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Chapter VIII.—Archelaus; System Akin to that of Anaxagoras; His Origin of the Earth and of Animals; Other Systems.

Archelaus was by birth an Athenian, and son of Apollodorus.8989    [b.c. 440.] This person, similarly with Anaxagoras, asserted the mixture of matter, and enunciated his first principles in the same manner. This philosopher, however, held that there is inherent immediately in mind a certain mixture; and that the originating principle of motion is the mutual separation of heat and cold, and that the heat is moved, and that the cold remains at rest. And that the water, being dissolved, flows towards the centre, where the scorched air and earth are produced, of which the one is borne upwards and the other remains beneath. And that the earth is at rest, and that on this account it came into existence; and that it lies in the centre, being no part, so to speak, of the universe, delivered from the conflagration; and that from this, first in a state of ignition, is the nature of the stars, of which indeed the largest is the sun, and next to this the moon; and of the rest some less, but some greater. And he says that the heaven was inclined at an angle, and so that the sun diffused light over the earth, and made the atmosphere transparent, and the ground dry; for that at first it was a sea, 16inasmuch as it is lofty at the horizon and hollow in the middle. And he adduces, as an indication of the hollowness, that the sun does not rise and set to all at the same time, which ought to happen if the earth was even. And with regard to animals, he affirms that the earth, being originally fire in its lower part, where the heat and cold were intermingled, both the rest of animals made their appearance, numerous and dissimilar,9090    Or, “both many of the rest of the animal kingdom, and man himself.” (See Diogenes Laertius’ Lives, ii. 17.) all having the same food, being nourished from mud; and their existence was of short duration, but afterwards also generation from one another arose unto them; and men were separated from the rest (of the animal creation), and they appointed rulers, and laws, and arts, and cities, and the rest. And he asserts that mind is innate in all animals alike; for that each, according to the difference of their physical constitution, employed (mind), at one time slower, at another faster.9191    There is some confusion in the text here, but the rendering given above, though conjectural, is highly probable. One proposed emendation would make the passage run thus: “for that each body employed mind, sometimes slower, sometimes faster.”

Natural philosophy, then, continued from Thales until Archelaus. Socrates was the hearer of this (latter philosopher). There are, however, also very many others, introducing various opinions respecting both the divinity and the nature of the universe; and if we were disposed to adduce all the opinions of these, it would be necessary to compose a vast quantity of books. But, reminding the reader of those whom we especially ought—who are deserving of mention from their fame, and from being, so to speak, the leaders to those who have subsequently framed systems of philosophy, and from their supplying them with a starting-point towards such undertakings—let us hasten on our investigations towards what remains for consideration.

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