1. 'Immortal and indestructible,' 'surrounds all and directs all.'
2. '(To that they return when they are destroyed) of necessity; for he says that they suffer punishment and give satisfaction to one another for injustice.'
Passages relating to Anaximandros in Aristotle
Arist. Phys. i. 4; 187 a 12. For some who hold that the real, the underlying substance, is a unity, either one of the three [elements] or something else that is denser than fire and more rarefied than air, teach that other things are generated by condensation and rarefaction... 20. And others believe that existing opposites are separated from the unity, as Anaximandros says, and those also who say that unity and multiplicity exist, as Empedokles and Anaxagoras; for these separate other things from the mixture. Phys. iii. 4; 203 b 7. There is no beginning of the infinite, for in that case it would have an end. But it is without beginning and indestructible, as being a sort of first principle; for it is necessary that whatever comes into existence should have an end, and there is a conclusion of all destruction. Wherefore as we say, there is no first principle of this [i.e. the infinite], but it itself [Page 10] seems to be the first principle of all other things and to surround all and to direct all, as they say who think that there are no other causes besides the infinite (such as mind, or friendship), but that it itself is divine ; for it is immortal and indestructible, as Anaximandros and most of the physicists say.
Simpl. Phys. 32 r; 150, 20. There is another method, according to which they do not attribute change to matter itself, nor do they suppose that generation takes place by a transformation of the underlying substance, but by separation; for the opposites existing in the substance which is infinite matter are separated, according to Anaximandros, who was the earliest thinker to call the underlying substance the first principle. And the opposites are heat and cold, dry and moist, and the rest.
Phys. iii. 5 ; 204 b 22. But it is not possible that infinite matter is one and simple ; either, as some say, that it is something different from the elements, from which they are generated, or that it is absolutely one. For there are some who make the infinite of this character, but they do not consider it to be air or water, in order that other things may not be blotted out by the infinite; for these are mutually antagonistic to one another, inasmuch as air is cold, water is moist, and fire hot; if one of these were infinite, the rest would be at once blotted out ; but now they say that the infinite is something different from these things, namely, that from which they come.
Phys. iii. 8; 208 a S. In order that generation may actually occur, it is not necessary to prove that the infinite should actually be matter that sense can perceive; for it is possible that destruction of one thing is generation of another, provided the all is limited.
De Coelo iii. 5 ; 303 b 11. For some say that there is only one underlying substance; and of these some [Page 11] say that it is water, some that it is air, some that it is fire, and some that it is more rarefied than water and denser than air ; and these last say that being infinite it surrounds all the heavens.
Meteor. 2 ; 355 a 21. It is natural that this very thing should be unintelligible to those who say that at first when the earth was moist and the universe including the earth was warmed by the sun, then air was formed and the whole heavens were dried, and this produced the winds and made the heavens revolve.
Metaph. xii. 2 ; 1069 b 18. So not only is it very properly admitted that all things are generated from not-being, but also that they all come from being:- potentially from being, actually from not-being ; and this is the unity of Anaxagoras (for this is better than to say that all things exist together), and it is the mixture of Empedokles and Anaximandros.
Plut. Symp. viii. 730 E. Wherefore they (the Syrians) reverence the fish as of the same origin and the same family as man, holding a more reasonable philosophy than that of Anaximandros; for he declares, not that fishes and men were generated at the same time, but that at first men were generated in the form of fishes, and that growing up as sharks do till they were able to help themselves, they then came forth on the dry ground.
Passages relating to Anaximandros in the Doxographists
(Theophrastos, Dox. 477) Simpl. Phys. 6 r ; 24, 26. Among those who say that the first principle is one and movable and infinite, is Anaximandros of Miletos, son of Praxiades, pupil and successor of Thales. He said that the first principle and element of all things is infinite, and he was the first to apply this word to [Page 12] the first principle; and he says that it is neither water nor any other one of the things called elements, but the infinite is something of a different nature, from which came all the heavens and the worlds in them ; and from what source things arise, to that they return of necessity when they are destroyed ; for he says that they suffer punishment and give satisfaction5 to one another for injustice according to the order of time, putting it in rather poetical language. Evidently when he sees the four elements changing into one another, he does not deem it right to make any one of these the underlying substance, but something else besides them. And he does not think that things come into being by change in the nature of the element, but by the separation of the opposites which the eternal motion causes. On this account Aristotle compares him with Anaxagoras. Simpl. Phys. 6 v; 27, 23 ; Dox. 478. The translation is given under Anaxagoras, infra.
Alex. in Meteor. 91 r (vol. is 268 Id.), Dox. 494. Some of the physicists say that the sea is what is left of the first moisture;6 for when the region about the earth was moist, the upper part of the moisture was evaporated by the sun, and from it came the winds and the revolutions of the sun and moon, since these made their revolutions by reason of the vapours and exhalations, and revolved in those regions where they found an abundance of them. What is left of this moisture in the hollow places is the sea; so it diminishes in quantity, being evaporated gradually by the sun, and finally it will be completely dried up. Theophrastos says that Anaximandros and Diogenes were of this opinion.
[Page 13] Hipp. Phil. 6; Dox. 559, Anaximandros was a pupil of Thales. He was a Milesian son of Praxiades. He said that the first principle of things is of the nature of the infinite, and from this the heavens and the worlds in them arise. And this (first principle) is eternal and does not grow old, and it surrounds all the worlds. He says of time that in it generation and being and destruction are determined. He said that the first principle and the element of beings is the infinite, a word which he was the earliest to apply to the first principle. Besides this, motion is eternal, and as a result of it the heavens arise. The earth is a heavenly body, controlled by no other power, and keeping its position because it is the same distance from all things; the form of it is curved, cylindrical like a stone column; it has two faces, one of these is the ground beneath our feet, and the other is opposite to it. The stars are a circle of fire, separated from the fire about the world, and surrounded by air. There are certain breathing-holes like the holes of a flute through which we see the stars; so that when the holes are stopped up, there are eclipses. The moon is sometimes full and sometimes in other phases as these holes are stopped up or open. The circle of the sun is twenty-seven times that of the moon, and