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Anaximander (CA. 610–546 BC)

  • By: Susanna Servello
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Anaximander (born in Miletus ca. 610 BC, died in Miletus ca. 546 BC) was a Grecian pre-Socratic philosopher who belonged to the Milesian school, whose thinkers observed natural phenomena to study and explain their rules independently of mythological belief. Only a few of his life anecdotes and works are known today; nevertheless, his contributions to geography, cartography, cosmology, and astronomy are extraordinarily important. He was the first to draw a map of the ecumene (inhabited land), and he is also said to have invented the gnomon (the part of a sundial that casts the shadow) and discovered the equinoxes, the solstices, and the inclination of the ecliptic (the plane on which the orbit of the Earth around the sun lies). He supposedly authored a work ...

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