results of the


in a

summed up

harmonious

manner by the Ionian Diogenes and the Dorian Empedocles. It is recognised that Becoming presupposes Being, that Being expands itself into Becoming, that the inner and outer, form and matter, unite in the con.

sciousness of the universal spirit


1

the percipient spirit


;

Gesch. der Phil.

s.

Kant,

i.

102 sqq.

135

150

sq.

1 68

IXTR OD UCTION.

stands over against this universal spirit, and has to reflect

Here the second period commences and in By Anaxaits development there are three moments. goras, spirit is distinguished from the extended object
it in itself.
;

by Democritus,

it is

opposed to the object as a purely


is

subjective principle; by the Sophists, all objectivity

placed in the subjective spirit itself; the universal

is

at

length completely suppressed, and spiritual


tirely lost in the actual sensible presence.

life

is

en-

Thus thrown
is

back upon
its

itself,

however, the spirit

is

forced to define

its reality in

a permanent manner, to enquire what

absolute end, to pass from the sphere of necessity

into that of liberty,

and in the reconciliation of the two principles to attain the ultimate end of speculation. This is the commencement of the third period, which
extends from Socrates to the end of Greek Philosophy.

Much may be
first place,

urged against this derivation.

In the

we must question the discrimination of an What is here Ionic Eealism and a Doric Idealism. called Doric Idealism is, as we shall presently find,
1

neither idealism nor purely Doric.


stroys

This at once de-

the

basis

of the whole

deduction.

Ast and

Kixner, moreover, divide the Ionic and Doric Philo-

sophy into two periods


since

a division quite unwarrantable,

these

two philosophies were synchronous, and


It is to

powerfully reacted upon each other.

some ex-

tent then more correct to treat them, like Braniss, as

moments of one interdependent historical series. But we have no right to divide the series, as he does, into two parts, and make the difference between them
1

Cf. the Introduction to the First Period.

FIRST PERIOD.

1G9

analogous to that between the Socratic and pre-Socratic


Philosophy.

Neither of the three phenomena assigned


his

by Braniss to
goras)
is

second period has

this

character.

Atomistic (even as to date, hardly later than Anaxaa system of natural Philosophy, as
earlier systems
;

any other of the


to the Eleatics)

and to the

much as Empedowe

clean system especially (by virtue of a similar attitude


it.

stands in so close an affinity that


it

cannot possibly place

in a separate period.

It dis-

covers no tendency to regard spirit as purely subjective,

its

sole concern is the explanation of nature.

So,

too,

in Anaxagoras

we recognise a
Diogenes,

Physicist,

and a

Physicist anterior to
before

whom

Braniss places
is

him.

His world-forming mind

primarily a

makes no attempt to enlarge the sphere of Philosophy beyond the accustomed limit?. There is, therefore, no good ground for making as
physical principle, and he

decided a line of demarcation before


Socrates.

him

as

before

Even Sophistic cannot be separated from


first

the systems of the

period, as will presently appear.

The two periods

into which Braniss has divided the

pre-Socratic Philosophy are followed by a third,

comand

prehending the whole further course of Philosophy to the

end of Greek science.


later systems, that it

This partition

is

so rough,

takes so little account of the radical differences of the

would of

itself furnish a sufficient

reason for repudiating the construction of Branis.-.

On

the other hand, however, Hegel goes too far in

the contrary direction.

He

considers these differences

so great that the opposition

between the Socratic and

the pre-Socratic schools has only a secondary importance

170

INTRODUCTION.
Of
his three

in comparison with them.

main

periods,

the

first

extends from Thales to Aristotle, the second


all

comprehends

the post-Aristotelian philosophy, with


;

the exception of neo-Platonism

the third embraces


1

neo-Platonism.

The

first,

he says, represents the com-

mencement of philosophising thought until its development and extension as the totality of Science. After the concrete idea has been thus attained, it makes its
appearance in the second period as forming and perfecting itself in oppositions
:

a one-sided principle

is

carried out through the whole of the presentation of

the world

each side developing


itself

itself as

an extreme,
its

and constituting in
contrary.

a totality in regard to

This breaking up of science into particular


Scep-

systems results in Stoicism and Epicureanism.

ticism, as the negative principle, opposed itself to the

dogmatism of both.
world of thought;
totality

The
it
is

affirmative

is

the cancelling

of this opposition, in the theory of an ideal world, or

the idea

developed into a

in

neo-Platonism.

The

distinction

between
is

the

old naturalistic

philosophy and later science

brought forward as a ground of


first

classification in the
is

period

it

is

not Socrates, however, who


series

the

inaugurator of a
Sophists.
1

new

of development, but the


first

Philosophy attains in the


sqq.,

part of this

Gesch. der Phil., i. 182 (cf. sq.). This, however, does not quite agree with the previous distinction of four stages, i. 118. Similarly Deutinger, whose exposition I cannot further discuss, either here or elsewhere (Joe. cit.
ii.

373

290) makes one period from Thales to Aristotle (which is the second according to him), and
divides
it

From Thales

into three parts: to Heracleitus

1,
;

2,

from Anaxagoras to the Sophists 3, from Socrates to Aristotle.

p.

78 sqq., 140 sqq,, 152 sqq., 226

FIRST PERIOD.

X
;

171

period, in Anaxagoras, to the conception of vovs

in

the second part, vovs

is

apprehended by the Sophists,


;

Socrates, and the imperfect Socratics, as subjectivity

and

in the third part, vovs developes itself as objective

thought, as the Idea, into a totality.


fore, appears only as continuing a

Socrates, there-

others, not as the inaugurator of

movement begun by a new movement.


is

The
periods.

first

thing that strikes us in this division

the great disproportion in the content of the three

While the

first

is

extraordinarily rich in re-

markable personages and phenomena, and includes the noblest and most perfect forms of classic philosophy,
the second and third are limited to a few systems which
are

unquestionably inferior in scientific

content

to

those of Plato and Aristotle.

This at once makes us

suspect that too

much
first

of a heterogeneous character is
period.

included in this

And, in point of fact, the difference between the Socratic and pre-Socratic
philosophy
is

in

no respect

less

than that between the


Socrates
;

post-Aristotelian

and the Aristotelian.

not

only developed a

mode

of thought already existing

he

introduced into Philosophy an essentially

new

principle

and method.

Whereas

all

the previous Philosophy had

been immediately directed to the object,

while

the

question concerning the essence and causes of natural

phenomena had been the main question on which


others depended,

all

Socrates
nothing
universal

first

gave utterance to the


be known about any
concept,

conviction that
object
until
;

could

its

essence, its

was

determined

and

that, therefore, the

testing of our

presentations by the standard of the concept

philo-

X
1

72

INTR OB UCTION.

sopbic knowledge of self


condition of
philosophers
all

is

the

beginning and the

true knowledge.

Whereas the

earlier

first

arrived at the discrimination of pre-

sentation from knowledge

through the consideration

of things themselves

he, on the contrary,

makes

all

knowledge of things dependent on a right view


the nature of knowledge.
there begins a

as to

With him,

consequently,

new form of science, Philosophy based upon concepts dialectic takes the place of the earlier dogmatic and in connection with this, Philosophy makes new and extensive conquests in hitherto unex;
;

plored domains.

Socrates

is

himself the founder of

Ethics

Plato and Aristotle separate Metaphysics from


;

Physics

the philosophy

of nature

whole of philosophy

now becomes a part of the whole


These changes are so
affect

until

then, the

a part which Socrates entirely neglects, on which Plato

bestows hardly any attention, and even Aristotle ranks

below the

'

first

philosophy.'
so

penetrating, and

greatly

the general

con-

dition and character of Philosophy, that it certainly

appears justifiable to begin a new period of

its

develop-

ment with
arise is

Socrates.

The only question that might


But although the
is

whether to make this beginning with Socrates,


latter

or his precursors the Sophists.

course has been adopted by distinguished authors, 1 it

does not seem legitimate.


1

Sophistic

doubtless the

In addition to Hegel, cf K. F.

Gesch. d. Platonismus, i. 217 sqq. Ast {Gesch. der Phil., Ueberweg (Gnmdriss der p. 96). Gesch. der Phil., i. 9). Hegel,

Hermann,

of the fir.st great period with the Sophists Hermann and Ueberweg make them the commencement of their second priod and Ast of his
; ;

third,

however, opens the second section

X
FIRST PERIOD.
173

end of the old philosophy of nature, but it is not as yet the creation or beginning of a new philosophy
:

it

destroys faith in

the

possibility of

knowing the

Keal, and thereby discourages thought from the investigation of nature


;

but

it

has no new content to


it

offer as a substitute for

what

destroys

it

declares

man

in his actions,
all

and in

his presentations, to be the


it

measure of

things, but
all

understands by man,

merely the individual in


opinions and endeavours
;

the contingency of his

not the universal essential

nature of man, which must be sought out scientifically.

Though

it

is

true, therefore, that the Sophists share

with Socrates the general character of subjectivity, yet


they cannot be said to have inaugurated, in the same
sense that he did, a
definition of the

new

scientific tendency.

The
is

closer

two stand-points proves them to be


subjectivity of the Sophists

very distinct.

The

only a

consequence of that in which their philosophic achieve-

ment mainly consists dogmatism in itself


:

viz.,

the destruction of the earlier

this subjectivity is the

end of

all

Philosophy

it

leads to no

like later scepticism, to a


it

new knowledge, nor even, philosophic temper of mind

destroys all philosophic effort, in admitting no other

criterion than the

advantage and caprice of the indiis

vidual.

Sophistic

an indirect preparation, not the

positive foundation of the

new system, which was


it is

intro-

duced by Socrates.
to

Now

usual, generally speaking,

commence a new period where the


it

principle which

dominates

begins to manifest itself positively with

creative energy,
goal.

and with a

definite consciousness of its

We

open such a period in the history of religion

X
1

74

INTB 01) UCTION.

with Christ, and not with the decay of naturalistic rein Church history, with Luther ligions and Judaism
;

and Zwinglius, not with the Babylonian


schism of the Popes
;

exile,

and the
the

in political history, with

French Revolution, not with Louis XV. The history of Philosophy must follow the same procedure and,
;

accordingly,
sentative

we must regard Socrates as the first repreof that mode of thought, the principle of
first to

which he was the

enunciate in a positive manner,


life.

and to introduce into actual

With

Socrates then the second great period of Greek

Philosophy begins.
extent there
that of
its
1

On

the subject of

its

legitimate

is

even more difference of opinion than on

commencement.
others with Zeno,
2

Some make

it

end with
3

Aristotle,

or Carneades

a third
4

class of historians,

with the

first

century before Christ


it

while a fourth

is

disposed to include in

the whole

course of Greek Philosophy after Socrates, including

the neo-Platonists. 5

In this

case, again, our decision

must depend on the answer to the question, how long the same main tendency governed the development of
Philosophy
?

In the

first

place the close interconnection

of the Socratic, Platonic, and Aristotelian philosophy


is

unmistakeable.
all

Socrates

first

demanded that
should
start

all

knowledge and

moral

action

from

knowledge of conceptions, and he tried to satisfy this demand by means of the epagogic method, which he The same conviction forms the startingintroduced.
1

2
3

Brandis, Fries, and others. Tennemann, in his larger work. Tiedemann, Geist. der Spek.

4 Tennemann (Grundriss), Ast, Reinhold, Schleiermacher, Hitter,

Ueberweg, and others.


5

Phil.

Braniss, vide supra.

SECOND PERIOD.
point of the Platonic system
is
;

175

but what in Socrates


developed

merely a rule

for scientific procedure, is

by Plato into a metaphysical principle. Socrates had Only the knowledge of the concept is true knowsaid Only the Being of the concept is Plato says ledge.
:

true Being, the

concept alone

is

the truly existent.

But even
the

Aristotle, notwithstanding his opposition to

doctrine of Ideas, allows

this

he too declares

the form or concept to be the essence and reality of

things

pure form, existing for

itself

abstract intellireal.

gence, restricted to itself

to

be the absolutely

He
and
the

is

divided from Plato only by his theory of the

relation of the ideal


to

form to the sensible phenomenon,

that which underlies the

phenomenon
and

as its

universal

substratum
is

matter.
from

According to

Plato,
for

idea

separated

things,

exists

itself;

consequently the matter of things, having no


is

part in the idea,


unreal.

declared by

him

to be absolutelyis

According to Aristotle, the form


it is

in the

things of which

the form

the material element in

them must,

therefore, be
;

endowed with a capability of


is
;

receiving form

matter

not simply non-Being, but

the possibility of Being

matter and form have the

same content, only in


is

different fashion

in

the one

it

undeveloped, in the other developed.

Decidedly as

this contradicts the theory of Plato considered in its

and energetically as Aristotle opposed his master, yet he is far from disagreeing with the universal presupposition of the Socratic and Platonic philosophy, viz. the conviction of the necessity of knowledge
specific character,

based on concepts, and of the absolute reality of form.

176

INTRODUCTION.
the contrary, his very reason for discarding the
is

On

doctrine of Ideas,

that Ideas cannot be substantial

and truly

existent, if they are separated

from things.

Thus far then we have a continuous development of one and the same principle it is one main fundamental
;

intuition which

is

presented in these three forms.

So-

crates recognises in the concept the truth of

human

thought and
lity
;

life

Plato, the absolute, substantial rea-

Aristotle not merely the essence, but also the

forming and moving principle of empirical reality

and in

all

thought.

we see the development of the self-same But with the post-Aristotelian schools this
The purely
scientific interest of
;

order of development ceases, and thought takes another


direction.

Philosophy

gives place to the practical

the independent investiga-

tion of nature ceases, and the centre of gravity of the

whole

is

placed in Ethics

and

in proof of this altered

position, all the post-Aristotelian schools, so far as they

have any metaphysical or physical theory,


interpret, but
tial

rest

upon

older systems, the doctrines of which they variously

which they profess to follow in


It is

all essen-

particulars.

things as

no longer the knowledge of such with which the philosopher is ultimately


This

concerned, but the right and satisfactory constitution


of

human

life.

is

kept in view even in the

reli-

gious enquiries to which Philosophy

now
end
;

applies itself

more

earnestly.

Physics are regarded by the Epicuto this practical

reans only as a

means

and though
ultimate

the Stoics certainly ascribe a more independent value


to

general

investigations

concerning

the

grounds of things, yet the tendency of those investiga-

THIRD PERIOD.
tions
is

177

nevertheless determined by that of their Ethics.

In a similar manner, the question of a criterion of truth is answered from a practical point of view "by the Stoics

and Epicureans.
bility of

Lastly, the Sceptics deny all possirestrict

knowledge, in order to

Philosophy

entirely to practical matters.

Even
its

this practical philo-

sophy, however, has changed

character.

The
;

earlier

combination of Ethics with politics has ceased


of the

in place

commonwealth in which the individual lives for the whole, we find the moral ideal of the wise man who
is self-sufficient,

self-satisfied,

and self-absorbed.
life

The

introduction of the idea into practical

no longer
;

but the independence of the individual in regard to nature and humanity, apathy, drapa^ta, flight from the world of

appears as the highest object to be attained

and though the moral consciousness, being thus indifferent to the outward, gains a freedom and universality hitherto unknown to it, though the barriers of nationality are now first broken down, and the equality
sense
;

and

affinity of all
is

men, the leading thought

of

cosmo-

hand Morality assumes a one-sided and negative character, which was


politism
alien to the philosophy of the classic period.

recognised, yet on the other

In a word,

the post-Aristotelian philosophy bears the stamp of an


abstract subjectivity, and this so essentially separates
it

from the preceding systems that we have every right to conclude the second period of Greek Philosophy with
Aristotle.
It

might, indeed, at
is

first

sight,

appear that an

analogous character

already to be found in Sophistic

and the smaller Socratic schools.


VOL.
i.

But these examples

178

IX TROD UCTION.

cannot prove that Philosophy as a whole had received


its later

bent in the earlier period.

In the

first place,

the

phenomena which

prefigure in this

way the

after

philosophy are few in number, and of comparatively


secondary importance.

The systems which give the

measure of the period and by which the form of Philosophy, generally speaking, was determined, bear quite
another character.
itself,

And

in the second place, this affinity

when more

closely

examined,

is

less

than

it

appears on a superficial glance.

Sophistic has not the


;

same

historical significance as the later scepticism

it

did not arise out of a general lassitude of scientific energy, but primarily out of an aversion to the prevailing naturalistic philosophy
;

and

it

did not, like

scepticism, find its positive completion in


tific

an unscien-

eclecticism or

a mystic speculation, but in the


of

Socratic

philosophy

the

concept.

The Megaric

philosophers are rather offshoots of the Eleatics than


precursors of the sceptics
directed against
;

their doubts are originally

sense-knowledge, not against reasonis

knowledge.

universal scepticism

not required by

them, nor do they aspire to arapatjla as the practical

end of scepticism.

Between Aristippus and Epicurus


:

there exists this striking difTereDce

the former makes immediate and positive pleasure the highest good, the latter absence of pain, as a permanent condition. Aristippus seeks the enjoyment of that which the external

world offers

Epicurus seeks man's independence in


Cjnicism, indeed, pushes

regard to the external world.


indifference to the outward,

repudiation of

all

contempt of custom, and theoretic enquiry further than the

THIRD PERIOD.
how

179

Stoa, but the isolated position of this school, and the

crude form of

its

doctrine, sufficiently prove


it

little

can be argued from

as to the

whole contemporary
all
is

mode

of thought.

This remark applies to

these im-

perfect Socratic schools.

Their influence

not to be

compared with that of the Platonic and Aristotelian doctrines and they themselves prevent the possibility of their more important action, by disdaining to develop the principle of intellectual knowledge into a system. Only after the Greek world had undergone the most radical changes could attempts like those of the imperfect Socratics be renewed with any prospect of
;

success.

The second period


porary scepticism.
to

then, closes with Aristotle, and

the third begins with Zeno, Epicurus, and the contem-

Whether or not it should extend the conclusion of Greek Philosophy is a doubtfid

question.

We
:

shall find later

on, 1 that in the post-

Aristotelian philosophy

three

divisions

may

be

dis-

tinguished

the

first,

including the bloom of Stoicism,


the
older Scepticism
;

of Epicureanism, and of

the

second, the period of Eclecticism, the later Scepticism,

and the precursors of neo-Platonism


Platonism in
its

the third, neo-

various

phases.

If

we count

these

three divisions as the third, fourth, or fifth periods of

Greek Philosophy, there


several periods are
if

is

this advantage,

that the

much more

equal in duration than

we make

all

three into one period.

But though
for the one

they are thus equalised chronologically, they become

even more disproportionate in content


1

Vide the Introduction to Part III.

1*0

INTRODUCTION.

century from the appearance of Socrates to the death


of Aristotle embraces an

amount

of scientific achieve-

ment equal to the eight or nine following centuries put And, what is here most essential, Philosophy fcogi ther. in these 900 years moves in the same uniform direction. It is governed by an exclusive subjectivity, which is
estranged from the purely speculative interest in things,

and reduces
happiness of

all

seience

to practical culture
is

and the

mam
It
is

This character
seen in the

displayed (as

we
the

have just observed), by Stoicism, Epicureanism,


Scepticism.

and

Eclecticism

of

Roman

period, which selects

different systems entirely

what is probable out of the from practical points of view,

and according to the standard of subjective feeling and interest.. Finally, it is an essential part of neo-Platonisra.
This will be shown more in detail hereafter
it
is
;

at present

enough to notice that the attitude of the neoPlatonists to natural science is exactly the same as that and that of the other schools posterior to Aristotle
;

their physics tend in the teleology, only


is

same direction

as the Stoical

more

exclusively.

Their ethical doctrine

also very closely allied to that of the Stoics, being inlast

deed the

outcome of that ethical dualism which developed itself after the time of Zeno and the dualism contained in their anthropology had already been pre;

pared by Stoicism.
originally adopted

In regard to religion, the position

by neo-Platonism was precisely that

of the Stoa, and even its metaphysic, including the

doctrine of the intuition of the Deity approaches

much
of

nearer to the other Aristotelian systems than might at


first

sight be supposed.

The neo-Platonic theory

THIRD PERIOD.
emanation, for example,
is

181

an unmistakable repetition
various forces
is

of the Stoic doctrine of the Divine reason permeating'

the whole universe with

its

the only

ultimate distinction between them


of the Divine
;

the transcendency

from which

arises for

man, the requireThis transcen-

ments of an
dency
itself,

ecstatic contact with Deity.

however,

is

a consequence of the previous


all

development of science, and of the sceptical denial of


objective certainty.
said, has absolutely

The human

spirit, scepticism had


itself.

no truth within

It

must,

therefore, says neo-Platonism, find truth absolutely outside itself, in its relation to the Divine,
its

which

is

beyond

thought and the world cognisable by thought.


that the world beyond
is

But

it follows

presented entirely

according to subjective points of view, and determined

by the

necessities of the subject

and just

as the dif-

ferent spheres of the real correspond to the different

parts of

human

nature, so the whole system

is

designed

and to open the way for man's communion with God. Here too then, it is the interest of human spiritual life, not that of objective knowledge as such, which governs the system and thus neo-Platonism folto point out
;

lows the tendency peculiar to the whole of Philosophy

subsequent to Aristotle.

While, therefore,

I attach

no

undue importance
Aristotle
is

to this question, I prefer to unite the

three sections into which the history of Philosophy after

divided into one period, although

its

outward

extent far exceeds that of either of the preceding periods.

To sum up,

distinguish three great periods of


is it

Greek Philosophy. The philosophy of the first Physics, or more accurately a physical dogmatism;

182
is

INTRODUCTION.

physical, because it primarily seeks to explain natural


their natural causes, without

phenomena from
any

making

definite discrimination of spiritual


is

and corporeal in

things, or the causes of things; it

a dogmatism, be-

cause

it

directly pursues the

knowledge of the objective,


In Sophistic,
is

without any previous enquiry into the conception, possibility,

and conditions of knowledge.

this

attitude of thought to the external world

at

an end, man's capacity for the knowledge of the real


is

called in question, philosophic interest

is

averted

from nature, and the necessity of discovering a higher principle of truth on the soil of human consciousness

makes

itself

felt.

Socrates

declaring the cognition of


true knowledge and true

demand the concept the only way


answers the
virtue
;

in
to

from which Plato

further concludes, that only pure concepts can be true


reality
conflict
:

he establishes this principle dialectically in


with ordinary presentative opinion, and devein a

lops

it

system embracing Dialectic, Physics, and


as their essence

Ethics.

Finally, Aristotle discovers the concept in the

phenomena themselves,
carries
it

and entelechy,
all

in the

most comprehensive manner into

the spheres of the actual, and establishes the principles of the scientific

method on a firm

basis for after

times.

In place of the former one-sided philosophy of

nature there thus appears in the second period a philo-

sophy of the concept, founded by Socrates and perfected

by Aristotle. But since the idea is thus opposed to the phenomenon, since a full essential Being is ascribed to the idea, and only an imperfect Being to the phenomenon, a dualism arises, which appears indeed more

GENERAL SUMMARY.
glaring and irreconcilable
Aristotle
in
is
;

183

in Plato,

but which even

unable to overcome either in principle or


for he, too,

result

begins with the opposition of

form and material, and ends with that of God and the world, of spiritual and sensible. Only the spirit in its
absoluteness, directed to no external object
ficing to itself, is perfect

and

infinite

and sufthat which is


it.

external to

it

cannot increase this inner perfection or


So,

be otherwise than valueless and indifferent for


too,

the

human

spirit

ought to seek

its

unqualified

satisfaction in itself,

and

in its independence of everythis tendency and the second

thing external.

Thought in pursuing
itself,

withdraws from the object into

period of Greek Philosophy passes into the third.

Or to state the same more succinctly. The spirit, we might say, is, during the first stage of Greek
thought, immediately present to itself in the natural
object
;

in the second
it

it

separates itself from the natural

object, that

may

attain a higher truth in the thought


;

of the super-sensible object

and in the third

it

asserts

itself in its subjectivity, in opposition to the object, as

supreme and unconditioned.


of the

The

stand-point, however,

Greek world is thereby abandoned, while at the same time no deeper reconciliation of the opposing elements is possible on Greek soil. Thought being thus separated from the actual, loses its content, and
becomes involved in
a contradiction, for
it

maintains

subjectivity to be the final

and highest form of being,


Absolute in
unattainable

and yet opposes to


transcendency.

it

the

To

this contradiction

Greek Philosophy

ultimately succumbed.

184

THE PEE-SO CEATIC PHILOSOPHY.

FIRST PEEIOD.
THE PEE- SO CR A TIC PHILOSOPHY.
INTRODUCTION.

CHABACTER AND DEVELOPMENT OF PHILOSOPHY DURING


THE FIRST PERIOD.

Four

schools

are

usually distinguished
Ionic,

in

the

pre-

Socratic
Eleatic,

period

the

the

Pythagorean,

the

and the Sophistic.

The

character and internal

relation of these schools are determined, partly accord-

ing to the scope, partly according to the


enquiries.

spirit of their

In regard to the former, the distinctive


is

peculiarity of the pre-Socratic period


isolation of the three branches

marked

in the

which were afterwards

united in Greek Philosophy


told,

by the Ionians, we are Physics were exclusively developed by the Pytha:

goreans, Ethics

by the Eleatics, Dialectic

in Sophistic,

we

are taught to see the decline

and

fall

of this exfor a

clusive science,

and the indirect preparation


1

more

comprehensive science.
tendency
1

This difference of scientific

is

then brought into connection with the inview, and adopted the following division: 1. The older Ionian Physics, including the Heracleitean
doctrine.
2.

Schleiermacher, Gesch. der Eitter, p. 18 sq., 51 sq. Gesch. der Phil. i. 189 sqq. Brandis, Gesch. der Gr.-Ebm. Phil. i. 42 sqq. Fichte's Zeitschr.fur PhiIn his los. xiii. (1844) p. 131 sqq. Gesch. der Entwicliungen d. Griech. Phil. (i. 40). which appeared subsequently, Brandis abandoned this
Phil.
;
;

The

Eleatics. 3.

The

attempts to reconcile the opposition


of Being
docles,
trine.

and Becoming (Empe-

Anaxagoras, and the Atomists). 4. The Pythagorean doc5.

Sophistic.

PHYSICS, ETHICS, DIALECTIC.


trinsic difference

185
x

between the Ionic and Doric tribes 2 some writers making this the basis of their whole theory of ancient Philosophy, and deriving from the particular
:

and Doric character, the philosophic opposition of a realistic and an idealistic theory of the
traits of the Ionic

world.

How

the further division of our period

is

then

connected with this point of view has been shown already.

These differences, however, are by no means


or so deeply seated as
is

so real

here presupposed.

Whether

the Pythagorean doctrine was essentially ethical, acd


the Eleatic, dialectical in character, or whether these

elements can be regarded as determining the


systems,

two

we

shall presently enquire

that they, as

much

as

and we any part of the pre-Socratic


;

shall find

Philosophy, arose
science
to

from

the
the

inclination

of

natural

investigate

essence

of

things,

and

especially of natural

phenomena.

Aristotle

makes the

general

assertion

that

with Socrates, dialectical and

ethical enquiries began,

and physical enquiries were


is,

discontinued.
1

Hermann

therefore, quite justified

Schleiermacher, loc. cit., Among the Ionians,' he says, 'the Being of things in man is the predominant interest, and calm contemplation finds its expression in Epic poetry. Among the Dorians the Being of man in things predominates man strives against things, asserts his indeCf.

p.

18

sq.

'

nor Dorians, but a union of the two they are Ionian by birth, and Dorian by language.' Eitter ex;

pendence in regard to them, and proclaims himself as a unity in Lyric poetry. Hence the development of Physics by the Ionians, and of Ethics by the Pythagoreans. As Dialectic, is equally opposed tc the two branches of Philosophy, so the Eleatics are neither Ionians

presses similar opinions, loc. cit. Eitter shares them to some extent and in a less degree, (p. 47), Brandis, p. 47. 2 Att. Eixner, Braniss (vide supra, p. 166 sqq.) Petersen, Philologisch. hktor. Studien, p. 1 sqq.
;

~H.evma.nn, Geschkkte

und System des

Plato, i. 141 sq., 160; cf. Bockh's excellent remarks on this subject, Philolaus, p. 39 sqq. 3 6^-2 a. Part. Anim. i. 1, among the earlier philoso24 phers there are only scattered fore:

186

THE PEE-SO CPATI C PHILOSOPHY.


it is

in saying that

impossible to maintain, even from

the stand-point of the ancient thinkers, that Dialectics,

Physics and Ethics came into existence together, and

were of equal importance contemporaneously,

for there

could have been no question of any leading ethical principle until the preponderance of spirit over matter

had been recognised nor could Dialectic, as such, have been consciously employed, before form in contrast with
;

matter had vindicated

its

greater

affinity to

spirit.

The

object of all

philosophic investigation, he
nature, and
if

con-

tinues, in its

commencement was
it

even

enquiry was incidentally carried into other spheres, the


standard which
applied, being originally taken from

natural science, remained foreign to those spheres.


are, therefore,

We

merely importing our own stand-point


character
to

into the history of the eailiest philosophic systems, in

ascribing

a
to

dialectic

one,

an

ethical

character
third
;

another, a

physiological character to a

in

describing this system as materialistic, and


all
1

that as formalistic, while

in truth pursue the

same

end, only in different ways.

The whole pre-Socratic


a philosophy of

Philosophy

is

in its

aim and content


it,

nature, and though ethical or dialectical conceptions

may

appear here and there in


is

this never

happens

to such an extent, nor

any system

sufficiently dis-

casts of the conception of formal causes oXtiov 8e tov lit) i\6e7v tov: Trpoyevearepovs e7rl tov rp6irou tov:

eVi SwfcpctTovs 8e tovto iiev

T)vy)6r),

rb 5e
irpbs

ra -rrepl (pvaews 8e t^v xP^ ai lX0V p eT


tjtij/

eA7?e,

KC^

tov QTiTOTi

?iv

elvai Kal
r)v,

Tb opiaaadai.
TjvJ/aro
/j.sv

tt\v tto\itlk7]v aTtiKXivav oi <pi\oao-

ttiv ovaiav ovk

a\\'

(povvres.
l

Arj/xdicpnos -rrpwTos, us ovk ava.yKa.iov 8e T7j (pvaiKfi Qeal-ouwpla,


iK(pep6fXfvos

aW

Gesch. Ulld Syst.


sq.

d.

Plato,

i.

140

vn clvtov tov Trpa.yfxa.TOS,

PHYSICS, ETHICS, DIALECTIC.


(anguished in this respect from
all

187

the others, that


or ethical.

we

can properly characterise

it as dialectical

to mistrust any This result must at once cause us idealistic philodiscrimination of a realistic and an

sophy.
is

spiritual True idealism can only exist where the sensible, and reconsciously distinguished from the

two. In that sense, garded as the more primitive of the and Fichte are idealists. for example, Plato, Leibniz

Where this for making

necessity the case, there always arises the of enquiry; the spiritual as such the object separated from natural Dialectic, Psychology, Ethics are these sciences If, therefore, neither of philosophy. previous to Socrates, it attained a separate development of the spiritual proves that the definite discrimination of the sensible from the sensible, and the derivation idealism conthe spiritual in which philosophic
is

from

sists-was

still alien

to this period.

Neither the Pytha;

at reality, idealists goreans nor the Eleatics are, in other philosophers, any rate they are not more so than

In comdivision. are assigned to the realistic we find, indeed, parison with the older Ionic school,

who

the sensible phenothat thev attempt to get beyond all things instead of seeking the essence of ;

menon

substratum, the Pylike their predecessors in a corporeal Eleatics in Being it in Number, the

thagoreans sought without further determination.

But the two systems


;

do not advance equally

far in this direction

for if the

Pythagoreans give to

Number

as the universal

form of

as the the sensible, the same position and significance the abstract Eleatics subsequently to Parmenides give to

Eleatics concept of Being, they stop greatly short of the

188

THE PltE-SOCEATlC PHILOSOPHY.


be more correct to speak
:

in the abstraction of the qualities of the sensible phe-

nomenon.
istic,

It would, therefore,

of three philosophic tendencies instead of two

a real-

and an intermediate tendency. We have really, however, no right to describe the Italian For although their first philosophers as Idealists.
an
idealistic,

principle

is,

according to our ideas, incorporeal, the


of spiritual

precise discrimination

from corporeal

is

with them entirely wanting.

Neither the Pythagorean


is

Number, nor the Eleatic One,


distinct

a spiritual essence,
;

from the sensible,

like the Platonic ideas

on

the contrary, these philosophers maintain that sensible


things are according to their true essence, numbers
;

or

that they are one invariable substance.

Number and

Being are the substance of the bodies themselves, the matter of which the bodies consist, and for this reason Conceptions of they are apprehended sensuously. number and conceptions of magnitude interpenetrate one another with the Pythagoreans numbers become,
;

and among the Eleatics, even Parmenides describes Being as the substance which fills space. So in the further development of the systems,
something extended
;

there

is

a confusion of spiritual and corporeal.


;

The

Pythagoreans declare bodies to be numbers


proportions

but virtue,

friendship and the soul are also numbers, or numerical


;

nay, the soul itself


2

is

regarded as a cor-

poreal thing.
1

Similarly, Parmenides says, 3 that reason


held by the ancient philosophers, - Aristotle, Be An. i. 2, 404 a, Vide infra, Pythagoreans. 17. 3 That Parmenides says this only in the second part of his

This

may

be in itself a con-

tradiction (as Steinhart points out in the Hall. Allg. Literature. 1845,

Nov. p. 891), but low that it may

it

does not folnot have been

REALISM AXD IDEALISM.


in

189

man depends upon


;

the admixture of his bodily parts,

for the body and the thinking principle are one and

the same

even the celebrated proposition about the


1

unity of thought and Being

has not the same meaning


It cannot

with

him

as

in
2

modern systems.
'

be, as
it

Ribbing

calls it,

the principle of idealism,' for


all

is

not derived from the theorem that

Being

arises

from

Thought, but conversely from the theorem that Thought in the former falls under the conception of Being
;

case only could

it

be

idealistic, in the latter it

must be

considered

realistic.

Again, when Parmenides connects

his Physics

with his doctrine of Being, he parallels

the antithesis of Being and non-Being, not with the


antithesis of
spiritual

and corporeal, but with that


Aristotle
asserts

of

light

and

darkness.

that

the
3
;

Pythagoreans presuppose, like the other natural philosophers, that the sensible world embraces all reality

he makes them to differ from Plato in that they hold

numbers to be the things themselves, whereas Plato distinguishes the ideas from things 4 he describes the
Pvthagorean Number, notwithstanding
ality, as a
its

incorpore-

material principle.

He

includes Parmenides,
(pvcrio-

poem proves nothing against the above application of the words. If he had been clearly cogscIous of the difference between spiritual and corporeal, he would not thus have expressed himself even in his hypothetical explanation of phenomena. V. 94 sqq.
1

tirely to the explanation of nature

ws o^oAoyovvres to?s &AAo:s \6yois, on to ye bv tovt'


KaAovfievos ohpavos.
4

4o~tiv

ocrov aladrirov icrn ai -nepisi\-q<pev 6

Metaph. Metaph.
dr)

i.

6,
i.

5,

987 b, 25 sqq. 989 a, 15


Kal ws v\i]v

fyalvovrai

Kal

ovtoi tov apidiibv


elvai

Genet. Do.rst. der platan, IcUenlehre, i. 378. cf. 28 sq. 3 Metaph. i. 8, 989 b, 29 sqq.

voixi^ovres

apx^v

rols ovai, Kal ws iraQr) Te Kal h^eis.


Ibid,
b, 6: eolicaai 5' us 4v vAys eY5a ra nroix e ^a rdrreiv 4k tovtwv

The Pythagoreans,

it is

true,

admit

non-sensible principles, but they nevertheless confine themselves en-

yap us

iwnapxovruu
<J>acri

avvetnavai.

Kal ireivKacrQai.

ri)v ovaiav.

100

THE PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


among
!

with Protagoras, Democritus and Empedocles,


those
it is

and from this source that he derives the Eleatic theory


is

who held that the

sensible only

the real

of the sensible world. 2

On

all

these points

we must

allow

him

to be fully justified.

The

Italian philo-

sophers likewise
essence

commence with an enquiry into the and grounds of sensible phenomena and they
;

seek for these in that which underlies things, and

is

not perceptible to sense.

In so doing, they transcend

indeed the ancient Ionian Physics, but not the later

That the true essence of things is to be apprehended not by the senses, but by the understanding alone, is also taught by Heracleitus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and the Atomistic They, too, hold that the ground of the Philosophy.
systems of natural philosophy.
sensible lies in the not-sensible.

Democritus himself,

thorough materialist as he was, has no other definition Herafor matter than the Eleatic conception of Being
;

cleitus considers the

law and relation of the whole to


;

be alone the permanent element in phenomena


goras
is

Anaxa-

the

first

who

distinguishes spirit clearly


is

and
all.

definitely

from matter, and he


3

for that reason, in a

well-known passage of
his predecessors.
If,

Aristotle, placed far

above

therefore, the opposition of Ma--

Metaph.

iv.

5,

1010

a.

UapfxeuiSrjv']

tiia

rb

/U7}0e</ fiev

&\\o

(after speaking of Protagoras,

De-

irapa. ttju tG>v aladrjrciu

obcriav viro-

mocritus. Empedocles. and Parmenides): aXriov 8e ttjs 8($|tjs rovrois,


oti
ire pi jjXv

twv
8'

ovtcdv tt)v a.\7)6eiav

Xafx^dveiv eluai, roiauras Se Tivas [sc. oLKivrjrovs^voriaanrpwToi (pvaeis etirep earai tis yv&ais $1 (ppovrjais,
ovtoj
3

iffKSirovv,
2

to

bvra vireXaf&ov elvai


iii.

/j.eTr]i>eyKav

eirl

raiira
b, 15:

tovs
5tf

to ahrdrirh pivov.
De.
Coelo,
1.

enelQev \6yovs.

inelvoi 5e

\oi itep\

298 b, 21 MeXuradv re

ff:
icdl

Metaph.

i.

3,984

vovv

tis 6*kwv evelvai KaOdirep evTois aois

IOXIAXS AND DORIANS.


terialism

191

and Idealism

is

to

furnish

principle

of

division for ancient philosophy, this division

must be

limited not only, as Braniss maintains, to the epoch pre-

ceding Anaxagoras, but preceding Heracleitus.


then, strictly speaking,
it
it is

Even

not applicable, nor does

take account of the intermediate position of the

Pythagoreans between the Ionian s and the Eleatics.


This double tendency of philosophic thought
Doric elements, and, accordingly,
is

also

said to correspond with the opposition of the Ionic


all

and

the philosophers

until the time of Socrates, or rather Anaxagoras, are

assigned either to an Ionic or a Doric series of develop-

more exact than that of some of the ancient historians, who divided the whole of Greek Philosophy into Ionian and Italian. But even in regard to the most ancient schools, so far
ment.
This division
is

certainly

as their internal relations have to be represented, such

a division

can hardly be carried out.

Among

the

Dorians, Braniss counts Pherecydes, the Pythagoreans,

the Eleatics and Empedocles.


of Leucippus and Democritus.
see

Ast makes the addition

Xow

it

is

difficult to

how Pherecydes can be placed among the

Dorians,

and the same may be said of Democritus, and probably


kclI

ev

tt) (pvffei

Tbv atriovTov KocTfiov

Ka\T7)STal e'j}STva.<TT]soTovvT)<puv<pa.v7} > nap i'ucri \4yovras tovs -nporepov.


1 Diogenes, i. 13; that he is here following older authorities is clear (as Brandis he. cit. p. 43 shows) from the fact of the schools he mentions only coming down to the time of Ciitomachus (129-110 B.C.) cf. Augustine. Civ. Dei. vin.

Galen (Hist. Phil. c. 2. p. 228) Kiihn this lastfurtherdivid.es the


;

Italian philosophers into Pythasroreans and Eleatics. and so far agrees with the theory of three schools Italian, Ionian, and Eleatie (Cle-

2; the Aristotelian Scholiast. Sckol.

inArisL, 323,

a, 36,

and the Pseudo-

mens, Al. Strom, i. 300 c.) The review of the earlier philosophers in Aristotle's first book of Metaphysics follows the order of dogmatic points of view, and would be out of place in regard to our present purpose.

192

THE PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


Moreover, the founder of Pythagorisrn
;

of Leucippus.

was by birth an Ionian of Asia Minor


Doric spirit manifests itself in his

and though the


of
life,

mode
is

his

philosophy seems to betray the influence of the Ionian


Physics.

Empedocles was born,

it

true, in a Doric

colony

but the language of his poem is that of the Ionian epos. The Eleatic School was founded by an Ionian of Asia Minor, it received its final development
;

in an Ionian settlement,

and in the person of one of

its

last great representatives, Melissus, it returned to

Asia

Minor.

There remain, therefore, of pure Dorians, only

the Pythagoreans, with the exception of the founder


of the school, and, if

we

will,

Empedocles.

It

has
2
;

been said that

it is

not necessary that the philosophers

of either division should belong to it also

by birth

and this condition certainly ought not to be insisted on


in the case of every individual.

But

it is

surely indis;

pensable with regard to each division as a whole


their

all

members should be either Doric or Ionic, if not by birth, at least by education. Instead of this, we find more than half the so-called Dorian philosophers, not only belonging by birth and extraction to the
Ionian race, but receiving their education from
it,

through national customs, civil institutions, and what Under these ciris especially important, language.
cumstances, differences of tribe are of very secondary

moment.
1

They may have influenced the


has
been

direction of
by

Petersen (Philol. hist. Stuthinks he can discover an iEolic element in the That there is not the Eleatics.
dien, p. 15) also

shown

Hermann,

ZeiUchrift fur Alterthumsw., 1834, p. 298. 2 Braniss, loc. cit. p. 103.

slightest

ground for this conjecture

I0NIAN8 AXD DORIAXS.

193

thought, but cannot be regarded as having determined


it.
1

In the ulterior development of these two

series,

the Ionian and the Dorian, Braniss opposes Thales to

Pherecydes, Anaximander to Pythagoras, Anaximenes

Xenophanes, Heracleitus to Parmenides, Diogenes of Apollonia to Empedocles. Such a construction, howto

ever, does great violence to the historical character

and

relation of these

men.

On

the Ionian side,

it

is

incor-

rect to place Heracleitus beside the earlier philosophers

of that school, for he does not stand

in

a relation

of simple progression to Anaximenes, as

Anaximenes

stands to Anaximander.

Diogenes, on the other hand,

was entirely uninfluenced by the philosophy of Heracleitus


;

we cannot,

therefore, say with Braniss (p. 128)

that he was expressly related to that philosopher, and

that

he

summed up
Braniss

the result of the whole Ionic


is

development.

even more arbitrary in his

treatment of the Dorians.

