Anaximenes was a Pre-Socratic philosopher who belonged to the Milesian school. According to tradition, Anaximenes was a student and associate of Anaximander of Miletus. Alternatively, Anaximenes is said to have been an associate of Anaximander.
The philosopher Porphyry of Tyre, quoting a Samian poet, claims that Pythagoras of Samos had also studied under Anaximander. Whether or not this is true, Pythagoras went on to found his own school of philosophy. Anaximenes, on the other hand, carried on the legacy of the Milesian school, and is today remembered, along with Anaximander and Thales, as one of the three prominent figures of this school.
Anaximander of Miletus. (Public Domain)
Whilst little is known about the life of Anaximander, even less is known about that of his student, Anaximenes. We do know that Anaximenes was from Miletus, and that his father, according to the ancient writer Laertius Diogenes, was a man by the name of Eurystratus. His date of birth is not known to have been preserved in the written sources, and it is commonly speculated that he was born around 585 BC. Diogenes does provide, however, a rough date for Anaximenes’ death,
“And he lived, according to the statements of Apollodorus, in the sixty-third Olympiad, and died about the time of the taking of Sardis.”
This has been interpreted to mean that Anaximenes died around 528 BC.
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