Characteristic Aspects of Anaximenes’s Cosmology

Radim Kočandrle

The cosmology of Anaximenes of Miletus is often seen as a step back
from the visions of Anaximander, his predecessor. Various parts of it,
meanwhile, are still unclear, including for instance the nature of heavenly bodies or their path around the Earth. If, as it seems, Anaximenes assumed the universe stretches only between a flat Earth and the heaven, heavenly bodies arose by ignition of vapours rising from the Earth and moved only above its surface. Sunrise and sunset were merely an optical illusion given by the Sun’s movement away from the observer. Given that similar ideas are found also in the writings of Xenophanes, one might assume that Anaximenes’ conception was typical of this period.