In the

first

place, Phereis

cydes, as has already been said (p. 89 sq.),

not, pro-

perly speaking, a philosopher,


idealistic philosopher
;

still

less is

he a Doric or

what we know of him bears a close relation to the old Hesiodic-Orphic cosmogony, the mythic precursor of the Ionic Physics. Even the disfor

crimination of organising force from matter, on which


Braniss lays so

much

stress (p.

108) had been brought

forward in a mythic manner by Hesiod, and in a more


definite

and philosophic form by Anaxagoras the Ionian whereas it is entirely wanting in the Italian Eleatics, 2
; 1

SoRitteralsodecides,i. 191sq. The second part of Parmenides' poem (v-. 131) mentions Eros
2

as plastic force; but this second part speaks only from the point of view of ordinary opinion.

VOL.

I.

194

THE PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


is

and

of doubtful value

among

the Pythagoreans. It

is

true that the belief in the transmigration of souls was

shared by Pherecydes with Pythagoras, but this isolated


doctrine,

which

is

rather

religious

than philosophic,

cannot be taken as decisive for the position of PhereFurther, if we connect Xenophanes cydes in history.

with

Pythagoras, as

Parmenides

is

connected

with

Xenophanes, or Anaximenes with Anaximander, we ignore the internal difference which exists between
the
Eleatic stand-point and the Pythagorean.
It is

manifestly improper to treat a doctrine which has a


principle

of

its

own, essentially distinct

from the
itself in

Pythagorean principle, and which developed


separate
school,
as

mere continuation of Pythathe

gorism.

Again, as we shall presently show, to place

Empedocles exclusively in
but one.
the later
Lastly,

Pythagorean-Eleatic

series is to close our eyes to all aspects of the question

what right has Braniss to pass over development of Pythagorism accomplished


;

by Philolaus and Archytas


he recognises

and the development of the

Eleatic doctrine effected by Zeno and Melissus, while

Anaximenes and Diogenes of Apollonia, who were in no way more important, as representatives of particular stages of development ?
like

men

His scheme is a Procrustean bed for historical phenomena, and the Doric Philosophy suffers doubly. At
the one end
tions,
it is

produced beyond
is

its

natural propor-

and

at the other it

denuded of members which


l

are essentially part of its growth.

The same
1

holds good of Petersen's


p.

earlier

attempt

Stud. pp. 1-40. Cn the other hand. cf. Hermann (2eitschr, fur Alterthumsw., 1834,
Philol. hist.

285 sqq.), from whom the above remarks are partly taken.

IONIANS AND DORIAXS.

195

to determine the historical relation of the pre-Socratie


schools.

Here, too, the general principle

is

the oppo-

sition of realism, or rather materialism,

and idealism.
the

This opposition developes


of which
is

itself in

three sections, each


:

again subdivided into two parts

first,

opposing elements stand over against one another in


sharp contrast
;

and secondly, there

arise

various at-

tempts to conciliate them, which, however, accomplish no real adjustment, but still incline to one or other of
the two sides.

In the

first

section,

the oppositions

begin to develop themselves

the mathematical idealism


hvlozoistic

of the Doric Pythagoreans confronts the

materialism of the older Ionians (Thales, Anaximander,

Anaximenes, Heracleitus and Diogenes).


tion
is

reconcilia-

next attempted on the idealistic side by the


;

Eleatics

on the materialistic by the physician Elothales


son Epicharmus and

of Cos, his

Alcmseon.

In
;

the

second section, the contrasts become more marked

we

encounter, on the one hand, pure materialism, in the

on the other, pure idealism in the later Pythagoreans, Hippasus, (Enopides, Hippo, Ocellus,
Atomists
;

TimaBus, and Archytas.

the idealistic side

Between these two, we find on the pantheism of Empedoclee, on the


In the

materialistic side the dualism of x\naxagoras.

third and last section both tendencies pushed to excess

equally lead to the destruction of Philosophy through

the

scepticism of
is

the

Sophists.

Thus one uniform

undoubtedly carried through the whole preSocratic Philosophy, but it is a scheme that scarcely
corresponds with the actual order of
historv.
It
is

scheme

unwarrantable, as we have just seen, to divide the philoo 2

190

THE PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


Nor can we,
be stated more

sophers of this period into materialists, or realists, and


idealists.

for reasons to

fully later on,

admit the propriety of placing Hera-

cleitus in one category with the ancient Ionians,

the materialists.

On

the other

among hand, we must demur

to the separation of the later Pythagoreans from the


earlier; because the so-called

fragments of their writings,


it,

which alone would justify

are certainly to be re-

garded as forgeries of the neo-Pythagoreans. How the Eleatics can be assigned to an intermediate position

between the Ionians and Pythagoreans, whereas they carried to the utmost that abstraction from the sensible

phenomena which the Pythagoreans had begun, it is difficult to say, nor can we concur in opposing to the Eleatics, Elothales, Epicharmus, and Alcmason as materialists

with incipient dualism.


;

These

men were not,

indeed, systematic philosophers

but any isolated philo-

sophic sentences they adopted seem to have been chiefly

derived from the Pythagoreans and Eleatic doctrines.


Lastly,

how

can Empedocles be considered an idealist

and Anaxagoras with his theory of vovs a materialist ? and how can the system of Empedocles, with its six primitive essences, of which four were of a corporeal
kind, be described as pantheism, and
as idealistic
1

more

particularly

pantheism
is

Steinhart

allied with

Bra-

niss and Petersen (Ally. Encykl. v. Ionische Ersch. und Grube, Art.
'

Sckule, Sect. 2, vol. xxii. 457- He distinguishes, like them, the Ionic and Doric Philosophy in the case
1 ;

ism, but a mixture of the Doric and Ionic elements. The Ionic Philosophy he considers to have had In three stages of development. Thales, Anaximander, and Anaxi'

of the Pythagoreans, however, and still more in that of the Eleatics,

menes, he says, we first find obscure and scattered intimations of a


spiritual

power that

rulas in the

what he

finds is not pure Dorian-

world.

In Heracleitus, Diogenes,

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS.
The foregoing
for a positive

197

discussions have

now paved
first

the way

determination of the character and course


period.
I

of philosophic development during our

have characterised the Philosophy of that period


of nature.
It is so

(irre-

spectively for the present of Sophistic), as a philosophy

by virtue of the object which oclimits itself exclusively to nature

cupies

it

not that

it

in the narrower sense,

that

is

to say, to the corporeal,

and the forces unconsciously working in the corporeal;


for

such a limit of

its

sphere would necessarily presup-

pose a discrimination of spiritual and corporeal which

But it is for the most part occupied with external phenomena the spiritual, so far as that domain is touched, is regarded from the same point of view as the corporeal and consequently
does not as
yet exist.
;

there can be no independent development of Ethics and


Dialectic.

All reality

is

included under the conception

of Nature,

and

is

treated as a homogeneous mass, and


is

since that which


forces itself first

perceptible to the

senses always

upon our observation,


first

it is

natural that

everything should at
ciples

be derived from those printo explain sensible


is

which appear most adapted

existence.

The intuition

of nature

thus the starting-

and abore all in Anaxagoras. the recognition of the spiritual principie becomes constantly clearer. Lastly, Leucippus and Democritus deny the spiritual principle in a conscious manner, and thus prepare the destruction of this exclusively physical philosophy. Leaving out of the question the opposition of the Doric and Ionic elements, the importance of which Steinhart himself considerably restricts, it seems

doubtful proceeding to Empedocles from the Atomists and Anaxagoras. to whom he is so nearly related nor can I convince myself that the Atomistic Philosophy had its origin in a reaction against the theory of a worldto
;

me a separate

forming spirit, and is later in its origin than the Anaxagorean phy-

And lastly, as will presently sics. appear, I cannot altogether agree with Steinhart's view of Diogenes.

198

THE PRE-SOCRATIC SCHOOLS.


when immaadmitted,
evident that they

point of the earliest philosophy, and even


terial principles are
it
is

have been attained through reflection on the data furnished by the senses, not through observation of spiritual
life.

The Pythagorean
is

doctrine of numbers, for in-

immediately connected with the perception of regularity in the relations of tones, in the distances and
stance,

movements

of the heavenly bodies

and the doctrine of

Anaxas'oras of the vovs which forms the world has refer-

ence primarily to the wise organisation of the world,

and

especially to the

order of the celestial system.

Even the
spiritual

Eleatic theses of the unity and unchange-

ableness of Being are not arrived at by opposing the


as

a higher reality to

the

sensible phenoall

mena

but by eliminating from the sensible

that

seems to involve a contradiction, and by conceiving the corporeal or the plenum in an entirely abstract manner.

Here

too, therefore, it

is,

generally speaking, nature

with which Philosophy

is

concerned.
still

To

this its object,

thought

stands in an

imme-

diate relation, and considers the material investigation

and only problem. The knowledge of the object is not as yet dependent on the self-knowledge of the thinking subject, on a definite consciouson the ness of the nature and conditions of knowing
of nature as its first
;

discrimination of scientific cognition and unscientific presentation.

This discrimination

is

constantly spoken of

from the time of Heracleitus and Parmenides, but it appears, not as the basis, but only as a consequence of
the enquiry into the nature of things.

Parmenides

denies the trustworthiness of the sensuous perception,

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS.
because
it it

199

shows us an immoveable Being

Empedocles,

makes the union and separation of material because substances appear as a process of becoming and passing away Democritus and Anaxagoras, because it cannot
;

reveal the primitive constituents of things.

We

find

in these philosophers no definite principles as to the

nature of

knowledge which might serve to regulate

objective enquiry, in the


for

way that the

Socratic

demand

knowledge based on conceptions probably served and though Parmenides and Empedocles in Plato
:

poems exhort us to the thoughtful consideration of things, and withdrawal from the senses, they do so almost always in an exceedingly vague manner and it does not follow because such a discrimitheir didactic
;

nation finds place in their poems, that in their systems


it

may

not be the consequence instead of the presuppo-

sition of their metaphysic.

Although, therefore, their


not

metaphysic laid the foundation for the after develop-

ment
is,

of the theory of knowledge, it

is

itself, as yet,

a theory of knowledge.
as to its

The pre-Socratic Philosophy form, a dogmatism thought, fully believing


:

in its

own

veracity, applies itself directly to the object


first

and the objective view of the world


which prepare the way
ceptions.
for the later

gives rise to

the propositions concerning the nature of knowledge

Philosophy of conresults of

If

we

ask, lastly,

what are the philosophic


find, as

the

first

period,

we

has already been pointed

out, that the pre-Socratic systems

attempted no accu-

rate discrimination between the spiritual


poreal.

and the cor-

The

early Ionian physicists derived everything

200

THE PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


The Pythagoreans

from matter, which they held to be moved and animated

by

own inherent number for matter


its
; :

force.

substitute

the Eleatics, Being, regarded as in-

variable Unity

but neither of them, as we have already

remarked, distinguished the incorporeal principles as to


their essential nature,

from the corporeal phenomenon.


in

Consequently, the incorporeal principles are themselves

apprehended materially, and so


ethical

and body, and physical, are considered from the same


soul

man,

points of view.

This confusion

is

particularly striking

in Heracleitus, for in his conception of everliving fire

he directly unites primitive matter with motive force

and the law of the universe.

The Atomistic

philoso-

phy

is

from the outset directed to a


nature, and therefore

strictly material

explanation of

neither within

man

nor without

him does

it

recognise any immaterial

Even Empedocles cannot have apprehended his moving forces in a purely intellectual manner, for he treats them precisely like the corporeal elements
element.

with which they are mingled in things


the faculty of thought.

so too in
;

man
is

the spiritual intermingles with the corporeal

blood
first

Anaxagoras was the


is

to

teach definitely that the spirit

material element

but in

unmixed with any Anaxagoras we reach the


Moreover,

limit of the ancient Philosophy of Nature.

according to him, the world- forming spirit operates

merely as a force of nature, and


sensible

is

represented in a half

form as a more subtle kind of matter. This particular example, therefore, cannot affect our previous

judgment

of the pre-Socratic Philosophy so far as its


is

general and predominant tendency

concerned.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS.
teristic peculiarity of the first period, a

201

All these traits lead us to recognise as the charac-

preponderance of
;

natural research over introspective reflection

an absorp-

tion with the outer world which prevents thought from bestowing separate study on any object besides nature, from distinguishing the spiritual from the corporeal in

an exact and definite manner

from seeking out the

form and the laws of

scientific

procedure for themselves.

Overborne by external impressions,

man

at first feels

himself a part of nature, he therefore knows no higher

problem

for

his

thought than the investigation of

nature, he applies himself to this problem, impartially

and

directly,

without stopping previously to enquire


;

into the subjective conditions of knowledge

and even

when

his investigation of nature itself carries

him

be-

yond the

sensible

phenomena
its

as such, yet

he does not
subsistence

advance beyond nature considered as a whole, to an


ideal Being,

which has

import and

its

in

Behind the sensible phenomena, forces and substances are indeed sought which cannot be perceived
itself.

by the
things

senses

but the
the

effects of these forces are

the

of nature,

essences

not apprehended by
itself,

sense are the substance of the sensible

and no-

thing besides

a spiritual world side

by

side with the

material world has not yet been discovered.

How

far this description applies

also to Sophistic

we have already

seen.

The

interest of natural research

and the belief in the truth of our presentments are now at an end, but no new road to knowledge and higher
reality
is

as yet pointed out

and

far

from opposing the

kingdom

of the spirit to nature, the Sophists regard

202

THE PRE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


himself as a merely sensuous being.

man

Although,
is

therefore,

the

pre-Socratic

natural

philosophy
its

abolished in Sophistic, Sophistic like

predecessors

knows of nothing higher than Nature, and has no other material to work on the change consists not in oppos;

new form of science to a previous form, but in making use of the existing elements, particularly the
ing a
Eleatic and Heracleitean doctrines, to introduce doubt
into scientific consciousness,

and to destroy

belief in

the possibility of knowledge.

Thus we are compelled, by the


sophy

results of our in-

vestigation, to bring the three oldest schools of Philo-

the Ionian, the Pythagorean, and the Eleatic


They
to

into a closer connection than has hitherto been cus-

tomary.
respect

are not only very near to each other in

time,

but are

much more
first

alike in their

scientific character

than might at

sight be supof the early

posed.

While they agree with the whole


tendency
is

Philosophy in directing their enquiries to the explanation of nature, this


in their case
for

more

particularly

shown in a search
:

the

substantial

demanding what things are in the their proper essence, and of what they consist passing problem of the explanation of Becoming, and away, of the movement and multiplicity of phenomena Thales makes all is not as yet distinctly grasped. things originate and consist in water, Anaximander in the Pythagoreans infinite matter, Anaximenes in air
ground of things
in
;
;

say that everything


is

is

Number

the Eleatics that the All


it i3

one invariable Being.

Now

true that the Elea-

tics alone,

and they only subsequently to Parmenides,

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS.

203

denied movement and Becoming, whereas the Iouians

and the Pythagoreans minutely describe the formation But they neither of them propounded of the world. the question of the possibility of Becoming and of
divided Being in this general manner, nor in the estab-

lishment of their principles did they attempt particular


definitions in regard to
it.
;

The Ionians

tell

us that the

primitive matter changes

that from matter, originally

one, contrary elements were separated and

combined in

various relations to form a world.


say that

The Pythagoreans

magnitudes are derived from numbers, and from magnitudes, bodies but on what this process was based, how it came about that matter was moved and
;

transmuted, that numbers produced something other

than themselves,
explain.

they make
they seek
is

no

scientific

attempt to
to explain

What

not so

much

phenomena from general principles, as to reduce phenomena to their first principles. Their scientific interest is concerned rather

with the identical essence


all

of things, the substance of which

things consist,

than with the multiplicity of the phenomena and the


causes of that multiplicity.
fore, entirely

When

the Eleatics, there-

denied the Becoming and the

Many

they

merely called in question an improved presupposition and in apprehending all reality of their predecessors
;

as a unity absolutely excluding multiplicity, they only

carried
older

out

more

perfectly the tendency of the


first

two
in

schools.

Heracleitus was the

to

see

motion,

change,

and

separation,
;

the

fundamental

quality of the primitive essence

Parmenides

fiist

and the polemic of occasioned Philosophy to enquire more

204

THE PPE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


1

thoroughly into the possibility of Becoming.


direction

Heracleitus, then, philosophic development takes


:

With a new
fall

the three older systems, on the contrary,

together under the same class, inasmuch as they are


all satisfied

with the intuition of the substance of wh'ch

things consist, without expressly seeking the cause of


multiplicity and change, as such.

This substance was

sought by the Ionians in a corporeal matter, by the

Pythagoreans in number, by the Eleatics in Being as


such.

By

the

first

it

was apprehended sensuously, by

the

second mathematically, by the third metaphysi-

but these differences only show us the gradual development of the same tendency in a progression from
cally;

the concrete to the abstract

for

number and mathe-

matical form are a middle term between the sensible

and pure thought

and were afterwards regarded, by


which
I

Plato especially, as their proper connecting link.

The turning-point

here

adopt

in

the

development of the pre-Socratic Philosophy has been


already remarked by other historians in respect of the

Ionian schools.

On

this

ground Schleiermacher 2

first

distinguished two periods in the Ionian Philosophy, the


1

From

this point of view


to

it

might seem preferable

commence

the second section of the first period with Parmenides, as well as Heracleitus, as my critic in the Repcrtoriiti/i of Gersdorf (1844, H. 22, p. 335) proposes, seeing that up to the time of these two philosophers (as he observes) the question, whence all things arose, had been answered by theories of matter, and that Heracleitus and Parmenides were the first to enquire concerning the

conception of Being and Becoming, But the connection between Parmenides and Xenophanes would thus and as the doctrine of be broken Parmenides, in spite of all its historical and scientific importance, approximates closely in its content and tendency to the earlier systerns, it appears on the whole better to make Heracleitus alone the starting-point of the second section.
;

Gesch.
p. 33.

der Phil. {Vorl.

v.

J.

1812)

EARLIER AND LATER PHYSICISTS.


second of which
this philosopher

l>05

begins with Heraclcitus.

Between

and his predecessors, he

says, there is a

considerable chronological gap, probably in consequence of the interruption occasioned to philosophic pursuits

by the disturbances in Ionia. Moreover, while the three most ancient Ionians came from Miletus, Philosophy now spreads
wider sphere.
itself

geographically over a

much

Also, in the content of his philosophy,

Heracleitus rises far above the earlier physicists, so


that he may, perhaps, have derived little from them.
Ritter, 1 too, acknowledges that Heracleitus differs in

many

respects

from the older Ionians, and that


universal
force

his

theory of the

of nature

places

him
2

quite in a separate order


still

from them.

Brandis,

in

closer

agreement with Schleiermacher, holds that

with Heracleitus commences a new period in the development of the Ionian Philosophy, to which, besides
Heracleitus, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Leucippus, De-

mocritu>, Diogenes, and


all

Archelaus

likewise

belong

these being distinguished from the earlier philo-

sophers by their

more

scientific

attempts to derive the

multiplicity of particulars from a primitive cause, by


their

more

explicit

recognition or denial of the dis-

tinction between spirit

that forms the world

and matter, as also of a Divinity and by their common endeavour


and their varia-

to establish the reality of particulars

tions in opposition to the doctrine of the Eleatic One.

These remarks are quite

true,

and

only, perhaps, open to

question with regard to Diogenes of Apollonia.


1

But

it

Gesch. der

Phil.

242,

248;

Gr.-rbm. Phil.

i.

149.

Ion. Phil. 65.

206
is

THE PPE-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.


make
this difference the dividing-line
;

not enough to

between two

classes of Ionic physiologists

it is deeply-

rooted in the whole of the

pre-Socratic

Philosophy.

Neither the doctrine of Empedocles, nor that of Anaxagoras, nor that of the Atomists can be explained by the

development of the Ionian physiology as such their relation to the Eleatics is not the merely negative rela;

tion of disallowing the denial of Reality, Becoming,

and

Multiplicity

they positively learned a good deal from

the Eleatic school.

They
away

all

acknowledge the great


is

principle of the system of Parmenides, that there

no

Becoming
;

or passing

in the strict sense of the

terms consequently they all explain phenomena from the

combination and separation of material elements, and


thev in part borrow their concept of Being directly from
the Eleatic metaphysics.

They ought,

therefore, to be
it.

placed after the Eleatic school, and not before

In

regard to Heracleitus,
far,

it is less

certain whether, or

how

he concerned himself with the beginnings of the


;

Eleatic Philosophy tion


is

in point of fact,

however, his posi-

not only entirely antagonistic to the Eleatics, but


generally be said to enter upon a

he

may

new course
In

altogether divergent from that hitherto followed.

denying

all fixedness

in the constitution of things,

and

recognising the law of their variability as the only per-

manent element

in them, he declares the futility of the

previous science which


chief object of enquiry

made matter and substance the


;

and

asserts the investigation

of the causes and laws which determine

Becoming and

Change to be the true problem of Philosophy. Thus, although the question as to the essence and material

EARLIER AXD LATER PHYSICIS7


substance
cleitus

207

of

things

was

not

overlooked

by Hera-

any more than the account of the formation of the world was omitted by the Ionians and Pythagoreans, the two elements stand with each of and his
followers,

them

in a very different relation.

In the one
is

case, the

enquiry as to the substance of things

the main point,

and the notions about their origin

are dependent
;

upon

the answer given to this question

in the other, the

chief question is that of the causes of

Becoming and

Change, and the manner of conceiving the original


substance of Being depends upon the determinations

which appear necessary

to

the philosopher to explain


arise

Becoming and Change.

The Ionians make things

out of the rarefaction and condensation of a primitive

matter, because this best adapts itself to their notion


of

primitive

matter

the

Pythagoreans hold to

mathematical construction, because they reduce everythe Eleatics deny Becoming and thing to number
;

Motion, because they find the essence of things in

Being

alone.

On

the contrary, Heracleitus makes

fire

the primitive matter, because on this theory onlv can

Empedocles presupposes four elements and two moving forces Leucippus and Democritus presuppose the atoms and the void,
all

he explain the flux of

things

because the multiplicity of phenomena seems to them


to require a multiplicity of material primitive elements,

and the change in phenomena a moving cause Anaxagoras was led by similar considerations to his doctrine of the 6/jLoiofjLeprj and the world-intelligence. Both
;

sets of philosophers

speak of Being and Becoming

but

the one case the definitions respecting Becoming

208

THE PME-SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY.

appear only as a consequence of their theory of Being in the other, the definitions of Being are merely presuppositions in the theory of Becoming.
therefore, the

In assigning,

most ancient schools to a first division of pre-Socratic Philosophy, and Heracleitus,


three
fifth

and the other physicists of the

century to a second,

we

follow not merely the chronological order, but the

internal relation of these philosophers.

The course
division

of philosophic development in the second

may

be more precisely described as follows

:
the

First, the law of

Becoming

is

proclaimed by Heracleitus
;

unconditionally as the universal law of the world

reason of which he seeks in the original constitution of

matter.
into

The concept
is

of

Becoming

is

next enquired

more

particularly by

Generation

Empedocles and the Atomists. identified with the union, and decease
:

with the separation of material elements consequently, a plurality of original material elements is assumed,
the motion of which has to be conditioned by a second
principle distinct from

them

but whereas Empedocles

makes

his primal elements of matter qualitatively dif-

ferent one from another,

and places over against them moving force in the mythical forms of friendship and discord, the Atomists recognise only a mathematical difference between the primitive bodies, and seek to
explain their motion in a purely mechanical

manner
;

from the operation of weight in empty space they consider indispensable, because without it,
believe, no plurality

space

as they

and no change would be possible. This mechanical explanation of Nature Anaxagoras finds

inadequate.

He

therefore sets spirit beside matter as

THE LATER PHYSICISTS.

209

moving cause, discriminates them one from the other as the compound and the simple, and defines primitive matter as a mixture of all particular matters a mix;

ture, however, in

which these particular matters

exist

and are already qualitatively determined.


tus explains these
qualitative change of one primitive matter,

Heraclei-

phenomena dynamically, from the


which
is
;

conceived

as

essentially

and

perpetually

changing

Empedocles and the Atomic philosophers explain them


mechanically, from the union and separation of different
primitive matters
;

Anaxagoras

finally is

persuaded that

they are not to be explained by mere matter, but by


the working of the spirit upon matter.

At this point,

in the nature of the case, the purely physical explana-

tion of nature

is

renounced

the discrimination of spirit


it

from matter, and the higher rank which


generally on the basis of this conviction.

assumes in

opposition to matter, demands a recasting of science


As, however,

Thought

is

as yet incapable of such a task, the


is

imme

diate result

that philosophy

is

bewildered in regard

to its general vocation, despairs of objective knowledge,

means of formal development, in the service of the empirical subjectivity y h acknowledges the validity of no universal law. This is effected
and places
itself, as

in the third section of the pre-Socratic

Philosophy by

means of
1

Sophistic.

this

Tennemann and Fries adopt arrangement of thepre-Socratic

schools on purely chronological grounds. Hegel bases it on scientitle obser rations concerning the internal relation of the systems, He does not, however, expressly

distinguish the w of ancient phv noticed, he separ the other pre- is to be found. whose general must nevertheless
-

tin
.

currents as before isticfrom


*rines. It

r
:

Braniss, to
j-dtion I

mur.

Among

VOL.

I.

210

THE PPE-SOCPATIC PHILOSOPHY.


Stoicism. Epicureanism, and ScepI cannot now ticism, the third. enter upon any detailed examination of these different classifications. It will be seen in the course of this exposition what are my objections to the theory of Striimpell {Gesch. dcr Theoret. Phil, der Gricchen, 1854, p. 17 sq.), in point of chronology as well as the internal His expoaspects of the subject. sition of the pre-Socratic Philosophy is as follows First, the older Ionian Physiologists, starting from the contemplation of the changes in nature, arrive in Heracleitus at the conception of original Becoming. To this doctrine the Eleatics oppose a system which entirely denies Becoming, while contemporaneously the later Physicists, on the one side Diogenes. Leucippus, and Deon the other, Empedomocritus cles and Anaxagoras, reduce it to reconciliation of mere motion. the opposition between Becoming and Being, and between Opinion
:

the more recent writers, Noack, and previously Schwegler, adopt my

yum

Ilavm, on the contrary {Ally.


2")

Enci/k. Sect. 3 B. xxiv. p.

sqq.),
in

though

in

harmony with me

other respects, places Heracleitus before theKleaties. In his history of Greek Philosophy, p. 1 1 sq. Schwegler discusses: 1, the Ionians; 2, 3, the Eleatics the Pythagoreans and -i. Sophistic, as the transition to He defends the second period. the subdivision of the Ionians into earlier and later, for the reasons stated on p. 202 sq. and assigns to the earlier, Thales, A naximander, and Anaximenes to the later, He;

Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus. So also Ribbing {PIat on-. Ideenlehre, i. 6 sqq.) conracleitus,

siders

that

since

Heracleitus,

Empedocles,

the

Atomists,

and

Anaxagoras

are, in their principles,

lower than the Pythagoreans and


Eleatics, they, as well as the older

Ionians.

them. ing division 1, the older Ionians, including Heracleitus the 2, Pythagoreans the Eleatics 3, 4, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and the Atomists. The Sophists he places in the second period, of which they form the first chapter Socra:

must be placed before Ueberweg has the follow;

and Knowledge, was attempted by

tes

and his successors, as far as


constitute

and Sophistic the Pythagoreans is a dialectic solution of this oppoIt will suffice at present sition. to say that the position of Heracleitus, the Eleatics, Diogenes, and more especially the Pythagoreans, appear to me more or less misre;

Aristotle,

the

second

presented by this arrangement.

THALES.
I. THE

211

EARLIER IONIAN'S, THE PYTHAGOREANS AND ELEATICS.


THE EAKLIER IONIAN PHYSICS. 1
I.

THALES. 2

reputed to be the founder of the Ionian Naturalistic Philosophy. He was a citizen of Miletus, a contemporary of Solon and Croesus, 3 whose ancestors
is
1 Ritter, Gesch. der Ion. Phil., 1821. Steinhart, Ion. Schule, Allg. EncyTc. v. Ersck und Gruher, Sect.
;

Thales

third edition)

Hansen (Abhand;

II., vol. xxii.


2

457-490.

Decker,

De

Tkalete

Milesio.

Halle, 1865.
in

Older monographs
sq.,

lungen der kenigl. sacks. Gesellsch. der Wissenschqft. vol. xi. Math, phys. KL vol. vii. p. 379) Martin {Revue ArcMologique, ?iouv. ser., vol. ix. 1864, p. 184), and other autho;

Ueberweg, Grundriss. der Gesch.


i.

3rd edition. 3 This is beyond question but the chronology of his life (on which cf. Diels on the Chronicle of Apollodorus. Skein. Mus., xxxi. 1, 15 sq.) cannot be more precisely fixed. According to Diogenes i. 37, Apollodorus placed his birth in the first year of the 35th Olympiad, i.e. 640-639 b.c. Eusebius places it in the second year of the 35th
der Phil.,

35

that which occurred on the 28th, or, according to the Gregorian calendar, the 22nd of May,
rities,

585 b.c. Pliny, in his Natural History, ii. 12, 53, places it in the fourth year of the 48th Olvmpiad (584-5 b.c), 170 A.U.C. ap. Clemens, Stromata,
; ;

Eudemus
i.

302 A, about the fourth year of the 50th Olympiad (580-576) Eusebius in his Chron. in 01. 49, 3, 582-1;
they,
therefore,

take

the

second

Olympiad, and Hieronymus also in the 35th Olympiad. Chron. 1. But this statement is probably founded only on some approximate calculasun, which Thales is said to hare predicted (vide infr. p. 213, 3). This is not, as used formerly to be supposed, the eclipse of 610 b.c. but, according to Airy [On the Eclipses of Agathocles, Thales, and Xerxes, Philosophical Transactions, vol. cxliii. p. 179 sqq.); Zech {Astronomische Untersuchungen der unch;

which is most accurately calculated by Pliny. About the same time (under the Archon Daeclipse,

tion

of

the

eclipse of the

masius, 586 b.c.) Demetrius Phalereus ap. Diog. i.' 22 makes Thales and the rest to have received their designation of the seven wise men. According to Apollodorus, Diog. i. 38, Thales was 78 year-; old (Decker's proposal, p. 18 sq.. to substitute 95 does not commend itself to me) according to Sodcrates (ibid.), 90 according to Pseudo Lucmn (Macrob. 18), 100; according
;

tigercn Finst>:rnisse.$zQ.. 1853, p.57,

to Syncell. (p.

with which
riss

cf.

Ueberweg, Grundder Phil,


i.

der

Gesch.

36,

100. genes,

His death
loc.
cit.,

213 C), more than is placed by Dioin the 58th Olym-

212

THALES.

are said to have immigrated to their later Phoenicia, but


pi&d

more probably from

Bceotia.

home from The con-

likewise by Euscbius, Hieronymus, and Cyrillus, loc. eit. but in that case, as is shown by Diels, and confirmed by Porphyry (ap.
;

Ahulfaradasch, p. 33, ed. Pococke), his birth cannot have been assigned bv Apollodorus to 01. 35, 1, but to 01. 39, 1 (624 B.C.; 40 years before the eclipse), and the divergent statements must be ascribed to some ancient corruption of the text in the source consulted by As to the manner of Diogenes. Thales's death and his burial-place, some untrustworthy accounts are to be found in Diog. i. 39. ii. 4 some epigrams Plut., Solon, 12 relating to him, in Anthol. vii. 83 Whether the Thales sq., Diog. 34.
;

Ionians of Asia Minor (Herod, i. 146 Strabo, xiv. 1, 3, 12, p. 633, 636;Pausan.vii.2,7). According to Pausanias, a great number of Theban Cadmeans established themselves in Priene, for which reason the name of the place was altered to Cadme. Hellanicus in Hesychius sub voc. also calls the inhabitants For Diogenes, of Priene Ka^fxloi. says ?\v toIvw 6 QaXr^s, &s i. 22, /xeu 'HpoSoTOS Kai Aovpis ical /\r)fi6;

KpLrSs
/xTjrpbs

(pT)<ri,

Trarpbs /xev

'Ea/xiov,
e/c

5e

KAeoSovAiVrjs,
o'i

to>v

r)AidS>v
k*s,

(or Qt)\v8.)

elffi

$oiviKolS/j-ov

evyevecTTaTOi

tup

cbro

mentioned 1274 a, 25,

in Arist.

Polit'.

ii.

12,

as- the scholar of Onomaeritus, and the teacher of Ly-

curgus and Zaleucus,istheMilesian


philosopher, or some other person, matters little; aad the unfavourable judgment, which, according to Aristotle, ap. Diog. ii. 46 (if, indeed, the statement be his at all), Pherecydes passed upon Thales, is equally unimportant. Herodotus, i. 170, says of him 0aAea> avb'pbs MiXrjaiov, rb aviKaQev yevos i6vT0s Qulvinos Clemens, Strom, i. 302 C, simply and, accalls him *o7i/ rb yevos cording to Diogenes, i. 22, (where,
1
: ;
;

thus explains the *o7j/i| by 'descendant of Cadfollowing either Duris or mus Democritus, or, at any rate, some very trustworthy source. Herodotus, however, shows by the word aptKaOev that not Thales himself, but only his remote ancestors had belonged to the Phoenicians. If Thales was only in this sense 4>o7j/i|. his nationality, even if the story of the immigration of Cadmus have any foundation in history, is Greek and not Phoenician nor is this statement affected by the circumstance (vide Schuster,
Kai 'Ayyvopos.
' ;

He

Acta
cf.

soc. philol.

Lips. iv. 328 sq.

however, Boper, Philol. xxx. 563, to read -nokns\>Qir)o-av, and ijXOov), he seems to have been regarded as a Phoenician immigrant, settled in Miletus. This statement is probably founded on the fact that his ancestors belonged
proposes
to the Cadmean tribe in Bceotia, who were intermingled with the

Decker, De Thole., 9) that the father of Thales perhaps bore a name that was Phoenician in its Diog., loc. cit., and 1,29, origin. according to our text, calls him in the genitive 'E^afxiov. For this we and some must read 'Ea/nuov manuscripts have 'E^afivXov or 'Ea/wvou\ou, which certainly points But this to a Semitic extraction. Grseco-Phcenician name, like that
;

of

Cadmus and many

others,

may

BIOGRAPHY.

213
is

sideration in which he was held by his fellow-citizens


sufficiently

shown by the place which he occupies


1

as

chief of the seven sages. instance,


it is

This has reference in the

first

true, to his practical ability

and worldly
2
;

prudence of which other proofs have come down to us


but we hear
also that

he distinguished himself by his

knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, 3 and that he


have been kept up centuries long
represents him. Plato, Theatetus, 174 a; Diog. 34, cf. Arist. Eth. N.
vi. 7, 1141 b, 3, ccc. Little more, however, is to be said for the story of the oil presses, intended to refute this opinion not to mention the anecdote in Plutarch. Sal.anim,
;

among

the Phoenicians settle! in

Greece. cannot infer from it a direct Phoenician descent, either for Thales or his father. His mother s name is -wholly Greek.
1

We

Cf.
i.

p.

119

sq.

Timon

ap.
;

34; Cic. Leag. ii. 11, 26 37, 118; Aristophanes, Clouds, 180; Birds, 1009; Plautus, Bud. iv. 3, 64 Bacch. i. 2, 14. In dipt, ii. 2, 124, Thales is a proverbial name for a great sage. For sayings ascribed to him cf. Diog. i. 35 sqq. Stobaeus. Fiord, iii. 79, 5 Plutarch, S. sap. conv. c. 9. 2 According to Herodotus, i. 170. he counselled the Ionians. before their subjugation by the Persians, to form a confederation with a united central government to resist them and, according to Diog. 25, it was he who dissuaoled the 3Iile-ians from provoking the dangerous enmity of Cyrus by an alliance wilh Croesus. It is not consistent with this, and in itself is hardly credible that he should have accompanied Croesus in his expedition against Cyrus (as Herodotus relates, i. 75), and by planning a canal, should have enabled him to cruss the Halys. It is still more incredible that Thales, the first of the seven wise men, should have been such an unpractical theorist, as a well-known anecdote
Diog. Acad.
ii.
;
;

c.

15, p. 971.

The

assertion (Cly-

ap. Diog. 25), /J.ovf]pr] avrbv "/eyovevai kol\ i8ta<TT7)v, cannot be

tus

and true in this universal sense the stories about his celibacy, for "which cf. Plutarch. Qu. cone. iii. 6, Stobseus, Sol. 6, 7 Diog. 26 3, 3 Floril., 68, 29, 34, are equally worthless. 3 Thales is one of the most celebrated of the ancient mathematicians and astronomers. Xenophanes eulogises him in this So/ceT 8e respect, ef. Diog. i. 23
; ; ;
;
:

Kara.

Tivas
T)\iaKas

irpuiros

a<jTpo\oyr)(xa.i
na.\

KaX

e/cXetieis

rpoiras

ws <pr](riv ~Evdr)/J.os iv ttj irepl ruiu aarpuXoyounevuv iaTopiaodev avrbv /ecu s.vo(pdv7]s na\ Hpd5o7rpoei7T6tJ/,
;

tos Qavfj.a^L' /xapTupet 8' avrw kcl\ 'HpdnXeiTOS /cat AquonpiTOS. Phonix ap. Athen. xi. 495, d: QaXrjs yap, oar is aaripuv ovqiaTOS etc (others read acrreW). Strabo, xiv. 1. 7. p. QaAris ... 6 irpaiGoo tuTs (pvaioAoyias apEas iv ros "EWt](Ti kol ua6T)fj.aTiKris. Apuleius Floril. iv. 18, p. 88 Hild. HippoProclus in lytus Bef. hcer. i. 1
:

Euclid.

i9 (vide

following note).

214

THALES.
first

was the

to transplant the elements of these sciences


theory of the aKaKriva Tplyuva (Cobet aica\. ical rpiy.), and in general the ypa/xpLiKri deiopia determined the seasons, divided the year into 365 days, measured the height of the pyramids by the length of their shadow (this according to Hieronymus the same in Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxxvi. 12, 82; a little differently in Plutarch S. sap. conv. 2, 4, 147); Callimachus ap. Diog. 22 says that he was the first to mark out the constellation of the Little Bear, which is repeated by Theo in Arati Phcen. 37, 39, and by the Scholiast of Plato, p. Proclus as4201, No. 11, Bekker. serts that he first showed that the diameter halved the circle (in Euclid, 44, 157 Friedl.), and that in an isosceles triangle, the angles at the base are equal (ibid. 67 and 250 Friedl.) that the angles at the vertex are equal (ibid. 79, a, 299, according to Eudemus) that triangles are equal when they have two angles and one and side equal to one another that by means of this proposition the distance of ships on the sea could be measured (ibid. 92 [352] this is also on the authority of Apuleius, Flor. iv. Eudemus). 18, p. 88 H., says that Thales discovered temporum ambitus, ventorum flatus, stellarum meatus, tonitruicm sonora miracula, siderum
:

Plato, Theat. 174 A. in the previous note, has reference to his reputation as an astronomer. Among the proofs related of his astronomical knowledge, the best known is the abovementioned prediction of the eclipse which occurred during a battle between the armies of Alyattes and

The anecdote quoted from

Cyaxares or Astyages (Herod, i. Eudemus an. Clem. Strom. 74 Cic. Divin. i. 49, 112; i. 302 A;
;

Pliny's Hist. Nat. ii. 12, 53); it was probably in consequence of this that the prediction and explanation of solar and lunar eclipses generally were ascribed to* him. See Diog. loc. cit. Eusebius, Pr. Ev. x. 14, 6; Augustine, Civ. Dei, viii.
;

2; PJutarch,PZac. Eel. i. 528, 560


a,

ii.
;

24 ; Stobseus, Simplicius, in
a, 1,

Categ. Schol. in Arist. 64

65
;

Ammonius, ibid. 64 a, 18 Sekol. in Plat, Hemp, p. 420 Bekk. Theo in the pasCic. Eep. i. 16. Dercyllides, taken from sage Astron. c. 40, p. 324 Mart, and repeated by Anaqblius, in Fabric. Bihl. gr. iii. 464. The latter says,
30
y
;

following

Eudemus

irp5y70S~\ ?j/\Jov

>a\r\s Se [epe eK\ei$iv ncu ri]u Kara


:

ras

rpoiras

avrov

Trepiodov

[al.

Tcapobov\ ws ovk tail ael av/j.^aivei.

(On

this opinion,

which we meet

with elsewhere, cf. Martin loc. cit. In partial agreement with p. 48). this, Diogenes says (i. 24 sq. 27) that Thales discovered t\)v curb TpoirrjS iirl rpoirriv ivdpoZov of the sun, and declared the sun to be 720 times as large as the moon. He, or according to others, Pythagoras, first proved that the triangles constructed on the diameter of a
circle are rectangles (irpurov Karaypd\pai kvkKov to rpiycovou bpQo-

obliqua curricula, solis annua reverticula (the rpoirai, the solstices of which Theo and Diogenes in the previously quoted passages, the Scholiast on Plato, p. 420 Bekk., speak) also the phases and eclipses of the moon, and a method of determining quotiens sol magnitudine sua circulum, quern permeat, meti;

yuviov)

that he

perfected

the

atur.

Stobseus

ascribes

to

him

BIOGRAPHY.

