Famous Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, made significant contributions to various fields of science and arts of his era–logic, biology, politics, economics, ethics and aesthetics. Along with Socrates and Plato, he laid much of the foundation of Western philosophy. Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great, he founded Lyceum, the school of philosophy, and the Aristotelian tradition.
Plato was one of the most important Ancient Greek philosophers, who contributed greatly to the fields of mathematics, metaphysics, politics, art, and poetry. Along with his famous student Aristotle and equally famous teacher Socrates, Plato is considered one of the founders of spirituality and Western religion. Platonism remains one of his important contributions.
A famous Greek philosopher, Socrates is credited with founding Western philosophy along with other popular philosophers of his time. An enigmatic figure, most of his work is documented by his famous student Plato. Socrates is widely regarded as one of the most influential philosophers of all time as he had a strong influence on the philosophers of the modern era.
Diogenes Of Sinope was a pioneer of Cynic philosophy. It is believed he had expressed his wish to be thrown out of the city after his death, so that animals could eat his corpse. He believed humans needed to learn how to live without fuss and with honesty like dogs.
Pythagoras was an Ionian Greek philosopher. He is credited with many scientific and mathematical discoveries, including the Sphericity of the Earth, the Theory of Proportions, the five regular solids, Pythagorean tuning, and the Pythagorean Theorem. Pythagoras influenced other philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. His philosophy also had a major impact on personalities like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, and Nicolaus Copernicus.
Greek philosopher Epicurus is remembered for establishing a school of philosophy known as Epicureanism. He believed that people could achieve ataraxia and aponia, freedom from fear and pain, unless they indulged in amoral behavior. He established a school named The Garden in Athens, where students could discuss philosophical ideas.
Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher whose philosophies predated Socratic philosophies. He is credited with formulating one of the earliest atomic theories of the universe. Best known for his work on subjects like biology, anthropology, and cosmology, Democritus is considered by many to be the father of modern science. He was also a pioneer of geometry.
Plutarch was a Greek philosopher, essayist, biographer, and historian. He also served as the priest at the Temple of Apollo. He is best remembered for his work Parallel Lives, a series of 48 biographies of noteworthy men. His writings had a huge influence on French and English literature. Writers like Shakespeare were influenced by his works.
Galen was a Greek physician, philosopher, and surgeon in the Roman Empire. Regarded as one of the most proficient medical researchers in ancient history, Galen influenced the growth of several scientific disciplines, such as neurology, pharmacology, pathology, physiology, and anatomy. Thanks to the translation of his works into Arabic, Galen's approach to medicine remains influential in the Islamic world.
One of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, Thales was a 6th-century mathematician who believed that the Earth was a flat disk floating on a huge ocean. Legend has it that he had predicted a solar eclipse that stopped a major battle and had also laid down several geometrical theorems.
Epictetus was a Greek philosopher who viewed philosophy as a way of life rather than a theoretical discipline. He taught philosophy vehemently and founded a school of philosophy in Nicopolis. Arrian, his most famous pupil, is credited with publishing Discourses, a series of informal lectures given by Epictetus. Today, the philosophy of Epictetus is being applied in various fields.
Remembered as both an Athenian military leader and an author, Xenophon, a friend of Socrates, remains a major link between historians and the Greek philosopher, with his works such as Symposium and Memorabilia. He also led the Ten Thousand, in a Persian expedition under Cyrus the Younger.
Zeno of Citium was a Hellenistic philosopher. He is credited with founding the Stoic school of philosophy, which became famous as one of the most important schools of philosophy throughout the Hellenistic period and the Roman era. Stoicism has been revived in the current era and is referred to as Modern Stoicism.
Greek philosopher Anaximander is remembered as the first philosopher who penned down his studies. He was a pioneer in the field of cosmology and was the first to draw a model of the Earth, describing it as a cylinder. Among his other works is his very own world map.
Hesiod was an ancient Greek poet who was credited by ancient authors with establishing Greek religious customs. Modern scholars often cite his work as an important source for early economic thought, Greek mythology, archaic Greek astronomy, farming techniques, and ancient time-keeping.
