DEMOCRITUS/ Δημόκριτος (Abdera, Thrace, Greece.)

ανάλυση όλων των αποσπασμάτων του Δημόκριτου (αγγλική γλώσσα) free e book
Research into the life and work of Democritus, best known of the Greek atomists, is sadly hampered by the one-sided nature of his extant writings; a fair amount of his ethical work remains, but his scientific theories are known only from secondhand sources.1 The relationship between his work and his biography, therefore, can only partially be recovered, although the
secondary sources do, in many cases, amply reveal the biographical mind at work. We begin with his early life.

Democritus himself gives us some indication of his age and era. In his Lesser World System, Democritus says he was forty years younger than Anaxagoras, giving himself a birth date of about 460–57 BCE. This agrees with the Eightieth Olympiad birth date given by Apollodorus and is generally accepted.2
Democritus is almost universally regarded as a native of Abdera,3 and his father’s name is given as either Hegesistratus, Athenocritus, or Damasippus. 4 From the biographies, we can infer that, as usual, his father was a man of wealth and influence, further said to have entertained Xerxes (DL 9.34–36). Traditionally, it was through his family friendship that Democritus received his early training; the biographers tell us that Xerxes left behind Magi and Chaldaeans who taught Democritus astronomy and theology. The story seems to have originated with Valerius Maximus for, although Diogenes Laertius in making the statement (9.34) refers his
readers to Herodotus, he gives no specific citation.5 The passages of Herodotus generally thought germane are 7.109, which discusses Xerxes’ route toward Greece, including Abdera, and 8.120, which speaks of Xerxes’ possible return route to Persia, again through Abdera. Perhaps Diogenes Laertius assumes that it was during one of these marches that Xerxes left the Magi and Chaldaeans behind in the household. free e book