215
1

into Greece from the countries of the east and south.


some other philosophical and physical theories hereafter to be menalso the division of the heavens into five zones (Eel. i. 502,

ap. Diog. 24, 27; the author of the letter to Pherecydes, ibid. 43
;

tioned,

Plutarch, Plac. ii. 12, 1); the discovery that the moon is illuminated by the sun (ibid., 556, Plac. ii. 28, 3), the explanation of her monthly obscuration, and of her eclipses, 560. Pliny, Hist. Nat. xviii. 25, 213, mentions a theory of his about the Pleiades, and Theo in Arat. 172, a passage relative to the Hyades. According to Cicero, Rep. i. 14, he made the first celestial globe and, according to Philostratus, Apoll. ii. 5, 3, he observed the stars from Mycale. How much of these reports is true cannot now be ascertained that the prediction of the eclipse of the sun cannot be historical, Martin shows in the Revue Archeologique, nouv. ser. vol. ix, ( 864) 17U sqq. cf. especially p^ 1S1 sq. 1 Arithmetic, says Proc-lus, in Euclid. 19, o [65] was discovered by the Phoenicians Geometry by the Egyptians on the occasion of the overflowing of the Nile, 0oAf?s 5e irpa>TOV eis Alyvirrov i\Quv /neT-fiyaytv els tt\v "EAAaSa ttjj/ dewpiav ravrrjv, /cat iroWa jxkv avrbs eupe, ttoWuv Se Tas ap^as toIs uet' avrbv b(priyricra.To. Whence Proclus got this information he does not state, and though it is not improbable that Eudemus may be his authority, we know not whether the whole account comes from that source, nor who may be the authorities of Eudemus. Thales's Egyptian journey, his intercourse with the priests of that country, and the mathematical knowledge which he gained from them are spoken of by Pamphile and Hieronvnius,
;
;
i

Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxxvi. 12, 82; Plutarch, Re Is. 10, p. 354 6'. sap. cone. 2, p. 146 Plac. i. 3, 1 Clemens, St ro mat a, i. 300 D, 302;
;

Iamblichus
liast

Pgtkag. 12 Scho420, No. 11 p. Bekk. (cf. Decker, he. cit., p. 26 sq.), a conjecture as to the reason of the overflowings of the Nile was
v.
;

in

Plato,

also attributed to Thales,

and may
;

perhaps be connected with this statement (Diodor. i. 38 Diog. i. If it be true that Thales was 37). engaged in trade (Plutarch, Sol. 2,
asserts this, prefixing
'

cpaaiv'),

we

might suppose that he was first led to Egypt by his commercial journeys, and then made use of his opportunity for the advancement of his knowledge. We cannot, however, regard his presence in

Egypt

as absolutely proved,, probable as the assertion may be since the tradition on the subject cannot be traced further back than

Eudemus, whose date is still 250 or 300 years from that of Thales's
supposed journey, still less can his acquaintance with the Chaldseans be proved by such late and uncertain testimony as that of Josephus, Contra Apionem, i. 2 or the length of his stay in Egypt by that of the Pluciia falsely attributed to Plutarch (i. 3, 1). scholium (schol. in Ar. 533, a, 18) states that he was sent for into Egypt as a teacher of Moses a specimen of the manner in which history was manufactured in the Byzantine period and even earlier. That he de rived philosophical and physical theories from the East, as well as geometrical and mathematical knowledge, is not asserted by any
;

216

TJIALES.

That he inaugurated the school of ancient physicists is affirmed by Aristotle, and seems well established. He is at any rate the first whom, we know to have instituted any general enquiry into the natural causes of things,
1

in contradistinction to his predecessors,

who contented
and
In answer to

themselves

partly with

mythical

cosmogonies,

partly with isolated ethical reflections. 2


of our witnesses, except perhaps Iamblichus and the author of the Placita. Eoth's attempt (Gesck. der Abend! Phil. ii. a, 116 sqq.) to prove this from the affinity of his doctrine with that of Egypt, falls to the ground so soon as we ascribe to Thales, only what there is good reason for ascribing to him.
.

in Metaph. \. 3, p. 21, Bon. ThemisL Or. xxvi. 31 7, B ; Simplicius, Be an. 8 a, cf. Philop. Be an. C 4 Galen, in Hipp, de Nat. horn. i. 25, end, vol. xv. 69 Kuhn.) Aristotle
;

Metaph.

i.

3,

983

b,

20.

Bonitz, in commenting on this passage, rightly reminds us that it is not Greek Philosophy in general, but only the Ionian Physics, the origin of which is here attributed to Thales. Theophrastus says (ap. Simp. Phys. 6 a, m), but only as a conjecture, that there must hare been physicists before Thales, but that his name caused them all to be forgotten. Plutarch, on the other hand (Solon, c. 3, end), remarks that Thales was the only one of his contemporaries who extended his enquiry to other than practical questions (irepcuTepu tt)s Xpeias iii<z<j(kii. ttj dewpia). Similarly Strabo [sup] p. 213, 3) Hippolyt. Refut. Ear. i. 1 Diog. i. 24. The assertion of Tzetzes (Chil. ii. 869, xi. 74) that Pherecydes was the teacher of Thales has no weight, and is besides contradicted by the chronology. 8 Thales does not appear to have committed his doctrines to writing. (Diog. i. 23, 44; Alex.
;

always speaks of him from some uncertain tradition, or from his own conjecture (Metaph. i. 3, 983 b, 20 sqq., 984 a, 2; Be ccelo, ii. Be an. i. 2, 405 a, 13, 294 a, 28 19, c. 5, 411 a, 8; Polit. i. 11, 1259 a, 18, cf. Schwegler, in Me;

taph.

i.

3)

similarly

Eudemus, ap.

Proclus in Euclid, 92 (352), Roth (Gesch. der Abend I, Phil. ii. a, iii.) concludes that the supposed Thalesian writings must be genuine, because of their agreement with the propositions attributed to Thales. This is a strange inference, for in the first place he himself only considers two of the writings authentic; and as to the contents of these two, nothing has been handed down to us. These writings are the vavTita] aarpoXoyia and the treatise Trepl rpoirris. In the second place it is obxnous that traditions about
Thales's doctrine might as easily have been taken from spurious writings, as, on the other hand, the authors of such writings might have taken advantage of floating traditions. Among the works ascribed to Thales the uavriKr] aarpoAoyia (mentioned by Diog. 23, Sirnpl. Phys. 6 a, m) seems to have

WATER AS PRIMITIVE MATTER.


this enquiry,

217

which

all

he declared water to be the matter of things consist, and from which they must have

As to the reasons of this theory, nothing wa3 known by the ancients from historical tradition. Arisarisen. 1

totle

indeed says that Thales


oldest.

may have been

led to

it

been the

According

to

Simplicius, it was his only w^rk. Diogenes says it was held to be a work of Phocus the .^amian. Ac-

a-PXVybs (pi^oaocpias v8wp elvai <pr]0~iv [sc. GToiyjuuv Kal apxh" twv qut<jiu\

cording to Plutarch (Pyth. orac. 18, p. 402), who considers it genuine, it was written in verse it seerns to be intended by the !tti7, mentioned in Diog. 34. "Whether the poem, irepl TreTeupcov, ascribed to him by Suidas (0aX.), is or is not identical with the uavriKri tcrrpoXoyia, cannot be ascertained. Two other works, which many writers consider to be his only
;

Acad. ii. 37, 118 Thales ex aqua dicit constare omnia, and many others (a list of these is given in Decker, p. 64;. We
Cic.
: .

find in Stobseus,

Eel.

i.

290,

and

almost word for word in Justin.


Coh. ad Gr. c. 5 Plut. Plac. i. 3, the expression dpxw tot optwu aiT^<pr\varo to vSup, e vSaros yap (prjai irdvTa eluai Kal els v8up ava;

2.

\veo-Qai

but this

is

taken from

Aristotle, who, shortly before the

writings, 7repl rpoirris Kal larjtxepias, are quoted in Diog. 23 (cf. Suidas). The Pseudo-Galen (In Hippocr.

words just now quoted, says that most of the ancient philosophers

knew only
ov yap
e|

eiTTiv

of material causes e airaura to ovTa Kal


:

Be humor,

i.

1,

1,

vol.

xvi.
;

37,

ov

7:'7^6Tat

-rrpaiTOU

Kal

els

quotes a work, irepl apx^v but this testimony is itself sufficient to prove that the work is not authenNeither the verse quoted tic. Diog. 35 (cf. Decker, p. 46 sq.), nor the letter (ibid. 343 sq.) can be considered as genuine. To which of these writings Augustine refers in Civ. D. viii. 2 (where he asserts that Thales left books of instruction) it is not of much consequence to know. The same may be said of the doubtful allusions to books of his in Josephus (C. Apion. i. 2), and of the quotations in Seneca, iv. 2, 22; Nat.qu. iii. 13, 1, 14. 1 vi. 6, 1 Plutarch, Viae. i. 3 iv. Diodorus, i. 38 Sehol. in Apoll. 1
;
;

K)

(pBeipsrai

TeAevraiou

....

tovto

g~toix^ov Kal TavTt\v apxT\v (paaiu eluai twv ovTdiD. Aristotle is. therefore, in reality our only source for the knowledge of Thales's proposition.
2

Loc.
T7jy

cit.

z.

22
6K

Xafricv

taws

T$)U

\m(i\T\^lV
Tpo<pr]u

TOV

TTOLUTUV

bpau avrb
Kal

ir/pdu

ovo~av Kal

*rb 6epfj.hu e/c

tovtw
to.
>

tovtov yLyuo/xeuou (uu Kal Sia to


. .

TravTcnv

o'TrepuaTa

tt)v

<pvo~Lu

vypau X eiv
(pvcrews
9epfj.hu is

T0

vb'aip

apx^u

ttjs

eluai

to7s

ir/pols.

By

Rhod.
1

iv.

269.

Arist.

Metaph.
jxkv

i.

3,

983

b,

not to be understood (as by Brandis, i. 114) warmth generally, including that of the stars (see following note) it relates to the vital heat of animals. Vj which irduTwu is limited by the contest.
;

20

0aA7]s

ttjs

roiai/Tris

218

THALES.

through observing that the nourishment of all animals is moist, and that they all originate from moist germs
;

but this he expressly states to be merely It is only by later and less accurate authors that ture.
his

own

conjec-

the conjecture of Aristotle

is

asserted as a fact, with

the farther additions that plants draw their nourish-

ment from water, and the


vapours; that
all

stars

themselves from

damp
!

things

in dying dry up,

and that

water
that

is

the all-organising and all-embracing element

we must assume one primitive matter, because


it
;

otherwise

would be impossible to explain the transformation of the elements one into another and that that one matter must be water, because everything is
derived from water, by means of rarefaction and condensation. 2
All this

makes

it difficult for

us to
It
is

come

to any definite conclusion on the subject.

possible

that the Milesian philosopher

may have been

influenced
;

by the considerations that Aristotle suppos?s he may have started from the observation that everything living arises from a liquid, and in decaying, returns to
1

Plut. Plac.

i.

3,

2 sq. (so
14, 1,

sebius, Pr. Ev. xiv.

Euand in
this,

essential Stobseus,

agreement
loc.

with

Alex, ad Metaph. 983 b, 18; Philoponus, I'hys. A, 10; De an. A, 4 a Simplicius, Phys. 6 a, 8 a De ccelo 273 b, 36; Karst. ScJwl. in Arid. 514 a, 26. It has been already shown by Ritter, i. 210, and Krische {Forschungcn aufdem Gebiete der alien Philosophic, i. 36) that Simplicius is here speaking only from his own conjecture or that of others, that the subsequent passage where he refers to Theocit.)
;
;

phrastus does not relate to the reasons of the system of Thales, and that we have consequently no right to conclude (as Brandis does, i. 1 1 sqq.) the existence of trustworthy documents concerning Thales's reasoning from the supposed agreement of Aristotle and Theophrastus. 2 Galen. DeElem. sec. Hoppocr. i. 4, vol. i. 442, 4i4, 484, speaking simultaneously of Thales, Anaximenes, Anaximander, and Heracleitus. It was in truth Diogenes of Apollonia (vide infra) who first proved the unity of matter by the transformation of the elements.

WATER AS PRIMITIVE MATTER.


a liquid state
;

219

likewise have conduced to this theory, such as the formation of solid ground from alluvion, the fertilising power of rain aud of streams, the numerous animal population of the

but other observations

may

waters

in conjunction with such observations, the old

myth

of

may

also

Chaos and of Oceanos, the father of the gods, have had some effect on him but the exact
;

state of the case

cannot be ascertained.

Xor can we
1

say whether he conceived his primitive watery matter


as infinite
festly
;

for the assertion of Simplicius

is

maniis

based upon the Aristotelian passage which he


2

elucidating;
Thales.

and

this

passage

does

not

mention

It does not even

affirm that

any one of the


to

philosophers
expressly

who held water


the

to be the primitive matter,


infinity

attributed

quality of

that

element.
it

Supposing such an assertion had been made, would be more reasonable to refer it to Hippo (vide
is else-

infra) than to Thales, for the infinity of matter

where universally regarded


tained

as a conception first enter-

by Anaximander
is

Thales most likely never


3

raised such a question at all.

He
1

said to have discriminated


b,

from water, as

Pkys. 105

ol fxkv h> tl

vroiXtiov inroTidiures tovto aiveipov e\eyoi; T'2 peyedei., wairep QaAris jxkv vSwp, etc. - Phys. iii. 4, 203 a, 16: ol Se 7repl $v7tQcs axcu-'Tes del vnorid.eacriv kripav Tivb. (pvaiv tu aireipui rwi>
Xe-yofieuwu
depot

be held (with Plato and the Pythagoreans) as something self-dependent, existing for itself. Aristotle, therefore, does not say all the Physicists regard primitive matter as infinite, but all give to the infi-

nite

some element as substratum


this

aroix^v,
/AeTa|i/

olov

vBwp %

and
even

he could Very veil say


t

tovtwv. 2 The question there is (loc, ciL) not whether primitive matter is infinite, but whether the infinite is the predicate of a body from

% to

physicists had not expressly mentioned the TT tty of *^J the first principle. The word anavTss is limited by the context to those Physicists who admit an
if certain
&7retpoi'.

which

it

is

distinguished, or

is

to

220

TIIALES.

primitive matter, the deity or spirit which permeates


this matter,

and from

it

forms the world.

Aristotle, 2

however, expressly denies that the ancient physiologists,

among whom Thales

stands
;

first,

distinguished

the

moving cause from matter

or that

any other philo-

sopher except Anaxagoras (and, perhaps, before

him

Hermotimus) had brought forward the doctrine of an


intelligence organising the world.

How

couid Aristotle

have used such language

if

he had known that Thales

named Grod the reason of the world ? know it, we may be sure that the
writers are not based
over, the doctrine

But

if

he did not

assertions of later

upon
is

historical tradition.

More-

which

attributed to Thales entirely


3

accords with the Stoic theology

the very expression in

Stobseus appears to be borrowed from the Stoic termi-

nology

4
;

Clemens of Alexandria, 5 and Augustine, 6

dis-

tinctly declare that neither Thales nor the physicists


1

Cic. -Al Be.

i.

10,25.

Thales

rov

o-roixeiobSovs

aquam

dixit esse initium re-

deiav klvtjtik^v clvtov.

vy pod b~vvapi.iv Philoponus,


to

rum,

Beum

autem earn mentem,

Be An.
e<7X d"'*/

C. 7

u,
rj

makes Thales
itpovoia p.*xp L
teal

qua ex aqua cuncta fingeret, a statement which, as Krische observes (Forxchungen, 39 sq.), is the same
substance, and is apparently taken originally from the same source as that of Stobseus (Eel. i. 56): OaATJs vovv rov koct/jlov top 6*bv, and the similar passage in Plut. Plac. i. 7, 11 (consequently we must not in Eus. Pr. Ev. xiv. 16, 5, read with Gaisford:0aA7JsTbv Oebv, but vovv rov KQo-pLov elvai Kovfiov 6e6v). Athenag. Supplic. e* Galen, Hist. Phil c. 8, p. 251', 21
in
;

have said: &s


XavQavzi.
3 4

St^Ket

ovdhv
a,

rv avryv

Metaph.

i.

3,

984

27

b. 15.

described, for example by Seneca (Nat. qu. prol. 13) as the mens universi; by Cleanthes (vide Tertullian, Apologet. 21) as the spvritm permeator universi; by Stobseus, Eel. i. 178, as Zivapus
is

God

/afrjTi/c^
vii.

ttjs

i/Atjs

138, as vuvs,
5

by Diogenes, which pervades


cf.

all things (Siyiceiv).

Strom,
\.

ii.

364 C;

Tert.

c.

Kuhn.
2

Marc.
loe.
cit.
<cf.

13, Thales

aquam (Deum

Cicero,
:

Stobseus,
ical

pronuntiavit).
6

loe. cit.

to 5* -nav epityvxov ap.a


fiii)Keiv

Civ.

B.

viii. 2.

Saijj.6vuv irhripes'

5e nal 8ia

ORGANISING FORCE.
who succeeded him regarded God
as the framer of the universe,

221

or the Divine Spirit

but that Anaxagoras was

may, therefore, certainly conclude that the opposite theory is an error


the
first

to hold this doctrine.

We

of the post-Aristotelian period, the source of which

we

shall presently find in some passages of Aristotle. It by no means follows from this that Thales personally believed in no god or gods but the tradition that credits
1

him with
because

the thesis that

God

is

the oldest of

all

things,

He has had no beginning, is


is

not very trustworthy.

For

no better attested than the innumerable other apophthegms ascribed to the seven sao*es,
this assertion

and was probably attributed to Thales originally in some collection of their sayings in the same arbitrary

manner that other sayings were attributed to the rest. Moreover, Xenophanes is elsewhere invariably considered
as the first

who, in opposition to the Hellenic religion,

declared the Deity to have had no beginning.

Accordis

ing to certain authors, Thales taught that the world


full of gods.

This statement
2

is

much more
we

probable

than the preceding.


1

But what
;

are

to understand

by

Plut. 8. sap. conv. c. 9 Diog. i. Stobseus, Eel. i. 54. This is no doubt the meaning also of the statements in Clemens, Strom, x.

35

get. c.

A (and Hippolyt. Eefut. hcer. i. according to which Thales replied to the question t'l icrri rh delov to /x^re apxV M^ Te re'Aos
595
1),
: ;

personal 0eos. Tertullian (Apofo46) transfers Cicero's story (N. D. i. 22, 60) about Hiero and Simonides to Crcesus and Thales but this is a mere oversight. 2 Arist. Be An. i. 5, -ill a, 7:
kcu iv tc?

o\w

5e

tlv^s avrriv [ttj^


irX^pri

\pvxrjv] fteaTx^a: tpaaiv, odzv

Tor immediately after, *X 0V another saying of Thales is quoted concerning the omniscience of God same given in Diog. 36 and "\ aler. Max. vii. 2, 8). Consequently, the impersonal Beiov has here the same significance as the
-

QaXrjs
eliai.

tpfiOn

Trdura
i.

taws na\ dewy

Diog.
/cat

27:

efxtyvxov

SaijxivwnXripri.

rbv noanov Simi-

le

The same
ii.

larly Stobseus (vide s?^ra, p. 220, 2). proposition is also applied in a moral sense (Cicero, Legg.
11, 26).

222

TIIALES.

the expression, the diffusion of the soul throughout the Aristotle's cautious ' perhaps shows us how universe ?
'

little

such an interpretation
it

is

supported by tradition.

Indeed,

may

safely

be asserted that not only later

writers, but Aristotle himself, in his

own way, ascribed


right to expect

notions to Thales which

we have no
all

from him.

That he conceived

things as living, and


the analogy of the
is

personified all active forces

after

human

soul, is

certainly probable, because this

in

harmony with the imaginative view


everywhere, and especially
scientific

of nature which

among

the Greeks, precedes

enquiry

it is,

therefore, quite credible that

he

may

(as Aristotle affirms)


1

have attributed a soul to

the magnet, on account of its power of attraction that In the same is to say, regarded it as a living being.

manner, doubtless, he conceived his primitive matter as living, so that, like the ancient Chaos, it could beget
all

things by

itself,

without the intervention of an oris

ganising
ancient

spirit.

It

also

entirely

consonant with

Greek thought that he should see present deities in the forces of nature, and a proof in the life But we cannot of nature, that nature is full of gods.
believe that he combined the several powers of nature,

and the

souls of separate beings, in the notion of a

world-soul; for that notion presupposes that the infinite multiplicity of

the conception of
1

phenomena has become a unity in the world and that efficient power
;

Be An.

i.

2,

405

a,

19

eoi/te

abrhv
80s
teal
:

koL

to??

arj/vxois

StSoVot

5e nai QahrjS e 5>v a-rronvriixovsvovcn


kivtjtikSv ti
ttji/

\f/ux&* reKuaipS/xevov

fyvxyv viroKafSeiv,
t(pt)

sUep

rhi>

XiQov
8e

^"XV

en

rhu

<ri?>7)pov Kivsl.
teal

^X 6 '"* Diog. i. 24
:

* 758
<?a.

4k ttjs ff.ayvi)Tirov7]\eK.Tpov. Cf. Stob. Eel. QaXrjs Kal to <pvra eju^xa

'A/3CTTOTe'XTjs

'l7T7rtas

(paaly

ORGANISING FORCE.
is

223

distinguished from matter and conceived as analo-

gous to the
viduals,

human
this

spirit,
is

not only in particular indi-

where

natural in the simpler stages of

opinion,

but in the universe generally.

Both ideas

seem
us
in

to lie

beyond the

first

narrow limits of early

philosophy, and the historical evidence does not justify


attributing

them

to

Thales. 1

We may

con-

clude, therefore, that while he conceived his primitive

matter as living and generative, while he shared the


religious faith

of his

people,

and applied

it

to

the

consideration of nature, he
soul or of a spirit

knew nothing

of a world-

permeating matter and forming the


in

universe.

As

to the

manner

which things originated from


Aristotle certainly

water, Thales seems to be silent.


says that the physicists,

who hold one qualitatively determined primitive matter, make things arise out of it
by rarefaction and condensation, 3 but
that
all
it

does not follow

these philosophers without exception were of


Aristotle
if
2

that opinion. 4

form of expression
1

might have used the same only the majority had held it,
hylozoism. 3 Phys.

Pint.
a7r'

Plar.

ii.

1.

aAfjs

avTov eVa rbv koot/xov cannot of course be taken as historical


koX ol

i.

4,

at the

commenceKiyovai vo

ment

oos 8' ol

(pvaiKol

evidence.
2

rpoiroi

dcriv.

Some such answer must

also

cravTes to

ol fxkv yap tu ttolt]ov crw/xa to inroKeitxevou

be given to the question which, in the last century, was so vigorously debated, but which is now almost

raAAa yevvwai ttvkv6tt\ti koX iacivSttiti ttoWcc, ttoiovvtss 5 ol S 4k tov hbs ivovaas tcls kvav.

....

wholly neglected, whether Thales was a Theist or an Atheist. The truth is no ^oubt that he was neither one nor the other; neither in his religious faith nor his philosophy his religion is Greek polytheism, his philosophy is pantheistic
:

TiOTrjTas eKKpiveaSai, uxrnep 'Ava^i/xavdpos


4

(prjo-iv.

Heracleitus, for instance, regarded things as arising out of fire, not by rarefaction and condensation, but by transformation,

224

THALES.
if it

and

appeared to him the most logical theory of


Simplicius
l

derivation.

is

the

first

who

expressly con-

nects Thales with Anaximenes as having adopted this

theory

not only, however, does Theophrastus disagree


tells us

with him, hut Simplicius

himself that his state-

ment

is
2

only based upon the general bearing of Aristotle's

by Galen 3 in a passage of doubt4 fui connection, and also by other writers, in a similar strain, is most likely taken from the same source. It
words.
is

What

said

is

most probable, on the whole, therefore, that Thales

never entertained the question, but contented himself

with the indefinite notion that things arose or were

produced out of water.

"What we hear from other sources about the doctrine


of Thales consists merely of isolated empirical observations or conjectures, or else of statements so imperfectly

guaranteed

that

they

cannot

be

considered

authentic.

The

latter holds

good not merely of the


astronomical
discoveries

various

mathematical
6

and

and moral maxims which are attributed to him, 5 of


the assertion
1

that the
kcu ol %v Se

heavenly bodies are glowing


tca\

Phys. 39 a
ri]v

kivov/xuov

apxyv

viruBtfievoi,

ws a\rjs Kai

'A.va^t/ivr}S, fxavwo'^i

SrjAou condensation, vide infra\ Se cos teal ol &\\oi t?7 \xavoTT\ii Kai ttvkv6tt)ti ixp&vro, Kai yap'Apio'TO:

KaiirvKvoxrei tt]v ytvzv iv irotovvres.

re'Arjs Trepl irduTcav

tovtwv

e?7re koi-

So 310

Pseudo-Alex, in Metaph. 1042 b, 33, p. 518, 7; Bon.


a, u,

vws. &c.
p. 218, 2. Hippol. Rcfut. i. 1 Arnob. Adv. nab. ii. 10; Philop. Phys. C. I, 14, who, in both passages, so entirely confuses Thales "with Anaximenes. that he attributes to Thales the doctrine of air as primitire matter. 5 Cf. p. 120, and p. 213, 3.
*
;

Vide supra,

and the anonymous 516 a, Ub, 14.

Schol. in Arisi.

2 Simpl. Ph>js. 32 a, u iir\ yap tovtov fj.6vov ['Ai>at/xeV.>us] QeScppaaros eu rrj 'laTopia tt\v /xduwcriv Kai tV ttvkvcco-ip. (This rip-qice moreover, ought only saving, the ancient to be applied to Iheophrastus ascribed Ionians.
:

also to Diogenes rarefaction

and

6 Plut. Plac. Tat. Isaq. c. 11.

ii.

13, 1

Achill.

DOCTRIXES ATTRIBUTED TO THALES.


masses, analogous to the earth, that the

225

moon

receives

her light

from the sun, and


1

so forth

but even of the

philosophic doctrines of the unity of the world, 2 the


infinite divisibility

and variability of matter, 3 the unspace, 4 the four elements, 5 the

thinkableness of

empty

mixture of matters, 6 the nature and immortality of the soul, 7 the daemons and the heroes. 8 All these originate
with such untrustworthy witnesses, and most of them
either directly or indirectly so entirely contradict

credible testimony, that

we can attach no value

to
is

whatever.

AVhat Aristotle 9 gives as a tradition

likely to be true,
1

more them more

viz.

that Thales supposed the earth


is not named ol apxcuoi the expression used, which is evidently more correct, and was probably the original expression of Plutarch. 7 According to Plutarch (Plac. iv. 2, 1) and Xemes. (Xat. horn. c. 2, p. 28), he described the soul as
1,

Pint.

Conv. sap.
tt)S "yr\s

Plac. ii. 28, 3; Pint. 15 (as Se QaX^s heyei,

Thales

is

avaipedeirrris <Tvyx V(Tlu 70V o\ov e|eii/ Kofffxov) can hardly be quoted, as the Banquet of Plutarch is not a historical -work. Moreover, the meaning is doubtless merely that the annihilation of the earth would (not will at some time) be followed by a destruction of the whole

(pvcrts

aeiKivqTos
72,

t)

avroKivriTos
off.
<pv(xis

accur.

cording to Theodoret, Gr.


v.

universe.
2

18,

p.

as

clkIptitos

Plut. Plac.

ii.

1. 2.

3 Plut. Plac. i. 9, 2 ; Stob. Eel. 318, 348. 4 Stob. i. 378, where the older reading, tirzyvuicrav, recommended by Both, Abendl. Phil. ii. 6, 7, is i.

(where, however, det/ci vt\tos possibly ought to be read) an interpolation to which the passage of Aristotle quoted above doubtless gave occa;

grammatically inadmissible. 5 According to the fragment of the spurious writing, irepl apx&v
(Galen, vide supra,
p.

Tertullian, De An. c. 5 attributes to Thales and to Hippo the theorem that the soul is composed of water. Philoponus, Be
sion.

An.

c.

7,

restricts this

to

Hippo,

216, 2), and

perhaps also Heraclit. Alleg. horn. c. 22, the four elements are expressly reduced to water. Jt will hereafter be shown that Empedocles was the first to establish four as the number of the material ele-

while, in another passage, De An. he ascribes it both to 4, Hippo and Thales. Choerilus ap. Diog. i. 24, and Suidas. &a\ris, says that he was the first to profess be-

lief in
8

immortality.
8.
3. a,

Athenag. Suppjlic.z.lZ; Plut.


i.

ments.
Stob. i. 368. In the parallel passage of Plutarch's Placita, i. 17,
6

Plac.
9

Metaph. i. Coelo, ii. 13, 294

983
29.

b,

21

De

VOL.

I.

220
to float on the water
fectly

THALES.
;

for

this

would harmonise perearth's

with the

theory

of

the

origin

from

water, and easily adapt itself to the old cosmological

notions:

we may

also connect

with

it

the further state-

ment

that he explained earthquakes by the

movement

of the water.
rest entirely

This last assertion, however, seems to


falsely ascribed to

on one of the writings

Thales,

and doubtless the ultimate source of other


that have

doctrines

been attributed to him.


is

The

statement of Aristotle
little

better attested, but

we gain

information, even from him, as to the doctrine of


All that

Thales as a whole. 2
fact,

we know

of it ma}', in
is

be reduced to the proposition that water

the

matter out of which everything arises and consists.

The reasons that determined him to this theory can only now be conjectured how he more closely defined
;

the process of the origination of things from water


also very uncertain
;

is

but

it

is

most probable that he

considered primitive matter, like nature in general, tc

be animate, and that he held to the indeterminate conception of beginning or generation, without defining
this as

brought about by the rarefaction or condensainsignificant this theory

tion of the primitive matter.

However meagre and


seem,
it

may

was, at least, an attempt to explain

phenomena

by one general natural principle, and in this light it was of the highest importance we find that a series of
;
1

Pint. Viae.
i.

iii.

Refut. hcer. 6; iii. 14.

15, 1; Hippol. Sen. Nat. an. vi.


last,

militates

against the

supposition

The

however,

seems

to refer to a treatise falsely

attributed to Thales. - On the other hand, this theory

(Plut. Plac. iii. 10) that he held the earth to be spherical, a conception which is foreign to Anaximander and Anaximenes, and even to

Anaxagoras and Diogenes.

AXAXIMA XDEB.

227

more extended enquiries are directly connected with those of Thales, and that even his immediate successor was able to attain much more considerable results.
II.

ANAXIMANDER}

matter of
1

Wiiereas Thales had declared water to be the primitive all things, Anaximander 2 denned this original
mate
but there is much to be said for the conjecture of Diels (Rhein.
;

Schleiermacher, Ueber AnaxiWerke, Philcs. (1811 ii. 171 Bqq.); Teichmiiller, Studien zur Gesch. der Begr. 1-70. I regret that I cannot make use of Lyng's treatise, On den Ioniske Naturphilosophi, is<sr Anaximanders {Abdruek aus den Vid. Selskabets Forhandlinger for 1866), as I am not acquainted 'with the lan-

mandros

Mus. xxxi. 24) that Anaximander gave his age in his own work as sixty-four that Apollodorus ("who, according to Diogenes, had this -work in his hands), folio-wing some inter nal evidence, calculated that the -work was written in [01. 58, 2; and that the statement' of Pliny is based on the same calculation, inasmuch as he found mention of the obliquity of the ecliptic in this work. But Diogenes adds, as a quotation from Apollodorus ok/io: :

'

guage in "which
2

it is

written.

Anaximander was a fellowcitizen of Thales, and also his pupil and successor, according to later
iii. 30 Hippolyt. Refut. her. i. 6; Simpl. Phys. 6 a. m; Suidas, &c. this is like"wise implied by the epithet ercupos. ap. Simpl. De Casio, 273 b, 38 Schol. in Arist. 514 a, 28 Plut. ap. Eus. Pr. Ev. of Sodalis in Cicero, Acad. i. 8. 1
;

authorities (Sext. Pyrrh.


ix.

Math.

360;
;

fxaXi^ra Kara Tio\vKpdrr]p rov ^d/xov rvpavvov, which is rather surprising, as Anaximander was
tttj

cravra

considerably older than Polycrates, and died about 22 years' before him. Yet we nee 1 not. with Diels, loc. cit., assume that these words
originally

118; of yvwpipos, in Strabo, 7 and the latter is actually interchanged with fiad^Tris, ibid. xiv. 1, 7, P- 635). According to Apollodorus (Diog. ii. 2) he -was sixty-four years old in the second year of the 58th Olympiad, 546-7 B.C., and died soon afterwards, so that his birth must hare occurred in 01. 42. 2 (611 B.C.), or, as Hippoii.
i.

37,
1

related

to

Pythagoras

1,

1, p.

lytus (Refut. i. 6) thinks, in 01. 42, 3. Pliny (Hist. Nat. ii. 8, 3) says

certainly falls under Polycrates, as he is said to have emigrated in his reign when forty years old), for they are also to be explained as the inexact reproduction of an observation of Apollodorus respecting Anaximander. I am inclined to suspect that Apollodorus, in order to get a synchronistic date after the manner of ancient chronoaK,u7}

(whose

logists.

had made the

d/c/ir?

of this

he discovered the inclination of the zodac. The "worth of these statements we cannot certainly esti-

philosopher

nearly coincide with the commencement of the tyranny of Polycrates, which is

(ttv) pretty

Q 2

228

ANAXIMAKDER.
infinite, or

element as the
finite,

the unlimited.
2

By

the in-

however, he did not understand,

like Plato

and

the Pythagoreans, an incorporeal element, the essence


of

which consists exclusively in


matter
:

infinity

but an in-

finite
it

the infinite

is

not subject but predicate,

designates not infinity as such, but an object to


infinite belongs.
3

which the quality of being

It is in

this sense only, says Aristotle,


generally placed in the third year of the 53rd Olympiad, and in the 44th year of Anaximander's life. Eusebius (Chron.) assigns Anaximander to the 51st Olympiad. Nothing is known of his personal history, but the statement (^lian, V. H. iii. 17) of his being the leader of the Milesian colony in Apollonia indicates that he filled a distinguished position in his native place. His book, irepl (pvcreas, is said to have been the first philosophical writing of the Greeks (Diog. ii. 2; Themist. Orat. xxvi. p. 317 C. When Clemens, Strom, i. 308 C, says the same of the work of Anaxagoras, he is evidently confusing him with Anaximander). Brandis rightly observes, however (i. 125), that according to Diogenes, loc. cit., the work must have been rare, even in Apollodbrus's time^ and Simplicius can only have known it through the quotations of Theophrastus and others. Suidas mentions several writings of Anaximander's, but this is doubtless a misunderstanding on the other hand, a map .of the world is attributed to him (Diog. loc. cit. Strabo, loc. cit. after Eratosthenes Agathemerus, Geogr. Inf. 1). Eudamus, ap. Simpl. Be Coelo, 212 a, 12 (Sckol. in Arist. 497 a, 10) says he was the first who tried
;

that all the physicists

to determine the sizes and distances of the heavenly bodies. The in-

vention of the sundial was ascribed to Anaximander by Diog. ii. 1, and Eus. Pr. Ev. x. 14, 7 and to Anaximenes by Pliny, Nat. Hist. ii. 76, 187, in both cases erroneously, as is probable for the invention, according to Herod, ii. 109, was introduced into Greece by the Babylonians but it is possible that one of these philosophers may have erected in Sparta the first sundial ever seen there. Arist. Phys. iii. 4, 203 b, 10 Simpl. Phys. 6 a, and many sqq. others see the following note. * As Schleiermacher, loc. cit. p. 176" sq., exhaustively proves. 3 Phys. iii. 4, 203 a, 2: ndvres
; ;
;

cos

apxhv Tiva TtQeaai twv 6vtlvv


a7T6jpo'],
Ktxl

[t&

ol

fxev

wenrep ol TluOako.6'

yopeioi

TWdroov,

avrb, oix

cos (TvixjSzfi-r)K.6s tivl erepec,

aA A' overlap
.

avrb

ov

to

irepl tpverecos

cxtreipov ol de airavTes ae\ unoTiOeacriv


.

eTfpav tivcx <pvo~iv rep aireipco tSiv heyoixevwv GTOixeicov, oTov liSccp t} aepa t) to /xeTa^v tovtcov. Cf. Metaph. x. 2, 1053 b, 15. According to the theory of the Physicists the ev was not itself a substance, but

had some <pvcns for eKeivcov yap 6 fxev


tprjcri

its

substratum,

tis <t>i\iav elvai

to ev 6

8'

aepa, 6 Se

(Anaxi-

mander)

t2> atreipov.

THE INFINITE.
speak
of the infinite
; 1

229

and among the physicists he unquestionably reckons Anaximander. According to


the unanimous testimony of later authors, 2 Anaximander's

main argument

for his theory

was that the infinite,


itself in

and the

infinite alone, does not

exhaust

con-

stantly producing.
Aristotle quotes
3

This

is

the very argument that

as the chief

ground

for

maintaining
speaking

an infinite corporeal matter; and he does


of the
viz.

so in

theory which we recognise as


is

Anaximanders,

that the infinite

body distinct from the dethe infinite, Anaximander

terminate elements.

From

(whom
docles

Aristotle for that reason places beside

Empe-

and Anaxagoras) derived particular kinds of matter, and the world which is compounded of them,
by means of separation 4 (Au88ckeidung\ a doctrine which would be impossible unless the infinite were
itself

something material.

Lastly,

though

it is difficult

to discover
infinite,
all

how

this philosopher precisely defined his


is

testimony

agreed as to

its

corporeal

nature

possibly

and among the passages of Aristotle which may refer to Anaximander, and of which some

must of necessity refer to him, there is none which does not imply this corporeal nature. 5 That he in1

Cf. loc. cit. p.


Cic.

203

b,

13

vide

al<r6iir6v,

cf.

c.

4,

203

b, 18,

and

infra.
2

Plut.

loc. cit.

Be

Coelo,

Acad. ii. 37, 118; Simpl. 273 b, 38 Schol. 514 a,


;

* 5

Vide
o,

inf. p. 234, 3,

and p. 250.
rat

In our text of Simpl. Phys.

28.; Philop. Phys. L, 12 m; Plut. Placita, i. 3, 4, and to the same effect Stob. Eel. i. 292 \4yei oiv Sia ti aweipSv iariv 'Lva nrjdev e'A.A.i7rrj. 7) yevecris f) vcpidra^ivq.
:
;

32

b,

we have:
iv
r<
curw/jiaTi

ivoixras

ivavrioT^ras
aireipw
<pr}criv

ir-7ro/cemeVa>

ovtl

inKpiveaOai

yap

iii. ovre 8, 208, a, 8 yeveais jxt) ImAebnf, avaykcuov ivepyeia Hweipov ehai awp.a
:

Phys.
rj

'iva

Instead of aauifxari Sehleiermacher. loc. cit. 178. proposes toread.<ra>uaT. Brandis {Gr. Bom. Phil. i. 130) prefers acrw/j.d.Tcpi but this could only be
'Avai/j.ai>8pos.

200

AXAXIMAXDER.
cannot be doubted
l

tended therefore to designate by the infinite a matter


infinite as to its mass,

and

it is

admitted on the supposition that Sitnpliciua by the dcrwfxaTov here understood that which is not as jet formed into any determinate body. Meanwhile awjuan is not merely better sense, but it has also in its favour that Simplicius in the previous context (p. 32 a, Scho/. in Ar. 334 b, 18) has been speaking of Anaximander's au/xa rb inroKei-

and similarly Aristotle in the passage immediately preceding the one here in question, Phys. i. 4, 187 a, 13, speaks of the aoma rb inroKei/xeuou, and elsewhere (vide previous note) of the aireipov aw^a
ixevov
;

ception of magnitude, and, therecan as little be measured or, consequently, limited, as the voice can be conceived of as visible. So understood, the expression friretpov has nothing at all to do with the Absolute as such the airetpou in this sense coincides much more with that of which it is said (Phys. iii. 4, beginning) that it can neither be called a-neipov (in the ordinary
fore,
:

sense), nor irenpaap.euof, as, for in-

o.I(tQ7)t6u.
'

These words signify

In the primitive matter conceived


frireipov oaj/xa.'
1

as

Michelis (Be Anax. Infinito.

Lid. led. Braunsberg, 1874) indeed asserts the contrary in the tone of

one

who
to

holds

his

own

infalli-

be indisputable. His arguments, however, seem to me insufficient. He maintains that Aristotle, in a passage never hitherto understood {Phys. iii. 4, 204 a, 2 sq.), distinguishes the
bility

the point or the irddos. Michelis himself is forced to allow sq.) that Aristotle never (p. 7 again mentions this positive infinite.' How little Aristotle ever thought of it, ^Iichebs might have seen had he studied the passage in Phys. i. 2, 185 a, 32 sqq.. where, without any restriction, it is asserted of the liiretpov generally, and not of any particular kind of uireipov, that it is to be found only
stance,
'

iv

tw

tto(tw }

^ 7roidT7)Ta et /x')? Kara


Troaa

t)

ovaiav 8k direipov eiVai ndOos oi)K eV5e%Tat


aixa

av/A&efZriKbs, ei

Ka\

positive infinite or absolute from the negative infinite, which relates


sible, the

ouly to the corporeal and the senformer being wdiat Anaxi-

mander meant by
the

his aneipov.

But

passage contains no trace of any such distinction, nor has aDy writer previously discovered such. it only says that we may either call that' an tinreipoi/. the measuring of which can never be completed or that which does not allow of being
;
;

measured:
wo-rrtp
7]

t<

/jlt]

Trzcpvuevai fktivat,
;

<pwvr)

6.oparos

in

other

words (cf. c. 5, 204 a, 12), that which does not fall under the con-

aTTa ehu, for the Absolute is ovo-ia, if it is anything and such an ovaia that the irocrbu cannot, not even Kara ovufiefiriKbs, belong The conception of the Absoto it. lute and that of the aireipov, according to Aristotle's view, plainly exclude one another for the Absolute is the perfected energy, pure and simple the aireipov, on the contrary, is what is always unperfected, always dvvdfiei, never ivepyda (Phys. iii. 5, 204 a, 20 c. Metaph. ix. 6, 6, 206 b, 34 sqq 1048 b, 14), which, consequently, can be only material cause, and is never emploved in any other sense (Phys. iii. 7, 207, 4, 34 sqq.; cf.
; ; ; ;

THE INFINITE.
expression airipov.
x

231

probably in this sense that we should understand the

He

was induced, as we have seen,

to determine primitive matter in this way, chiefly

by

the consideration that primitive matter must be


to

infinite

be able
It

continually

to

produce from

itself

new

essences.
c.

was easy

for Aristotle to

show

(Joe. cit.)

Aristotle, 6, 206 a, 18 b, 13). unquestionably therefore, neither himself thought of an immaterial &irei.pov, nor attributed ittoAnaximander. Even in respect of that &neipov, which Michelis wrongly regards as his 'positive Infinite,' he says expressly, Phys. iii. 5, 204 a\\' obx ovtoos ovre <paa\i> a, 13
:

to airapoy us a5te|ohov. As little can it be said that Aristotle, at any rate, did not ascribe to Anaximander' s fr-napou,
elvat ol (pdaKovres
eivat

according to this writer; have distorted Anaximander's doctrine and all other authorities, especially Theophrastus, in his utterance, quoted p. 233, 1, must be held guilty of the same thing. Erom this point, however, all possibility of any historic demonstration is at an end, and Michelis substitutes for it a simple sic volo,
;

must himself,

out

TJixels Qr}rovjXv, aAA.'

sic

jubeo.
1
;

for he a corporeal materiality, manifestly does so in the passages quoted, p. 228, 3, and p. 229, 3. Michelis's argument (p. 11), that the passage in Metaph. x 2, 10-53 b, 15 (vide supra, p. 233, 1) identifies

Striimpell (Gesch. der theor. Seydel {Fortschritt der Metaph. innerhalb der Schidedts Jon. hylozaismus, Leipzig, I860, p. 10) ; and Teichmiiller {Btudien zur Gesch. der Begr. 7, 57) believe that
Phil. derGr. 29)

Anaximander with Empedocles (it also identifies him with Anaximenes), and that, according to my view, the same opinion is ascribed to him as to Melissus, proves nothing.

the aireipov means with Anaximander that which is qualitatively indeterminate, as distinguished from determinate substances. But the word seems to have first received
this signification

from the Pytha;

We

cannot conclude that

because the <pt\ia of Empedocles is not a corporeal matter that therefore Anaximander' s &Treipov is none nor can it be pronounced impossible that Melissus should have been led to a determination of Being, which brought him into contact with Anaximander, as Plato was brought with the Pythagoreans by his docIn fine trine of the Unlimited. (p. 11), Aristotle, of whose words, moreover {Phys. iii. 4, 203 b, 4), Michelis has a wrong conception,

goreans, and even with them it is a derived signification the original meaning is the Unlimited (only that the Unlimited, as applied to numbers, is that which sets no limit to division nor to augmenta' '

tion,

vide infra, Pyth.).


this

For Anaxiresults

mander

signification

partly from the same cause that he assigns for the aireipia of primitive matter (viz., that it would otherwise be exhausted) and partly from this consideration, that it is precisely because of its infinity that the &Treipoi> can embrace ail things.
;

232

ANAXIMANDER.
is

that this proof


theless

not conclusive

but
to

it

might neverunpractised
at

have appeared

sufficient

the

thought of the
theory,

earliest philosophers, 1

and we must

any rate allow that Anaximander, by maintaining the


first

raised

an important question in philo-

sophy.

