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Stolen Legacy

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the 300 Spartans
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2009, 04:06:59 pm »

the dates that should be assigned to the nativity of the philosophers. The only exception appears to occur with reference to the three Athenian philosophers, i.e., Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the date of whose nativity is believed to be certain, and concerning which there is general agreement among historians.

However, when we come to deal with the pre-Socratic philosophers, we are confronted with confusion and uncertainty, and a few examples would serve to illustrate the untrustworthy nature of the chronology of Greek Philosophers.

(1) Diogenes Laertius places the birth of Thales at 640 B.C., while William Turner's History of Philosophy places it as 620 B.C.; that of Frank Thilly at 624 B.C.; that of A. K. Rogers at early in the sixth century B.C.; and that of W. G. Tennemann at 600 B.C.

(2) Diogenes Laertius places the birth of Anaximenes at 546 B.C.; while W. Windelbrand places it at the sixth century B.C.; that of Frank Thilly at 588 B.C.; that of B. D. Alexander at 560 B.C.; while that of A. K. Rogers at the sixth century B.C.

(3) Parmenides is credited by Diogenes as being born at 500 B.C.; while Fuller, Thilly and Rogers omit a date of birth, because they say it is unknown.

(4) Zeller places the birth of Xenophanes at 576 B.C.; while Diogenes gives 570 B C.; and the majority of the other historians declare that the date of birth is unknown.

(5) With reference to Xeno, Diogenes who does not know the date of his birth, says that he flourished between B.C. 464–460; while William Turner places it at 490 B.C.; like Frank Thilly and B. D. Alexander; while Fuller, A. K. Rogers and W. G. Tennemann declare it is unknown.

(6) With references to Heraclitus, Zeller makes the following suppositions: if he died in 475 B.C. and if he was sixty years old when he died, then he must have been born in 535 B.C.; similarly Diogenes supposes that he flourished between B.C. 504–500; and while William Turner places his birth at 530 B.C.; Windelbrand places it at 536 B.C.; and

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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2009, 04:09:13 pm »

Fuller and Tennemann declare that he flourished in 500 B.C.

(7) With reference to Pythagoras, Zeller who does not know the date of his birth supposes that it occurred between the years 580–570 B.C.; and while Diogenes also supposes that it occurred between the years 582–500 B.C.; William Turner, Fuller, Rogers, and Tennemann declare that it is unknown.

(Cool With reference to Empedocles, while Diogenes places his birth at 484 B.C.; Turner, Windelbrand, Fuller, B. D. Alexander and Tennemann place it at 490 B.C.; while A. K. Rogers and others declare it is unknown.

(9) With reference to Anaxagoras, while Zeller and Diogenes place his birth at 500 B.C.; William Turner, A. G. Fuller, and Frank Thilly agree with them, while Alexander places it at 450 B.C. and A. K. Rogers and others declare it is unknown.

(10) With reference to Leucippus, all historians seem to be of the opinion that he has never existed.

(11) Socrates (469–399 B.C.), Plato (427–347 B.C.), and Aristotle (384–322 B.C.) are the only three philosophers the dates of whose nativity and death do not seem to have led to speculation among historians; but the reason for this uniformity is probably clue to the fact that they were Athenians and had been indicted by the Athenian Government who would naturally have investigated them and kept a record of their cases. (A. K. Roger's Hist. of Phil. p. 104).

N.B.

It must be noted from the preceding comparative study of the chronology of Greek philosophers that (a) the variation in dates points to speculation (b) the pre-Socratic philosophers were unknown because they were foreigners to the Athenian Government and probably never existed (c) it follows that both the pre-Socratic philosophers together with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were persecuted by the Athenian Government tor introducing foreign doctrines into Athens. (d) In consequence of these facts, any subsequent claim by the

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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2009, 04:09:40 pm »

 Greeks to the ownership or authorship of the same doctrines which they had rejected and persecuted, must be regarded as a usurpation.

