pre-Socratic Greek philosopher

Anaximander (/æˌnæksɪˈmændər/; Greek: Ἀναξίμανδρος Anaximandros; c. 610 – c. 546 BC) was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher who lived in Miletus,[3] a city of Ionia. He belonged to the Milesian school and learned the teachings of his master Thales. He succeeded him and became the second master of that school where he counted Anaximenes and Pythagoras amongst his pupils.[4]

Raphael representing Anaximander (Roma, Museo Nazionale Romano). Probably Roman copy of an earlier Greek original. This is the only existing image of Anaximander from the ancient world.
Bornc. 611 BC
Diedc. 546 BC
EraPre-Socratic philosophy
RegionWestern Philosophy
SchoolIonian Philosophy, Milesian school, Naturalism
Main interests
Metaphysics, astronomy, geometry, geography
Notable ideas
The apeiron is the arche
Evolutionary view of living things[1][2]
Earth floats unsupported
Mechanical model of the sky
Water of rain from evaporation
Detail of Raphael's painting The School of Athens, 1510–1511

Little of his life and work is known today. According to available historical documents, he is the first philosopher known to have written down his studies,[5] although only one fragment of his work remains. Fragmentary testimonies found in documents after his death provide a portrait of the man.


  1. DK fragments A 11 and A 30
  2. "Anaximander". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  3. "Anaximander" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 1, p. 403.
  4. Guthrie W.K.C. 1962. A history of Greek philosophy. Vol 1: the earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans. Cambridge.
  5. Themistius, Oratio 36, § 317

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