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Diogenes Apollonia'tes

Διογένης Ἀπολλωνιάτης), an eminent natural philosopher, who lived in the fifth century B. C. He was a native of Apollonia in Crete, his father's name was Apollothemis, and he was a pupil of Anaximenes. Nothing is known of the events of his life, except that he was once at Athens, and there got into trouble from some unknown cause, which is conjectured to have been the supposition that his philosophical opinions were dangerous to the religion of the state. (D. L. 9.57.)


Περὶ Φύσεως (
On Nature

Diogenes wrote a work in the Ionic dialect, entitled Περὶ Φύσεως, On Nature, which consisted of at least two hooks, and in which he appears to have treated of physical science in the largest sense of the words. Of this work only a few short fragments remain, preserved by Aristotle, Diogenes Laertius, and Simplicius. The longest of these is that which is inserted by Aristotle in the third book of his History of Animals, and which contains an interesting description of the origin and distribution of the veins. The following is the account of his philosophical opinions given by Diogenes Lartius :--" He maintained that air was the primal element of all things; that there was an infinite number of worlds, and an infinite void; that air, densified and rarified, produced the different members of the universe; that nothing was produced from nothing, or was reduced to nothing; that the earth was round, supported in the middle, and had received its shape from the whirling round of the warm vapours, and its concretion and hardening from cold." The last paragraph, which is extremely obscure in the original, has been translated according to Panzerbeiter's explanation, not as being entirely satisfactory, but as being the best that has hitherto been proposed. Diogenes also imputed to air an intellectual energy, though without recognizing any distinction between mind and matter.


The fragments of Diogenes have been collected and published, with those of Anaxagoras, by Schorn, Bonn, 1829, 8vo; and alone by Panzerbeiter, Lips. 1830, 8vo, with a copious dissertation on his philosophy.

Further Information

Further information concerning him may be found in Harles's edition of Fabricii, Biblioth. Graeca, vol. ii.; Bayle's Dict. Hist. et Crit. ; Schleiermacher, in the Memoirs of the Berlin Academy for 1815; and in the different Histories of Philosophy. Some notices of his date by Mr. Clinton are given in an article " On the Early Ionic Philosophers," in the first volume of the Philological Museum.


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