Democritus, Greek philosopher

Democritus, Greek philosopher

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Democritus of Abdera (c.460-c.370 BC), Greek philosopher. In this engraving, Democritus (left) is shown with a depiction of Eve, behind whom a mason stoops to retrieve a spilt cup. Democritus published works on ethics, physics, mathematics, cosmology and music. Very little has survived but his theories are known through commentaries on his work by later philosophers. In his atomic theory he stated that matter is made up of tiny indivisible particles called atoms (literally, that which cannot be cut). The properties of different substances were determined by the physical features of the atoms. He believed that the motion of atoms was dictated by definite universal laws of nature and not by the will of the Gods. This engraving comes from 'Symbola aureae'

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Keywords: 1600s, 1617, 17th century, allegory, ancient, atom, atomic theory, atomism, black, cosmology, democritus, engraved, engraving, german, greek, horizontal, landscape, maier, monochrome, philosopher, philosophy, platonism, white

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