Strabo was a Greek philosopher, geographer, and historian. He is best remembered for his work Geographica, an encyclopedia of geographical knowledge. Written in Greek during Strabo's time, Geographica holds great historical significance as it houses a descriptive history of places and people from different regions. Among his descriptions were places like the city of Alexandria and India.
Chrysippus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. A pupil of Cleanthes, Chrysippus became the head of the Stoic school after the former's death around 230 BC. Chrysippus is credited with expanding the fundamental doctrines of the school's founder, Zeno of Citium. Thanks to his expansion of the doctrines, Chrysippus is widely regarded as the Second Founder of Stoicism.
Empedocles of Acragas was the man behind the proposition that there are four elements, or roots, that make up all structures of the world: air, water, earth, and fire. He also introduced the concepts of Love and Strife. His work has been summarized in the poems Purifications and On Nature.
Greek philosopher Anaxagoras discovered the real cause of eclipses. A Greek from the Persian empire, he might have been part of the Persian army that invaded Greece in the Greco-Persian Wars. He later settled in Athens but was forced out for not believing in the sun and moon gods.
Apollonius of Tyana was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher best remembered through Philostratus' work, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, which was written more than a century after his death. Apollonius is said to have had extra-sensory perception and is even compared with Pythagoras and Jesus Christ. Apollonius of Tyana has even influenced contemporary literature and films among other works of art.
Best known for his works Historia Plantarum, or Enquiry into Plants, and Plant Explanations, botanist Theophrastus hailed from Lesbos in Greece. Acquainted with Plato and Aristotle, he ruled the Peripatetic school for over 3 decades. He has also penned works on metaphysics, history, grammar, ethics, and physics.
Pyrrho was a Greek philosopher best remembered for being the first skeptic philosopher from Greece. He is also credited with founding Pyrrhonism, a school of philosophical skepticism. His pupils went on to become famous, some of them being Nausiphanes, Hecataeus of Abdera, and Arcesilaus, to name a few.
Posidonius was a Greek astronomer, astrologer, politician, historian, mathematician, geographer, and teacher. Widely regarded as the most learned man of his generation, Posidonius took genuine interest in natural history and natural science. He worked towards spreading Stoicism to the Roman world through his personal lectures and writings. Also a philosopher, Posidonius’ works have influenced the works of several subsequent writers.
Cornelius Castoriadis was a Greek-French philosopher, economist, social critic, and psychoanalyst. He is known as a co-founder of the Socialisme ou Barbarie group. An influential author in both academic and activist circles, he was the author of The Imaginary Institution of Society. Later in life, he joined the faculty of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).
Epimenides of Cnossos was a 7th-6th century BC semi-mythical Greek seer, a philosopher and an author of various religious and poetical work including a Theogony and Cretica. It is said that he fell asleep for 57 years and also lived up to an advanced age of 300. He is also given the credit for the invention of the Epimenides paradox.
Archytas was an Ancient Greek astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, strategist, statesman, and music theorist. One of the most important and popular scientists of the Pythagorean school, Archytas is famous for founding mathematical mechanics. Also remembered as a dear friend of Plato, Archytas is also credited by Aulus Gellius with building the first self-propelled flying device which supposedly flew some 200 meters.
Greek philosopher Philolaus is considered one of the pillars of the Pythagorean school. He promoted the number theory of Pythagoras and dismissed the theory of geocentrism, supporting the thought that the center of the universe consisted of an unseen Central Fire, around which the Sun, the Earth, and all other planets revolve.
Greek orator and philosopher Dio Chrysostom is best remembered for his political discourses. Exiled from Bithynia and Italy for political differences, he lived the life of a vagrant for 14 years, and got back to be a philosopher after emperor Domitian’s murder. His works contain orations for Trajan and essays on slavery.
Byzantine philosopher, historian, monk, and statesman Michael Psellos merged Platonic philosophy and Christian beliefs in his teachings. He also headed the philosophy faculty in the imperial university of Constantine IX. His best-known work was Chronographia, which charted history from the reign of emperor Basil II to that of Nicephorus III.
Greek philosopher and astronomer Heraclides Ponticus was the first to suggest the phenomenon of the rotation of the Earth, a concept that didn’t become a part of mainstream astronomy until after 1,800 years. Only fragments of his original writings have survived. He studied under Plato, and managed his academy in his absence.