A number of aspects of the cosmology of Anaximenes of Miletus have not yet been convincingly explained, but we can assume that a starting point was the notion of a universe stretching only between a flat earth and heaven. This gave the cosmology its “meteorological” character: heavenly bodies were viewed as ignited evaporations of moisture. They were thought of as moving only above the earth’s surface, and their rising and setting were explained as an optical illusion. Similar approaches appear not only in the Greek epic tradition but even in the writings of Xenophanes. It can therefore be assumed that Anaximenes’s conception is representative of contemporary Ionian explanations of cosmological events.
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