Anaximander and the Architects: The Contributions of Egyptian and Greek Architectural Technologies to the Origins of Greek Philosophy (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy)
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Uses textual and archaeological evidence to argue that emerging Egyptian and Greek architectural technologies were crucial to the origins and development of Greek philosophy.
Opens a previously unexplored avenue into Presocratic philosophy--the technology of monumental architecture. The evidence, coming directly from sixth century b.c.e. building sites and bypassing Aristotle, shows how the architects and their projects supplied their Ionian communities with a sprouting vision of natural order governed by structural laws. Their technological innovations and design techniques formed the core of an experimental science and promoted a rational, not mythopoetical, discourse central to our understanding of the context in which early Greek philosophy emerged. Anaximander's prose book and his rationalizing mentality are illuminated in surprising ways by appeal to the ongoing, extraordinary projects of the archaic architects and their practical techniques.
nature’s procedures that ensure cosmic justice and reassure the possibility of a justice that wins out in the end, a triumphing natural justice that will ultimately appear on earth.40 This is all the more striking if we recall the ongoing turmoil in Anaximander’s Miletus. Perhaps, following Hurwit’s suggestion that Milesian nature speculation sought an escape from the ravages that they were forced to endure, Anaximander’s vision of cosmic justice could be seen as a prediction no less startling
scale, but that would be essential for a planning model. They lack the precision to be useful as either an indicator or guide for a builder, and they lack the crucial details that would enable the building team to understand how to erect the proposed model. If the models did not serve an essential purpose for the architectural construction itself, then what purpose(s) did the models serve? Schattner argues that the meaning of the models can be determined from the places where they were found. The
15.45 meters is supposed on the same rule of proportion when he determined that the average lower diameter of the columns was 1.369 meters.122 An earlier excavator, Hogarth, conjectured that the column height in the Artemision was 12.6 meters rather than the 18.9 conjectured by Krischen and Gruben, although all agree that the lower diameter is 1.978 meters. Hogarth’s conjecture was based upon a significantly smaller proportion rule that he inferred from Pliny and Vitruvius. But Gruben’s reasoning
great machine which could be manipulated mechanically as did the architects with temple building. On the other hand, the geometric applications9 that fascinated Anaximander allowed him to think through cosmology in a fashion distinct from his predecessors, freed from the bonds of those mentalities encased by the hexameter of Homer and Hesiod.10 Let us reflect on this cultural transition. For Homer and Hesiod, the gods excel over mortals in three primary respects.They surpass human beings in
that the number “nine” was part of a familiar formula; it connoted great age, time, or multitude.34 And the formula could be doubled, expressing even more extraordinary increments of time: just as the Iliad opens in the ninth year of the Trojan war, anticipating its conclusion in the tenth, so also Odysseus greets his aged dog,Argos, after nineteen years and finally comes home in the twentieth.35 The basic formula is 9 + 1. This same formula also found expression in the Hymn to Demeter.When the