So

far there is little

room

for

disagreement
matter.

but

opinions

are greatly divided as to the


of

more precise

meaning
it

Anaximander's

primitive

The
2
;

ancients are pretty nearly unanimous in asserting that

did not coincide with either of the four elements


it

according to some
others describe
air, or

was not a determinate body at


fire

all,

it as

intermediate between water and


;

again between air and


it

while a third account

represents

as

a mixture of all particular kinds of

matter

a mixture in which these have been always

contained, as distinct and determinate, so that they

can be evolved from

it

by mere separation, without any


This
3

change in their constitution.

last

theory has

formed the basis in modern times


The same mistake, however, was made by Melissus, and afterwards by the Atomist, Metrodorus
1
;

of the assertion

vide infra, Mel. and Metrod. 2 Authorities will presently be The Pseudo-Aristotelian given. writing, Be Melisso, &c, c. 2, 975 b, 22, alone maintains that his pri-

Anaximander for Anaximenes, repeat ed by a copyist from the text of Sextus, or some other author whom he was transcribing. Id the Pyrrh.
iii.

30 he gives a correct account of both these Philosophers,


3

Ritter, Gesch. der Ion. Phil.


sqq.,

p.

174

and Gesch. der

Phil.

i.

mitive matter is water (vide infra) and in Sextus, Math. x. 313, it is said that he made all things arise, But e ej/bs feat iroiov, namely, air. although his name is twice mentioned, it seems very probable that the statement may have sprung from the erroneous substitution of

201 sq., 283 sqq., where his former concession that Anaxagoras held things to be contained in primitive matter only as to theii germ and capability, and not as distinct from each other, is virtually retracted.

THE INFINITE.
that

233

among

the earlier, no less than

among
classes

the later

Ionic philosophers, there were

namists and the Mechanists


things from one primitive
transformation, and those

Dywho derived all matter by means of a vital who derived them from a
two

the

i.e.

those

multiplicity of unchanging primitive matters by


of separation and combination in space.

means
first

To the

belong Thales and Anaximenes, Heracleitus and Diogenes


;

to the second,

Anaximander, with Anaxagoras

and Archelaus.
since
it

"We

will

now examine
bearing not

this

theory,

has an important

only on

the

doctrine before us, but also on the whole history of

ancient Philosophy.

Much may
we

be said in

its

behalf.

Simplicius

ap-

pears to ascribe the same view to

Anaximander which

find in Anaxagoras, viz. that in the separation of

matters

from the

infinite,

kindred elements become

united, gold particles with gold particles, earth with


earth,
1

and

so on, these different


b,

and
v<p'

distinct kinds of
SiaKpivo/xeva

Phys. 6

u; after a descripdoctrine
of

yopas'

ov
'

tovs tc
cpvcriv

tion of Anaxagoras's

Koo-fxovs

Kal tt)v

twv aAAai/
'

the primitive elements, he proceeds thus Kal ravTO. (p-qatv 6 Qeocppaaros TrapairXriaiws t 'Ava^iuavSpw Xeyeiv rhv 'Ava^ayopav. inelvos 700 <pt\(nv iv tt} SiaKpicrei tov aireipuu to
:

Kal ovrco p.4v, <t>t\ci, \aiJ.fiav6vTWv86eiev av 6 Aia^ay opas tos p.ev vKlkcls apx as o.-n^ipovs iroitlv,
iyivvqaav.
ttjv 8e rr\s Kivriaeoos Kal rrjs yeveaeccs

aniav
fii^iv

crvyyevjj (pepeatlai itpbs

aAA7]Aa. Kal

/xiav rhv vovv et 5e ris twv airdvrav viroXafioi

tt\v
fiiav

ti

p.\v

iv to? izavrl
Tl

yiveoQai xp vffov , bfxoiws 8e Kal tgov

xp uaos %*t yv yv v

>

aWuv

%KaoTov,

uis ov ytvofitvwv aAA' v-no.pxovrwv npoTtpov. Cf. p. 51 b, u: 01 5e 7roAAa fxhv ivvndpxovTa 8e eKKptve-

<pv<riv aopiarov Kal Kar eidos K& Kara [xeyeflos, avufiaivei. Zvo tos apx&s ainbv \4yeiv, tt\v tov aireipov (pvatv Kal tov vovv acre (paivtTai to awp.aTiKa o~t 01x^0. irapair\7)o~iws

eivai
1

adai eAeyov tt\v yivtffiv avaipovvTes, ws 'Avaiuav8pos Ka\ Avaay6pas.


'

'Ava^i/j.dvdpu.' The same words are quoted by Simplicius, p. 33 a, as borrowed from Theottolccv

Trjs

8e

Kivr)o~ea>s

Kal

T7js

ytveaeccs

phrastus's (pvaiKiq luTOpia.

oXtiov into'TTjae rbv

vovv 6 'Aioa-

234

ANAXIMANDER.
His authority
1

matter having been already contained in the original


mass.
for this

statement

is

supposed to

be Theophrastus.
ever, elsewhere,

We

meet with the same view, how-

and Aristotle seems to justify it when he describes Anaximander's primitive matter as a mixture. 2 He also expressly mentions him as one of the philosophers who thought particular kinds of matter were developed from the one primitive matter, not by
rarefaction

proves,

and condensation, but by separation. 3 This apparently beyond question, that Aristotle
for that

himself conceived this primitive matter of Anaximander as analogous to that of Anaxagoras


;

which

has to be separated from matter must previously have

been contained in

it.

But these
4

reasons,

on
5

closer in-

spection, are very insufficient.

In regard to the Aristhat he

totelian passages, Aristotle himself tells us

uses the expressions

'

separated

'

and

'

contained,' not

only where one kind of matter


xv.

is

contained in another
ttvkv6tt)ti koX \xavo. .
. .

Sidonius Apollinaris, Carm. 83 sqq., according to Angustine, Civ. D. viii. 2 Philoponus, Pkys. C, 4. In Irenseus C. hcer. ii. 14.2, it is not clear what conception of the aweipov he means Anaximander autem hoc quod immensum
1
;
: '

raWa yewaxn
r-r\ri

-noKKa iroiovj/res oi 8' e/c rov tubs iuovaasras zvauri6rt)Tas iKKpiveadai, wcnrep Ava^ifxavZpos
'

(ptjai

Kal octol
-

S'

ey Kal -rroXAa (pacriv

elvai wenrep 'E/AireSoKKris Kal 'Ava^a-

est

omnium initium

sukjecit (virede-

to) seminaliter habens in semetipso

omnium genesin.'
2

Kai.

1069 b, 20: rovr eari rb Ava^ayopov %v Kal


xii.
'
'

Metaph.

2,

'Ep.Treb'oKXeovs

rb 4

/xiy/xa Kal 'Aua^i-

yopas e rod fxiy/aaros yap kcuovtol tKupivovai raAAa. 4 Cf. Schleiermacher, op. tit. p. 190 sq. Brandis, Rhein. Mus. of Niebuhr and Brandis, iii. 114 sqq. Gr. Rom. Phil. i. 132 sq. 5 De Coelo, iii. 3, 302 a, 15
;

fxau^pov.
3

Phi/s,

i.

is

8'

oi

cpvcriKol

Aeyovai
[xevov,

b~vo rpoiroi elcriv. oi fiev

yap

ev Troirjo-avTes rb ov aw/j.a rb viroKel$i

aroixeiov rSsu ffujxdrwv awfiara SicupttTtu, iuv irdpxov Swd/xei f) ivepytia . iu jxkv yap crapKi |uAo> Kal kKaarcp
earcc
els o
877

raWa

ruv
^

rpiciov
'6

I'ire) ri,

&Wo,
aepos

(Water, Air, lari irvpbs /xeu


Xeirrdrepoi',

rwv roiovr&v !=vto~-i dvvd/xei irvp Kal cpavepd yap ravra e iKsivwv yrj'
iKKpivdfxeva.

TtvKv6repov

8e

THE INFINITE.
actually, but potentially
;

235

therefore,

when he

says that
as

Anaximander represents the particular substances


separating themselves from the primitive matter,
it

does

not at

all follow

that they were, as these definite subit.

stances, included within

The primitive matter can


ultimately developed by a

be equally conceived as the indeterminate essence out


of which the determinate
qualitative
is

As to the comparison of Anaximander with Anaxagoras and Empedocles, it may as


change.
easily refer to a

remote as to a particular resemblance


1

between their doctrines,

and

it

is

the former kind of

1 In the passage just quoted, Phys. i. 4, Aristotle distinguishes those philosophers who place primitive matter in a determinate body

from Anaximander and

those, oaoi

%v Kal ttoAAu (paaiv, -who

maintain

criminated from him in another he cannot, therefore, be counted among those "who consider primitive matter to be %v Kal ttoWo., and he did not conceive it as a mass of various matters, retainrespect
;

that the %v (the primitive matter) is at the same time one and many, because it is an assemblage of many substances qualitatively distinct. may indeed question

ing their qualitative diiferences in

We

whether Anaximander

is

to

be

the "words. Kal o&oi 8', are not conclusive against it since they may not only be explained, and similarly those,' &c, but also, and 'generally speaking, those.' But (cf. Seydel loc. -cit. p. 13) in the subsequent passage, e/c tov fiiyjj.aros, &c. the Kal ovtoi cannot include Anaximander, for he is the only person with whom the ovtoi (through the Kal) can be compared, since healone, not the If iroir}<TayTs to ov cco/na, taught an eKKpiais of the zvavTiorr,7es out of the %v. If so, however, the pnilosophers, ocroi %v Kal ttoWo. (paatv zlvai, while they were likened with Anaximander in regard to the (KKpiais, are at the same time dis;
'

counted among these latter;

the mixture. Biisgen Ueber d. aireipov Anaximanders, Wiesbaden, 1867, p. 4 sq.) thinks that in this passage Anaximander must be reckoned among those "who admit the %v Kal 7roAAa, as there "would otherwise be no contrast between him and those who assume one
(

uniform
nes,

first
;

principle

(Anaximeis

&c)

but he misconceives the

train

of ideas.

Anaximander

not placed with Empedocles and Anaxagoras in an opposition to Anaximenes and others, in regard to the Unity or Plurality of primitive substances, but in regard to the manner in which things proceed from them (rarefaction and condensation or separation) it is. however, at the same time pointed out
;

how Anaximander

these two philosophers

from and subsequently how they differ from one


differs
;

another.

Biisgen's

attempt

(j>.

6)

236
reference that
is

ANAXIMANDER.
intended.

In the same way Anaxi-

rnander's primitive matter

might be

called fu^fxa, or

at

any rate might be

loosely included

under this ex-

pression (which primarily relates to

Anaxagoras), without ascribing to


theory of an original mixture of

Empedocles and Anaximander the


matters

all particular
1

in the specific sense of the phrase.

We

cannot there-

fore prove that Aristotle ascribed this doctrine to

him.

Nor does Theophrastus


to press into his sernce Pht/s.

he expressly says that Anaxai,

2,

brought about by a meeting

to-

sub init., audi. 5, sub init. is also a mistake for in the first of these passages Anaximander, if he were named at all, would be ranked
;

among
apxv

those

who assume
;

fiia

and the second does not aim at a complete enumeration of the different systems Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and the Pythagoreans, are none of them mentioned, and it is only in a
Kivov/xevT]

forced

manner that Heracleitus can


in

be brought
of those

and

under the category hold the rarefaction condensation of primitive

who

matter. 1 Separation

corresponds

to

mixing (twv -yap avT&v yu?|ty icrri teal x w P^fj.bs, as it said in Metaph. i. 8. 989 b, 4 a passage well worth comparing with the one before us); if all things arose by separation from the primitive matter, this matter was previously a mixture of all things. In the same way, therefore, that Aristotle can speak
;

gether of the particular substances, as Bvisgen (p. 3, 7, 11 sq. of the treatise mentioned in the preceding note) seems to assume in regard to the &weipov of Anaximander this, indeed, is absolutely incompatible with the concept of primitive matter, of the Eternal and the Unbecome. In considering the aboAT e-mentioned passage, it must also be observed that here the fxlyixa is primarily ascribed to Empedocles, and only in the second place to Anaximander, by the addition Kal 'Ava^i/xavSpov. We might here admit a slight zeugma, so that the word, which in its full power could only be used of Empedocles, might be applied in its general conception (Unity including in itself a Multi;

plicity) to
is all

Anaximander, and this

of a separation or division, when the separated elements were only potentially contained in the primitive matter, he can likewise, in the same case, speak of a mixture. It is not the least necessary that the p.?y/Aa should first have been

the more justifiable, since the passage belongs to a section of Aristotle which (perhaps because it was originally a draft intended for his own use) is unequalled among all his writings for scant expression, and in which the proper meaning of the author is often only discoverable by completing thoughts which he has scarcely
indicated.

THE IXFIXITE.
the subject of primitive matter

237

goras can only be held to agree with Anaximander on


if

we

attribute to

him

as

his original principle a matter without definite qualities


(fiLa
(pv(TL9

aopiaros), instead of a mixture of deter1

minate and qualitatively distinct substances.


to this theory,

That

the doctrine of Anaxagoras might ultimately be reduced

which

is

certainly divergent from its

had already been remarked by Aristotle. 2 Theophrastus 3 drew the same inference, and makes his comparison of Anaxagoras with Anaximander contingent
primary
sense,

on

its

admission.

This

shows that he ascribed to

Anaximander

a primitive matter in

which no particular

qualities of bodies were as yet present, not a matter

that comprehended

all

particular substances as such

within

itself.

Besides, the text in question does not

attribute this latter doctrine to

Anaximander
is

for the
refer to

words to which this meaning


Anaxagoras. 5
1

ascribed

Moreover these words are not given by


plies to the nearer of

In the -words quoted between inverted commas, p. 233, 1, /ecu oDVco /xeV 'Kva^ipLa.v'Spu), the only pass _ that Simplicius there cites textually from him. "

two previ-

ously
Polit.

named

subjects, cf. e.g. Plato,

303 B; Phcedr. 231 C, 233 A, E; Arist. Metaph. i. , 985 a, 14 sq. Sext. Pyrrh. i. 213.
;

Metaph. i. 8, 989 a, 30 cf. ibid.-xii. 2, 1069 b, 21. 3 Thy 'Avao.y6pav els tov 'At a^[ixav^LOv awwduv, as it is said in Simpl. Phys. 33 a. 4 .^imp. loc. cit. from skuvos yap to inrapxovTwv, -where Brandis
;

(Gr. Bom. Phil. i. 13) sees a state ment about Anaximander emanating from Theophrastus.

only possible when the idea indicated by e/ceti/os and nearer in order of -words is farther in the thought of the author I cannot admit (Kern, Beitr. zuv Darstellung der Phil, des Xk nophanes, Danzig, 1871, p. 11 Biisgen's observations on the same
this
is
:

That

subject, and on the aireipov of Anaximander, I must pass over).

These words may certainly to Anaximander, but they may also refer to Anaxagoras; for though iKe7vos usually points to
3

refer

for example, Aristotle savs {Metaph. xii. 7, 1072 b, 22): rb yap $KTlKbv 70V VOT)TOV nal T7JS
overlay

When,

vovs'

eVepyei 8e iyuiv.
e^etj/

war

the more remote,

ic

very often ap-

{kgivo (the

and

ivepyelv, ac-

238

ANAXIMAXDEIi.

Simplicius as a quotation from Theophrastus, but as an


expression of his

own

opinion.

This

may be

based

upon the testimony of Theophrastus, and the conjecture But it can only be mainis in itself probable enough.
jjmWov tovtov (in a higher degree than the mere faculty of thinking) b BoKe? 6 vovs 6e7ov not merely e/ceTj/o relates ex**!/; to what is the nearer in order of words, but also to the principal tovtov to what is farther, idea and is only introduced in a compa"When (Ibid. x. 2, rison with it. beginning) it is asked whether the %v is a self-dependent substance, as the Pythagoreans and Plato think,
tual thought)

derived (not by Anaximander, but)

Anaxagoras from vovs. 4. Anaxagoras, therefore, seems to assume an infinity of primitive substances, and one moving force, vovs. If, however, we substitute for 5. the mixture consisting of many
substances (i. e. the theory which, according to this explanation, belonged to Anaximander) a simple homogeneous mass, the theory of

by

7]

fiaWov

vTTOKziTai ris

(pvais,

koI

ttuis

Bel yvoopi/mwrepcos

Xex^wai Ka^
:

fjLaWov uiairep ol itepl cpvaews ineivwv yap, and so forth (vide supra,

Anaxagoras would harmonise w ith that of Anaximander. Of these five propositions, the second would stand in no sort of connection with the third and fourth, and would be
r

cannot be supposed that the physicists to which the ineivuv refers, are farther from Aristotle's thought than the Pythagoreans and Plato. Similarly in the Phcedrus, 233 E, the irpoo-aiTovvres, to which enelvoi relates, are not only the nearest mentioned term, but also the leading idea. Still less could we expect to find this rule of Kern's scrupulously carried out by so recent a writer as Simplicius. In this case it is not Anaximander, but Anaxagoras, of whom he priIf enelvos be remarily speaks.
p. 228, 3), it

in

striking
;

contradiction

to

the

fifth

and

in the fourth, the infer-

ence that Anaxagoras therefore believed in an infinity of matters, has


in the preceding proposition enelvos, therefore, can Even the only be Anaxagoras. aneipov, of which this eKeivos is said to have spoken, forms no ob(vide p. stacle, for Anaxagoras 879, German text) maintained the aireipia of primitive substance very decidedly and Kern is surprised that the expression, &ireipov, generally used to describe Anaximanprimitive matter, should der's designate that of Anaxagoras, but this passage shows (cf. also Metaph. i. 7, 988 a, 2, where Aristotle applies to his doctrine the expression aireipia tcov aroixeiwv, as Kern himself observes) how little we need regard that difficulty. Theophrastus directly reduces the primitive substances of Anaxagoras to the (pvffis rov aireipov.

no foundation
:

ferred to Anaximander,

w e make
r

Simplicius say: 1. According to Theophrastus Anaxagoras'sdoctrine of primitive substances is similar 2. Anaxito that of Anaximander. mander admitted that particular substances were contained as such in the aireipov, and were moved in regard to one another when the process of separation took place. 3. But motion and separation were

THE INFINITE.
tamed
so

239

long as

it

opposes nothing that demonstrably


l

comes from Theophrastus. Schleiermacher and Brandis 2 have conclusively shown that Simplicius had no accurate and independent knowledge of Anaximander's doctrine, and that
his utterances

glaring contradictions.

on the subject are involved in His evidence, therefore, should

not induce us, any more than that of Augustine and


Sidonius or Philoponus, to attribute to Anaximander a
doctrine explicitly denied to

him by Theophrastus.

On

testimony of so trustworthy a witness as Theophrastus, together with the further


the
the

other band,

evidence hereafter to be cited, justifies us in maintaining that this philosopher did not regard his primitive

matter as a mixture of particular matters, and that consequently it is improper to separate him, as an
adherent of a mechanical system of physics, from the dynamists Thales and Anaximenes. And this so much
the more, as
it is

improbable, on general grounds, that

the view which Ritter attributes to


to
so ancient a

him should belong


of

period.

The theory

unchanging

primitive substances presupposes, on the one side, the


reflection that the properties

of the several kinds of

matter could have had no beginning, any more than matter as a whole but among the Greeks we do not
;

meet with this thought until after the period when the possibility of Becoming was denied by Parmenides, to
whose propositions on this subject Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus expressly go back. On the other
side, this

theory (of unchanging primitive matter)

is

united in Anaxagoras with the idea of an intelligence


1

Loc.

tit.

180

sq.

Gr.

Bom.

Phil.

i.

125.

240

ANAXIMANDER.
by

that orders the world; and even the analogous notions

of Empedocles and the atomists were conditioned


their conception of
efficient

causes.

None

of these

philosophers could have conceived a primitive matter


as qualitatively unchangeable, if each
vovs,

Anaxagoras

in

Empedocles in Hate and Love, the Atomists in

the Void

had not
No
l

also

admitted a special principle of

movement.

one has discovered any such doctrine


nor can we conclude, from the small

in Anaxiaiander

fragment known to us of his work, 2 that he placed motive force in individual things, and supposed them
to

come

forth by their
;

own impulse from the


3

original

mixture
4

it is

the infinite itself

that moves

all things.

All the conditions, therefore, of a mechanical theory of

physics
1

are here wanting,

and we have no ground


tive matter.
T

for

5e

7]

Bitter, Gesch. derPhil. i. 284. Ap. Sirapl. Pkys. 6a: e'4 wu icrri to7s ovai /ecu yevecris
ei's

ttjv (pQopav

rb xp*wv.

Siftovai

ravra yap

yii/eaOai

Kara
/col

avTa. ricriv

rov xp^>vov Simplicius adds that Anaxira^iv. mander is speaking iroL-nTUcwTepois


5iKT)j/T?)s ctSiKias KaTa.TT]V

dvo/jMcrtv.
3

in Arist. Phys. p. 248, 1.


4

According to the statement iii. 4, quoted infra

of mechanical Phywhich Hitter gives to the expression in his division of the Ionian Philosophers into Dyna-

That

is,

sics in the sense

mists and Mechanists by Mechanists he understands those who make the determinate matters, as such, preexist in primitive matter; by Dynamists, those who make the distinguishing properties of the determinate matters first develope
;

themselves in their emergence from a qualitatively homogeneous primi-

It is not, however, incompatible w ith the latter theory that natural phenomena should further be mechanically explained, by the movement and mixing of the matters that have issued from the primitive matter. As Anaximander (this is proved by Teichmiiller, loc. cit., p. 58 sq., and will hereafter appear in this work) adopted this latter procedure, it must not surprise us, though the inevitable result is that neither a purely mechanical nor a purely dynamical explanation of nature was proposed and completed by him. Still less ought it to astonish anyone (as it does Teichmuller, p. 24) that I should refuse to Anaximander a specific moving principle, while I afterwards (vide infra) make the movement of the heavens proceed from the &ireipov. I deny that Anaximander had a moving principle distinct from

AXAXIMAXDER.
the most trustworthy evidence.
If

241

seeking such a theory in Anaximander in opposition to

Anaximander did not conceive

his

primitive

matter as a mixture of particular substances, but as a

homogeneous mass, we must next enquire what was


the

nature of this mass.

The

ancients, beginning
it

with Aristotle, unanimously assert that

consisted of

none of the four elements.


gard to
air,
1

Aristotle

several times

mentions the view that the primitive matter in reits

density

is

intermediate between water and

or between air
3

and

fire,

and not a few ancient

writers

have referred these assertions to Anaximanexample, Alexander, 4 Themistius, 5 Simplicius, 6

der

for

Philoponus, 7 and Asclepius. 8


has been recently defended
objections,
10
9

But although

this theory

against Schleiermacher's

I cannot convince myself that it is well


ticrreipov

the primitive matter, the

and

I maintain, precisely for that

opposed to one another, or e element conceived as infinite would anintermediate among the various elements. This thought can hardly belong to Anaximander, as it presupposes the later doctrine of the elements; it is no doubt taken from Arist. Phys. iii. 5, 204 b, 24. 6 Phys. 104 105 b; 107 a 112 b; Be Ccelo, 273 b, 38 251 a, 29 268 a, 45 (Schol. in Ar. 514 a, 28; 510 a, 24. 513 a, 35V 7 Be Gen. et Corr. 3 Phys. 10; C 2, 3. 8 Schol. in Arist. 553 b, 33. 9 Haym, in der Allg. tkicyhl. iii. Sect. B, xxiv. 26 sq. F. Kern, in the Philologies, xxvi. 281. and p. 8 sqq. of the treatise mentioned supra, p. 237, 5. 10 Loc. cit. 174 sqq.
; ; ;
;

reason, that he placed the motive power in this primitive matter itself, and derived the motion of the heavens from that of the frntipov. "Where is the contradiction?

must,

nihilate all the rest. therefore, he

The

Infinite

Be Ccelo, iii. 5, 303 b, 10; Phys. iii. 4, 203 a, 16 c. 6, 205 a, 25 ; Gen. et Corr. ii. 5, 332 a, 20. 2 Phys. i. 4, 187 a. 12, vide inf. Gen. et Corr. loc. cit. p. 248, 1 and ii. 1, 328 b, 35 Metaph. i. 7, 988 a, 30; i. 8, 989 a. 14. 3 Cf. Schleiermacher. he. cit. 175;Branrlis, Gr. Rom. Phil. i. 132. 4 In Metaph. i 5. 7, pp. 34, 2 36. 1 45, 20 and ap. 46, 28 Simpl. 32 a. 5 Phys. 18 a, 33 a; 33 b (pp. 124, 230, 232 ap.}. The ground of this definition is here, p. 33 a, thus stated As the elements are
1
;

VOL.

I.

242

AKAXIMANDER.
One
of the Aristotelian passages quoted cer-

founded.

tainly seems to contain a reference to expressions

which
itself

Anaximander employed questionable, and even

1
-,

but the reference


be admitted,
it

is

if it

does not
2
;

follow that the whole passage relates to


1 De Coelo, iii. 5, at the beginning: %vioi yap eu p.6vou vitOTiQevTai

him

while,

Kal
5'

tovtwv

ol fxkv

v8wp,

ol 8'

aepa, oi

ibid. 205 a, 1 sq., is particularly classed among those who regard the All as limited), and that con-

vSaros

/xeu

\eirrOTepov,

aepos Se
iravTas

TvvKvorepov, b 7repie'xei'

(petal

tovs ovpavovs aireipov ov ef. Phys. iii. 203 b, 10 {supra, p. 248, 1), where the words irepie-^eiu airavra Kal irdvTa Kvfiepvav are, with some probability, ascribed to Anaximander
4,

and Hippolytns,
2

JRcfut. Hcer.
o irpiexeiv

The words,

anei-

i.

6.

pov ov admit of two interpretations. They may either be referred solely to the subject immediately preceding the voaros AeirTOTepov, &c, or to the main subject of the whole In the former proposition, the eV. case, those who make primitive

matter a something intermediate between air and water, would be credited with the assertion that this intermediate something embraces all things. In the latter case, the sense of the passage would be as follows some assume only one primitive matter either water, or
:

sequently the relative clause, o 7repUyzw. ccc, cannot contain any reference to those who made fire their primitive matter. But such inaccuracies are not so very uncommon with Aristotle, and in the present instance I do not think it impossible that in a comprehensive statement, such as we have here, he should have ascribed the infinity of matter, either explicitly or implicitly admitted by the great majority of philosophers, to all without exception, and should have expressed this doctrine in the words of the man who first introduced it. On the other hand, it is quite conceivable that one of the philosophers (or if only one held it, the one philosopher) who made the primitive matter intermediate

between water and air, may have adopted Anaximander's expression,


Trepie'xeii' -ndiTas tovs obpauovs, to characterise its infinity (Anaximander himself, Phys. iii. 4, only says. nepLexeiv airavTa') in the same way that Anaximenes (vide infra) says of the air that it '6\ov
;

or tire, or a body that is more subtle than wator, and more dense than air and this primitive matair,
;

worlds by virtue of its unlimitedness. In point of grammar the second interpretation seems to me undoubtedly the best; but one thing may certainly be urged against it (Kern,
ter,

they say. embraces

all

tov

k6o~/j.ov Trepie'^ft,

and Diogenes

(Fr. 6, infra) also applies to the air

another expression of the Anaxi-

mandrian fragment
vav.

irdvTa KvfSep-

p. 10), that, according to Phi/s. iii. 5, 205 a. 26, ovQels

Biitrag.

&c,

The passage we have been

considering,

to %v Kal
y?jv

aireipov

irvp

iiroi-qaev ovoe

tmv <pvo~io\6ywv (Heracleitus,

therefore, does not warrant us in ascribing to Anaximander a doctrine which, as will

THE IXFIXITE.
the contrary.
sophers,

243

on the other hand, the very next words clearly imply

For Aristotle here

ascribes to the philo-

who believed the primitive matter

to be some-

thing intermediate between air and water, the theory


that things originated from primitive matter by means
of rarefaction and condensation; and this he distinctly denies of

Anaximander.

No

other passage can be

quoted from Aristotle to show that he found this definition of primitive matter in Anaximander's writings. 2

As to the statements of
(ttoixs'i-uv,

later

writers,

they

be shown, is not ascribed to him by Aristotle. 1 Aristotle thus continues (Be Coelo, iii. 5) immediately after the words quoted above oaoi p.ev olv rb %v tovto irotovaiv u'5a>p t) d4pa ?) vSaros (j.v Kt-KTorepou aepos 8e TTVKVOTepOU, etr' 4lC 7 01T0V TTVKUOTTJTi kclI /jLavorriTi rahXa yevvucnv, &c. 2 Kern, Philolog. xxvi. 281, thought that the passage (quoted sup. 228, 3), Phys. iii. 4, might be so taken since, according to this,
:

immediately

may have a more general


an elemental body, from itself, so that the

signification,

different

Anaximander must be reckoned


the philosophers who conceive of the Infinite as a body intermediate between two elements. In the Beitrag zur Phil, der Xen., p. 8, he prefers to interpret the words thus the physicists all assign as substratum to the Infinite one of the elements, or that which

among

matter underlying all particular substanees would be included under the expression. The possibility of this view appears, not only from Aristotle's comprehensive use of (TTotxelou (e.g. Metaph. i. 8, 989 a, 30, cf. b, 16, xii. 4 Be An. i. 2, 404 b, 11). but also from the definition of the word (Metaph. v. 3); nor does the word Xeyotxeuwv present any difficulty, for we have no right to find an allusion here to the four elements.' Aristotle, on
:

'

the contrary, expressly says. loc. cit., 1014 a, 32; to tuv accixdrcvu CTOt^eTa Key ova iv ol Keyovres els a diaipelrac to crw/iara ecrx^ra. eJceira
Se ixt]kt
els

&KKa

eXZet SiacpepovTa,

intermediate between them. I cannot adopt this explanation. I think that Aristotle would have expressed this thought otherwise.
is

ra Toiavra, TavTa UTOLx^a Keyovcriv. Similarly, Be Ccelo, iii. 3, 302 a, 15 sqq.


nal eXre ev e<re irKeiu

The

He
fj

would have said perhaps

inro-

Tideaaii' erepav riva <pv<nv t<5

aire'ipc?,
fy

Key6fj.eva aroixela are, according to this, those equally divided bodies, which form the ultimate constituent or constituents of comis

ri

T&v

Xeyofxevcof (ttoixzIuv,

"rb

/xera^v tovtqv.

the other hand, I still consider that the words, krepav rtva (pvcrtv tuv Aeyo/xevwy

On

pound bodies. Such undoubtedly Anaximander's aireipov. if we understand by it a matter to which


the properties of determinate sub-

244

ANAXIMANDER.

appear to be entirely based on the passages in Aristotle.


Simplicius, at any rate, cannot be quoting directly from

Anaximander, otherwise he could not speak so undecidedly as he does, and he could not ascribe to this phi1

losopher, as if

it

were a subject of indifference, the double


fire,
2

theory of matter as intermediate between air and


;

for and again as intermediate between air and water these two theories obviously exclude one another, and cannot both have been found in Anaximander's work. Nor can Simplicius have found among his predecessors

allusions to that work, otherwise a different turn

would

at

once have

been given to the discussion.

The same may


would not have

be said of Porphyry, 3

who

in that case

grounded his opinion (which differs from the opinion of Alexander) solely upon the Aristotelian passage. This
also holds

good of Alexander 4 and Philoponus. 5


one and
all,

These

later statements, therefore,

depend entirely

upon conjecture, and the words of Aristotle were only referred to Anaximander because they seemed to apply
to

no other philosopher.

Now

it is

clear

from the unmatter

doubted testimony of the most trustworthy authorities,


that

Anaximander did not consider

his primitive
a.

stances do not yet belong. are almost forced to take this view of Aristotle's words, becatise the passage would otherwise apply neither to Anaxagoras, nor to the Atomists. For neither the dfxoiojuepTj, nor the atoms, belong to the four elements, or to that which is /xTa^uT0VTUiv; but Aristotle himself maintains the aireipia of the duoiop-tpv, and of the atoms; these must also, therefore, be a kripa <pv<ris, which serves as substratum to the
direipou.

We

Phys. 32

The former, Phys. 107 a. The latter, Phys. 105, b. De Ccelo, 273
b,

38; 251
3

a. 29.

Simplicius, Phys. 32 a. In Metaph. 983. a, 11; Schol.


:

553 b, 22 ttjv 'Apa^t/j.dvdpov bs o.p%W 06to tt]v /xera^b


aepos re Kal irvpbs,
vSaios' Xeyerai
5
fy

5daj/,
cpvcriv

aepos re Kal

yap
is

a/xcporepus.

Even he

uncertain, in the

passages quoted, whether Anaximanders Infinite is intermediate between air and fire, or air and water.

THE INFINITE.
as intermediate

245

between two definite kinds of matter but that he either was silent as to its nature, or expressly described it as that to which none of the pro;

perties

of particular
in

substances belongs.

For when
speaks

Aristotle,

the

above-mentioned

passage,

generally of those
definite

who

posited as primitive matter a

element, or something intermediate between


all

two elements, and derived


the processes
of

other things from

it
it

by
is

rarefaction
is

and condensation,

obvious that his design

not to draw a distinction


as-

between these philosophers and others who equally

sumed a primitive matter


things to arise out of
it

of the

same kind, but made

in a different manner.

On

the

contrary, in refuting the theory of a derivation of things

by means of rarefaction and condensation, he believes


that he has refuted the general theory of a primitive

matter of definite quality.


passage in the Physics,
says,
i

This
1

is still

clearer

from the

i.

-i.

Some

of them,' he here

starting from the pre-supposition of a determi-

nate primitive matter,

make

things to originate from


;

it

by means of rarefaction and condensation others, like Anaximander, Anaxagoras, and Empedocles, maintain
that opposites are already contained in the
tive matter,
separation.'

and are produced from it Here it is perfectly evident that he conand condensation to be

One primiby means of


as essentially

ceives rarefaction

connected with the theory of a qualitatively determined


matter, as separation with that of an original mixture
of all things, or of a matter without qualitative deter-

minateness.

Xor can
1

it

be otherwise
p. 20-i, 3.

for in order to

Vide supra,

24G
arise

ANAXIMANDER.
by separation out of the primitive matter, parti-

cular matters

must
it

either potentially or actually have


;

been contained in

but this would only be possible

if

the primitive matter were itself not a particular matter,

not merely intermediate between two other particular


matters
:

but including them

all

equally in

itself.

If

we further consider
is

that this chapter of the Physics

occupied, not with the

manner

in

which things
1

originate

from elements, but with the number and


it

nature of primitive substances themselves,

seems

beyond question that Anaximander was opposed to the


rest of the Ionians, not only

from the

first

point of

view, but from the second, and that consequently his


infinite

can have been neither one of the four elements,

which were afterwards admitted, nor an intermediary between two of these elements. This probably explains

why Anaximander
also a
2

is

passed over in Meta/ph.

i.

3,

and

remark, which otherwise would have no histori-

cal point,

and which the Greek commentators 3 themhim.


'

selves apply to
Infinite, not in

Some,' says Aristotle,

'

seek the

any particular element, but in that out


;

of which

all

particular elements arose

because each

particular substance, conceived as infinite,

must exclude
This reason,
anetpov

those substances that are opposed to


1

it.'

but

it

2.
2

This Haym, loc. cit., denies unquestionably results from sub init. aWa, Phys. iii. 5, 204 b, 22
;
:

(pBeipriTai virb

rov

avTwv

ov5e eV Ken airKovv ei'Se^erai eluai rb 6.ireipov au/xa, ovre ccs \eyoucri rives rb irapa TatTTOt^eta, e| ou
fxrjv

yap npbs frAAyAa zvavriuGiv, oiov 6 jikv arjp ipvxpbs, rb 5' vdwp vypbv, rb Se irvp 6ep/x6u. wv el i\v %v aireipou tcpQapro av ijOr} rahAa'
ex ovo
l

vvv

5'

krepov

eluai

<f>aaiv

e|

ou

Tii/es,

TavTaytvi/ucriv, ouff airAws. elcrl yap ol tovto Trotovai rb &neipou,

tout a. 3 Simp. 11 a; (230 sq.).

Theniist. 33 a,

ahk' ouk aepa

r]

vdap, ws

/xi]

TAAa

THE INFINITE.
can hardly have been so stated by Anaximander.

247

indeed, which points to the later theory of the elements,

But

whether Aristotle inferred

it,

after his

manner, from

some ambiguous utterance,


interpolated
it,

or arrived at it

by

his

own
it is

conjecture, or whether later authors

may, perhaps, have

the doctrine in support of which

adduced no doubt belongs originally to Anaxiniander.


Theophrastus expressly says so
1

in describing Anaxi-

manders

Infinite as
;

One matter without

qualitative

and with this Diogenes 2 and the 3 Pseudo-Plutarch, and among the commentators of Aristotle, Porphyry, and probably also Xicolaus of
determinateness

Damascus, 4 agree

of these the two

first, at

any

rate,

appeared to have used a special source.


himself says elsewhere the same thing.
5

Simplicius

That Anaxiqualitatively
;

mander's

primitive

matter was not


is,

determined matter
doubt that remains
all

therefore,

certain

the

onlv

whether he expressly denied to it determination, or merely abstained from qualifying


is

it at all.

The
;

the two

it

authorities,

more probable of some of our and appears simpler and, therefore, more in
latter hypothesis is the
is

actually maintained by

accordance with so ancient a system, than the other


theory, which constantly presupposes considerations like

those above cited from Aristotle


Ap.Simpl.rideKpftt,p.223,l. ii. 1 e(pa<TKev kpxw Ku ^ <ttoiX*lov to 6.TTipov, ov Siopifav o.epa % vdwp 17 aAAo ri. 3 lJ lac. i. 3, 5 auapravei 8e ovtos jj.ri Xiyav ti ecm to aireipov, iroTtpov a.T)p icrriv t) vdwp fj yr\ f\
2
:
:

it

also furnishes the

Simpl. Phj.s. 32 a. Phys. Ilia: Xeyovaiv- oi Trepl 'Ava^iaavopov [to a\-K c ipov eTvat] to
s

irapa to. orotxeta e| ov


yevucixriv.
[rrjv

ra ffTCix^a
5

a
P-'h

\eyei
^
vb~oop

avrr]v

apxV]

aXXo twv

iXKo.Ti.vh. auixara.

KaXov^tvcov (TTOtx^icci', o-XX kripav two. <pv<riv frireipov. Also 9 b.

248

ANAXIMANDER.

most reasonable explanation of the fact that Aristotle only mentions Anaximander when he is discussing the question of the finiteness or infinity of matter, and of
the production of things .from
it,

and not when he


;

is

dealing with
case

its

elementary composition

for

in the

we are assuming, no mander would have been known


as on

distinct utterance of Anaxi-

to

him on

this point.

the two former (not even the negative statethat the Infinite
is

ment
and
so

not a particular substance),


I

he prefers to be wholly silent on the subject.

therefore believe that

Anaximander held simply


As

to this

proposition

that the Infinite or infinite matter existed


to the material constitu-

before particular things.

tion of this primitive substance, he has given us no


precise information.

Anaximander further taught that the Infinite is In this sense he is said eternal and imperishable.
1

to

have designated the

first

principle

of

all

things

by the expression apyj]?


1

He

conceived motive power

Arist. Phys.

iii.

4,

203

b, 10

Kal irdvras irepiexeiu tovs koo~/j.ovs]

(cf.

2).

Be Ccelo, iii. The Infinite


or

5
is

242, without beginsitpra, p.


Sib,

thinks likely.
ii.
1
:

More

recently Diog.

rd

fxev fxipr]

fxerafidkAeiu, to

ning

end,

etc.

Kaddirep

Se irav d/xeTdfiXrjTOv thai.


2 Hippolyt. loo. cit., and Simpl. Phys. 32 b, certainly assert this; and Teichmiiller (Stud, cur Ge&ch. der Begr. 49 sqq.), who disputes it, does violence, as it seems to me, to the wording of these passages. It is another question whether the stiit ement is true, and this we can scarcely ascertain. Like Teichmiiller, I cannot regard it as selfevident, that he employed the expression dpxv and my doubt is strengthened by the circumstance that a similar remark about Thales
;

Xeyofxeu, oh t<xvtt]s dpxh, o.\\' avri) toov dWu-v elj/aiSofcet Kal it ept *X LU air

aura Kal irdura kv fie pvau,


fxr]

cos

(paaiu oaoi

iroiovcri irapd

to
$1

curet-

/ecu

pov aKKas aWias, ulov voZv tout' eivai to Ottow a

(piXiav'

dvarov
(prjcrlv

yap Kal dvwKed pov,


'Ava^t/j-avSpos Kal
<pvo-io\6ywi>.
ol

ws

irXfutnoi

ra>v

The words in spaced type are probably taken from Anaximander's work only for cWSAeflpoj/, aynpoo may have been substituted as Hippolytus, liefid. Hcer.i. G [ravTrju (tV ap\rjv) 8' d'ibiov ehai Kal dynpuo
;

PRIMITIVE MATTER.
to be

249
]
;

combined from the beginning with matter


all

or, as

Aristotle says (loc. cit), he taught that the Infinite not

merely contained, but directed


zoism, as self-moved and living
this

things. 2

He

thus

regarded matter, after the manner of the early Hylo-

motion he supposed

it

to

and in consequence of produce all things from


;

itself.

When
it

Aristotle (loc.
Infinite
3

tit,),

therefore, designates

Anaximander's
describes

correctly,

he though we do not know whether


as

the

Divine

essence,

Anaximander himself used that expression.