4. The Compilation of the History of Greek Philosophy Was the Plan of Aristotle Executed by His School.
When Aristotle decided to compile a history of Greek Philosophy he must have made known his wishes to his pupils Theophrastus and Eudemus: for no sooner did he produce his metaphysics, than Theophrastus followed him by publishing eighteen books on the doctrines of the physicists. Similarly, after Theophrastus had published his doctrines of the physicists, Eudemus produced separate histories of Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy and also theology. This was an amazing start, because of the large number of scientific books, and the wide range of subjects treated. This situation has rightly aroused the suspicion of the world, as it questions the source of these scientific works.

Since Theophrastus and Eudemus were students under Aristotle at the same time, and since the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, made the Egyptian Library at Alexandria available to the Greeks for research, then it must be expected that the three men, Aristotle who was a close friend of Alexander, Theophrastus and Eudemus not only did research at the Alexandrine Library at the sane time, but must also have helped themselves to books, which enabled them to follow each other so closely in the production of scientific works (William Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 158–159), which were either a portion of the war booty taken from the Library or compilations from them. (Note that Aristotle's works reveal the signs of note taking and that Theophrastus and Eudemus were pupils attending Aristotle's school at the same time). William Turner's Hist. of Phil. p. 127.

Just here it might be as well to mention the names of Aristotle's pupils who took an active part in promoting the

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movement towards the compilation of a history of Greek philosophy:

(a) Theophrastus of Lesbos 371–286 B.C., who succeeded Aristotle as head of the peripatetic school. As elsewhere mentioned, he is said to have produced eighteen books on the doctrines of physicists. Who were these physicists? Greek or Egyptians? Just think of it.

(b) Eudemus of Rhodes a contemporary of Theophrastus with whom he also attended Aristotle's school. He is said to have produced histories of Arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and theology, as elsewhere mentioned. What was the source of the data of the histories of these sciences, which must have taken any nation thousands of years to develop? Greece or Egypt? Just think of it.

(c) Andronicus of Rhodes, an Eclectic of Aristotle's school and editor of his works (B.C. 70).

These men's works together with Aristotle's metaphysics, which contained a critical summary of the doctrines of all preceding philosophers, seem to form the nucleus of a compilation of what has been called, the history of Greek philosophy (Zeller's Hist. of Greek Phil.: Introduction p. 7–14).

The next movement was the organization of an association called "The learned study of Aristotle's Writings", whose members were Theophrastus and Andronicus, who were both closely connected with the school of Aristotle. The function of this association was to identify the literature and doctrines of philosophy with their so-called respective authors, and in order to accomplish this the alumni of Aristotle's school and its friends were encouraged to enter upon a research for Aristotle's works and to write commentaries on them.

In addition to this, the Learned Association also encouraged research for the recovery of what has been named Fragments or remnants of a book, which is supposed to have once existed, and to have borne the common title "Peri Physeos", i.e., concerning nature.

Here again those who went out in search of "peri physeos"

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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2009, 04:10:18 pm »

or its remnants were the alumni of Aristotle's school and its friends: but their efforts to establish authorship was a failure.

(a) Theophrastus found only two lines of peri physeos, supposed to have been written by Anaximander.

(b) Sextus and Proclus of the fifth century A.D., and Simplicius of the sixth century A.D. are said to have found a copy of "peri physeos" supposed to have been produced by Parmenides.

(c) In addition, the name of Simplicius is also associated with a copy of "peri physeos", which is supposed to have been produced by Anaxagoras.

So much for "peri physeos and the Fragments," and so much for the attempt of "The Learned Association" for the study of Aristotle's works; which has failed because of lack of evidence, as has elsewhere been pointed out.

The recovery of two copies and two lines of "peri physeos" is not proof that all Greek Philosophers wrote "peri physeos", or even that the names assigned to them were their bona fide authors. It certainly would appear that the object of the Learned Association was to beat Aristotle's own drum and dance. It was Aristotle's idea to compile a history of philosophy, and it was Aristotle's school and its alumni that carried out the idea, we are told.



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