Early Greek Philosophy by John Burnet, with Burnet's notes
185. Moisture 187. Writings

From Chapter X., Eclecticism and Reaction


186. Date of Diogenes of Apollonia
After discussing the three great representatives of the Milesian school, Theophrastos went on to say:

And Diogenes of Apollonia, too, who was almost the latest of those who gave themselves up to these studies, wrote most of his work in an eclectic fashion, agreeing in some points with Anaxagoras and in others with Leukippos. He, too, says that the primary substance of the universe is Air infinite and eternal, from which by condensation, rarefaction, and change of state, the form of everything else arises. R. P. 206 a.12

This passage shows that the Apolloniate was somewhat later in date than the statement in Laertios Diogenes13 that he was contemporary with Anaxagoras would lead us to suppose, and the fact that his views are satirised in the Clouds of Aristophanes points in the same direction.14

Burnet's Notes


11. Stephanos of Byzantion s.v. Ἀπολλωνία says this was Apollonia in Crete, but that seems improbable. Zeller doubted it on the ground that Diogenes wrote in Ionic, but Ionic was the regular dialect for scientific works, and we cannot found on that. On the other hand, it seems much more likely in itself that he came from Apollonia on the Pontos, a Milesian colony which regarded Anaximander as its founder (p. 52, n. 1). Aelian (V. H. ii. 31) calls him Διογένης ὁ Φρύξ, which shows that he took this view.

12. On this passage see Diels, "Leukippos and Diogenes von Apollonia" (Rhein. Mus. xlii. pp. i sqq.). Natorp's view that the words are merely those of Simplicius (ib. pp. 349 sqq.) can hardly be maintained.

13. Diog. ix. 57 (R. P. 206). The statement of Antisthenes, the writer of Successions, that he had "heard" Anaximenes is due to the usual confusion. He was doubtless, like Anaxagoras, "an associate of the philosophy of Anaximenes." Cf. Chap. VI. § 122.

14. Aristoph. Clouds, 227 sqq., where Sokrates speaks of "mixing his subtle thought with the kindred air," and especially the words ἡ γῆ βίᾳ|ἕλκει πρὸς αὑτὴν τὴν ἰκμάδα τῆς φροντίδος. For the ἱκμάς, see Beare, P. 259.

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