(that lie called -water dpxh) I can discover neither in Diog. i. 27,
3

Eoth {Gesch.der Abendl.

Phil.

nor elsewhere cannot credit

it.

mander did call

and consequently I But if Anaxihis Infinite the dpxv

or the apxv Trdvrwv, or designate it in any other similar manner, this would only be saying that the Infinite was the beginning of all things, which is iar enough from the Platonic and Aristotelian concept of the dpyrj, the ultimate cause. Plut. ap. Eus. Pr. Ev. i. 8, 1 'A^a|l aa^5po^' ... to airtipov <pdvai ttjv irdaav alriav %X* iV 7 V S T v Travrbs yevecrews Te /ecu (pQopus. Herm. Irris. c. i 'Ava. rov vypov irpeofSvrepai' dpxvv zivai \4yei rrjv
1
:
l

142) believes that the selfdependent moving force attributed to the Infinite presupposes an intelligence, a conscious spiritual nature, and that the Infinite of Anaximander must thus be conceived as infinite spirit but this is an entire misapprehension of the contemporary modes of thought, and is contradicted by Aristotle's
ii.

a,

well-known assertion (Mctaph. i. 3, 984 b, 15 sq.) that Anaxagoras


first who declared vovs to be the principle of the world. In appealing for want of any other evidence to the words of TheDphrastus quoted above (p. 233, 1), he has overlooked the fact that

was the

tttSiOv

KivT)(Tiv,

kclI

ravrr]

ra

\xkv

yevvaoOai ra 54 (pdeipeadai.
polvt.
I.e.
:

HipKiur)(Tiv

Anaximander

is

here

compared

irpbs

Se

tqvtw

with Anaxagoras only in respect of


his definition of the acoixariKa cttoi-

ai'Siov eivai, Iv

avufiaivei yiveodcu fj tovs ovpavovs. Simpl. Phy.s. 9, p. dirzipov riva <pvaiv .... dpxw e06To, 7)s tt]v d'tSiov klvt](Tiv alriav
:

Not to mention other inacXe?a. curacies, this does away with the
discovery, of which Roth (loc.cit.) is so proud, that Anaximander's doctrine of the aireipou has more theological than physical importance, and that it is in complete harmony with the Egyptian theology, as he endeavours to prove. * The text of Simpl. Phys. 107 a, which is only a paraphrase of

ovrwv yzveaeoos eAe^e. Similarly 107 a; 257 b. 2 The expression Kvffepvav, which, in its simplest meaning, signifies the guidance of the ship's movements by the rudder, here relates primarily to the movement of the celestial system.
elisai T7js

rcou

250

ANAXIMANDER.

We

are farther told that he represented particular

substances as developing themselves from the primitive

matter by means of separation


l

(sKfcpivscrOai,,

airoicpL-

vea6cu\ and Anaximander himself seems to have used 2 but what he precisely understood by sepathis word
;

ration does not appear.

He

apparently

left this

con-

ception in the same uncertainty as that of the primitive

matter, and that which floated before his

mind was

merely the general notion of an emergence of the several matters distinct from one another, out of the
original

homogeneous mass.

We

hear, on the other

hand, that he
first

made

the division of heat and cold the

result of this separation. 3

From

the mixture of

the passage

we have quoted from


it.

Aristotle, cannot of course be ad-

between two elements, and that he was consequently alluded to by


Aristotle, Be Coelo, iii. 5 (vide supra, p. 212, 1) Phys. i. 4, at the beginning (vide supra, p. 231, 3);
;

duced

in support of

am unable

to give such a decided negative to


this question as Biisgen does, loc.
cit.,

p.

16 sq.

but Anaximander

certainly could not have named his Infinite rb 6e7ov in the monotheistic sense he only called it delev, divine. 1 Arist. Phys. i. 4, vide supra,
;

p. 234, 3

Plutarch in Eus. loc. cit. ovk aKKoiovSimpl. Phys. 6 a fxivov rov <rTOix*' v Trjv ytvzGiv 7roie?, a\h' aiTOKpLvo/x4vuv rwv ivav;

Philoponus, Phys. c. 3. 2 gather this partly from the use of the word Tpr)crl in Arist. loc. cit., and also from considering the manner in which he reduces both the cosmogony of Einpedocles and that of Anaxagoras to the
cf.

We

rluiv Sia rrjs d'idiov KLvf]<rews.

And

similarly ibid. 32 b; 51 b (vide supra, pp. 228, 3; 233, 1), where, however, Anaximander's doctrine is too much confused with that of Anaxagoras, Themist. Phys. 18 a; Philo19 a (124, 2L<f3%^22 sq.) The incorrect ponus, Pfygs. C 2. statement of Simplicius that Anaximander believed in rarefaction and condensation, was no doubt based upon the false supposition that his primitive matter was intermediate
;

Moreover, it concept, iKKpiuiffdat. is impossible to see how Aristotle and his successor could have been led to attribute the tKKpiais to Anaximander, unless they had found
it

in his writings.
3

Simpl. Phys. 32 b: ras Ivav.

ti6tt)t<xs

(KKpiieadai
.

<pr)aiv

^Ava^iiJ.ai'dpos
eio~i

ij/avriorrjres
l^r\pbv,

Se

Qepfxbv,

^v^pbv,

vypbv Kai

ai 'dWat.

More
cit.)
:

precisely Plut. (ap.


(p-qal

Eus.

aib'iov y6vifxov 8ep/ji.ov

Se rb e/c rov re teal \\iv\pov Kara ir\v yiveaiv rovde rov n6o~p.ou anoKpidrjvai. Stob. Eel. i. 500
loc.

FOEMATIOX OF THE WORLD.


which, like
Thales,

251
1

these two he appears to have derived the fluid element,

he regarded

as

the

immediate
substance of

(though not, like him,


the
world.

as the ultimate)

On

this

account, probably, and perhaps

also in imitation of his predecessor,

he

calls

water 1he

seed of the world.

From

the fluid universal matter,

by successive separations, three kinds of matter were parted off: the earth, the air, and an orb of fire, which
surrounds the whole like a spherical crust
3
;

this at least

seems to be the meaning of the scattered indications


'A. e

Bzpfxov

K<xi

tyvxpov

fiiynaros

Theophrastus could have said of

tov obpavov\. That Aristotle, as is usually believed, reckoned dryness and moisture among the primordial oppositions, as well as cold and heat, Simplicius does not say he himself gives, according to the doctrine of Aristotle, this explanation of the ivavTiorr][elvai
:
;

Amtximander what the work about


Melissns (vide supra, 232. 2) says of him vSwp (pduevos eh ai to "rrdv, I cannot admit with Kern (Qsocppd;

T6S.'

Arist. Meteor, ii. 1, 353 b, 6, mentions the opinion that the irpwrov 67001/ at first filled the whole space around the world, when it was dried up by the sun to (jlcv
1
:

8ia,T/j.i(rav

irvevyara Kal rpowas i]\iov


<paol
Troislv,

Kal

ceA.771/77?

t6 Se Asi-

and this is why the sea also dries up little by


<pdhv
eivai,

Qdharrav

Alex, in h. /., p. 91 a (Arist. Meteor, ed. Idel. i. 268 Theophrasti Op. ed. Wimmer, iii. fragm.
little,
;

Tavrrjs T7js 5o|tjs 39) remarks iyivovro, ws lo~Tope? 6 Qe6(ppa<TTOS, Avai/j.avdp6s re Kal Aioyevrjs. Simi:

larly Plac.

iii.

16, 1

'A. T7)v6dKao~-

adv

<pt]0~iv

eivai tt)s TTpwrrjs


fjs

vypaaias

\ti\pavov,

to

/xev

irAeTov /j.epos

ave^ripave to irvp, to 8e viroXeicpdhv


Sid ttjv
is

irepl MeXlocrov, Philologus, (Ttov xxvi. 281, cf. Beitr. zv.r Phil. d. Xenoph. 11 sq.) for these words describe water, not only as that out of which the world has arisen, but as that of which it eternally consists, as its crroix^ov (in the sense discussed in p. 243, 2), and this contradicts the most distinct declaration of both these philosoStill less can I allow, with phers. Pose {Arist. libr. ord. 75), that Anaxagoras regarded moisture or water only as the matter of all things, and that the aireipov, which ail our authorities with one accord attributed to him, was foisted upon him by the nomenclature of a later period. 2 Vide Plutarch, preceding note. 3 Plut. ap. Eus. according to the Kal rtva 4k quotation, p. 250, 3 tovtov (pXoybs 0~<pa7pav irepicpvvai tw 7repi T7jf yrjv dip ., us tw devSpw
;
:
1

tKKavcTiv pLerifiaksv.

This

the vypdvof which Hermias (vide supra, p. 249, 1 J speaks. That in respect to this theory Aristotle or

(p\oLOV,ricmvos aTroppayeicrrjs Kal us TLVaS O.TTOK\eL(ri(L(j1]S KVKhOVS VTTO<jTT]vai

tov

rihiov Kal

ttjv

(rz\T\vt\v

Kal tovs aaripas.

252
that

ANAXIMANDER.
1

The heavenly bodies we find upon the subject. when the fiery circle of were formed of fire and air the universe burst asunder, and the fire was pent up in wheel-shaped husks of compressed air, from the apertures
;

of which

it

streams forth

the stoppage of these aper-

and moon, and the waxing and waning of the moon are produced in the same way. 2 This fire is kept up by the exhalations
tures occasions eclipses of the sun
1 On the other hand, I cannot agree with Teichmiiller {loc. cit. pp. 7, 26, 58) that he conceived his &7retpot> as originally a great sphere, and the eternal motion of it (supra, p. 248 sq.) as a rotation whereby a spherical envelope of fire was parted off and spread over No such the surface of the mass. notion is ascribed,to Anaximander by any of our authorities for the crcpcupa irvp 's lay, not round the &TTipop, but around the atmosphere Indeed, if we say of the earth. that the Infinite comprehends all things, or all worlds (pp. 242, 1 248, 1), we exclude the presupposi:

able divergencies and lacuna? in the accounts. Plutarch, ap. Euseb. only says that the sun and moon were formed when the fier} globe burst asunder, and became enclosed within certain c'rcles. Hippohtus adds that these circles have openings in the places when we see the stars the stopping up of these occasions eclipses and the phases of the moon. According to the Placita, Stobseus, Pseudo-Galen, and Theodoret, Anaximander conceived these circles as analogous there were to the wheels of a cart openings in the hollow circle of the
T
; ;

wheel

filled

with

fire,

and through

comprehended by the limits of our world. But a


tion that
it is

itself

spherical Infinite is in itself so great and so direct a contradiction, that only the most unquestionable evidence could justify our ascribing it to the Milesian philosopher and, in point of fact, there exists no evidence for it at all. 2 Hippolyt. Befut. i. 6; Plut.
in Ens. loc.
1
;

cit.

Viae.

ii.

20.

21,

25, 1 (Galen. Hist. Phil 1 5) ; Stob. Eel. i. 510, 524, 543; Theo-

Cur. iv. 17, p. 58 Achilles Tatius, hag. c. 19, p. 138 sq. All these writers agree in what If, however, is stated in our text. we attempt any closer definition of this conception, we find considerdoret, Gr. off.
;

these openings the fire streamed Finally, Achilles Tatius says out. that Anaximander thought the sun had the form of a wheel, from light the nave of which the poured in rays (like the spokes) spreading out as far as the circumThe last theory ference of the sun. formerly seemed to me to deserve I must, however, the preference. concede to Teichmiiller (Studien, p. 10 sq.), who has carefully examined all the texts on this subject, that that, of Achilles Tatius does not look very authentic; and as we are further informed (Plac. ii. 16,3 Stob. 516) that Anaximander made the stars inrb twv kvkXwv koX
;

roov <r<paipwv,

e'4>'

wu eWcrcs

fie^rjue

FORMATIOX OF THE WORLD.


of the earth
;

263

and, again, the heat of the sun assists the

drying up of the globe and the formation of the


sky.
1

light

follows necessarily from

That the moon and planets shine by their own Anaximanders theories
them.

respecting

The movement

of

the

heavenly
air

bodies

he derived from the currents of

caused

(pepeadai. which is confirmed by the Tponai rov ovpavov, attributed to him by Aristotle {Meteor, ii. 2. 355, a, 21), it now appears to me probable that Roth [Gesch. der Abendl. Phil. ii. a, 155) has taken the right view in interpreting the wheel-

times as large as the earth, and the sun itself (the opening of this circle which we behold as the sun's disc) the same size as the earth this is incompatible with the theory that the sun's circle is the sun's sphere,

shaped circles filled with fire (Roth wrongly says encompassed with fire on the outside) as the starry
spheres
;

these spheres,

in

their

pour forth fire through an aperture, and produce the phenomenon of a fiery body circling round the earth. As, however, these rings only consist of air, Teichmuller is not wrong (p. 32 sq.) in disputing the theory of solid spheres and a solid firmament (Roth, loc. cit. Gruppe, Conn. Sy-<t. d. Gr. p. 37
rotation,
;

its size, consequently, that of the sun's orbit for that the sun's orbit should be only twenty- eight times as large as tie sun's disc, is a glaring contradiction of ocular evidence, which we cannot ascribe to Anaximander. Hippolytus, however, says (as Teichmuller, p. 17. rightly observes) elect* oe tov kvkKov tovtjKIov lirTa.Ka.eiKOG'nrAacriova. T7}s
;

and

creXrivr)?,

and

if

we
as

connect

with
is

this the statement that the

moon

nineteen times
earth,

we

large as the shall have the sun's orbit

held by Anaximander. In agreement with this view, there is the statement (Stob. 548 Plac. Galen, c. 15) that, acii. 25. 1 cording to Anaximander, the moon is a circle nineteen times as large since it is quite posas the earth sible that this philosopher, for reasons unknown to us, may have considered the circumference of the moon's orbit (which in that case would coincide with the moon's sphere) to be nineteen times the size of the earth's circumference. When, however, we learn frum the same source (Stob. i. 524 Plac.
sqq.)

as

size of the earth's circumference, and consequently 513 times that of the sun's circumference, which would of course seem sufficient to Anaximander. But from the nature of our evidence we cannot pass certain judgment in the matter. Aris\ Meteor, ii. 1 (cf. p. 251,
1

513 times the

1);

ibid.

c.

2,

355
is

a,

21,

where

Anaximander

20,

1:21,1;

Galerj. Hist. Phil.

c.

14, p.

made

274, 276, 279, K.) that he the sun's circle twenty-eight

not indeed mentioned, but according to Alexander's trustworthy statement (loc. cit. and p. 93 b) he is included. What is asserted in the Placita, ii. 28, and Stob. i. 556, of the moon, is denied by D!og. (ii. 1), but (as appears from the passages we have quoted) without foundation.

254

ANAXIMANDER.
1

by the revolution of the spheres; his theories on their position and magnitudes 2 are as arbitrary as we might if, however, he expect in the childhood of astronomy really taught that the stars were carried round by the
;

movement

of circles out of which they received the fires


shine, he claims

by which they
the spheres.

an important place in
to his discovery of

the history of astronomy as the author of the theory of

The same would apply


3

the obliquity of the ecliptic,


Arist. <*md Alex., cf. previous note and supra, p. 251, 1. In what way the rotation of the heavens is effected, Aristotle does not say,
1

if this

has been rightly

hut his words in

c. 2,

as also in

the passage cited p. 251, 1, from c. 1, can scarcely bear any other construction this than that the heavens are moved by the irvevixa:

ra, an idea which is also found in Anaxagoras and elsewhere (Ideler, Alexander Arist. Meteor, i. 497). thus (he. cit.) explains the words

of Aristotle, quoted p. 251, 1 iypov yap ovtos tov 7repi rr]v yy\v tSttov, ra irp&ra ttjj vyporr]ros virb e|aT /jLi^eaOcu Kal ruv f)\iov yiveaOai ra irvsvjxara re e| avrov Kal rponas 7]\iov t Ka\ 0"eA7}y7]s, ens 8m ras aT/ti'5as Tauras Kal ras avaQvfxia(Teis naKfivtov ras rpoiras TroiovfjLevwv,
:

tvQa
Trepl

7}

ravrrjs avrols xopr\yiayiverai


rpeiro/j-evcvv.

ravra

Whether

the remark that Theophrastus ascribes this view to Anaximander and Diogenes, refers to this portion of Anaximander s exposition Teichmiiller's is not quite certain. theory, loc. cit. 22 sqq., that Anaxi-

mander derived the movement of the firmament from the turning of the aneipou, conceived as spherical, on its axis, I cannot admit, for the reasons given, p. 252, 1, irre-

spectively of the testimonies just quoted. Nor can I admit, as Teichmiiller alleges, that there is any contradiction in my connecting (p. 249, 2) the -navra KvBepvav, ascribed to the Infinite, with the movement of the heavens, while I here derive this movement from the Trvev/xara. When Anaximander says that the Infinite by its own moA'ement produces that of the universe, this does not prevent his describing (cf. 250 sq.) more particularly the manner in which that movement is brought about, and seeking accordingly the approximate cause for the revolution of the starry spheres in the currents of the air. 2 According to Stob. 510, and the Plac. ii. 15, 6, he placed the sun highest, then the moon, and the fixed stars and planets lowest (Roper in Philologv.s, vii. 609, wrongly gives an opposite interHippolytus says the pretation). same, only without mentioning the planets. On the size of the sun and moon cf. p. 253. The statements of Eudemus, quoted p. 234, 2, refer to these theories. 3 Pliny, Hist. Nat. ii. 8, 31. Others, however, ascribe this discovery to Pythagoras vide infra,
;

Pyth.

FORMATIOX OF THE WORLD.


ascribed to him.

In accordance with the notions of

antiquitv. Anaximander,
as

we
1

are told, regarded the stars

gods,

and spoke

of an

innumerable
have existed

or

infinite

multitude of heavenly gods.

The Earth he supposes

to

at first

in a

liquid state, and to have been gradually formed by the

drying up of the moisture by means of the surrounding


fire
;

the rest, having become salt and bitter, running


Its
is

off into the sea. 2

shape he conceives
a third part of its
9

as a cylinder,

the height of which


inhabit
things,
its

breadth

we
all
is

upper surface.
equilibrium

At
is

rest in

the centre of
it

its

maintained because

equally distant from the extreme limits of the universe.4

The animals
tive slime,

also,

he thought, originated from primisun's heat,

under the influence of the

and

as
>r-

the idea of a gradual succession of animal sp

responding with the periods of geological formation was


1

Cicero. N. B.

i.

10,

25 (after
~

PhilolemusX Anaximandri a opinio est n<:~ 1


-

ue

'

mundos. eosque vniwmerah Avaf iuavdpos tovs Pla<~\ i. 7. 12 aa-ripas ovpaviovs Qeois. Stob. in the parallel passage Ec 7 i. 56: Ava^iuavBpos aire(piiia.-ro robs aireipovs ovpavovs 6eovs P< Galen. Hist. Ava^'mavopos Phil. c. 8. p. 251 3e robs aweipovs vovs (Heeren in
'
: . :

'

Vide supra, p. 251, 1. Plutarch in Ens. Pr. Ev. i. 8, 2: Plac. iii. 10. 1 Hippolyt. BeJ i. 6. Diogenes (ii. 1) makes the form of the earth spherical instead of cylindrical, hut this is an error. Teichmiiller goes thoroughly into 40 sqq. the subje 4 Arist. Be Oxlo, ii. 13, 295 b, 10: Simpl. in h. 1. 237 b, 45 sq. Schol. 507 b, 20; Diog. ii. 1 Hip-

polyt.,

t.

rightly e
I)
:

tee

ovpavobs for vovs) deobs eivai:


c.

C'vrill,

Jul.

i.

p.

28

'

Aval't ^tavdpos

9ebv Stop/^Ta:
Koarpuvs.

elvai

robs

direlpovs
i.

Tert. Adv. Marc.

13

Anaximander

unicerm

eaUestia

(Beos pronuntiavit). How we are to understand the infinite number of these gods we shall soon more
particularly enquire.

assertion of 324). taken by him from Dereyllides. that Anaximander thought the earth moved around the centre of the univer--r. is a misapprehension of what he (Anaximander) said as to the suapension (ap. Simpl. loc. cit.) of the earth. Alexander expresses himself more cautiously,
loc. cit.

The

Theo. (Astro*,

p.

256

ANAXIMA NDER.
first

naturally beyond his reach, he assumed that the land

animals, including man, had at


afterwards,

been

fishes,

and

when they were able to develope themselves under their new shape, had come on shore and thrown
off their scales.
1

He
;

is
2

said to have regarded the soul

as of the nature of air,


this

improbable

and we have no reason to think what, however, is more certain, is

that in his theories of the origin of rain, of the winds, 3 of thunder and lightning, almost everything is referred to the influence of air.
little

But these

theories have

connection with his philosophic doctrine. As all things were produced from one primitive
all

matter, so must
philosopher,
4

return to

it

for all things, says

our

must undergo, according to the order of time, penance and punishment for their injustice. The
separate existence of individual things
is,

so to speak, a

wrong, a transgression which they must expiate by their Anaxagoras is said to have applied the destruction.

same principle to the world


admitted, in

as a whole,

and to have

consequence, that

the world would be

destroyed, but that on account of the perpetual motion

of
1

the infinite

substance,

new

world

would

be

Vide Plutarch ay. Eus. loc. cit.; Qu. Con. viii. 8, 4 Plac. v. 19. 4 also Brandis, i. 140, but especially Teichmiiller, loc. cit. 63 sqq., who rightly calls attention to the points of^contact between this hypothesis
;
;

of the descent of men from fishes implied that the use of fish as food

was unlawful.
Theod. Gr. af.cur.x. 18, p. 72. Plutarch, Plac. iii. 3, 1, 7, 1 Stob. Eel. i. 590 Hippolyt. loc. Seneca. Qu. Nat. ii. 18 sq. cit. Achilles Tatius in Arat. 33 Plin. Hist. Nat. ii. 79, 191, makes Anaximander foretell an earthquake to the Spartans, but adds significantly
3
;

and the Darwinian theory. But I cannot follow him in his statement accord(p. 68) that Anaximander,
ino to Plutarch, Qu. conv. forbade the eatin 0- offish. Plutarch does not seem to me to say that Anaximander expressly interdicted fish eating, but only "that his doctrine
-

'

Si credimus.'
4

In the fragment quoted, p.

210, 2.

INFINITE SERIES OF WORLDS.


formed
;

257

so

that there would thus be an endless series

of successive worlds.
dispute.
1

This matter, however,

is

open to

We

are repeatedly assured that

Anaximander

spoke of innumerable worlds, but whether he meant by


this,

worlds in juxtaposition, or worlds in succession,

and whether, upon the former theory, he thought of a number of complete systems, separate from each other,
or only different parts of one

and the same system, are


Cicero savs that
as

questions that are not easily answered. 2

Anaximander regarded the countless worlds


the worlds of Democritus.

gods.

This would incline us to the idea of whole systems, like

The

countless

'

heavens

'

of

which Stobseus speaks


to necessitate the

(as also the

Pseudo-Galen) seem
since Cyrillus

same interpretation,
'

substitutes 'worlds' for 'heavens/


ever,

have the word

stars,'

The Plaeita, howand this we mu:t take to


For
if

have been Anaximander's real meaning.

he had

said the innumerable worlds that are supposed to exist

outside our system are gods, he would not merely have

stood alone

among
For in

all

the ancient philosophers, but

it

would be

difficult to say

how he could have

arrived at such

a theorem.

all periods,

and without exception,

gods have been understood to mean beings that are the


objects of

human

adoration

even the gods of Epicurus


worlds, entirely with-

are so, though, on their side, they trouble themselves


little

about men. 3

But

these

drawn from our perceptions and sight, and admitted only on the strength of a speculative hypothesis, are nut
1

Vide Sehleiermacher.
;

loc.

cit.

p. 255, 1.
3

195 sq.
2

Klische, Farsch. i. 41 sqq. Vide the texts given, supra,


I.

Cf.

Par:

III.

a,

395, second

edition.

VOL.

258

ANAXIMANDER.
oivr

capable of inspiring

adoration, and have nothing in

themselves that could appeal to the feeling of piety whereas the ancient worship of the stars, deeply rooted
as
it

was in the Hellenic modes of thought,


as

is

to be

met with perpetually,


phers.

we know, among

the philoso-

Anaximander's countless gods must, therefore,


stars.
i

be the

The explanation
heavens
'

of his likewise calling

these gods

may be

found in what we have


stars.

gathered about his conception of the

That which
is

we behold under
is

the form of sun, moon, or stars,


in a ring

to

Anaximander only a luminous aperture


formed of
or
air

which

and

filled

with

fire,

and rotates at a

Greater

less distance

around the earth.

The con-

centric light-emitting rings which thus surround us,

and together with the earth form the universe, might therefore be properly called heavens, and perhaps they

might be

called worlds

but

it is

likewise possible that

later writers,

adopting the language of their own times, may have substituted 'worlds' for 'heavens' by way Besides, Anaximander of explanation or emendation.

might well speak in

this sense of

an

infinite

number

of heavens, since (in accordance with this theory) he

must have regarded the


single sphere,
ring.
2

fixed stars, not as placed in a


its

but each one as the aperture of


so

own

For at

early a period as Anaximander's, it

ought not to surprise us if that which no reckon were called infinite in number.
Simplicius, for example, says (in the passago quoted ^/>r, p. 233, 1) of AnaxaLroras, to whom nobody attributed the theory of several systems, that i>ovs, according to him,
1

man

could

2 Such a sphere must have been perforated like a sieve, since each star indicates an opening in

it;

and (according to p. 254, 2) it would have hidden the sun and

produced rovs t* k6<x^ovs


tu>v

na\ tt\v

moon from

us.

&\\wv

(pvtriv.

INFINITE SERIES OF WORLDS.


On
the other hand, the assertion which ascribes to
infinity of successive worlds

Anaximander an be borne out by


world's

seems to
of the
if

his system.
is

The

correlative
;

formation

the

world's destruction

the

world, as a living being, developed itself at a definite

epoch out of a given matter,


that
its
it will

it

may

easily

be supposed

also be dissolved, like a living being, into

constituent elements again.


as

If creative force
original
it is

and
be

movement,

essential

and
its

qualities,

ascribed to this primitive matter,

only logical to
it

conclude that by virtue of

vitality

will
;

produce

another world after the destruction of our own


the same reason
it

and

for

prior to the earth.

of successive

must have produced other worlds Thus we assume an infinite series worlds in the past and in the future.
and

Plutarch, indeed, expressly says of Anaximander, that

from the

Infinite, as the sole cause of the birth


all

destruction of

things, he considered that the heavens


arise in endless circulation, 1
'

and the innumerable worlds

and Hippolytus speaks to the same effect. 2 The Infinite of Anaximander,' he says, eternal and never growing old, embraces all the worlds but these have
*
;

each of them a
1

set

time
i.

for their arising, their exist -

Ap. Eus. Pr. Ec.


airiav
.

8.

:
:

Refut.

i.

ovtos apxhv

e-p7j

(^Avaifiav5p6v
rrjv iraaav

(pacri) to- atrsipov

ex* LV
,
.

qavai T ^ s T0 ^

twv omu>v

(pvcriv tipo.

tov

aireipov, e

^ s yivto'dai tovs ovpavovs Kal tovs ev


avTo7s KOa/xovs. Tavrvv 8' aiSiov elvai /ecu dyijpec, r)v Kal iravras irzpiixtiv tovs koctixovs. \4yei 8e xP vop
cos a'picrueVz/s

iravrbs yevecred'S re
e|

Kal (pdopds.

re ovpavovs aroKeKpiaOai Kal k<x96\ov tovs airavov


Si)
<pr]cri

tovs

tcls aiveipovs ovtcls koct/jlovs. aire<pr)-

7r\s

yevsvews Kal

tt)s

vaTO 8e Tr v (pdopav yiveo~6ai Kal tto\v irpoiepov t^v yiveaiv e| aireipov irdvTwv aiuvos dvaKvxKovfxivwv avTwv.
t

These propositions seem, by the way. to be taken from another source from
ovcrias Kal T7js <p6opas.

what

follows.

s 2

2G0
ence,

ANAXIMANDER.
l

Cicero, too, 2 makes and their destruction.' mention of innumerable worlds, which in long periods and Stoba3US attributes to of time arise and perish
;

Anaximander the theory


the world.
3

of the future destruction of

This

is

also

countenanced by the state-

ment

that he believed in a future drying

up of the

sea, 4

for in that case there

would be an increasing prepon-

derance of the fiery element, which must ultimately


result in the destruction of the earth,

and of the system


of a

of which

it

forms the centre.


of

The same theory

constant alternation

birth and destruction in the

universe was held by Heracleitus,


closely to

who approaches more

Anaximander than to any of the ancient Ionian physicists, and also most probably by Anaximenes and Diogenes. We have reason, therefore, to suppose that Anaximander also held it and that he
;

already taught the doctrine of a perpetual vicissitude

between the separation of things from the primitive


In neither of these passages can the innumerable worlds be understood otherwise than as succesWhen Hippolytus sive worlds. directly connects with his mention of the Kda/xoi the remark that the time of their beginning is determined, this can only mean that these kog/xoi have a definite duntion, and we must then explain the there are many pluralit}' thus worlds, because each world only The connection lasts for a time. of the two propositions, that the ancipov is eternal, and that it embraces all worlds points to the
1
:

With Plutarch, lasted them all. the arising or passing away rov Traurbs and the avanvKKovixivoiu iravruv aiirwu, sufficiently show that
successive worlds are intended, " In the passage quoted at length, supra, p. 255, 1, where the

words, longis
occidentesque,

intervallis

orientes

can only apply to worlds of which one arises when the other disappears, even supposing that Cicero or his authority confused these worlds with the faeipoi ovpavol designated as gods by

Anaximander.
3

might embrace all coexisting worlds even if it were not eternal; but it could only em-

same

result.

It

...
4

Eel. i. 416. Anaximander cpdaprbv rbv K6afioi/.

Theophrastus, and probably


1.

also Aristotle, supra, p. 151,

brace successive worlds,

if it

out-

INFINITE SERIES OF WORLDS.


matter, and
tlieir

261
as well as

return to primitive matter

an endless

series of

world? in succession, which was the


1

natural result of that doctrine.

Whether he likewise maintained the co-existence an infinite number of systems, or of a plurality


wards did,
is

of
of

systems apart from one another, as the Atomists afteranother question.


Simplicius, and

ap-

parently Augustine, assert this of

him

2
:

and some few


3

modern

writers have agreed ^ith them.

tine certainly does not speak from his

and he does not


1

tell

us his authority.

But Augusown knowledge, Xor is Simplicius

(loc. cit.

"What Schleiermacher urges 197) against this theory

does not seem to me conclusive. Anaximander, he thinks (according to the texts quoted, supra, p. 229, 2, 3), could not have supposed a time in "which generation was arrested, and this must have been the case from the commencement of a world's destruction to the arising of a new world. But in the first place, the words, "tva rj yivscris /xr] eVtAeurp, do not assert that gene ration may never and in no way be arrested.' but rather that the generation of perpet ually new beings can never cease.' It does not cease if it is continued in a new world instead of the one destroyed; and thus it becomes very questionable whether we can attribute to Anaximander a notion which, strictly understcod, would exclude a beginning as well as an end of the world; namely, the notion that on account of the incessant activity of the first cause (vide sup', p. 249, 1) the world can never cease to exist. He might think that he was proving
; '

new world a ~ter the destruction of an old one. Rose's opinion (Arist. lib. ord. 76) that the theory of an alternative formation and destruction of worlds is a vetustissima cogitandi ratione plane aliena has been already answered in the text. We rind this theory in Anaximenes, Heracleitus, and Diogenes (to all of whom, however, Kose equally denies it) and moreover in Empe;

docles.
2

yap
[iovs

enreipovs

Simpl. Phijs. 257 b: ! fiev tw Tr\-f]6ei tovs kocfuTTodeuevoi, ws ol Trepl 'Az/a|-

ip.ovdpov Kai Aei'unnrov Kai ArjuoKpi-

rov Kai vcrrepov ol irepl 'En-jKoupov, yivouivovs auTobs Kai (pdzipoaivovs


virediVTO
ttr'

atreipw,

a.K\wv

[xey

aet yivoixtvcov

aWwv
ex

8e cpdzipoiAtviov.

Cf
2
:

Aug. Civ. I), viii. inf. p. 262, 2. rerum prineipia singularum


injinita.
et

credidit

mundos gignere
oriuntur, eosque
':

innumerabiles quaecunque in eis

mundos modo dismodo iterum gigni existimavit, quanta quisque aetate sua manere
rit.

potto
3

this activity all the

sively by

making

it

more conclualways form a

Biisgen especially, p. 18 sq. of the work mentioned {supra, p. 23,% 1).

:>G2

ANAXIMAXDEli.
1

quoting from Anaximander's writings,


betrays that he
is

and he
is

clearly

not sure of what he

saying. 2

No

trustworthy

evidence

from any other source can be

cited in favour of this philosopher's having held such a

theory, 3 a theory which his general system not merely


As already observed on p. 237 and clearly proved by the contradictioLB resulting from the com1

ttos

A7]ix6xpiTos ^Eir'tKovpos dirtipovs

koct/xovs

iv

rw

aireipcv
8'

Kara -nuaav

irepLa-ywyriv. tojv
V!x\xiv(j>v

direipovs dnotyn-

parison of the expressions shown to In- his, supra, pp. 232, 1 241, 6; 244, 1. 2. Cf. Be Coelo, 91 b, 34 (Schol. ol 5e teal rq3 in Ar. 480 a, 35)
;

tovs kqouovs 'Ava^ifxavSpos

to

"lgqv

'EiriKuvpos

avrovs diTGx* lv a.AAr]Awv, aviaov elvcu to uera^v

7rA7/0et aireipovs KOfffxovs,

uis

'Atai-

twv koo~\x<jov dido-Trifxa, his meaning no doubt is that Anaximander, like Democritus and Epicurus, believed
in

/xavb'pos fxtv aireipuv

rw

peyedei. t))v
e|

apxv v
[

94fx^vos,

aireipovs

avrov
iroieiv

and

t5)s]
?.

tw

Trkrfiei

k6(T/j.ous
/cal

numberless coexistent worlds, this likewise holds good of Theodoret (Cur. gr. off. iv. 15,

5 o K

AevKiirirus Se
irAridei

Arnj.6npikoct/xovs,

p. 58),

ros aire'povs r<2

robs

direipous

273, b 43: /cal koct/jlovs outus /cal CKaffrov t&v direipou rod toiovtov KotTfxtiiV e k e ?. a"TOix6toi xnridtTO. as 5

&c.

11iid.

who attributes to the same philosophers, enumerated in the same order as .Stobaeus, iroAAovs
direipovs k6o~/xovs. Theodoret, however, is evidently not an independent witness, out has been drawing upon the text, the words
/col

The

state of the ease in re-

gard to Cicero and Philodemus has already been investigated, pp. 257 2G0, 2 where the passages cited (p. 259, 1, 2) from Hippolytus and Plutarch have also been sufficiently considered. Plutarch indeed says
;
;

in the preterite: rovs re ovpauovs dwoKeKpiadai /cal Kad6\ov tovs awavras dneipovs ovtols koct/xovs, but that proves nothing for in the first place the Koa/xoi may have the same
;

of which Stobaeus gives more completely. The account itself also seems here to be very untrustworthy. For little confidence can be placed in an author who attributes the aireipoi koo/xoi to Anaximenes. Archelaus, and Xenophanes, and by the addition of koto iruaav Trepiaywyrju, which is quite inapplicable to the Atomists and Epicureans, clearly betrays that he is here

meaning
in

as ovpavol (cf. p. 258),

and

the next, it might be said of successive worlds that an infinite number of them had come forth for they had from the direipov already been innumerable in the past. It has also been shown (p. 267) that Stobaeus, i. 56, proves nothing. When Stobaeus (i. 496) says Ava^iixav'bpos 'Aua^ifieu^s 'Ap;

two different theories, makes innumerable suecessive worlds to proceed from tha Trepiayuyal (the circular motion spoken of by Plutarch, stip7'a, p. 259, 1), and that which maintains innumerable contemporaneous
confusing
that which

'

worlds. What Anaximander really said concerning the equal distance of the worlds, whether his utterance
related to the distance in space of

X*Aaos

s.zvo<pdi>7)S Aioyei'rjs

Aevniir-

INFINITE SERIES OF WORLDS.


does not require, but often actually contradicts.

263

We

might imagine that

it
;

necessarily resulted from the

unlimitedness of matter

but the successors of Anaxi-

mander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, and Diogenes, prove

how

little

such necessity existed at that early stage of

thought.

None

of

them

find

any

difficulty in

supposing

our world to be limited, while the matter surrounding


it,

itself

and not formed into any other worlds, extends The reflection which Schleiermacher to infinity.
1

attributes to our philosopher,

that there must be

many

worlds, in order that death


one, while life

and destruction mav


time.
It
is,

rule in

and

vitality prevail in another, appears


for

much

too

artifical

the

therefore,

difficult to see

how Anaximander could have been


is

led

to a theory which

so entirely

independent of the
all

sensible intuition, the

immediate origin of

ancient

Such a theory must, indeed, have been peculiarly remote from a philosopher holding so decidedly, as Anaximander did, that every particular was
cosmology.
derived from one
again.
2

first

principle,

and returned

to

it.

Democritus was quite logical when he made

his

innumerable atoms, which were guided by no uniform

combine with one another in the most diverse parts of infinite space, and so form independent worldprinciple,

systems. Anaximander, on the contrary, starting from his

conception of the One Unlimited which rules

all things,

could only arrive at the theory of a single universe,

combined by the unity of the


the ovpavol, or to the distance in time of the successive worlds, we cannot determine.

force that forms the world.


cit. p. 200 sq. Schleiermacher himself acknowledges, loc. oil. 197, -00.
'

Loo.

As

204
If

ANA XIMANDER.
we now compare Anaximanders
we
doctrine, as re-

presented in our present enquiry, with what


the doctrine of Thales,
in content,

we know

of

shall find that it is far richer

and betokens a higher development of philoI

sophic thought.

am

not indeed inclined to ascribe

any great significance to the conception which is principally dwelt on by historians as constituting the most convenient designation for Anaximander's principle,
viz.,

the infinity of primitive matter

for the endless

succession of natural creations, which chiefly determined

might have been attained and the unlimited independently of this principle of the world in space, which would have neextension

Anaximander

in adopting

it,

cessitated

it,

was not taught, as we have seen, by this

philosopher.

On

the other hand,

it is

an important fact

that Anaximander should have taken for his point of departure, not a determinate substance like Thales, but

indeterminate and infinite matter

and whatever may


implies an advance

have led him to such a doctrine,

it

on

his part

beyond merely sensuous observation.


'
'

Thales

manner in which things arise out of the primitive matter. The separation of Anaximander is still sufficiently vague, but it is at any rate an attempt to form some notion of the process, to reduce the multiplicity of phenomena to the most general opposaid nothing about the
sitions,

and to attain a physical theory of the genesis of

the world, free from the mythical elements of the ancient theogonic cosmology.

The

ideas of

Anaximander

on the system of the world, and the origin of living beings, not only show reflection, but have exercised
1

As

Aristotle observes, vide supra, p. 229,

3.

HIS HISTORICAL POSITION.


important influence on subsequent philosophy.
Finally,

he admitted

beginning as well as an end of our world.


This docIt
is

and an

infinite series of successive worlds.

trine evinces remarkable consistency of thought.

besides the

first

step towards the

abandonment

of the

mythical notion of the origin of the world in time, and

through the idea that creative force can never have


been idle,
it

prepared the way for the Aristotelian doc-

trine of the eternity of the world.


I cannot, however, agree in the opinion that

Anaxihis

mander should be separated from Thales and from


successors,

and assigned to a special order of developx

ment.
Ritter

This opinion has been maintained in modern

times and on opposite grounds by Schleiermacher


2

and

by Schleiermacher, because he

sees in x\naxi-

mander the science by


;

commencement
the

of

speculative

natural
as

Ritter, because he

regards

him

the

founder of
physic^.

mechanical

and

more experimental
it

With

reference to the latter,

has already
as

been shown that Anaximander's theory of nature has


little

a mechanical character as that of his predecessor


successors,

or

immediate

and that he especially approxi-

mates to Heracleitus, the typical dynamist.

For the
his ten-

same reasons, Schleiermacher


that, in contrast with Thales

is

incorrect in asserting

and Anaximenes,

dency
for

more towards the particular than the universal Anaximander was remarkably strict in upholding
is

the unity of animate nature. 3

He
sq-,
3

admits, indeed, that


202.

On Anaximantlpr, loc. 188; Gesck. der Phil. 25, SI


1

cit. p.

177

sq.

Ge<ck.

sqq.,

315;

cf.

der Phil. i. 214. 280 Gcsch. der Ion. Phil.

Vide .supra, p. 256, and Schleiermacher on Anaximander. p. 197, who is styled by him the

266
contraries
this

ANAXIMENES.
emanate from the primitive substance; but proves nothing, since Anaximenes and Diogenes hold
l

the same opinion.


of Ritter that

Lastly, I must dispute the assertion Anaximander owed nothing to Thales.

Even supposing that from a material point of view


he appropriated none of Thales' ideas,
it

was formally
first

of the highest importance that Thales should

have

instituted the enquiry concerning the universal principle

of

all

things.

We have, however, already seen that Anaxi-

mander was probably connected with Thales, not only by his hylozoism, but by the particular theory of the liquid If we farther state of the earth in its commencement. he was a fellow citizen and younger conconsider that temporary of Thales, and that both philosophers were well known and highly esteemed in their native city, it
seems unlikely that no impulse should have been received

by the younger from the elder

and that Anaximander, standing midway chronologically between his two compatriots, Thales and Anaximenes, should be isolated from them scientifically. The contrary will become still more apparent when we see the influence exercised by Anaximander over his own immediate successor.
;

III.

ANAXIMENES.is

The

philosophic theory of Anaximenes

generally de-

scribed by the proposition that the principle or ground


philosopher 'whose whole enquiry inclines so decidedly to the side of unity and the subordination of all
oppositions.'
1

Gesch. der Phil. i. 214. Of the life of Anaximenes

we

anything, except that he came from Miletus, and that his name was Euristratus father's Simpl. Phys. 6 a). (Diog. ii. 3 Later writers represent him as a disciple (Cic. Acad. ii. 37, 118;
;

know hardly

AIR.
of all things
is air.
1

267

That he meant by air something different from the element of that name, and distinguished air, the elementary substance, from the atmospheric air, 2 cannot be proved, nor
says indeed that air in
its
is it

probable.
is

He

pure condition

invisible,

and that
of
its

it

is

only perceptible through the sensations

coldness,
;

warmth, moisture, and motion


53,
is

3
;

but this

Diog. ii. 3 Aug. Civ. D. viii. 2) friend (Simpl. loc. cit. Be Coelo, 273
Schol. 514 a, 33) b, 45 acquaintance (Eus. Pr. Er. x. 14, 7) or successor (Clem. Strom, i. 301 A. Theodoret, Gr. aff. cur. ii. 9, p. 22, Aug. 1. c.) of Anaximander. Though it is probable, from the
; ;
;

1. Dieis (Rhein. Mas. xxxi. 27) probably right in his conjecture that the passage in Diogenes should

be thus transpose

....

