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Anaximander's Zoogony

Gregory, A; (2011) Anaximander's Zoogony. In: Greek Research in Australia: Proceedings of the Biennial International Conference of Greek Studies. (pp. 44 - 53). Flinders University of South Australia: Bedford Park. Green open access

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Abstract

Aetius v, 19, 4 gives the following account of Anaximander's zoogony: ᾿Aναξίμανδρος ἐν ὑγρῷ γεννησθῆναι τὰ πρῶτα ζῷα φλοιοῖς περιεχόμενα ἀκανθώδεσι, προβαινούσης δὲ τῆς ἡλικίας ἀποβαίνειν ἐπὶ τὸ ζηρότερον καὶ περιρρηγνυμένου τοῦ φλοιοῦ ἐπ’ ὀλίγον χρόνον μεταβιῶναι. I argue that we should translate this as: “Anaximander said that the first animals were generated in moisture and enclosing themselves in spine like barks, as they advanced in age they moved onto the drier and shedding their bark for a short time they survived in a different form.” I argue that Anaximander’s hypothesis on the origins of life is based on the life cycle of the Caddis fly. If so, his account of zoogony is neither myth nor outright speculation, but is based on observational knowledge. This has significant implications for the nature of Anaximander’s zoogony and its relation to his cosmogony and cosmology.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Anaximander's Zoogony
Event: The Eighth Biennial International Conference on Greek Studies
ISBN-13: 9780725811341
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/50428
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