The Visualization of Anaximander’s World Picture

  • Dirk L. Couprie
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 374)


In Chap. 9, we drew a map, a two-dimensional representation, of Anaximander’s universe (see Fig. 9.5). One of the conclusions was that Anaximander probably did not fabricate a three-dimensional model of his cosmos. This does not preclude, however, our attempt to deliver a three-dimensional representation for our own understanding. In Chap. 8, we saw that the comparison of the celestial bodies with chariot wheels has to be taken seriously. In Chap. 9, it was argued that the width of such a celestial wheel, which is to say of its felloe, equals one earth diameter. The height of the earth, according to Anaximander, is one third its diameter. It is a reasonable guess to suppose that the height of the celestial wheels (which is the side that is turned toward the earth, where the hole is through which the fire shines) is also one third the width of the wheel. The drawing in Fig. 10.1 illustrates this.


Celestial Body Autumn Equinox Reasonable Guess Earth Diameter Daily Orbit 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk L. Couprie
    • 1
  1. 1.MaastrichtNetherlands

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