7repl

r)]v

I yeyevrjrai fxti/ 2ap5ea)v ahuxriv,


:

ireXevrricre
6hvfxirid.il.

5e

rf)

ir)K07Trj

rpirji

and that Suidas thence


:

derives his statement


rrj

yeyovev tv
2ap5eo.-i'

of their doctrines, that there was some connection between the two philosophers, these statements are clearly based, not on hisrelation
torical, tradition, but on a mere combination, which, however, has more foundation than the strange statement (ap. Diog. ii. 3) that he was a pupil of Parmenides. According to Apollodorus, in Diog. loc. cit., he was born in the 63rd Olympiad (528-524 B.C.), and died about the time of the conquest of Sardis. If by the latter is meant the conquest by the Ionians under Darius in the 70th Olympiad (499 B.C.), which is used nowhere else as a chronological epoch. Anaximenes would have died 45-48 years after Anaximander on the other hand, in that case, 01. 63 would s-fera much too late for his birth. To obviate this difficulty Hermann (Pkilos. Ion. apt. 9, 21) proposes to substitute for 01. 63, 01. 55 (as given in Euseb. Chron.') and R6th(Gesck. der Abendl. Phil.u. a. 242 sq.) 01. 53. As, however, Hippolytus {Refut. i. 7, end) places the prime of Anaximenes in 01.
;
;

ve

ohuij.irta.5i

i>

ttj

ore Kvpos 6 Xlepcn)s Kpoiaov KadeThev. 'July, says Diels. Suidas or some later interpolator has wrongly introduced Eusebius's date v ttj ve' ohvuiriadi. The conquest
ahdtHTzi

of Sardis that Diogenes means is the conquest by Cyrus (01. 58. 3, or 546 B.C.), and the word, ysyovev, or yeyeyqrai (as is often the case) relates not to the biith, but to the time of life, the a.Kfj.i\. The wOrk of Anaximenes. a small fragment of which has been handed down to us. was, according to Diogenes, written in the Ionic dialect the two insigui Meant letters to Pythagoras, which we find in Diogenes, are of course apocryphal. Arist. Met a ph. i. 3, 984 a. 5, hi>aifsirr)s 5e aipa Kal Aioyemis irportpov bdaros Kal uahiar' apxv v rideaat rwv airhwv cru)u.a.Twv, and all later writers without excep;
1

'

tion.
2

As
and

is

217,

still

assumed by Eitter, i. more decidedly by


k&r.
i.

Brandis. i. 144. 3 Hippolyt. Refut.


'

hva^ifjayrjs 5e

ixipa airttpov e<p7)

268
is

ANAXIMENES.

perfectly applicable to the air around us, arid our auso understand
it,

thorities evidently

for

they none of

them
of

ever allude to such a distinction, and the majority

of their texts expressly designate the primitive matter

Anaximenes

as

one of

the
1

four

elements,

as

qualitatively determined body.

On

the other hand,

he ascribed one property to the

air,

which Anaximander

had already employed to discriminate primitive being from all things derived he defined it as infinite in
;

regard
attested

to

quantity.
later

This
2

is

not only universally

by

writers,
3

but

Anaximenes himself

implies such an opinion


braces the whole world
as not
;

in saying that the air

em-

for

when the

air is

conceived

easier

comprehended by the vault of heaven, it is much to imagine it spread out to infinity than to place
so volatile a substance.
defimia.

any definite bound to

Moreover

tV dpxw
Tct

sivai,

ov rd yev6/j.eva
to.

yeyov6ra

Kal

iao/meva

Kal

deovs kcu

0e7a yivtcrQai,

to

Se Aoiira
5e eldos

N. D. i. 10, 26: Anaximenes aera deum statuit, eumque gigni (a misapprehension on which
et

*k

t2v tovtov airoyovuv. rb


oipei dSriXov,

tov dipos toiovtov orav

/xhv

Sua-

Auraros f h
Se

8r)\ovadai

t
1

*\>vxp

xal tCL dzpfxw Kal rca


Kivovixevcp.
loc. cit.,

Krische, i. 55) esseque immensum infinitum et semper in motu Diog. ii. 3 ovtos dpxw dtpa e?7re Kal rb drreipov Simplicius, Phys. 5
cf.
:
;
:

porepaj Kal

tw

'Ava^i/jLavdpov,
.

E.g. Aristotle,
i.
:

and
tv

iv

fiev,

Kal 'Avai/J.4vriv drreipovdh tu> /j.eyedeirb


'

Phys.
i.

4; Pint. ap. Eus. Pr. Ev.


'Ava^Lfiev^v Se
cpacri rr]v

8,

oXwv apxv v tov aipa etVetf Kal tovtov elvai tw fitv yevei aireipov Ta?s 8e irepl avrbv TTOidrriaiv copio~[x4vov. Simpl. Phys. 6 a, u iuav fj-ev
:

ibid. 6 a, aroix^ov inroOe/xevovs vide preceding note; ibid. 105 b, ibid. 273 vide supra, p. 219, 1 T(p Ava^i^eb ev rw direipw
;
;

'

vous Kal
plicius,

'

Ava^mavdpov.
Ccelo,

Also Sim;

De

vide infra

ibid.

rr)V inroKei/xevriv
<p7)0-iv
. .
.

<pvo~iv

Kal diretpov

91

ovk

dopiffrov

Se...

32 (Sckoi. 480 a, 35): 'A^a^i/xevris rbv depa aireipov dpxV" *ivai


b,

dWa
So Be

wpiff /xevr)v,
Coelo,

depa \eywv ahrr\v.

Keyccv.

vide infra, p. 270, 3. 2 Plut. and Hippol., vide the two previous notes. Cic. Acad. ii. Anaximenes infinitum 118: 37, aera ; sed ea, qua ex eo orirentur

In the words quoted by Plu<\ i. 3, 6 (Stob. Eel. i. 296) oTov rj tyvx^ V v/j-eTepa drip oixra avyKpaTel rtixds, Kal oXovrbv k6cixov
Plac.
irvev/xa Kal drip rrepiex^.

AIR.
Aristotle

world
it
is

is

mentions the theory according to which the surrounded by the boundless air. This passage,
1

true,

may

also

apply to Diogenes or Archelaus,

but Aristotle seems to ascribe the infinity of primitive matter to all those who consider the world to be sur-

rounded by
f >re

this matter.

We

can scarcely doubt there-

that Anaximenes adopted this conception of Anaxi-

mander.
the air
is

He
2

also agrees with

him
is

in the opinion that

perpetually chancing and consequently perpetually generating new things derived from it but what kind of movement this
its forms,'
;

in constant

movement,

is,

our authorities do not inform us. 3


1

Lastly,
the

it is

said

Phys.
;

iii.

vide supra,
b,

p.

tion;

that

infinite

air

was

219, 2
(paffXv

ibid. c. 6,

206

23
t)

Sxnrep
(Tu/ia.

oi

(puffioXoyoi,

t5 ew

rov

KocTfJLOu,

ov

r)

ovcria

aAAo
1
;

rt

toiovtov, dtreipov eivai.

Cf. also the

supposed to rotate from eternitv. I cannot acquiesce in this view, if only for the reason that not one of our authorities recognises such a
theory.

passage quoted on
Coelo,
2
iii.

p. 242,

De

A rotation of the Unlimited

5.

Plutarch ap. Eus. Pr. We. i. 8, according to the quotation on p. 268, 1 yevvaodai 8e ndvTa Kara riva irv<c:

vwaiv tovtov. kcu irdKiu apaiuxru'. rr)v ye jxt)i> K\.vt)<nv e alwvos airCic. N. D. i. 10 (note 1). apx^v. Hippolyt. according to the quotaKiveladai de nod tion, sup. p. 268, 1 aer ob yap /xeTafidWeiv ocra /j.eTa$d\Simpl. Phys. \ei, el fir] Kivolro. Ktvr\o iv Se Kal ovtos diSiov 6 a
: :

me in itself so contradictory a notion tbat we ought not to ascribe it to Anaximenes. except on overwhelming evidence: if we would represent to ourselves the eternal motion of matter, the analogy of the atmospheric air would
seems to
far more readily support the theory of a swinging movement. Teichmuller appeals to Arist. De
Ccefo,
ii.

13,

295

vvv
rrjv

r]

yr)

fxevei,

a, 9 (war el /a Kal avv7)\Bev hci to


:

iroiei St' 7}v Kal TTjv

fxeT<xfio\7)V yive-

fxeaov (pepofxevn did tt\v

h"ivr\o~iv

adai.
7, for

The reason why he was neveri.

yap
87?

tt]u atrial? irdvres

ravAeyovaiv,

theless reproached, Plut. Plac.

3,

Slo

Kal ttju yr\v irdvTes ocroi rbv

recognising no moving cause, is well explained by Krische, Forsch. 54, in reference to Arist. Metaph. i. 3, 984 a, 16 sqq. 3 Teichmuller (Studieti, &c. p. 76 sqq.) thinks, as in regard to Anaximander {sup. p. 252, 1), that this was a revolving mo-

ovpavhv yeuywcriv.
e\de7v (pao-iv)
;

eirl to fieaov ffvvbut this passage (even apart from what will be observed concerning it later on) seems to me of small importance in the question for it does not say whether the whirling motion which, in the formation of the world car;

270

ANAXIMENES.

of him, as of Anaximander, that he declared his primitive matter to be the divinity


;
'

whether he expressly

did so

is

questionable and improbable, since like his

predecessor (vide supra) he reckoned the gods

among
is

created beings.

But in point of

fact,

the statement

not untrue, because, for


at the
2

him

also,

primitive matter was


so far, the creative

same time primitive

force,

and

cause of the world.

Simplicius says 3 that Anaximenes

made

air his first

principle because of its variable nature,


tits

which especially

it

to be the substratum of

changing phenomena.

According to the utterances of Anaximenes himself, 4 he


seems to have been led to this theory chiefly by the
analogy of the world with a living being.
to
It appeared agreement with the ancient opinion, founded

him

(in

on the evidence of the senses) that in

men and
is
;

animals

the expiration and inspiration of the air


life,

the cause of

and of the cohesion of the body for when the breathing ceases or is hindered, life becomes extinct,
ried the terrestrial substances into the centre, existed before these substances and this by no means
;

2
ii.

~R6th(Gesch. der Abendl. Phil.

Democritus, necessarily follows. for instance, does not conceive the atoms as originally whirling that movement arises only at certain points from the percussion of the
;

250 sqq.) opposes Anaximenes to Xenophanes, and says that he started from the concept of spirit
a,

as the primitive divinity. He calls him accordingly the first spiritualist. But this gives a very false notion of the import of his principle,

atoms.
1

and the way


it.

in

which he
45
;

Cicero, N.
i.

J),

loc. cit.

Eel.

56

'Aval

^v

Stob. aepa (6ebv


;

arrived at
3

Be
'

Coelo,

airpi]varo)\ Lactantius, lust.


p.
1
:

i.

5,

in Arist.

514
/xhv

a,

273 33:

b,

Sckol.
iroXirris

Avallfxwns 8e
Kal

8 Bip. Clcanthes et Anaximenes aethera dicimt esse summum Deum. Here, however, aether is used in the modern sense, Tert. eon ir. Marc.
i.

kraipos
&iripov

Avai/.idv8pov

nai

a-Whs uwfdcTo rr)v

13,

Anaximenes aerum (Deum

ap\rjv, ov ixrju in aopiarou, aepayap eXcyev elvcu, olo/xevos apne7v rb rov cUpo? ua\\oiu>Tov irpb<; fxerafioKiiv.
*

'prcnuntiavit).

Vide supra,

p.

268,

3.

RAREFACTIOS AND CONDENSATION.


the body decompose? and perishes.
It

271

was natural for Anaximenes to suppose that such might also be the For the belief that the world was case with the world.
animate was very ancient, and had already been introduced into physics by his predecessor?. So in the
manifold and important effects of the
the air which moves and
air,

which are
it

patent to observation, he readily found proof that


produces
all

is

things.

But

philosophy had not yet attained to the discrimination


of motive cause from matter.

The above announcement,


is

therefore, was equivalent to saying that the air

the

was likewise supby a conjecture which might easily occur to the mind. Eain, hail, and
this theory

primitive matter;

and

ported by

common

observation, and

snow, on the one hand, and fiery phenomena on the


other,

may

equally be regarded a? products of the


easily arise that the air
all

air.

Thus the idea might

must be

the matter out of which

the other bodies are formed,


:

some of them tending upwards, and others downwards and this opinion might likewise be based on the apparently unlimited diffusion of the air in space, especially
as

Anaximander had declared the

infinite to

be the

primitive substance.
All things then, says Anaximenes, spring from the
air
1

by rarefaction
Aristotle (Phys.
iii.
i.

or
4.

by condensation.
sub
init.

These processes

Be

vide supra, p. 243. 1) ascribes this theory to a whole class of natural philosophers, It was so peculiar to Anaximenes that Theophrastus assigns it to him alone (perhaps, however, he means alone amoDg the earliest philosoFor phers), vide supra, p. 224, 2.
Ccelo, 5.
init.

sub

further testimony, cf. P]ut. Be Pr. Frig. 7, 3, supra, p. 272, 2; Plut. ap. Eus. Pr. Ev. i. 8, 3, supra,
p. 269.

2: Hippolyt. Reftit.
:

i.

7:

Hermias, Irris. c. 3 Simpl. Pkys. 6 a; 32 a. The expressions by which rarefaction and condensation
are designated are various.
totle says /xdvucis

Aris;

and

-rrvKycciris

in-

ANAXIMENES.
he seems to have regarded as resulting from the move-

ment

of the air.

Rarefaction he makes synonymous

2 The with heating, and condensation with cooling. stages through which matter has to pass in the course

of these transformations

he

describes
air

somewhat unfire

methodically.

By
it

rarefaction

changes into

by condensation
bodies

becomes wind, then clouds, then

water, then earth, lastly stones.

From

these simple
3

compound bodies

are then formed.


(ourw
7ra)S

The

texts

stead of fidvuais, Plutarch and Simplicius have apaiooms, dpaiovadai;

ovofxaaas Kal ru> pr}uari)

Hermias has
;

dpaiovfievos Kal

Hippolytus, orav els 5iaxe<V ei/0S rb apaidrzpov SiaxvQrj. According to Plutarch, Be Pr. Frig. (cf. Simpl. Phys. 44 b), Anaximenes himself seems to have spoken of concentration, of relaxation, extension
or loosening. The Anaximandrian doctrine of separation is only attributed to him in Morbeke's reof (Aid. 46 a. m) translation
Simplicius;
(Schol.

this, as is further observed, Anaximenes urged that the air which is breathed out with the open mouth is warm, and that which is ejected in closing the lips is cold; the explanation given by Aristotle being that the one is the air inside the mouth, and the other the air outride it, Hippol. loc.cit. (p. 267, 3, and note 3, infra).
Qzpjx6v.

In support of

Be
a,

Coelo,

480

44)

91 b, 43; the genuine

text has instead ol Se e| evbs iravra yiveadai \4yovcrt tear evdtlav (so that the transmutation of matters

According to Porphyry, ap. Simpl. Phys. 41 a, Aid. Anaximenes regarded the moist and the dry as fundamental contraries; this statement is, however, open to suspicion
the more so, because Simplicius bases it upon a hexameter, which he says emanated from Anaximenes, but which is elsewhere ascribed to Xenophanes (vide infra, chapter on Xenophanes), and which cannot have been taken from the prose Most likely, as of Anaximenes. Brandis thinks (Schol. 338 b, 31, loc. cit.), s.vo<pav7)v should be substituted for 'Ava^i/xti/riv.
3 Simpl. Phys. 32 a; and previously in the same terms, p. 6 apaiovpavou filv 'Ava|ijUeVi7S a rbv aepa irvp yivecdai <pr)cri, ttvkvov:

only follows one direction, and does not go on in a circle, as "with Heracos 'Ava^i/xapSpos Kal 'AvacleitUfi)
:

jjueVrjs.

In Phys. 44

a,

rarefaction

and condensation are explained by


Simplicius in his
Kpiais
>

own name, as avy-

and

StaKpicris.

fl

Videsw/wa,p.269,2.cf.p.270. 7, 3. p. 947 Kaddntp 'Aua^ifiii'rjs 6 irakaibs


1

Plut. Pr. Frig.

(jieTO, ju7jT

rb

\\ivxpbv

iv ovaia /xvre

rb depfxbu

airoKeiiroofxiv,

aWa

-nddr]

KOiva rr\s v\t]S dniyiuoixeva ra7s /xera^aXaTs rb yap (rvcrreWo/j.evoi'


avrijs Kal iruKvov/xevoi* ^v^obv eivai Se apaibv Kal rb ^aAapof <f>T]<Ti, rb

/xeuov Se aveuov, eira


fj.ii.Wov i/Sajp,

ve'</>os,

et'ra eVt

?Ta yriv, elra \idovs,


k

rb

Se

&\ka

rovrwv.

Hippol.

FORMATION OF THE WORLD.


therefore which suppose

273

Anaximenes
1

to have fixed the

numher

of the elements at four,

are to be considered

inexact as to this point.

In the formation of the world, the condensation of


the air
first

produced the earth, 2 which Anaximenes


flat,

conceived as broad and


for

like the slab of a table,


air.
3

and

that reason, supported by the


:

He

ascribed
;

after the passage quoted p. 267. 3


irvKvovfxevov (popov

yap kcu
SLaxvBfj

apa.iovp.evov

Smto

(paivsrrdai

orav

yap

els

doai6repov

irvp

yiveadai,

ueaws

5e eirdv els aepa TrvKVOv/xevov

e depos vecpos diroreXecrdfi


iro\r]criv.

Kara

tt\v

instead of which, perhaps,


:

we should read
k.

fxecrus 8e iraXiv els


vecp. 6.iTOTe7\e7crQai

aepa, ttvkv. e| dep.


T.iriXt)0~iv

as Rope?

(Phifol. vii.

610), and

Duncker

(in his edition)

hi* omnia. Hermias loc. cit. Nemes. Nat. Horn. c. 5, p. 74, has the same, but less precisely. - Plut. ap. Eiis. Pr. Ev. i. 8. 3 iriXovfievov 8e tov aepoz irpanrjv yeyevr o~9ai Xeyeiv ttjv yyv. The same follows from the theory that the stars first arose out of the vapours of the earth. How the earth came first to be formed, and took its place in the centre of the uni:
t

contend
povs
[jLecrbis.

may

perhaps, however, be concealed


vfiup,

dve-

verse, is not explained.

The words
in Plutarch

in

the

iriXovuevov tov depos

and the following words should be otherwise amended en


:

admit of the notion that in the


condensation of the air the densest parts sank downwards. Instead of this, Teichmiiller (loc. cit.^p. 83) prefers to account for it by the theory of the whirling motion (of which we have spoken mjpra, p. 209, 3) but the passage from Aristotle, De C'xlo, ii. 13, there quoted, does not seem to me to justify
;

6*e

fxaXXov

eVl

"nXelov

ttvk-

vocQevra yr\v. Ka\ els to ixaXiara ttvkvwrarov Xidovs. wcrre to KvpLccrara


T7js

yeveaeccs evavria elvai 6epjj.6vre Kal\pvxpov .... dvefj.ovsSe yevvao dr)p o~6ai, orav eKTreirvKvaixevos

dpaiucOeU (pepr)rai (which no doubt

means, when

the condensed air spreads itself out anew; unless we should substitute for dpaiudeis. dpOets. carried up aloft, which, in spite of the greater weight of the

this course

for the

word

iravres in

this passage cannot

be so scrained

as to include every individual phi-

losopher

who

ever constructed a

condensed

air,

would be quite as

possible in itself as the presence (p. 274, 2) of earth-like bodies in the heavens), TvveXQovra 5e na\ hr\ irXelov izayyBevia vecprj yevvTiadai
\_yevrav,
or.

cosmogony. For example, Plato (Tim. 40 B) knows nothing of the divrjais. Heracleitus never mentions it, and the Pythagoreans did
not place the earth in the centre of the universe.
3

cvveXQovros
v.

ko!

hr\

irXetov iraxvGevTOS

yevvaffQai], Kal

Aristotle,
b,
;

De

Ccelo.

ii.

13,

qvtws
1

els v8o.'p

ixerafSaXXeiv.
:

Cic. Acad. ii. 37.. 118 gigni autem tcrram aquam ignem turn ex

13 Plutarch ap. Ens. loc. cit.; Plac. iii. 10, 3, where Ideler, without anv reason, would
1

294

VOL.

I.

274

AXAXIMEXES.

the same form to the sun and stars, which he likewise

thought were floating in the


origin,

air

l ;

in regard to their

he supposed that the increasing rarefaction of the vapours ascending from the earth produced fire

and that

this fire, pressed together

by the

force of the
to
2

rotation of the heavens,

formed the

stars,

which

a terrestrial nucleus was therefore ascribed.


said to have

He

is

been the

first

to discover that the

moon

takes her light from the sun, and the reason of lunar

substitute 'Avai;ay6pa.s
fievys,

for

'Ava^i-

posed
fied

it

to

be formed of
fire).

air liqui-

Hippol. loc. cit. 1 Hippol. loc. cit. tV 8e 77)1/ nXaritav etvai eV depos bxovjxivr\u
:

by the action of

that

case Hippolytus

But in must have


inaccu-

expressed
rately.
2

himself very
loc. cit.'.

o/xoicos

8e

k<xl

tjAiov ko.\ (T(\t)V7)v kcl\

tA &\Xa

&<TTpa.

ivdvra yap irvpiva


rev

Hippol.

ytyovkvai 8e
'iK/j.dBa

ovra i-rrox^(r8ai

dipt Sta trXdjos.

tci

dcrrpa
irvp

4k yrjs 81a rb ry\v


rjs

The
Plac.

flatness of

spoken
ii.

of
-2,

by
1

the sun is also Stobseus, i. 524 ('Ava. irKarvv w$

e/CTavT7js aviffTaadat,

apaiov/xevris

rb

yivecrQai,

/xeTeupi^o/xeuov

4k 8e rov irvpbs robs darepas avv(pixxeis


<rv[A(j>epo-

nerdkov i bv t/jXiov). Of the stars, on the contrary, the same authorities (Eel. i. 510; Plac. ii. H) say

iaTaadai. elvai 8e kcu yecoSeis


iv Tq5 T07rw tuiv dvrepwv
/j-tias iKeipois (or,
i.

according to Stob.
ttjv (pvaiv

Anaximenes made them tjAwi/ Ka.Tairein)'y4va.i rw KpvaraXSi'ktjj' AoeiSeT; and in accordance with
that
this,

510: vvpivrjv

/xhu

twv

Galen (Hist. Phil. 12) says:


ttjv

'Ai>a|. tt]V -nepicpopav

i^wTa.Tr]v

yrjivnv tivai (Plac.

ii.
:

11, 1).
elvai

Our

text
ttjv

has instead
e^coraTOJ
;

T7ji/

-nepupopav

dcripwv, -KfpUx^i-V 8e tiva koX yewfir] tovtols (Tco/jLara (TVfX'wepKp^pofxeva dopara). Plut. ap. Eus. loc. cit. rbv i^Kiov nal tt)v at\T}V7)v na\ ret Xonrd darpa ttjv dpxvv T VS yevecrews diro<pa'iveTai yovv rbv ^X IU * K yv s
:
-

rbv ovpavov but the pseudo-Galen here seems to give the original reading. It is possiHe ihen that Anaximenes, as Teichmiiller (loc. cit. 86 sqq.) supposes, made only the sun, moon and planets float in the air, and considered the fixed stars as fastened into the crystalline vault of heaven, in whatever way he may have explained the origin of this latter (Teichmiiller thinks that like Empedocles, Plac. ii. 11, 1, he supT7js

yris

?l\iov

yw,

8;a 8e rr}v b^eiav

k'ivi\(Tiv

koi

juciA'

LKavws OepixoTaTrjv

k'ivt)(Tiv

Oep/jLOT^ra should be (perhaps read here without Kivr)<Tiv) Aafielv. Theodoret asserts (Gr. off. cur.. iv. 23, p. 59) that Anaximenes held that the stars consisted of This assertion, which pure fire. was probably taken from the commencement of the notice preserved by Stobseus, must be judged of in the light of the foregoing texts.

FOEMATIOX OF THE WORLD.


eclipses. 1

275

The
the

stars,

he thought, moved, not


at
2
;

from

the zenith towards the nadir, but laterally round the


earth,

and

sun

night

disappeared

behind

the
1

northern mountains
Eudemus

the circular form of their


the beginning of the chapter, to mythical ideas about the ocean, on which Helios fares back during the night from west to east. This interpretation cannot be based upon the context, for there is no connec-

ap. Theo. (DercylAstrom. p. 324 Mart. 2 Hippol. he. cit. ou mveiaQai 5e virbyyv 10 aarpa Keyei Kadais
lides),
:

erepot

inrei\ri<pa.(riv,

aWa

irepl yr,v,

coairepel irepl tt\v r]/xerepav KecpaKrju

(TTpe&erai to irihiov, upvirreadai re

rbv
&AA.'

T)\iov

ol>x

virb

yi\v yevofxevov,
yyjs

xmb tS>v

ttjs

v^Xoreouv

between the two passages, which are besides widely separated from each other. The mode of extion

ixepuiv <TKeir6ij.evov, kclI 5ia ttjv irAeio-

va

rj/xaiv
i.

ai/TOv yevop.evr\v airocTTaaiv.

Stob.

510

ovx

biro

-rr\v

yr\v Se.
roiis

a\\a

irepl

ai/TTju

arpetyeaftai

According to these testimonies (that of Hippolytus especially, seems to come from a trustworthy source), we should include
acrripas.

Anaximenes among those of


Aristotle says in Meteor,
a.
:

whom
1,

354 to ttoWovs ireiffdrivai ra>v 28 apxaiwv fiereapoXoyxv rbv rj\iov fxi)


ii.

(pepecrdai virb yr\v.


/cat

aWa

irepl ttjv yr\v

rbv TOirov tovtov, d<paviecr9a.i 8e kcl\ KOielv vvKra Sia to ty7)\r)V eiuai irpbs apuTov tt)v yr\v. Anaximenes is the only philosopher, so far as we know, who had recourse to the mountains of the north, for the explanation of the sun's nightly disappearance, and there is besides* so great a similarity between the words of Hippolytus concerning him, and those of Aristotle concerning the ancient meteorologists, that we may even conjecture with some probability that Aristotle is here thinking specially of Anaximenes. Teichmuller thinks (Joe. cit. p. 96) that the woids, apxaioi ixereupo\6yoi, do not relate to physical theories, but like the apxcuoi kcu SiarpifiovTes irepl ras 9eo\uyias, at

pression also is decidedly against such a view. Aristotle always calls the representatives of mythical and half-mythical cosmologies theologians by /AiTewpo\o~yia, on the other hand {^erec^poXoyos is never used by him except in this passage), he understands (Meteor, i. a specific branch of 1 sub init.) natural science {fiepos rr\s fj.e66dov Tai>TT)s), and in this, as he expressly remarks {he. cit.), he agrees with the ordinary use of the words meteorology, meteorosophy, and ihe
; :

like, being common expressions to designate natural philosophers. Cf. for exampte, Aristophanes, Nub. 228; Xen. Syrup. 6, 6; Plato, Apol. 18 B, 23 D; Prot. 315 C. know that Anaxagoras, Diogenes and Democritus also made the sun go laterally round the earth

We

{infra, vol. ii.). Xow it might seem that if Anaximenes conceived the segment of the circle which the sun describes between his rising and setting above the horizon, to be continued and completed into a whole circle, he must necessarily have supposed it to be carried beneath tbe earth. But even if this
circle cut the plane of
it

our horizon,

would not therefore be carried

x 2

270
orbits

ANAXIMENES.
he attributed to the resistance of the
air.
1

In

the stars

no doubt we must look

for the created

gods of

is, under the base of the cylinder on the upper

under the earth, that


side of
it

which we live (cf. p. 273, 3); would form a ring passing round

this cylinder, obliquely indeed, but still laterally; it woxild go not viro
7771%

but

Trepl yrjv.

As Anaxiraenes

made

this circle dip at a certain

distance from the northern edge of the earth's habitable surface, which
edge, according to his geographical would not be very far from the northern shore of the Black Sea, he might well believe that without some elevation of the earth at this, its northern verge, the sun would not entirely disappear from us, and that in spite of such elevation, some of its light would penetrate to us even at night, if it were not diminished (according to the opinion of Hippolytus) by the But I by no means great distance. exclude the possibility that, according to Anaximenes, the sun and stars (of the stars, indeed, he
ideas,

the stars is absolutely impossible with Anaximenes. Teichmuller (Joe. eit.) admits that he held a lateral rotation of the sun around the earth, a rotation in which the axis of its orbit stands obliquely to the horizon. Only he thinks that after its setting it does not move close round the earth, or upon the earth behind the high northern mountains (p. 103) notion which, so far as I know, no one has hitherto ascribed to Anaximenes. In the Viae. ii. 16, 4, and therefore, also in Pseudo- Galen, c. 12, we read, instead of the words quoted above from Stob. i. 510 AeatjUeVrjs, vnb (Galen, vixoiws manifestly erroneously, reads i-n-1)
5

ttjv yrju Kai

irepl

abrr]v crrpecpecrdai

tovs acrrepas. Teichmiiller concludes from this passage (p. 98) that the motion of the sun (of the heavenly bodies) is the same above and beneath the earth, that the circular movement of the firma-

expressly says this) and by inference the planets (if he supposed the fixed stars to be fastened into the firmament, vide p. 274, 1) may

ment has the same radius above and below. But nepl does not mean above, and whatever kind of
motion
rise,
it might in itself characteas contrasted with inrb (this have already seen in the passa-

have descended at their


either not at
all,

setting,

or very little be-

we

low the surface of the horizon. he imagined them to be flat

As
like

leaves (vide p. 274, 1) and, therefore,

ges from Aristotle, Hippolytus and Stoba?us), it can only be used for a In the circular lateral movement.
Plaeita, it

borne along by the air. he might easily suppose that when they reached the horizon, the resistance of the air would hinder their farther sinking (vide the following What has now been said note). will, I hope, serve to show the true value of Roth's strictures (Gesch. der ahendl. Phil. 258) on those who cannot see that a lateral motion of

seems to

me we have

simply an unskilful correction, occasioned perhaps by some mutilation or corruption of the true text,

and authenticated
writers.
1

by the other
:

Stobseus,
TTvpivov

i.

524, says

'Avai5e

fj.eurjs

virdpxe'V

tov ^]\iov

air^(py]vaTO.

virb

ttzttvkvqoiazvov

Lepos xal avTiTvirov

to)6ovfjt.va to.

FORMATIOX OF THE WORLD.


whom
in

277
is

Anaximenes, as well as Anaximander,


;
'

said to

have spoken

but the same doubt arises in his case as


viz.,

Anaximander's,

whether the infinitely


relate to the stars or to
3

many
an in-

worlds ascribed to

him

finite series of successive systems.

However

this

may
and

be,

we

are justified by the testimonies of Stobseus 4


Troie7a6ai.
1
:

anrpa ras rpoiras


larly Plac.
nvtofxsvov
i^uiBiucTQai
ii.

Simi-

23.

'A. virb ttcttv-

aepos

Kal

aurirvirov

ra 6.o~rpa. In both authors this stands under the heading


irepl

rpoirwv r)\iov
T)Xiov
.
.

(in
.

Stobseus,

irepl oi-aias

Kal rpoiruv,

&c), and they probably, therefore, meant what are usually called the two solstices, which Anaximenes might have explained in this manner consistently with his notion of the sun. It is noticeable, however, that they both speak of the displacement (Stobseus says also rpoiral) of the aarpa, to "which rpoiral in this sense are not elsewhere attribu r ed. It is, therefore, probable that the proposition ascribed by these writers to Anaximenes had originally another meaning, and signified that the stars were forced y the resistance of the wind from the direction of their course. The expression employed does not hinder this interpretation. Aristotle himself speaks (Be Coelo, ii. 14,
1

to designate every change in the orbit of the heavenly bodies, which altered the previous direction of their course. Thus the proposition of Anaximenes quoted above must have been intended to explain, not the sun's deviation at the solstices, but the circular orbit of the heavenly bodies those, at least, which are not fixed in the firmament. At the same time, however, it may be that he wishes to explain why their orbits are continued without descending, or in descending very little, beneath the plane of our horizon, vide previous note. By rpoiral he would mean in that case the inflexion in the curves described by them. Hippo I. vide supra, p. 267, 3

seems

Aug.

Civ.

D.

viii.

omnes rerum

296

b,

4) of rpoiral
ii.

rwv aarpwv
8,

causa? infinite a'eri dedit : nee decs negavit aid tacuit : nan tamen ab ipsa aerem factum, sed ipsos ex aere factos credidit and after him. Sidon. Apoll. xv. 87; cf. Krische, Forsch. 55 sq. 2 Stob. Eel. i. 496; Theod. Gr.
;

Meteor,
rjh'iov

1,

353
;

b,

of rpoiral

aff. cur. iv. 15, p.


3

58.

Kal aeX-qi/Tjs

and

25,

of rpoiral

tov

355 a, ovpavov and


ibid.
;

That he did not assume a

Anaxagoras, who is so often allied with Anaximenes in his astronomical theories, taught, according to Ilippol. i. 8, line 37 rpoiras Se
:

plurality of co-existent systems, is expressly stated by Simplicius, vide


p. 278, 1.
4

Loc.

cit.

416

'Ava{p.ai>dpos,
,

Tuietcrdai

Kal

i)Kiov

Kal

o~e\i)vriv

aTvcodovp.il/ovs vitb

rod aepos. o~^Kr\vT\v TtoWaKis rpeireadai 8ia to /j.}] hvuaadai Kparuv tov tyvxpov. Tponrj
Se

'Ava^ayopas. 'Apx^ aos AioyevT]s, AtvKitriros (pOaprbv rbv Kocfiov, Kal oi ~2,tuikoI (pQaprbv rbv
'A.va.^iu.ivr]S,

Koaixou,

Kar'

iKirvpcaaiv

Se'.

The
is

destruction of the world by fire

278

ANAXIMENES,
1

Simplicius,

which mutually support and complete one

another, in attributing to

him the

doctrine of an alter-

nate construction and destruction of the world.

The hypotheses concerning the


hail, lightning, the

origin of rain, snow,

rainbow,

and earthquakes, 3 which

are ascribed to Anaximenes, sometimes on good authority, are


for us of

secondary importance; and his

theory of the nature of the soul, 4 based chiefly upon


the ordinary popular opinion, he himself does not seem
to have further developed.

This survey of the doctrines attributed to Anaxi-

menes may now enable us to determine the question already raised did Anaximenes owe nothing to Anaximander except in some minor points of his .en:

quiry

It

seems to

me

that his philosophy taken as

a whole clearly betrays the influence of his predecessor.

For Anaximander had in

all

probability already

expressly asserted not only the infinity, but the ani-

mate nature and perpetual motion of primitive matter. Anaximenes reiterates these theories, and, by virtue
of them, seems to reach his conclusion that air
is

the

primitive matter.

It

is

true that he returns from the


Floril.
3

here ascribed, not to Anaximander, &c, but only to the Stoics though, it is not improbable that Anaximander also held it. Vide supra,
;

Ed. Mein.

iv.

151).
7,

Theo
a,

in Arat. v. 940.

Arist. Meteor,
;

ii.
;

365

17

p. 260. Pht/s.
1

257

b,

ocroi

del /ueV

<paaiv thai K6a/j.ov, ov fx^u rbu avrhv


del,

aWa aWore

Kara rivas
'
'

&\\ov yivofxevov xpovwv -nepiodous, ws


tcai

Sen. Qu. Nat. vi. 10; cf. Ideler, Arist. Meteorol. i. 585 sq. Perhaps in this also Anaximenes follows Anaximander, vide supra, p. 256, 3.
b, 6

Plac.

iii.

15, 3

hua,ifxzvr)s

Te Kal 'HpanAeiTos
Placita,

Aioytvrts.
2

4,

1,

Hippol. loa tit. Stob. 5, 10;


s.

iii.

fragment discussed p. 270, from which doubtless the short statement in Stob. Eel. i. 796. and Theodoret.
In
the
p. 268, 3,

and

i. i.

590; Joh.
3,
1

Gr.
5

aff.

cur. v. 18,
i.

is

taken.

Damasc. Parall.

(Stob.

Putter,

214.

HISTORICAL POSITIOX.
indeterminate conception of infinite
substance

279
to
a

determinate substance, and that he represents things as


arising out of this not

by separation, but by rarefaction


is

and condensation. But at the same time he


the primitive substance

evidently

concerned to maintain what Anaxagoras had held about


;

and thus

his principle

may

be described as the combination of the two previous


principles.

With

Thales, he accepts
;

the

qualitative

determinateness of primitive matter

with Anaximander

he expressly asserts

its

infinity

the rest he inclines chiefly

and animation. For to Anaximander. Even if

we cannot with
in succession,

justice ascribe to

him the

doctrine of

the destruction of the world, and of innumerable worlds

we can
in
his

still

see his

dependence on his
the
primitive

predecessor

ideas

concerning

opposition of heat and cold, the form of the earth and


stars,

on atmospheric phenomena, in what he says of the


the created gods, perhaps also in the opinion
is

stars as

that the soul

like air in its nature.

Yet

this

depen-

dence

is

not so great, nor his own original achievement

so insignificant that

we should be

justified in refusing

to recognise
doctrine.
is
2

any kind of philosophic progress in


infinite

his

For Anaximander's notion of


separation
'

matter

too indeterminate to explain particular substances,


'

and the

by which he accoimts
is

for all pro-

duction of the derived from the original,

open to the

same charge.

The determinate

substances, according

to him, are not as such contained in the primitive sub1

Striimpell,

therefore,

in

doctrines, as
2

with the chronology,


iii.

placing Anaximenes before Anaximander, is as little in accordance with the internal relation of their

Haym.

Allg, Enc. Sect.

vol.

xxiv. 27.

L>80

LATER IONIAXS.
:

stance
for

separation

is

therefore only another expression

the

Becoming
to gain a

of the particular.

Anaximenes

at-

tempted
cess,

more

definite idea of the physical pro-

by which things are evolved from primitive matter

and to that end, he sought the primitive matter itself in a determinate body, qualified to be the substratum of Such an attempt was certainly of great that process.
importance
;

and, considering the state of enquiry at

that period,

marked

real progress.

On

this

account,

the latter Ionian physicists especially followed Anaxi-

menes

to

such an extent indeed, that Aristotle at-

tributes the doctrine of rarefaction

and condensation

to all those
principle
l

who take

a determinate substance for their


after

and a century

Anaximenes, Diogenes

of Apollonia and Archelaus again set

up

his theory of

primitive matter.

IV.

THE LATER ADHERENTS OF THE IONIC SCHOOL.


DIOGENES OF AI>OLLONIA.

After Anaximenes, there is a lacuna in our knowledge of the Ionic school. If we consulted only the chronology, but the this lacuna would be filled by Heracleitus
;

peculiar nature of his philosophy separates

him from

the earlier

Ionians.

Milesian physicists
this period,

Meanwhile the theories of the must have been propagated during


clear

and even have given occasion to farther


This
is

definitions.

from the subsequent appear-

ance of similar doctrines, about which, however, our


1

Vide supra,

p. 243, 1.

HIPPO.
information
philosophers
is

281

for

the most part very scanty.

The

whom we

have to mention in this connec-

tion are chiefly allied with


either the air itself, or a

Anaximenes

they

make

body of the nature of


1

air, their

primitive matter.

But the doctrine


for
is

of Thales likewise

found adherents

example, Hippo, a physicist of the


uncertain, 3 and his

time of Pericles, 2 whose country


personal history unknown. 4
Schleiermaeher. Werke, Cf. Abtheilung, iii. 405-410; Bergk, lieliquicB Comoed. Att. 164, 185 Backhuizen Van den Brink, Varies lectiones ex historia philosophies an1

Like Thales, he declared


and
this
;

is,

probable
fusing that he

others,

him came from Rhegium


i.

of -course, the most perhaps conwith Hippasus, say


(Sext.
ix.

(Leyden, 1842), 36-59. 2 This is clear from the statement of the Scholiast of Aristophanes, Nub. 96, exhumed by Bergk, that Cratinus in the Patiques

Pyrrh. iii. 30; Math. Hippolyt. Befut. H(sr.

361;

16), or

noptai ridiculed him (infra, p. His theories also point 283, 3). The detailed ento a later date. quiries concerning the formation and development of the fetus seem to contain some allusions to Empedocles (vide Backhuizen Van den Brink, 48 sq.). He seems also to be thinking of Empedocles when he combats the hypothesis that the soul is blood (this, however, is less for that idea is an ancient certain popular opinion). These enquiries, at any rate, serve to show the tendency of the later physicists to the observation and explanation of orThe more abstract ganic life. conception of Thales' principle, which Alexander ascribes to him, is likewise in ace >rdance with this. That he had already been opposed by Alcmteon (Cens. Di. Nat. c. 5) is a mistake (Schleiermaeher, 409). 3 Aristoxemus ap. Cens. Di. Nat. c. 5, and Iamblichus, V.Pyth. 267, describe him as a Samian,
;

]Metapontum (Cens. loc. tit.). The same blunder may have occasioned his being placed by Iamblichus (loc. cit.) among the Pythagoreans though the author of that catalogue scarcely needed this exPerhaps Aristoxenus had cuse. remarked that he studied the doctrines of Pythagoras; and Iambli;

chus,

or his authority,

therefore

made him out a Pythagorean.

The

statement that he came from Melos (Clemens, Cohort. 15 A; Arnob. Adv. Nat. iv. 29) can be more distinctly traced to a confusion with Diagoras (who. in the above-quoted passages, is coupled with him as an atheist), if not to a mere slip of the pen, in the text of Clemens. 4 From the attacks of Cratinus nothing more can be gathered than that he must have resided Bergk for some time in Athens (p. ISO) farther concludes from the verse in Athen. xiii. 610 b, that he wrote in verse, but it does not follow that he may not also have written in prose. The conVan den (Backhuizen jecture Brink., p. do) that Hippo was the
;

282

hippo.
first

water to be the

principle of

all

things, 1 or as Alex-

more accuracy, 3 says, moisture (to vypbv), without any more precise determination. He was led to this chiefly as it seems by considering the moist nature of animal seed 4 it was at any rate for
ander, 2 probably with
this reason that

he held the soul to be a liquid analoit

gous to the seed from which, in his opinion,

sprang.

