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Chapter XI.—Democritus; His Duality of Principles; His Cosmogony.

And Democritus9696    [Died in his hundred and ninth year, b.c. 361.] was an acquaintance of Leucippus. Democritus, son of Damasippus, a native of Abdera,9797    Or, “Audera.” conferring with many gymnosophists among the Indians, and with priests in Egypt, and with astrologers and magi in Babylon, (propounded his system).  Now he makes statements similarly with Leucippus concerning elements, viz., plenitude and vacuum, denominating plenitude entity, and vacuum nonentity; and this he asserted, since existing things are continually moved in the vacuum. And he maintained worlds to be infinite, and varying in bulk; and that in some there is neither sun nor moon, while in others that they are larger than with us, and with others more numerous. And that intervals between worlds are unequal; and that in one quarter of space (worlds) are more numerous, and in another less so; and that some of them increase in bulk, but that others attain their full size, while others dwindle away and that in one quarter they are coming into existence, whilst in another they are failing; and that they are destroyed by clashing one with another. And that some worlds are destitute of animals and plants, and every species of moisture. And that the earth of our world was created before that of the stars, and that the moon is underneath; next (to it) the sun; then the fixed stars. And that (neither) the planets nor these (fixed stars) possess an equal elevation. And that the world flourishes, until no longer it can receive anything from without.  This (philosopher) turned all things into ridicule, as if all the concerns of humanity were deserving of laughter.


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