Anaximenes' Conception of Cycles of Celestial Bodies

Radim Kočandrle


This study presents a new interpretation of reports about the paths of heavenly bodies according to Anaximenes of Miletus. In his view, they do not move under the Earth but rather around it. Anaximenes is said to have likened this idea to a felt hat moving around our head. The alleged explanation of orbits of heavenly bodies that is based on Earth being tilted around its horizontal axis is, probably erroneously, derived from a later conception of spherical Earth and the tilt of the ecliptic plane. It is possible that extant texts in fact elaborate on the issue of the incline of the heavenly axis, describing the original situation of orbits of heavenly bodies before ‘the heaven became tilted’.


Anaximenes, celestial axis, celestail bodies, cosmology, earth

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Published by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
ISSN: 1212-9097