-5

He

probably therefore concluded, like Anaximenes, that


is

that which

the cause of

life

and motion must be


fire

also

the primitive matter.

He made

originate from

water
fire
6
;

and the world from the overcoming of water by


on which account his principles are sometimes
already observed, however (p. 218). that in so doing they merely turned Aristotle's conjecture (Metaph. i. 3) into a formal statement.
s

author of the "writing


falsely

irepl apx&v, ascribed to Thales, and quoted supra, p. 216, 2, and p. 226, 1, is to me very improbable, because of the expressions, ctpx" and

Arist.

De An.
[t7?v

i.

2,

405 b

(rroix^ov,
1

which

it

contains.
i.

rci'v

8e (popTiKWTepav Kal vhoop Tipes

Arist. Metaph.

3,
;

984

a, 3

aiT(pr]i/auTO

i^vxv^
8'

naddirtp
Kal

Simpl. Phys. 6 a, 32 a De Coelc, 268 a, 44; Schol. in Arist. 513 a, 35 Philop. De An. A, 4 C, 7.
;
;

"lirir&v. ireiaOrivai

io'tKaaiv 4k tt\s

yovr\s,

'6ti

ttolvtoov

vypd.

yap

p. 21, Bon. Aristotle classes him generally with Thales, without definitely saying that he made water this was first his first principle said by later writers. But from Aristotle's procedure elsewhere, we can see that he would have had no scruple in identifying the vypbi/ with the more determinate v8u>p. 4 Vide the following note. Shnplicius, De Ccelo, 273 b, 36 and Schol. in Arist. 514 a, 26 Philoponus, De An. A, 4, say more
3
; ; ;

Ad Metaphys.

c\eyxei robs aT/xa (pdaKovras tt)v \pvxfyv, or i 7] yovT] oi>x cupa (he sought to prove, according to Cens. loc. cit., by study of animals, that the seed comes from the marrow)
ravrriu 8
hort,
c.

elvai
e.

ttju
1

TrpcvT7)v ^vx'hv.

Herm. 7ms,
7)
:

(cf.

Justin,

Co-

Hippo considers the


Hip:

soul to be a vdwp yovoiroi6u.


polyt.
fiev
loc. cit.

rrjv

8*

iyKecpaXov %x* iv
:

with Huncker %<pri v8wp, Kal yap rb (nrepfxa


ij/uxV ylveardai.
tull.

tyvxhv Trore (read A.e'7et, or dvcu) iroTe 8e


eluai

rb

(paiu6/xvov ripuv l| vypov, l| ov (prjvi

Stob.

i.

798

Ter-

distinctly that Thales

and Hippo

held water to be the primitive matter, on account of the moisture of the seed and of nourishIt has been ment in general.

De An. A, 4C, 7.
6

c.

5
I.

Philop.
:

De An.
8e
6

Hippol.

c.

"lirirwv

'Vrjywos apx^-s

\pvxpbv rb vdoop Ka\ depfxbv rb irvp. y^ivw/xeuov 8e rb


Z<pr\

inrro.
asserted to be fire

283

and water.

What

his

more exact

opinions were as to the constitution of the universe

whether the erroneous statement that he held the earth


to have been the

had any real foundation in fact whether in harmony with Anaximander and Anaxifirst,

menes,

lie

may

perhaps have taught that out of


fire,

fluid,

under the influence of


determining. 3

the earth was


stars

first

formed,

and out of the earth, the

we have no means of

As

little

do we know on what ground

Hippo was charged with atheism, 4 as he has been in several quarters. The unfavourable judgment of Aristotle as to his philosophic capacity. 5

however, greatly

reconciles us to the meagreness of the traditions respect-

ing his doctrine.

He

was no doubt

less

of a philoso-

pher than an empirical naturalist, but even as such,

from what we hear of him, 6 he does not seem to have attained any great importance.
irvp virb

yevvfjo-avTos

vSaros KaraviKT\<rai ttjv tov ovvafxiv, av(XTT\aa!\. Te

Plut.

Coram. Xot.
loc.
;

c.

31. 4;

Alexander,

cit.

and

other
;

rbu
tus.

Kocr/xou.
1

Vide previous note and Sexloc. cit. Galen, H. Phil. c. 5, p.


;

243.
2

Johannes Diac.
v. 116, p.

Alleg. in Hes.

Theog.
3

456.

This holds good of the statement alluded to (p. 281, 2) that Cratinus made the same charge against Hippo that Aristophanes did against Socrates, viz. that he taught that the heavens were a -jrinyevs (an oven or hollow cover

commentators Simpl. Phys. 6 a Be An. 8 a; Philop. Be An. A, 4; Clemen. Cohort. 15 A, 36 C; Arnob. iv. 29 Athen. xiii. 610 b; .Elian. V. H. ii. 31: Eustaeh. in II. What 79; Odyss. r 381. Alexander and Clemens say about
;

<i>

his

epitaph

as
in

the

occasion
vii.

of
2

this imputation explains nothing,

Pseudo-Alex,
xii. 1. p.

Metaph.

428, 21, 643, 24, Bon., asserts that his materialism was the cause ; but this is evidently a

warmed by

coals),

and that men

were the coals in it. fie may have supposed the sky to be a dome resting upon the earth; but how this could be brought into conneetion with his other notions, we do not know.

conjecture. 5 In the passages cited p. 282,


1,

5.

6 Besides what has been already quoted we should here menticn his theories on birth and the formation of the fetus, Censor. Bi.

284

WAJSU&
1

As Hippo was influenced by Thales, so Idaeus of Himera appears to have been influenced by Anaximenes. Anaximenes most likely also originated the two theories mentioned in some passages by Aristotle 2 according
to the one, primitive

matter in respect of density stands


air
;

midway between water and


between
air

according to the other,


to a

and

fire.

That both theories belong

younger generation of Ionian physicists is probable, for they occupy an intermediate position between older
philosophers
;

the one between Thales and Anaximenes,

the other between Anaximenes and Heracleitus.

We

must, however, primarily refer them to Anaximenes,


since he was the
first

who

raised the question of the

relative density of the

different kinds of matter,

and

who explained the formation of particular substances by the processes of condensation and rarefaction. In this way he arrived at the opposition of rarefied and condensed air, or warm air and cold air if warm air
;

were adopted as the primitive element, the result was

an intermediary between

air

and

fire
3

if

cold air, an

intermediary between air and water.


Nat.
7, 3,
c.

0-7, 9

Plut. Plac. v. 5,

3,

Aioyevt)s
lAe|a^].

....
Besides

aepa
this

which I cannot now enter more particularly, and a remark about the difference between wild
into

[apxV we know

nothing of Idseus.
2 Vide p. 241, 1, 2. These passages do not relate to Diogenes, as will presently be shown. 3 In connection with Auaxi-

andcultivated plants in Theophrast. iii. 2, 2. Hist. Plant, i. 3, 5 Athen. xiii. G10 b, contains a verse of his against -rrovXv/xadrifxoavvr], which resembles the famous saying of Heracleitus he quotes the same verse, however, as coming from Timon, who might have borrowed it from Hippo.
;

menes we should mention Melesai. 148, 629, A) names him as the author of a book transand as scribed from Anaximenes holding similar doctrines to those Clemens also of Anaximenes.
;

goras

according to Brandis,
vi.

Clemens (Strom,

Sext. Math. ix. 360


5

'Aj/at-

fjLwrjs

5e

/cat

l5atos

b 'Ifxepaios /cat

says:

tci

5e

'HcrtJSou fxeTrjWa^au

DIOGEXES OF APOLLOXIA.
Diogenes of Apollonia
;
l

285

is

a philosopher with

whom

we are Letter acquainted and his doctrine shows in a striking manner that the Ionic school maintained its early presuppositions, even when other and more elects

ire^bv

x6yov

Kav

Y.vfxr]X6s

re Kal
6

l(TTopioypd(poL.
eK\e\pei>
EfjriiJ.os 6

is tfiia i^vveyAKOvaiXaos ot MeXri&aySpov yap


Kal

Topyias Naios

Aeovrlvos

Kal

ot tcrropiKol. Kal iirl

tovtois 6 TlpoKovvi)o~ius Bl(0V .... re Kal 'ApiffTOKXris Kal AedvSpios Kal 'Aua^i/xim]s, Kal 'EXXa'A/xtyiAoxos
vikos,

and so

on.
"was

But

this Melesa-

use of by can searcely have been any other than the well-known Logographer. who was
goras,

who

made

He was a native of Apollonia (Diog. ix. 57, &c), by which Stephen of Byzantium (Be TJrb. s. v. p. 106, Mein.) understands Apollonia in Crete, but as he wrote in the Ionic dialect, it is doubtful if this can be the city. His date will hereafter be discussed. According to Demetrius Phalerius ap. Diog. loc. cit., he was in danger
tle.

various

historians,

through unpopularity at Athens,

by which is probably meant that he was threatened with similar


charges to those brought forward Anaxagoras. But there may be some confusion here with Diagoras. The assertion of A ntisthenes, the historian (ap. Diog. I. c), repeated by Augustine, do. Bei, viii. 2, that he attended the
against
instructions

also called Amelesagoras (see Miiller, Hist, of Gr. ii. 21)/and The

Anaximenes,

whom Clemens names

a number of historians, is certainly not our philosopher, but probably likewise historian, a Anaximenes of Lampsacus, mentioned by Diogenes, the nephew of the orator. It is a question, moreover, whether we ought not to read Ev/xriXov instead of Me\77cayopov, or MeX7]cray6pas instead of Ev/jlt]\os
'A/j.<piXi>xos,
;

among

of

Anaximenes

is is

merely based on conjecture, and

as worthless in point of evidence as

and whether the words

be connected with eKXe\peu, and not with to. 'Hrjcriodov fXrr]XXa^av, &c. The statements of the ancients respecting him, and the fragments of his work, have been carefully collected and annotated by Schleiermacher ( Ueber Dioge v. Apollonia, third section of his collected works, ii. 149 sqq.) and by Panzerbieter (Dioaenes Apolloniates, 1830). Cf. also Steinhart, Allg. Encycl. of Ersch and Gruber, Sect. I. vol. xxv. 296 sqq. AIullach, Fragm. Philos. Gr. i. 2"> sqq. Of his life we know very litare
to
1
;

&c,

the statement of Diogenes (ii 6) that Anaxagoras was a hearer of Anaximenes whereas, in all probability, he was dead before Anaximenes was born, cf. Krische. Forsch. 167 sq. Diogenes's work, wepl (pvo-eais, was used by Simplicius, but (as Krische observes, p. 166) he does not seem to have been acquainted with the second book of it, which Galen quotes in Hip poor. vi. Fpidem. vol. xvii. 1 a.
;

1006 K. That Diogenes composed two other work's is doubtless an


misapprehension
error of this writer, founded on a of some of his
b),
sq.
:

(Phys. utterances 32 Schleiermacher, p. 108 zerbieter, p. 21 sqq.

vide

Pan-

280

DIOGENES OF AVOLLONIA.
it.

veloped ideas had been introduced into

On
is

one side
his expo-

he

is

closely connected with

Anaximenes, on another he

in all probability transcends


sition

him

not only

more methodical
but he
is

in

form and more careful as to from


his predecessor

details,

also distinguished

in having ascribed to the air, as primitive cause

and

primitive matter, certain spiritual qualities, and having


tried to explain the life of the soul

by the

air so appre-

hended.

To gain a

fixed basis

for his

enquiry,

he

determined the

general

characteristics

belong to the primitive essence.


said it

must On the one hand he


which
all things,

must be the common matter of

and
His

on the other, an essence capable of thought. argument for the first assertion was the following.

We

know
other.

that things change one into another, that sub-

stances mix, and that things influence and affect each

None

of these

phenomena would be

possible if

the various bodies were distinct as to their essence.

They must

therefore be one and the same,

must have

sprung from the same substance, and must be resolved 2 In proof of the second assertion, into the same again.
1

According
:

to

Diogenes,

vi.

(pvaei Kai ob rb

abrb ebv uereimrre


rjrepotodro,
ouSa/ir)

ix. 57, his work began with 81 the words \6yov iravrbs apxo^i-ov SoKeei not XP* V ^val T ^ v fy>xV
;

iroWax&s

Kal

ai>afA<pi(rfir)T7)T0v

irapcxeoOcu, rr\v Se

kp}n\vrfir)v airAriv Kal aefxvijv.


2

ovre /xiayeadai aAArJAoiS r]8vi>aro, ^T w^cArjcris t< erepu> ovre f$\af$r) ... oi>5' av ovre (pvrbv eK rr)S yrjs cpvvai, ovre (qJov ovre a\Ao yeveaOai
obSev, el /xrj ovra> crvvio'raro, ware rwvrb eJvai. dAAa irdvra ravra e/c rov abrov erepoiov^ieva &A\ore aAAoTa 7ry/eTai Kal es rb abrb avaFr. 6, ap. Simpl. 33 a x w P* l
'

e^iol

Fr. 2 ap. Simpl. Phys. 32 b 8e SoKeei, rb fxkv ^v/xirav elneiv,


:

irdvra rb. euvra airb tov abrov erepoiovaOai Kal rb abrb elvai. Kal

rovro
Kofffxct)

effiiihov.

el

yap ev ryoe rw
yrj

e6vra
ocra

vvv
el

Kal vdcop Kal

obb~ev

5'

ol6v re yeveadai roov erepoi-

r&Wa
k6o-/jlcp

fpaiverai

ev

ru>b~e

rw
rb

ov/xeucev

erepov erepov irplv av

e6vra,

rovrewv

ri

i\v

abrb
Corr.

yevr\rai,
i.

and

Arist.

erepov rov erepov erepov eov

rfj tSip

6,

322, b, 12.

rb Gen. et What Dio-

THE PRIMITIVE ESSENCE,


distribution of matter in

287

Diogenes appealed in a general manner to the wise and


felicitous

the world

l ;

and

more
that

particularly, to this testimony of our experience


life

and thought are produced in

all

living natures

by the
this

which they breathe, and are bound up with substance. 2 He therefore concluded that the
air
all

substance of which
3

things consist must be a body

eternal, unchangeable, great

and powerful, and rich in


dis-

knowledge.

All these qualities he thought he


;

covered in the air

for

the air penetrates all things,


life

and
ness

in
;

men and

animals produces
is

and consciousair.
4

the seed of animals, also,

of a nature like
air to
is

He, therefore, with Anaximenes, declared


matter and ground of
almost unanimously
himself says
genes
7 6

be the
attested

all

things.

This
;

by ancient writers
is

that air

and Diogenes the essence in which reason


Vide notes 1 2, and 7. Or as Theophrastus Be 8 Cicero, X. B. i. 12, 29, says 8, 42. the Deity; cf. Arist. Phys. iii. 4
*
.

ix. 57, says he taught viz. that nothing comes from nothing or to nothing is here indeed presupposed, but whether he expressly enunciated this principle we do not

know.
ob yap Fr. 4, Simpl. loc. cit. av ovtw 5e5acr0ai [sc. tt]u apxhv] oT6u re t\v$.vzv voricrios, &<Tre ttclutwu ^eVpa exetv, xs^&vos Te Kal fle'peos
1 ;

{supra, p. 248, 1). Sidon. Apoll. xv. 91, discriminates the air of Diogenes as the matter endowed with creative energy, from God, hut this is of course unimportant.

koI j/vurbs koX


a.v4fjLwv

tyue'pr/s

Kal veruu Kal

Kal

ris

Pov\erai

evdiwv Kal to eJf ivvoizoQai, sbpioKOi

aWa

The passages in question are given in extenso by Panzerbieter, In this place it is p. 53 sqq.
6

sufficient to refer to Arist.


i.

av ovTb)

SiaKei/xeva

us

avvarbu

KaMiJTa.
Fr. D,ibid: ert Se irpbs tovtols crr}fie7a- &v9pwiros yap Kal to &\\a <pa ava-nviovra u>ei T<j> aepi, Kal tovto avTols koX Kal lav \pvxv fCTi /col v6r\(Tis airaWaxQ'ji airoSvricrKei Kal T) vorjcrts
Kal TctSe /j.eyd\a
. .
.

Metaph. 984 a, 5 Be An. 405 a, 21; Theophrast. ap. Simpl. Phys.


3,
;

6 a.
7

Fr.

6.

fxot So/feet

ap. Simpl. 33 a: Kal rb rr\v v6r\<riv tx ov ^vai

6 arjp /caAeo/xf vos inrb

t&v avdpwTrwv,

Kal inrb tovtov Trdura Kal Kv^epuacrdai


irdvTcuv /cpareejj/. ana yap /j.ot tovtov SuKtei edos elvat (instead of dirb Panzerbieter here reads avTov;

Kal

eTuAetiret.
s

Fr. 3 from Simpl. Phys. 33

a.

288
dwells,
its

DIOGENES OF APOLLONIA.
and which guides and governs
is

all things,

because

nature

to spread itself everywhere, to order all


all.

and and

to be in
in

Nicolaus of Damascus, Porphyry,

one passage, 2 likewise Simplicius, attribute to Diogenes as his first principle the substance intermediate

between
This
is

air

and

fire,

so often

mentioned by

Aristotle.

unquestionably an error, into which they were

probably misled by Diogenes' opinion, that the soul, by 4 analogy with which he defines his primitive essence,

was of the nature of warm


Kitter's similar theory,
5

air.

Nor can

I agree with

that the primitive essence of

Diogenes was not the ordinary atmospheric air, but a more subtile kind, ignited by heat for not only do all
;

the accounts,

and Diogenes' own


is

explanations, speak of
;
'

the air as

'

that which

usually called air


it
all

but accord-

ing to his own principles


for

would have been impossible


things from air by rare-

him, while deriving

faction

and condensation, to seek the original principle


and changes of the atmosphere), not in the
(<5oov ttv*v jxar cDSe's

(that which constituted the basis of all the different

forms

this I prefer to Mullach's amendment, which retains dnb, but subt-titutes v6os for 6os) Kai eVi irdv dianOtvcu Kai d<p'ix9 ai Kai ^dvra
iyiravTl ivelvai Kai ccttI
ju.r?/^TXtToy'Tou
/UTjSe

eVrt

/ecu

voyaets

yivovTai rov dtpos o~vu ra> a'ifxari rb bXov aafxa KazaXa/jL^dvovros Zid r>j/
(pXefiwv.
!

eu o

According to Simpl.
Phys. 44
Cf. the
a.

Pht/fi.

33

....

Kai ttclvtwu
<ttiv,

b; 6 b.
2
3

rwv ^d (CV
ct?;p

S*

t)

^ V XV T ^ avT ^

Q(pfx6npos jj.*v tov eco eV > rod p.ivioi irapa tu> rjeAiw e'er/iej/, This soul is iroXXbv tyvxptTepos.
besides very different in different beings '6p.ws 5e zd -ndvza z clvtw nal (fi Kai opa Kai aKovet Kai zrjv
:

Vide supra,

p. 241, 1.

2,

7,

and

passage cited, p. 287, the general canon of


2,

aXXrjv

v6r\<Tiv

%et

inzb

rod auzov

ndvza Kai
Simplicius
:

ec/>e|rjs

Se'iKwaiv,

adds

59) refers in support of his hypothesis. Vide also p. 268, 2. 5 Gesch. der Phil. i. 228 sqq.
(p.

Dc An. i. which Panzerbieter


Aristotle,

405

a, 3, to

ozt /ecu zb

a-epjxa z&v

THE PRIMITIVE ESSENCE.


common
air.
1

aerial element,

but in some particular kind of


2

Schleiermacher's conjecture also

is

inrprobable,

that Diogenes himself held air to

be the primitive

matter, but that Aristotle was doubtful as to his meaning,

and

so

ascribed

to

him sometimes the


or cold air.

air

in

general, sometimes

warm

Such hesitation

on the part of Aristotle respecting the principles of his predecessors is without precedent from his whole
;

spirit

and method

it

is

far

more

likely that he

mav

have sometimes reduced the indefinite notions of earlier


philosophers to definite concepts, than that he should

have expressed himself in a vacillating and uncertain

manner

in regard to their definite theories.

Aristotle
ot"

repeatedly and decidedly declares that the principle

Diogenes was

he then speaks of some philosophers, without naming them, whose principle was intermediate
air
;

between air and water.


doubt, therefore, that

Xow
is

it is

impossible that these


;

statements can relate to the same persons


it

we cannot
accepta-

air in the

common

tion of the word, which our philosopher maintains to be

the essence of

all

things.

We
in his

find

from the above quotations that Diogenes,


precise description of the air, ascribed to
it

more

two properties which correspond to the requirements


1

Though he may have gene-

rally described the air in comparison with other bodies as the Aeirrofxepin-raTov XeirroTarov or
(Arist. Be An. loc. cit.), it does not follow that he held the rarest or warmest air alone to be the primitive matter on the contrary, he says in Fr. 6 (vide infra, p. 291, 1), after having declared the air gene;

rally to be the first principle, that there are different kinds of air "warmer, colder, and so forth. Further particulars on this point will be given later on. * In his treatise on Anaxiniander, "Werke, 3te Abth. iii. 184. Cf". on the contrary, Panzerbieter,

56 sqq.

VOB.

I.

200

DIOGENES OF APOLLONIA.

As the substance of all things, it must be eternal and imperishable, it must be contained in all things, and permeate all things as the cause of life and order in the world, it must be a thinking and reasonable essence.
;

claimed by him in general for the primal matter.

In the air these two aspects are united


that which guides and orders
all, all is

for,

according

to Diogenes' view, because the air permeates all things,


it is

the basal matter of

them because it known to it because it


;

is
is

the rarest and subtlest matter,

it is

the most movable,


are expressly told 2

and the cause of

all

motion.

We

that he spoke of the air as the Infinite, and the state-

ment

is

the more credible, since Anaximenes,

whom

Diogenes in other respects follows most closely, employed


a similar definition.
air in the

airsipov
tive

Moreover Diogenes describes the same way that Anaximander describes his and Aristotle says that the infinity of primiseems to have been regarded by him
life

matter was held by most of the physiologists. 3


this definition

But

as of

minor importance compared with the


;

and

force of the primitive essence

that

is

his

main
its

point,

and in
nature.

it

he discovers the chief proof of

air-like

On account

of this vitality and constant motion,


Its

the air assumes the most various forms.


consists, according to
1

motion

Diogenes (who here again follows


rovruv
2
-ret

i.

2,

Vide p. 287,7, and AlisUDcAn. 405 a, 21 Aioyevrjs 8', ILairsp


:

Aonra, yivuxTKeiv,
a.
:

8e

KeirTSraTov, kivt)tik))v elvai.

fVepoi Tives, aepa (scil. inreXafie


eivcu nal

tV
TT]V

Simpl. Phys. 6

Probably
rr}v

i\>vxhv).TOVTOv olr]6e\s irdvrwv Keirro/uepe'o'TaTOJ'

after

Theophrastus

5e

tov

apxhv

koI did

iravTbs <pv<riv depa nal ovt6s


&1TlpOV elvai KOi OuSlOU.
3

(prjcriv

TOVTO yiVWCTKtlV T6 KCU KlVilV


xj/vxyv,
fi
i*-*

TrpwrSv e'en koI Ik

Vide

p. 269, 1;

11AREFACTI0X AXD COXVEXSATIOX.

201

Anaximenes), in qualitative changes, in rarefaction and


condensation
;
*

or,

which
so

is

the same thing, in heating


arise

and cooling

and

there

in the air

endless

modifications in respect of heat

and
2

cold, dryness

and

dampness, greater or

less mobility,

&c, corresponding

to the different stages of its rarefaction or condensation.

For the

rest,

Diogenes does not seem to have enume-

rated these differences systematically, after the


of the Pythagorean categories,

derived the different qualities


rarefaction,

manner though he must have of things, some from


so far

some from condensation, and must

have coordinated them on the side of heat or cold. 3

Xor do we find any trace of the do not know whether he assumed


x Plut. ap. Eus. Pr. ffv.i.8,13: Koa/xonoiel 8e ovtws' oti tov Ttavrhs

four elements

we

definite connecting-

media between particular substances and the primiTeprjv kiv7)0~iv


eTpoiu)o~ies

ex uv Kai &A\atiroA\al
-

ivao~i

Kal

7)ovt)s

Kal

Kivovfxivov

Kal

fi

jxkv
fiirov

dpaiov

rj

Se

irvKvov yeuo/xevov

avueKvprjcre

rh irvKvbv avarpo(f>7]v iroirjaat, Kal OV7U) to Xonrd Kara tov o.vtov \6yov ra KOvcpoTara T^y dvoi tol^lv \af$6vra tov r]Xiov oTTOTeAecraz. Simpl. loc. cit. after the words just quoted e| ov ttvkvovixzvov Kal fj.avov/x4vuv Kal /xerafidWovTos to7s Trddeai. tt\v twv
:

&\Awv yiveadai
fieu

fj.op<pi]v,

Kal

ravra
tov

QeocppatXTOS

io~Tope?

irepl

Panzerbieter explains tjSovt} (p. 63 sq.) by taste, as the word also stands in Anaxagoras Fr. 3 Xenophon, Anab. ii. 3, 1 6. Still better would be the analogous meaning smell,' which the word has in a fragment of Heracleitus. ap. Hippol. Bcfut. Hcer. ix. 10 and in Theophrastus, Be Sensu, 16, 90. Schleiermacher, loc. cit. 154, transsimilarly lates it feeling ( Gefuhl)
Xpoi7?s
aireipoi.
;

'

Aioyevous.
cited Arist. Gen.

Diog.

ix. 57, cf.

from Aristotle,
et Corr.

p.

what is 243. 1. and


336
a,

Schaubach (Anaxcigor. Fragm. p.


;

86

ii. 9,

Eitter, Gesck. der Ion Affectio Phil. 50, behaviour (Vcrhalteri)

sqq
supra, p. 287, 7 (after the /XT} fierexet tovtov) /Aerex ei * e ouSe %v bjxoias rb erepov tw erepcp, a\\a iroWol rpoiroi Kal avTov tov atpos Kal ttjs vot]o~ios elaiv.
6,

; 2

Fr.
o

words

tj

Gesck. der Phil. i. 228, inner disBrandis, position (innerer Mv.tK) i. 281, internal constitution (innere Philippson, "TA77 Beschaffenheit) conditio dvOpwirivT], p. 205, bo7ia
;

interna.
3

eo~TL

yap TroAvTponos, Kal deppoTepos

As Panzerbieter
102 sqq.

sets forth in

Kal

\pvxpOTepos Kal (ripoTepos Kal vypoTtpos Kal aTaai/j-cvTepos Kal ov-

detail, p.

v 2

292

DIOGENES OF APOLLOMA.

five substance, or identified the endless multiplicity of

particular substances with


rarefaction

the innumerable stages of

and

condensation, so that the air would

become

at one stage of condensation water, at another

flesh, at a third stone.

The most probable

supposition,

however, and the one which seems to result from the

above statements of his about the different kinds of

air,

and

also

from

his opinion

on the development of the

foetus (vide

infra)

is

that he employed neither of the

two modes of explication exclusively, and, generally speaking, in the derivation of phenomena, followed no
iixed

and uniform method.


first

The

result of condensation

and rarefaction was

to separate

from the

infinite primitive substance, the

heavy matter which moved downwards, and the light matter which moved upwards. From the former the
earth was produced
;

from the

latter,

the sun, and no

doubt the

stars also.

This motion upwards and downfirst

wards Diogenes was forced to derive in the

place

from heaviness and lightness, and secondly, from the inherent animation of matter as such. For the moving intelligence with him absolutely coincides with matter
the different kinds of air are also different kinds of

thought (Fr. 6 ) that thought was added to material 2 substances, and set them in motion, is a view which would have been impossible to him. But after the first
;

division of substances has been accomplished,

all

motion
so in

proceeds from the

warm and

the light. 3

Diogenes exair
;

plained the soul of animals to be


1

warm

and

Plutarch, vide supra, p. 290,

4.

As Panzerbieter

represents,

Ill sq. 3 Fr.

6,

supra, p. 287,

7.

FORMATIOX OF THE WORLD.


the system of the world he regarded

293
as

warm matter
;

the principle of motion, the efficient cause

and cold

dense matter,

as the principle of corporeal consistency.

In consequence of heat, 2 the universe he thought had


acquired a circular motion from which also the earth

took

its

round shape. 3

By

this circular motion,

how;

ever, he seems to have intended merely a lateral

motion

and by the roundness of the earth a


not a spherical shape
that the inclination
;

cylindrical,

and

for

he assumed with Anaxagoras


earth's

of

the

axis towards its

surface arose subsequently from


(itc

some unknown cause


first

tov avTOfidrov), and that the axis at

ran perthe

pendicularly
1

down through the

earth.

He was

means

the union of these by arose (according to I Steinhart, p. 299) sensible air. know not, however, on what evidence this assumption is based it seems to me inadmissible for the reasons I brought forward against Eitter on p. 288. Xor do I see any proof of the accuracy of the further ration that 'the sensible air
oi v6t)jis
;

From

Anaxagoras maintained:

fiera to

auarrivui tov kogjxov Kal to ya in TT7? 77) s iayaye?v iyK\id?ii>ai irus

is

supposed to consist of an
;
'

infinite

mimber of simple bodies


genes
ii.

for Dio-

is

never mentioned by Aris-

totle in the passage.


1,
-

Be

Part. Anira.
refers.

to

which note 33

tov avTO/j.a.Tov els to avTov fj.pos (Jaccs, adds the author doubtless in his own name, inrb irpovolas, in order to show the difference between the habitable and uninhabitable zones). Anaxagoras, however, said, according to Diog. ii. 9 toS' aarrpa kot' apx&s fxev 6o\oeiSws iv^x^vai Scrre kolto. Kopv<pr v T7js 777? (perpendicularly over the upper surface of the earth, which, like Anaximenes and
tov
KoafJ-ou 4k
li^arjfjufipLvov
:

primitive heat or the sun's heat, is not stated, but from Alex. Meteorolog. 93 b, the sun's heat seems to be intended. 3 Diog. ix. o7 t)]v 5e yr\v arpoy:

Whether

others,

like a cylinder,
Se

he supposed to be shaped cf. vol. ii. Anax.) tov


vaTtpov
;

del (paivofxevov tivai irc\ov,

tV

eyt<\io~iv XafSetv

so that, ac-

yvKrjv,
ttjj/

iprjpeiauenqu

iv

rcS

fi^aco.

crvaracrtv ei\i](pv7av Kara r^v e/c tov depfxov Trepi<popav Kal irril-iv virb tuv \pvxpov, on which cf. Panzerbieter, p. 117 sq. 4 According to the Plac. ii. 8. 1 (Stobseus, i. 358; Ps. Galen, c. 11, to the same effect) Diogenes and

this, the stars in their daily revolution would at first have only turned from east to west laterally around the earth s disc, and those above our horizon would

cording to

never have gone below

it.

The

obliquity of the earth's axis to its surface was produced later, and caused the paths of the sun and

294

DIOGENES OF APOLLOMA.
to adopt Anaxagoras's notion as to the

more disposed
shape of the
]

and the original motion of the uavens, since Anaximenes had led him to the same Like Anaximander, he conceived of the earth result. in its primeval state as a soft and fluid mass gradually This is also proved by its dried by the sun's heat.
earth,

having:

received

its

form in course of the rotation.

What remained
ration

of the primitive liquid

became the

seas, the salt taste of

which he derived from the evapo:

of the sweet portions

the vapours developed

from the drying up of the moisture served to enlarge the The earth is full of passages through which heavens.
1

stars to cut the plane of the hori-

zon

hence arose the alternation of

sea and all the waters must have overflowed the southern

that the

What we are to think in regard to the details of this system is (as Panzerbieter, p. 129 sqq. shows) hard to say. If the whole iinivers<>, that is, the heavens and the earth, inclined to the south, nothing would have changed in the position of the earth in relation to the heavens, and the temporary disappearance of most of the stars below the horizon, and the
day and night.
alternation of day be inexplicable.
(or which
is

and night, would

If the heavens the same thing, the upper end of the earth's axis) had inclined to the south, the sun in revolution around this axis its would have come nearer and nearer the horizon the further south it It would have risen in the went. west and set in the east we should
;

have had midnight when it was in midday when it was in the south If, on the other hand, the north. the earth had inclined to the south and the axis of the heavens had re;

part of the earth's surface. Pantherefore, conjectures that Anaxagoras made the heavens incline not to the south, but to the north, and that in the passage in the Placita we should perhaps read TrpoafiSpeiov or (xzaofiopeiov, instead of ixstjt)iJi.(Spiv6v. But considering that our three texts are agreed upon the word, this is scarcely credible. We shall, however, find {infra, vol. ii.) that Leucippus and l)emoeritus believed in a depression of the southern part of the earth's disc. If these philosophers could discover an exptdient unknown to us but satisfactory to them, by which they could escape the obvious difficulties of this hypothesis, Diogenes and Anaxagoras could also have discovered one and on the other hand, their theory of the inclination of the earth gives us a clue to the opinions of Leucippus and Democritus on the same
zerbieter,
;

subject.
1

mained unaltered,

it

would seem

Arist. Meteor,

ii. 2,

355

a.

21

FOltMATIOy OF THE WORLD.


the air penetrates
:

if the outlets of these are


1

blocked

up, there are earthquakes.

In the same way Diogenes

held the sun and stars


tion like

to be porous bodies, of a forma-

pumice

stone, the hollows of


3

which are

filled

with
stars

fire or fiery air.

The theory
4

of the origin of the

from moist exhalations, in connection with that


Alexander

just quoted from

on the growth of the

heavens by the evaporations of the earth, would lead


ua to conjecture that Diogenes supposed the sun alone

formed from the warm air drawn upwards, and the stars to have afterwards arisen from
to have been at first

the vapours evolved by the sun's heat, by which vapours


the sun himself was thought to have been continually
sustained.

As

this

nourishment

is

at times exhausted

in each part of the world, the sun (so at least Alexander

represents the doctrine of Diogenes) changes his place,


5 as a beast his pasture.

Alex. Meteorol. 91a; 93 b, probably following Theopbrastus; cf. supra, p. 254, 1. 1 Seneca, Qu. Nat. vi. 15; cf.
iv. 2,
2

cit.) that the stars, according to Diogenes, are Sidirvoicu (exhalations) tov kot^ov; and he is probably more correct than Ritter (i. 232)

2S.

likewise reckoned comets, Plac. lii. 2, 9 unless Diogenes, the Stoic, is here
;

Among which

he

who, by Sianvoiai, understands organs of respiration. Theodoret,


loc. cit., ascribes the dianvoas to the stars themselves; it would be easier to connect them with the fiery vapours streaming from the

meant.
3 Stob. Eel. i. 528, 552. 508 Plut. Plac. ii. 13, 4 Theod. 6V. off. our. iv. 17f p. 59. Accordirg to the last three passages, meteoric stones are similar bodies but it would seem that they only take fire in falling vide Panzerbieter, 122 sq. 4 So, at least, Stob. 522 says of the moon, when he asserts that Diogenes held it to be a Ki(ro-7?poet5es ava/xiia. Panzerbieter, p. 121 sq., interprets in the same way the statement in Stob. 508 (Plut. loc.
; ;
;

stars.
5

Cf.

theories

Some other p. 254, 1. of Diogenes on thunder


ii.

and lightning (Stob.


Qu. Nat.
loc.

20),

i. 594 Sen. on the winds, Alex,


;

cit. (cf. Arist. Meteor, ii. 1, beginning), on the causes of the inundation of the Nile (Sen. Qu. Nat.iy. 2, 27; Schol. in Apollon. Shod. iv. 269 ) are discussed by Panzerbieter, p. 133 sqq.

290

DIOGENES OF APOLLONIA.
Diogenes shared with Anaxagoras and other phy-

sicists

the belief that


2

living creatures

and likewise

plants

were produced out of the earth, no doubt by the In an analogous manner

influence of the sun's heat.

he explained the process of generation, by the influence


of the vivifying heat of the body of the mother on the
seed. 3

In accordance with his general standpoint, he


air.

thought the soul to be a warm, dry


as the

As the

air is

capable of endless diversity, souls likewise are as various

kinds and individual natures to which


4

they

belong.

This substance of the soul he appears to have


6

derived partly from the seed, 5 and partly from the outer
air entering the

lungs after birth

and

its

warmth,

according to the above theory, from the warmth of the

mother. The diffusion of


air streams along

life

throughout the whole body

he explained by the theory that the soul or warm vital


with the blood through the veins. 7
Stob.
Hist.
i.

In

Placita,

ii.

8, 1

2
iii.

Theophrastus,

358. Plant,

tu>v eTepoiaxreouf
p.
;

'6ficas

5e,

&c. (sz'^ra,

1, 4.
3

For further
124
;

details, cf.

Pan-

zerbietei*,

sqq.. after

Censorin.

cf. Theophrastus, De 287, 7) Sensu, 39, 44. 5 For he expressly remarks that the seed is like air (Truvfj.aTa>8es)

Pi. Nat. c. 5, 9 Plut. Plac. v. 15, 4 etc. 4 Fr. 6, after the words quoted, p. 291, 1 Kal nduTwv *&W 8e q ^vxh to outo iariv, arjp Oepp-orepos fxsv tov eo>, cu S> ia/xev, rov /j.4vtol irapa tw ritXlci) TToKKbu \pvxp')Tpos. 0/j.otov 5e tovto to Qepixbv ovBzvbs twu Cv wv iarlv, eVel oi/5e twv auOpwirwu a\\r]Aoty. aAAa Stcupeost jxeya. jxkv ov, &AA' wart TTapaTr\i\<Tia dvai, ov (xevroi are aToe/ceos 7c '6/j.mov iou ouu iro\vTp6irov eueouo-qs ryjs krzpoiuo-iosttoKv't potraKol ra {waxed -rroWa Kal ovre t5e7ji/ aAX^Aois ioiKdra ovre Zianav ovrs v6i)0~iv imb rov irh-qOeos
: .

and foam, and derives thence the designation, acppoSio-ia. Vide supra, p. 287, 7 Clemens, Pmdag. i. 105 C. 6 Pine. v. 15, 4.
;

Simpl.

loc. cit.

cf.

Theophras-

tus,

39 sqq. From these passages it is clear that Diogenes limited the habitation of the soul the stateto no particular organ ment, therefore, in the Placita, iv. 5, 7, that he transferred the rjyefjLO-

Pc

Se?isu,

vikov to
KapSlas,

the

aprrjpia/cr;

KoiXla tt)s

can only be accepted in the sense that this is the chief seat of the vivifying air. Cf. Panzerbieter, 87 sq.

VITAL AIR. RESPIRATIOX.

297

support of this doctrine he entered into a detailed, and


according to the then state of anatomical knowledge, an
accurate description of the venal system.
1

Sensations he

supposed to arise from the contact of the vital air with


external impressions, 2 and sleep and death from the
partial or entire expulsion of the
air

by the blood. 3
air

The

seat of sensation
4

he sought in the

contained in

the brain;

appealing in proof of this to the phenoare not conscious of external impressions

menon, that we

when we

are

occupied with something

else.

Desire

and disinclination, courage, health, and so forth, were the effect, he thought, of the various proportions in
which
air

mingles with the blood. 6

The

intellectual in-

feriority of sleeping

and intoxicated persons, of children,

and of animals, he attributed to the greater densitv and moisture, and the less perfect circulation of the vital
air. 7

The

vital

air itself,
all

however, he was of course


living creatures.

obliged to presuppose in

On

this

ground he

tried to prove, for example, that fishes

and
even

oysters have also the

power of breathing.

He

iii. 2,

Given by Aristotle, H. Anim. 511 b, 30 sqq., commented


p.

Hearing arises: orav


drip Kivrjdels
;

on by Panzerbieter,
2

72 sqq.

The

somewhat

statements, Placita iv. confused by the introduction of 3 the Stoic iiyeixovinbv, are discussed by Fanzerbieter, 86, 90 further details are given by Theophrastus, loc. cit. cf. Philip pson, "TA17 p.vdpa>Trivi), 101 sqq.
;
; :

ambiguous 18,2; 16,

3 4

Theophrastus, loc. cit., he attributed tw irepl rbv iyic4<pa\op depi: tovtov yap ddpoiv
elvai

Plac. v. 23, 3. Smell, says

5 ev toIs ua\u imb tov ew 5ia5c? npbs rbu ijKe(pa\ou sight, when the image that enters the eye combines with the air within (niywadai). 5 Loc. cit. 42 8ti Se 6 imbs drip aladduerai {iiKpov &v \xopiov rod 8eov o-t]^1ov elvai. oti iroWaKis irpos &\\a tov vovv cxovtcs ovtf 6pwp.(v ovt aKovo/xev. d Theophrastus, loc. cit. -13. r Vide svpra. p. 296. 2 Theophrastus, loc. cit. 44 sqq. Plac.
: : ;

v. 20.
i

Arist.

De

Respir.

c.

2,

470 b,

nal

avfj.u.iTpov

tij

dva-irvjr;.

30

Panzer. 95.

298

DIOGENES OF AVOLLONIA.
damp vapours
1

ascribed something analogous to respiration to metals,

supposing them to absorb


to exude

(t/cynas),

and

them

again, and thus seeking to explain the

attractive power of the magnet.

Only animals, howPlants

ever, he considered, can breathe the air as such.

are entirely irrational, for the reason that they do not

breathe

it.

Like Anaximander and Anaximenes, Diogenes


world's construction

is

said to have assumed the perpetual alternation of the

and destruction, and an endless


Simplicius 3
expressly

number
says this,

of

successive worlds.

and the statement that Diogenes believed in an infinity of worlds 4 must have reference to it, for his whole cosmogony shows, even more clearly than the
5 assertion of Simplicius (loc. cit.), that he could only

conceive the totality of simultaneous things

as

one

whole limited in space.

Stobseus
7

speaks of a future

end of the world, and Alexander, of a gradual drying up of the sea, which must both have a similar reference and even without this explicit testimony, we must have
supposed Diogenes on this point, likewise, to have been
in

agreement with his predecessors.


In considering
his theory as a whole,
its

we must allow

that notwithstanding

superiority to the previous phi-

losophic theories in scientific and literary form, and in


Alex. Aphr. Quasi. Nat. 23, p. 138, Speng.
1

ii.

2
3

Theophrastus, loc. cit. 44. Phys. 257 b; vide supra,


1.
;

p.

278,

4 Plut. ap. Eus. Diog. ix. 57 Pr. Ev. i. 8, 13; Stob. i. 496; Theodoret, Gr. aff. cur. iv. 15, p.

5 Where k6<t/aos could not be used in the singular if many contemporaneous worlds like those of Democritus were in question. Plac. ii. 1, 6 (Stob. i. 440) seems to refer to Diogenes the Stoic.
i. 416, vide supra, p. 277, 4. Meteorol. 91 a, according to Theophrastus, vide supra, p. 251, 1.

