Chapter 2. ANAXIMENES1 (flor. c. 546 B.C.)
Anaximenes, the son of Eurystratus, a native of
Miletus, was a pupil of Anaximander. According
to some, he was also a pupil of Parmenides. He
took for his first principle air or that which is unlimited. He held that the stars move round the
earth but do not go under it. He writes simply and
unaffectedly in the Ionic dialect.
According to Apollodorus he was contemporary
with the taking of Sardis and died in the 63rd
There have been two other men named Anaximenes, both of Lampsacus, the one a rhetorician who
wrote on the achievements of Alexander, the other,
the nephew of the rhetorician, who was a historian.
Anaximenes the philosopher wrote the following
"Thales, the son of Examyas, has met an unkind
fate in his old age. He went out from the court of
his house at night, as was his custom, with his maidservant to view the stars, and, forgetting where he
was, as he gazed, he got to the edge of a steep
slope and fell over. In such wise have the Milesians
lost their astronomer. Let us who were his pupils
cherish his memory, and let it be cherished by our
children and pupils; and let us not cease to entertain one another with his words. Let all our discourse begin with a reference to Thales."
"You were better advised than the rest of us when
you left Samos for Croton, where you live in peace.
For the sons of Aeaces work incessant mischief, and
Miletus is never without tyrants. The king of the
Medes is another terror to us, not indeed so long as
we are willing to pay tribute; but the Ionians are
on the point of going to war with the Medes to
secure their common freedom, and once we are at
war we have no more hope of safety. How then can
Anaximenes any longer think of studying the heavens
when threatened with destruction or slavery? Meanwhile you find favour with the people of Croton and
with the other Greeks in Italy; and pupils come to
you even from Sicily."