The Anaximander Saying in its Sixth-century (C. E.) Context

Philosophy and Theology 11 (1):85-96 (1998)

Abstract
The famous early fragment (B1 D-K) of Anaximander, Greek thinker of the sixth century B.C.E., was transmitted to us by Byzantine Alexandrian authors of the sixth century C.E.: the pagan Simplicius in his commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, and the Monophysite Christian to whose earlier Physics commentary Simplicius was replying, John Philoponus. When these commentators were writing, the Mediterranean world was polarized by the Monophysite-Chalcedonian theological controversy. First Philoponus adduced some of Anaximander’s words in his argument for a single principle of the universe, in keeping with his own theological position. Then Simplicius gave a fuller form of the text, reproving Philoponus for what he considered “uncultured” Christian views. This transmission tells us something about Byzantine theological attitudes as well as preserving archaic philosophical formulations
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0890-2461
DOI 10.5840/philtheol19981114
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