58.

HIS HISTORICAL POSITION.


its

299
is

comparative wealth of empirical knowledge, there

a contradiction involved in its

fundamental conceptions.
is

If the orderly constitution of the world

only to he

understood in reference to a world-forming reason, this


presupposes that matter as
explain
it
;

such does not suffice to

its

cause cannot therefore be sought in one


so

elementary body, and


to this

Diogenes

is

forced to ascribe

body
for

qualities

which not merely from our point

of view,

but

absolutely

and
it

directly,

exclude
it

one

another
subtlest

on the one hand he describes


rarest,

as the

and

because

is

the all-permeating

and
arise

all- animating,

and on the other, he makes things

from

it,

not only by condensation, but also by

rarefaction,

which would be impossible if the primitive element were itself the rarest in existence. That it is
1

not merely 2 the

warm
3

air,

or the soul, but air in general

that Diogenes calls the rarest,


told

we

are at

any rate

clearly

by

Aristotle,

who

says that Diogenes held the soul


is

to be air, because air

the rarest element and the


6)

primitive matter that the air


is

and Diogenes himself (Fr.

says

in all things,

and permeates
were
4

all things,

which could not be unless


element.

it

itself

the subtlest

Xor can
air arising

rarefaction

refer to a

secondary
;

form of

from previous condensation


one

for the

ancient philosophers, with

accord, attribute

the

power of rarefaction,
tive

as well as condensation, to primilies

matter

5
;

and

this indeed

in the nature of

As Bayle h?.s already remarked, Diet. Diogene. Rem. B.


1

In the passage quoted, supra,

p. 290, 1.
4

As Panzerbieter (106) and "Wendt zu Tennemann, i. 441, sup-

As Bitter
Vide supra,

holds,

Ion.

Phil.

p. 57.
5

pose.

p. 290, 4.

300
things,
for

DIOGENES OF APOLLON1A.
rarefaction
other,

and

condensation

mutually
one

presuppose each

and a condensation of
is

portion of a body of air

impossible

without the
is

simultaneous rarefaction of another.


a contradiction

Thus, there

in the bases of the system, resulting


th;tt its

from the fact

author adopted the idea of a

world-forming reason, without therefore abandoning the


ancient Ionian materialism, and especially the theories
of

Anaximenes on primitive matter. This circumstance would in itself lead us

to con-

jecture that Diogenes' theory did not wholly arise out


of the development of the ancient Ionian physics, but

under the influence of another philosophy, having a and that contradictory elements different standpoint
;

had therefore appeared in it. This conjecture becomes still more probable when we see, contemporaneously with Diogenes, the very definitions which contradict his
materialistic presuppositions, brought forward

by Anax-

agoras in

connection

with a more logical doctrine.


1

We

have no certain information, it is true, as to the exact date of Diogenes, but we have the testimony of
Simplicius, 2 based probably
1 The only fixed date, the mention of the aerolite of Aegospotamos, which fell 469 B.C. (Stob. i.

upon Theophrastus, that


peal to Theophrastus. That Theophrastus really supposed Diogenes to be later than Anaxagoras seems probable likewise, because in discussing their theories he repeatedly So Be places Diogenes after him. Hist. Plant, iii. i. 4 Sensu, 39
;

508; Theod. Gr.


p. 59;
2

aff.

cur.

iv.

18,

and Panzerbieter, leaves an ample margin.


Phys. 6 a
:

p. 1 sq.),

na\

Aioyevr,s

Se

veuraTos twv nepl ravra axo^aaduruu, ra fxhv irXuaTa av/x7re(po^r]jj.ivws yeypa<pe, ra fxkv Kara 'Ava^aySpav to. 8e Kara AevKnnrov \eywv. Cf. supra, with the app. 291, 1 p, 290, 1
,

ATro\k<*>i'idTr)S,

cr^eSt*!/

vide Philippson,"TA.i7az/0pcj7rij/77, 199. Diogenes is also described as a younger contemporary of Anaxagoras by Augustine, Civ. Dei, viii. and Sidon. Apoll. xv. 89 sqq. 2
;

and

for the

same reason apparently

HIS HISTORICAL POSITIOX.

301

he appeared later than Anaxagoras, and wrote in partial

dependence upon him.

The

carefulness of Diogenes in

regard to the details of natural science, and especially


the great precision of his anatomical knowledge, would

when observation had made some advances the period of a Hippo and a Democritus. In the same way we shall find reason to suppose him later than Empedocles. On these grounds some deassign
to a period
:

him

pendence of Diogenes on Anaxagoras seems probable,

and the internal evidence of their doctrines


favour of this view.

is

whollv in

The

striking similarity between

them makes

it

hardly credible that these doctrines

should have been produced independently of each other. 2

Not only do Diogenes and Anaxagoras both require a world-forming reason, but they require it on the same
ground, that the order of the universe was otherwise
inexplicable to
subtlest of
all

them
it.
3

both describe this reason as the


life

things; both derive the soul and

essentially

from

We

cannot, however, consider

Anaxagoras as dependent on Diogenes, and Diogenes as the historical link between him and the older phvsicists. 4
in Cic. N. D.
i.

12, 29,
all

comes
1

last

among
is

his name the pre-So-

eratic philosophers.

bach, Anaxag. Fragm. p. 32 Steinhart, loc. cit. 297, considers Diogenes to be rather earlier than
;

This date

further supported

Anaxagoras.
3

by the circumstance ^which Petersen has shown to be probable in his Hippncratis Scripta ad Temp. Eat. Disposita, part i. p. 30 (Hamb. 1839, Ggm-Progr.), namely that
Aristophanes, 2>ub. 227 sqq is alluding to the doctrine of Diogenes spoken of on p. 297. 6; -which doctrine in that case must even then have attracted attention in Athens, 2 Panzerbieter, 19 sq. Schau,

Cf. the section

on Anaxagoras,
on 156
Diog.
sq.,

infra.
4

Schleiermacher
ii.
;

Werke. 3te Abth.


sqq.

166

Braniss,

Kant, i. Krische is less positive, vide Forsch. 170 sq. Schleiermacher, however, afterwards changed his opinion, for in his Gesch. d. Phil. p. 77 he describes Diogenes as an eclectic with-

Gesch. der Phil. s. 128 sqq., vide.supra, p. 167.

302

DIOGENES OF APOLLONIA.

Sclileiermacher indeed thinks that had Diogenes been

acquainted with the work of Anaxagoras, he mu3t have


expressly opposed Anaxagoras' theory that the air
is

something composite
the second

but in the

first

place

we have no
it
l
;

evidence to show that he did not oppose

and in

we have no right to apply the standards of modern philosophy to the methods of the ancients, nor

to expect from these latter a profound investigation of

theories differing from their own, such as even a Plato

did not always impose upon himself.

The main prinof the

ciple of Anaxagoras, however, the separation

organising reason from matter, Diogenes seems to


clearly

me

enough

to

oppose,

in

his

6th

Fragment. 2

Schleiermacher indeed finds no trace in the passage


of

any polemic of this kind, but merely the tone of a person who is newly introducing the doctrine of vovs
;

but the care with which Diogenes demonstrates that


the qualities of intelligence belong to the the opposite impression.
air,
it

all

gives

me

In the same way

seems to
unthink-

me

that Diogenes

is

so careful to prove the

ableness of several primitive substances, because he had

been preceded by some philosopher who denied the That he is alluding to unity of the primitive matter.

Empedocles only, and not to Anaxagoras, 4


considering the

is

improbable,

many

other points of contact between


If,

Diogenes and Anaxagoras.

however, he had

docles chiefly in view, that alone


out principle belonging, with the Sophists and Atomists, to the third section of pre-Socratic philosophy, the period of its decay. He says of himself in Simpl.
1

Empewould show him to be


:

Phys. 32 h
2
3
4

-npbs (pv<no\6yovs avrei-

prjKevcu, ovs

KaXe7 avrbs aocpiaTas.


2.

Vide supra,
Fr.
2,

p. 287, 7vide supra, p. 286, Krische, p. 173.

HIS HISTORICAL FOSITIOX.


a

younger contemporary of Anaxagoras, and


of Anaxagoras.
spirit

his philoat a later

sophy might be supposed to have appeared


date than that
siders
it

Schleiermacher conshould
first

more natural that


its
it
:

have been

discovered in
opposition to
to

union with matter, and afterwards in


but this
is

hardly conclusive in regard


;

Anaxagoras's relation to Diogenes

for the

direct

imity of spirit with matter, which was the starting point


of the elder physicists,

we do not

find in

Diogenes

on

the contrary, he introduces thought, because the purely


physical explanation of

phenomena does not

satisfy

him.

But

if

the importance of thought has once been reit

cognised,

more probable that the new principle should be first -set up in abrupt opposition to material causes, than that it should be combined with The them in so uncertain a manner as by Diogenes. whole question is decided by this fact, that the conis

certainly

ception

of a world-forming

reason

is

only logically

carried out

by Anaxagoras
it

Diogenes on the contrary

attempts to combine

in a contradictory

manner, with

harmony with it. This indecisive sort of eclecticism is much more in keeping with the younger philosopher, who desires to make use of the new ideas without renouncing the old, than with
a standpoint entirely out of

the philosopher to
original
1

whom
2

the

new

ideas belong as his


is

possession.
is

Diogenes

therefore,

in

my

This

also in opposition to

Krische. p. 172.

cannot argue much from the agreement of the two philosophers in certain physical theories, such as the form of the earth, the primitive lateral movement and
2

We

subsequent inclination of the vault of heaven the opinion that the stars are stony masses or on the doctrine of the senses, for such theories are. as a rule, so little connected -with philosophic principles, that either philosopher might equally
:
;

304

DIOGENES OF APOLLOXIA.

opinion, an adherent of the old Ionian physics, of the

by the philosophic discovery of Anaxagoras to attempt a comschool


of

Anaximenes

sufficiently

affected

bination

of his (Anaxagoras')
for

doctrine with that

of

Anaximenes, but
in his principle

the most part following Anaximenes

and the application of it. That there would be a retrograde movement, according to this view, from Anaxagoras to Diogenes proves nothing;
1

for historical progress in general does

not exclude re-

trogression as to particulars

2
:

that Anaxagoras, on the

other hand, cannot be immediately related to Anaxi-

menes 3
tics or

is

true

but we have no right to conclude from

this that Diogenes (rather than Heracleitus, the Elea-

the Atomists) forms the connecting link between


Lastly, though the theory of the
artificial
it
;

them.

o/jLocofisprj

may

be a more
Diogenes,
4

conception than the doctrine of

more recent

by no means follows that it must be the it is quite conceivable, on the contrary,

that the very difficulties of the Anaxagorean expla-

nation of nature

may have had

the effect of confirming

Diogenes in his adherence to the more simple and


ancient
Ionic
doctrine.

The same might be conof the principles


5

jectured in regard to the dualism


professed by Anaxagoras
well hare borrowed them from the But Diogenes' explanation other. of the sensuous perception, at any rate, shows* a development of the doctrine of Anaxagoras (vide Philippson, "TA.7] audpwirlwn, 199), and his superiority in empirical knowledge marks him rather as a con-

and thus we must regard


to follow
3

Empedocles.
loc. cit.

Schleiermacher,

166.

From Anaxagoras

to

Arche-

laus there is a similar retrogression. 3 Schleiermacher, loc. cit.


4

Ibid.

temporary of Democritus than a predecessor of Anaxagoras. In his theories also of the magnet he seems

Ou this account, Brandis (i. 272) considers Diogenes, with Archelaus and the Atomists, in the light of a reaction against the dualism of Anaxagoras.

CHARACTER AND PLACE IX HISTORY.

305

the theory of Diogenes as the attempt of a later philo9<

ipher, partly to

save the physical doctrine of Anaxi-

menes and the


other.
1

earlier Ionian s as against the innovations

of Anaxagoras, and partly to

combine them with each


attempt

However
philosophic

noteworthy this
importance of
it

may

be,

the

cannot be ranked very

high
his

the chief merit of Diogenes seems to consist in

having enlarged the range of the empirical know-

ledge of natnre, and laboured to prove more completely


the
tail.

life

and teleological constitution

of

nature in de-

But these ideas were themselves supplied to him by his predecessors, Anaxagoras and the ancient physicists.

Greek philosophy,

as a whole,

had in the time

of Diogenes long since struck out paths that conducted


it

far

beyond the point of the


is
cf.

earlier Ionian physics. 3

As
;

thought by most modern


Reinhold, Geseh. d.Pkil.
d.

writers,
i.

60
;
:

Fries. Geseh.

Phil

i.
i.

sq.

Wendt zu Tennemann,
Brandis,
loc. cit.
;
;

23G 427

sqq.
loc.
i.

Philippson,

ci7.,198sqq.
2

Ueberweg Grundr.

42, etc.

The

doctrine that Steinhart

reciprocal action of things among them- elves presupposes the unity of their primitive matter. This is, in truth, a noteworthy and pregnant thought, but the conception of primitive matter and of the relation of primitive matter to things derived, are the same with him as

298) finds in him, and considers an important advance, viz., that all the Phenomenal is to be regarded as the self-abnegation of a principle that is permanent and persistent in itself,' goes far beyond any of the actual expressions of Diogenes. In reality, he merely says (Fr. 2 vide supra, p. 286, 2) that all becoming and all
(loc. cit. p.
'

with Anaxim^nes.
3

We

are reminded of the phy-

sical notions of

Diogenes,

or, at

rate, of the ancient Ionic school,

any by

the Pseudo-Hippocratic work. -epi (pvaws ircudiov (cf. Petersen, p. 30 sq. of the treatise quoted supra,
p. 301, 1).

Here

also

we

find evi

dence of the continuance of that


school.

YOL.

I.

300

THE PYTHAGOREANS.

THE PYTHAGOREAN'S.
I.

SOURCES OF OUR KNOWLEDGE IN REGARD TO THE

PYTHAGOREAN PHILOSOPHY.
Among
is

all

the schools of philosophy


is

known

to us, there

none of which the history

so overgrown,

we may

almost say, so concealed by myths and fictions, and the


doctrines of which have been so replaced in the course

of tradition by such a mass of later constituents, as

that of the Pythagoreans.


are seldom mentioned

Pythagoras and his school

by writers anterior to Aristotle, 2 and even from Plato, whose connection with them was
it. Chaignet's careful work displays much more sobriety. But he places far too great confidence in spurious fragments and untrustworthy statements, and is thus not

1 The recent literature concerning Pythagoras and his school is given by Ueberweg, .Griindr. i. 48. Of more comprehensive works, besides the accounts of Greek philo-

from

in general, and Hitter's Gesch. d. Pythag. Phil. (1826), we have the second volume of Roth's

sophy

which treats
1.

Gesch. d. Abendlichcn Philospphie, at great length (Abth.

and 2, pp. 48-319) Pythagoras and Chaignet's work in two volumes. Pythagore
pp. 261-984,

of
et

la Philosophie

Pythngoricienne.

Roth's exposition, however, is so entirely devoid of all literary and historical criticism, launches out so confidently into the most arbitrary conjectures and the most extravagant fancies, and leaves so much to be desired in regard to the intelligent apprehension and the correct reproduction of authorities, that in respect to our historical Pythagoreanism, of knowledge hardly anything is to be learned

seldom misled into theories, which cannot stand before a more searching criticism. This could scarcely be otherwise, since he starts from the presupposition (i. 250, 4) that the authorities (without exception) are valables. tant qu'on ria pas ilrniontre Vimpossibilite quHls ne le soient pas' instead of asking in each individual case whether the testimony is based on a tradition, founded on the historical fact, and only in proportion as this seems probable, giving credence to it. 2 The little that can be quoted
'

respecting them from Xenophanes, Heracleitus,Democritus,Herodotus, Io of Chios, Plato, Isocrates, Anaximander the younger, and Andron of Ephesus, will be noticed in the

proper place.

EARLIER AXE LATER AUTHORITIES.


so close,

307

we can glean very few


them.
Aristotle,

historical

details re-

specting

indeed,

bestowed
;

much
re-

attention on the Pythagorean doctrine

not only dis-

cussing

it

in the course of his


it

more comprehensive
1 :

searches, but also treating

in separate treatises

yet

when we compare what he


it is

says with later expositions,

found to be very simple and almost meagre. While


his

later authors can expatiate at length

and

doctrines, he

is

upon Pythagoras never mentioned, or at most


;

once or twice, by Aristotle


are passed over in silence,

his philosophic doctrines

and the Pythagoreans are


the writer were ignorant

everywhere spoken of as
whether, and how

if

far, their theories


2

were really derived

from Pythagoras himself.

Even the accounts which


Eudemu.-, Aristo-

we get from the writings


their contemporaries
1

of the older Peripatetics and

Theophrastus,
d.

The statements concerning the


tuv
Tlvdairepi ttjs
'

writing's in question, itzpl

Rose's

Fragm, d. Arch. 79 sq.). or by argument from the frag-

ApxvTsiov (piXoaorov Tiualov Kal rav 'ApxvTGiM, npbs to 'AAkucuWos, are given in Part. ii. b, p. 48, second edition. As to the treatise, also Trepl tuu Tludayopeiav, vile Alexander in Met aph. 542 b, 5 Stub. Ed. i. 380; Fr. 31, 1 Bon. Theo. Arithm. 30; Plat ap. GelL 11. 12; Porphyry. V. JV. A. iv. Diog. viii. 19, cf. Pythag. 41 Brandis, Gr. Rom. Phil. i. 439 sq. ii. b 1. 86: Rose, De Arist. libr-. Perhaps the so-called ord. 79 sqq. treatises on Archytas and the rest are identical -with those on the Pythagoreans, or -with certain parts Meanwhile, however of them. probable it may be that the treatise
yopeiav.
(pias.
Tct

ment hereafter to be quoted or by what he adduces (Joe. cit.) from Damascius. Still more hazardous
is

Rose's
viii.

repudiation
34,

of

all

the
in
-rrepl

above writings.
Diog.
t5>v

The quotation
'ApiaroTeX-qs

Kvduav, -would equally apply


if,

to a portion of the treatise on the

Pythagoreans,

most

likely), there

indeed (as is be not some

misunderstanding or interpolation
in the passage,
2

oi

Ka.Aovfj.euoi

TlvOayopeioi
;

Metaph. i. 5, at the beginning Meteor, i. 8, 345 8, 989 b, 29


:

i.

a,

14;
a.

ol -rrepl tt)v 'lTC.Aiot.v Ka.Aovu.tvoi

5e Uvdayopeloi,

20

twv

Be Ccelo, ii. 13, 293 'IraXinccv rives kcu ko.i.


b".

Aov/xevav Tivdayopsiccv, Meteor,

on Archytas

is

spurious, this
(

is

not substantiated by Gruppe

Leber

342 b, 30; cf. Schwegler, Arist Metaph. iii. 44.

x2

008

THE PYTHAGOREANS.
l

xenus, Dicsearchus, Heracleides, and Eudoxus


slighter

are

far

tion

and more cautious than the subsequent tradinevertheless, from them we ean see that legend had

already taken possession of Pythagoras and his personal

and that the later Peripatetics had begun to develop the Pythagorean doctrines according to their fancy. These sources (of which it is true we possess only
history
;

fragments) give us scarcely a single detail which we


did not already

know through

Aristotle.

Farther de-

velopments of the Pythagorean legend, which relate,


however, rather to the history of Pythagoras and his
school,

than to their doctrines, appear during the third

and second centuries, in the statements of Epicurus, Timaeus, Neanthes, Hermippus, Hieronymus, Hippobotus, and others.

But it was not until the time of the Neo-Pythagoreans, when Apollonius of Tyana wrote his Life of Pythagoras, when Moderatus compiled a
long and detailed work on the Pythagorean Philosophy,

when Nicomachus
school

treated the theory of numbers and

theology in accordance with the principles of his own

that the authorities concerning Pythagoras and


became copious enough to make such those of Porphyry and Iamblichus posThus the tradition respecting Pythagoreanism
2 To the beginning of this period belongs also (Part iii. b, 74 sqq.) the work from which Alexander Polyhistor (Diog. viii. 24 sq.) has taken his exposition of the Pythagorean doctrine, and on which that of Sextus, Vyrrh. iii.

his doctrines

expositions as
sible. 2

Koth, Ahendl. Phil. ii. a, 270, adds to these Lyco, the opponent of Aristotle (ef. Part ii.b, 36, 2, second
1

ed.),
it is

and Cleanthes the Stoic. But more probable that the former
;

was a Neo- Pythagorean than a conand the temporary of Aristotle


Cleanthes of Porphyry is certainly not the Stoic, but most likely amisspelling for Neanthes (of Cyzicus).

152 sqq.
-249

Math.

yii.

sqq., likewise

94 sqq. x. appears to be
;

based.

EARLIER AND LATER AUTHORITIES.


and
its

309

founder grows fuller and

fuller,

the farther re;

moved it is from the date of these phenomena and more and more scanty, the nearer we approach them. With the range and extent of the accounts, their nature likewise changes. At first many miraculous stories
about Pythagoras were in circulation.
series of the

In course of
continuous

time his whole history developes into a

most extraordinary events. In the older statements, the Pythagorean system bore a simple and
character,
in

primitive

harmony with
;

the

general

tendency of the pre-Socratic philosophy


the later representation,
it

according to

approximates so greatly to
l

the Platonic and Aristotelian doctrines that the Pytha-

goreans of the Christian period could even maintain


that the Philosophers of the

Academy and

the

Lyceum
all,

had stolen their


Pythagoras.
2

so-called discoveries, one

and

from

It is plain that

such a development of the

tradition could not have been brought about by history,

how can we suppose that the writers of the Christian period had at their command a mass of authentic information unknown to Plato and Aristotle and how
for
;

can we recognise as genuine Pythagorean doctrines,


propositions which Plato and Aristotle not only do not
attribute to the Pythagoreans, but for the most part
Porphyry, V. Pyth. 53, probably after Moderatus.
!

2 It is clear that precisely the opposite was actually the case, and that the ancient Pythagorean doctrine contained none of the accretions which afterwards made their

appearance. This is betrayed by the author when he says that Plato and Aristotle collected all that they

could not adopt, and omitting the remainder, called that the whole of the Pythagorean doctrine and also in the statement of Moderatus (loc.cit. 48) that the number theory with Pythagoras and his disciples had been only symbolical of a higher speculation (cf. Part iii. b, 96 sq., second edition),
;

310

THE PYTHAGOREANS.
own
The
so-called

expressly deny that they held, and claim as their

personal discoveries
trines

Pythagorean doc-

which are not acknowledged as such by ancient

authorities are Neo-Pythagorean,


tales

and the miraculous and improbable combinations w ith which PythaT

gorean history

is so

largely adorned in the later authors,

no doubt in great part emanate from the same source.

But

if

the untrustworthy and unhistorical character


is

of these expositions

in the

main

indisputable,

we

cannot venture to

make

use of the statements

they

contain, even where these statements are not in themselves opposed to historical probability,

and to the more

ancient and trustworthy authorities

for

how can we,

in

regard to minor particulars, trust the assertions of those

who have
matters
?

grossly deceived us in the most important

In
are

all

cases therefore where

the later au-

thorities,

subsequent to the appearance of Neo-Pytha-

goreism,

unsupported by other testimony, their


generally be supposed to rest, not on

statements
real

may

knowledge or credible tradition, but on dogmatic


party
interests,

presuppositions,

uncertain
writings.

legends,

arbitrary inventions, or falsified

Even the

agreement

of several

such

authorities

cannot prove
l

much,
the

as they are

accustomed to transcribe one from

other without

any preliminary criticism

their

assertions merit attention only in cases where they

may

either be directly referred to older sources, or where


their internal nature justifies us in the belief that they

are founded on historical tradition.


Thus Jamblichns copies Porphyry, and both of them, as far as we may judge from their quota1

tions, copied

Apollonius and

Mo-

deratus.

EARLIER AXD LATER AUTHORLTLES.


What
plies

311

has just been said in regard to the indirect

authorities for the Pythagorean doctrine, equally apto the

so-called

direct

sources.

Later writers,

belonging almost without exception to the Xeo-Pytha-

gorean and Neo-Platonic period, speak of au extensive

Pythagorean
which we

literature,

the

nature

and compass of

may

gather not only from the few writings

we

possess,

but far more from the numerous fragments


lost

which exist of

works.

very small fraction,

however, of these writings

may

with any probability be

ascribed to the ancient Pythagorean school.

Had

this

school possessed such a mass of written works, it

would

be hard to understand why the ancient authors should


not contain more distinct allusions to them, and especially

why

Aristotle should be so entirely silent as

to Pythagoras'
1

own

doctrine, 2
the

when

several

of these

review of these is given in b, p. 85 sqq., second edition, ilullach, however, has printed, in his second volume of fragments, most of those omitted

Part

iii.

in the first.

Diogenes, viii. 6, mentions three works of Pythagoras a toi SeuTiKbv, a iroKmnbv, and a (pu<rikov. Heracleides Lembus (about 180 b.c.) besides these speaks of a treatise. 7rept tov o\ou, and a lepbs \6yos, in hexameters. How this last is related to the Upbs \6yos, consisting of twenty-four rhapsodies "which, according to Suidas. must be attributed to Orpheus, and according to others, -was written by Theognetus the Thessalian, or Cercops the Pythagorean, and is probably identical with the Orphic Theogony (Lobeck, Aglaoph. i. 714) cannot be discovered. That
:

fragments of a Tludayopeios about number (ap. Proclus in Tim. 155 C. 269 B, 331 E, 212 A, 6 A, 96 D Syrian in Metaph. 59 b; Schol. in Ari<t. 893 a, 19 sqq.; Simplicius, Phys. 104 b De Ccelo, 259 a, 37; Schol. 511 b, 12; cf. Themist. in Thys. iii. 4, p. 220, 22 sq. in Be An. i. 2, pp. 20. 21 Tbeo. Mus. c. 38, p. 155 Sext. Math. iv. 2; vii. 94. 109; Iambi. V. P. 162. and Lobeck, loc. cit.) belong to the hpos \6yos of Pythagoras, it is impossible to prove; but Proclus distinguishes the Pythagorean hymn very distinctly from the Orphic poem. Iambi. V. P. 146; cf. Proclus in Tim. 289 B, gives the commencement of a second lepbs \6yos in prose, which was also ascribed to Telauges. Fragments of this are to be found in lamblichus, yicom. Arithm. p.
vfj.vos
; ;

812

THE PYTHAGOREANS.
But we
are expressly

writings bear his very name. 1


11; Syrian in Metaph.; Schol. in At. 842 a, 8, 902 a, 24, 911 b, 2, 931 a, 5 Hierocles in Carm. Aur. p. 166 (Philoa. Gr. Fr. ed. Mull. i. 464 b) cf. also Proclus in Euclid.
; ;

This Uphs 7 (222 Fried).). A 070s. as appears from the above


p.

the tale of the philosopher's journey to Hades (vide infra, 340, 2). Nietzsche [Beitr. z. Quellenkunde, d. Laert. Diog., Basel, 1870, p. 16 sq.) refers to the same source the statement in Diog. viii. avrov
:

concerned quotations, is chiefly with the theological and metaphysical import of numbers. In Diod. i. 98 there is mention of a Uphs \6yos of Pythagoras, by which "\ve

substituting conjecturally aKoiras A?5ao for aKoniddas. The verses in Justin (De Monarch, c. 2, end) have reference to a poem forged or interpolated by a Jewish hand; other fragments of Pythagorean writings are to be found in Just. Cohort, c. 19 (Clemens, Protr. 47 C, &c. cf. Otto, note on the passage in Justin) Porph. De Abstin. iv. Theol. 18; Iambi. Arithm. 19; Syrian, Schol. inArist. 912 a, 32 b, 4 sqq. It is doubtful whether there was a system of Arithmetic in circulation under the name of Pythagoras, to which the statement of his having written the first work on Arithmetic may refer (vide Malal. 67 a Cedren. 138 D, 156 B Isodor. Orig. iii. 2).
;
;

Xiyovcri Kal tcLs (TKOTriddas,

must probably understand the one in A'erse, and not the prose work which seems to have been later. Besides the above-named writings
Heracleides, he.
wepl ij/ir^s, Trepl
thales,'
cit.,

notices others
'

evatfieias,

Helo-

and 'Croton' (these last were dialogues, as it would seem),


;

kcu &\Kovs Tamblichus (Thcol. Arithm. p. 19) a avyypa/x/j.a -rrepl dew, probably to be distinguished from the Upol Xoyoi Pliny, Hist. Nat. xxv. 2, 13 xxiv. 17, 156 sq., a book on the influences of plants Galen, De Bemed. Parah. vol. xiv. 567 K, a treatise irepl ctkiAAtjs Proelus, in Tim. 141 D, a \6yos npos'hBapiv; Tzetzes. CHI. ii. 888
;

Ilarless, in Fabr. Bibl. Gr. Ma786), TrpoyvuxTTiKa /3i/3A/a lal. 66 D; Cedren. 138 C, a history of the war between the
sq. (cf.
i.
;

The numerous moral maxims which Scobseus quotes in the Florilegium from Pythagoras do not seem to have been taken from any
work falsely attributed to him. Tne so-called golden poem was by many
ascribed to Pythagoras, although does not itself lay claim to such an origin (vide Mullach in his edition of Hierocles in Carm-aur. Fragm. Philos. Gr. i. 410, 9 sq. and the summaries of the extracts
it
;

Samians and Cyrus Porphyry, p. 16, an inscription on the grave of Apollo in Del os. Io of Chios (or
;

more probably Epigenes,

to

whom

Kallimachus attributed the ipiayasserted that he composed ixoi) pseudo-Orphic writings (Clemens, loc. cit. Diog. viii. 8), and that Hippasus had stolen from him a fj.v<TTiK.hs \6yos, and from Asto, the Crotonian, a whole series of works
;

from Stobseus,

loc.

cit.),

and Iam-

blichus, V. P. 158,

a general manner embracing the whole of philosophy, which were some of them written

198, speaks in of many books

(Diogenes, viii. 7). A naTafSacns (Is o5ou seems to have given rise to

by Pythagoras himself, and some under his name. 1 For the story of the conceal-

PYTHA G OREAX WEI TINGS.


told

that

Philolaus

was the

first

Pythagorean who

published a philosophical work, that before his time no

Pythagorean writings were known, and that Pythagoras himself wrote nothing a nor did Hippasus, 3 although
1

some supposed fragments of his work. blichus says that Pythagorean writings were in
possess
4

we

Iamexist -

(vide infra, note 4). which, according to Iamblichus, was no longer believed, even in the time of Aristotle, cannot be brought forward, more especially if Io had already been acquainted with them (ride preceding notel. Roth's groundless statement that Aristotle and the other ancient authorities knew only of the Pythagoreans, the exoterics of the school, and not of the esoteric doctrines taught to the Pythagoreans (an indispensable and fundamental presupposition of his whole exposition) will be examined infra. If this statement be disproved, there is an end of the attempt to reconstruct the Upbs \6-,os of Pythagoras from the fragments of the Orphic poem, said to be identical with it (Roth, ii. a, 609-764) since the Pythagorean origin of this poem is

ment of these writings

(Demetrius Magnes, the well-known contemporary of Cicero) iv 'Ofxwvvfiois

irpwrov indovvcu
irepl

twv TlvdayoIambi. V. P.

piKwv

(pvaeuis.

199; vide infra, note -4. 2 Porph. V. Pythaq. 57 (repeated by Iambi. V. Pyth. 252 sq.). After the persecution of Cylon
it\nre Ka\
to?s
rj

eTriaTfjur], aporjros iv

(TT7)deaiv

en

(pv\axde7(ra a-xpi
hvG(TVVeT<DV TTaph.

T0T6, flOVUV
roils

TUV

?|a>

Siap.vrj/j.oi'evQfj.ii/wv'

ovre

yap Hvdayopov <ri>yypauua "fjv, and so on. Those consequently who escaped from the persecution wrote summaries of the Pythagorean docfor their adherents. But Porphyry himself presupposes that there were ancient Pythagorean
trine

writings, and, therefore, adds that the Pythagoreans collected them.

In Diog.

viii. 6,

we

read

ivioi fikv

ovv Tludayopav
trvyy pa/jL/uLoi

,UT)5e

%v KaraXenrelv

not only wholly undemonstrable, incompatible with all credible accounts of the Pythagorean doctrine. Disregarding Lobeck's classical labours, Roth confuses in such an uncritical manner statements from Orphic and Pythagorean works relating to writings entirely distinct, and separated from each other by centuries; so that his whole pretentious and elaborate discussion can only mislead those who are less instructed, while for the learned it is utterly valueless. 1 Ding. viii. 15, but especially rovrov <pr)ai ATj^rpios section 85

but quite

cpacri. This is more emphatically stated in Plut. Alex. Fort. i. 4, p". 328 ; Numa, 22 Lucian, Be Saint, c. 5 Galen, Be Hipp, et Plat. i. 25 v. 6, T xv. (although he. in another 68, 478, piace, vide supra, p. 312, quotes a work of Pythagoras) Joseph. Con. Ap. i. 22, perhaps after Aristobulus; Augustin, Be Cans. Evany, i.
;
; ;

12.
3

Diog.

viii.

84

(p-qaX 5'

avrbv
/j.7]8zv

Arj/xriTpios
4

iv

'0/j.wvvij.ois

KaraXnrelv crvyypauua.
V. Pyth.

199

0au,ua(,Vrat 5e

KalrjTrjs (pvKGKrjS anpifieia' iv

yapTQ~

814

THE PYTHAGOREANS.
by the
school,

ence, but that until the time of Philolaus they were


strictly preserved as secret

but this

asser-

tion can have no weight against the evidence

we have

just cited;

it is

rather indeed a confirmation of the fact

that the later writers themselves could find no authentic

traces

of the

existence

of Pythagorean writings
therefore, the savants of

previous to Philolaus.

When,

the Alexandrian or
writings

Roman

period presuppose that such

must always have existed, at any rate within the Pythagorean school, tins theory is entirely based on
the assertions of the so-called ancient works themselves,

and on the opinions of a generation which could form


no idea of a philosophic school without philosophic
literature, because it

was

itself

accustomed to get

its

science from books.

Moreover, the internal evidence


is

of most of these

reputed Pythagorean fragments

strongly against their authenticity.

The
1

greater

num-

ber of the fragments of Philolaus indeed, as Bockh has

shown in

his excellent

monograph,

must

certainly be

considered genuine, not merely on the score of external testimony, but also, and far more because in content

and mode of expression they agree with one another, and are in harmony with all that we know from well there is only authenticated sources as Pythagorean
;

one passage of any importance in a philosophic point of view to which we must

make an
seiner

exception. 2
WerJce,
;

On
Cf.

the
also

aavTcusyeuecus ru>v ovSels 6vZev\<paivtrai TOiv TluOayopeiooj/ vnofiurj/jidTcoi/

1819.

Preller, Philol.

Allg. Encykl. von

jrepiTen-vxws irpb rris <>i?^oKuov t]\lKias, aAA' ovtos irpccTCS i^rjueyKe rci 6pv\ovfj.va ravra rpia j8i/8Ata.
1

Philolaus
nebst

des

Pythagoreers
BruchstiicJcen

Lehren,

den

Erach tend G ruber, sect, iii., vol. xxiii. 370 sq. 2 Since the above was first written, the genuineness of these fragments of Philolaus, already de-

PHILOLAUS.

315

other hand, according to the above quotations, there


nied by Rose Arist. Uhr. ord. p. 2, has been warmly contested by angebliche (Die Schaarschmidt
;

what everyone
that time.

else

had done up

to

Sckrtftstellcrei dc< Philolaus. 1864),

and tbe work to which they belonged


has been assigned to the first, or at earliest, the second century beThough I adhere to fore Christ. my original opinion respecting them, I cannot fully expound my reasons for it in this place, but indicate the chief will merely To begin with, as regards points. the tradition concerning the writing of Philolaus, the existence of a work under that name is presupposed by Hermippus (ap. Diog. viii. 85) and Satyrus (ibid. iii. 9) about 200 B.C., for they tell us that Plato bought the work of Philolaus. and copied his Timseus from Both speak of this work as it.
well known, and it is difficult to see how, if it did not exist, the statement could have arisen. Besides, Hermippus borrowed the asan older writer. sertion from Already about 240 b.c. the book was known to Xeanthes, as is shown by the statement of this author in Diog. viii. 55, that up to the time of Philolaus and Empedocles the Pythagoreans admitted

Diogenes, it is true, afterwards speaks of Empedocles alone, and of the exclusion of poets; but he cannot legitimately conclude from this that Neanthes did not know as yet of any work Diogenes written by Philolaus.' makes this observation in his biohe may graphy of Empedocles perhaps have adopted from Neanthes only what concerned his sub; ;

ject.

Or again. Neanthes may have merely mentioned the prohibition to which Empedocles, as the first of the so-cailct Pythagorean writers, had given rite. According
to these authorities, too, we must refer the well-known verses of Timon. ap. Gell. N. A. iii. 17. to the work of Philolaus ; for it is hardly conceivable that they should relate to no particular work, bat to any Pythagorean book whatsoIt is ever (Schaarschmidt, 75). true that Philolaus is never mentioned by Aristotle, though a word is quoted from him in Ein.Ead. ii. 8, 1225 a, 33; and Plato in the 1 iriKBUs places his physical theories,

everyone to their instructions, but


that

when Empedocles had made known their doctrines in his poem, which would immediately have exthey resolved never to impart them hibited the great difference of his to any other poet. The design of physical doctrines from those of
Neanthes
can only be with Empedocles as one of the first Pythagorean writers not (as Schaarschmidt, p.
in this story

not in the mouth of Philolaus, but of a Pythagorean otherwise unknown. But Plato had every reason to do this, supposing there existed a writing of Philolaus

to couple Philolaus

76 thinks) to account for the introduction of esoteric doctrines by the oral teaching of Philolaus; Philolaus in that teaching, according to Neauthes himself, only did

the Pythagoreans. And with regard to Aristotle, though it is impossible that he can have derived his numerous and minute statements about the Pythagorean doctrines merely from oral tradition, yet he never mentions his authorities; just as elsewhere he quotes much from the ancient philosophers

310

THE PYTHAGOREANS.

can be no question as to the spuriousness of the writings


without Baying whence he gets it. "We cannot, therefore, argue from
his
rives

respecting Philolaus, that no work of his was known to him. On the other hand, if
silence

arguments from some against whereas the question of others identity of authorship was the very
;

I,

we compare Metaph.

i.

5,

986

b,

he should have determined. my part, consider the interval so great between the fragment in
first

for

2 sqq. with the fragment of Philolaus in Stob. Eel. i. 454 sq. (vide infra, 371. 2); Metaph. xiii. 6, 1080b, 20; xiv. 3, 1091 a, 13 sq., with Stob. i. 468 Metaph. i. 5, 985, b, 29 sq. with the fragment in Iambi. Theol. Arithm. p. 56, 22 (vide infra, iii.), it will appear very probable that Aristotle in these passages is referring to the work of Philolaus and considering the scanty number of the fragments we possess, it is not surprising that farther proofs are not forthcoming.
;
;

(For other
toteles

details,

cf.

Zeller, Arisx.

und

Philolaos. Hermes,

Stobseus, Eel. i. 420 (vide infra), and the large majority of the rest, both in form and content, that I could not ascribe all to the same author unless I called them all alike tinauthentic. Schaarschmidt himself calls attention to the fact that the utterances of this fragment about the world-soul are in contradiction to the doctrine of the central fire elsewhere attributed It further appears to Philolaus. to me that, as he has not sufficiently discriminated between the various fragments, neither has he done so between the fragments of Philolaus's

Xenocrates, too, according to Iambi. Theol. Arithm. p. 61 sq., occupied himself greatly with the writings of Philolaus and if this evidence is not quite unimpeachable, yet it has in its favour that Xenocrates agrees with Philolaus in his doctrine of sether (vide Part ii. a, 809, 1). We meet with the same theory in the Platonic Epinomis (vide loc. cit. 894, 2), but there also (977 D, sqq.) there seem to be echoes of Philolaus (ap. Stob. i. 8, infra, The external 371, 1). evidence, however, is decidedly in favour of the supposition that Philolaus really composed the writing attributed to him, and that we have received from tradition genuIn his judgine remnants of it. ment of the fragments themselves, I cannot agree with Schaarschmidt, as he assigns them all, without exception, to the same author and on this presupposition easily desq.)
;
;

178

work, and the accounts given us of that work. He attributes (p. 37) to the fragmentist the Stoic r\yey.o' '

viKbv,

and the Platonic Demiurgus

in the text, Stob. Eel. i. 452, as well as (p. 30) the expressions,
etAi/cptVeta ru>u

aTOix LWl (piXofMerd',

(ioAos yeveais, ibid.

488

whereas

the author

Stobaeus follows may in this case, as in many others, have applied to ancient doctrines the language and conceptions of On page 38 the conlater times. clusion drawn by Athenagoras (Siqipl. 6), from a quite indefinite expression of Philolaus (the Unity and Immateriality of God), is treated as the saying of the soOn page called Philolaus himself. 53 'Philolaus' is said, to speak in Stob. Eel. i. 530, of a triple sun though the narrator clearly distinguishes his own remark Philolaus, that, according to there was in some sort a triple
;
'

whom

PHILOLAUS.
attributed to Pythagoras
sun,'
;

117

and the scattered fragments


resolves

from wh.it Philolaus actually said and he afterwards directly ascribes two suns to Empedocles. There may indeed be found in the statements of writers like Stobseus,
;

the

opposition

of

the

above and the below into that of the outward and inward. Schaarschmidt (p. 38) also finds it inconceivable that Philolaus should have
called the Central file, ap/xoadey to %v (vide

Pseudo-Plutarch, Censorinus, and Boethius about Philolaus, many inaccuracies, lacuna?, and uncertainties but we ought not to consider this fas Schaarschmidt dues, e.g. p. 53 sq., 55 sq. 72) a proof of the spuriousness of the writings which they are describing, for their statements have very often the same defects in cases where they can be confirmed by more trustworthy evidence. But Schaarschmidt seems to me not
;

rb irparov
but he
it

might have understood

by the

seldom to raise objections which


can only be based on an incorrect view of the passages and doctrines
in question.
(p.

He
i.

says, for instance

help of Aristotle, who equally speaks of the forming of the %v with reference to the central fire and according to him, it was a resed theory that the number One arose from the odd and the even. Nor can we with Schaarschmidt (p. 65) consider it unPythagorean that the aireipov and irepalvov should be distinguished from the <xprwv and TrepuraSv for we find the same thing in the table of contraries (Arist. Metaph. i. 5, 986 a, 23). To pass o^er other
;
;

32 sqq.), that the passage in


Eel.

360 contradicts the statement of Aristotle (De Ceelo, ii. 2, 285 a, 10), that the Pythagoreans assumed only a right and