Born: 500 BC
Born In: Klazomenai, Turkey
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae was an ancient Greek philosopher credited to be the first person to bring philosophy into Athens. He was a philosopher of nature and is best remembered for his cosmology. Even though ancient Greece had given birth to several great minds like Pythagoras even before Anaxagoras’ time, it was Anaxagoras who introduced the concept of philosophy to the Athenians. He was born in Ionia where he spent his early life observing nature and studying natural elements and forces. Such was his love for the sciences that in spite of hailing from a wealthy family he renounced all the riches and dedicated his life to gaining and imparting knowledge. Even though he lived thousands of years ago, he accurately stated that the moon did not produce its own light, but reflected the sun’s light. He claimed that the sun was a mass of molten metal and had correctly given the reason behind the occurrences of eclipses. He moved to Athens—the center of Greek culture—around 480 BC and played a pivotal role in influencing the scientific and cultural development of the city. He is believed to have written several texts though only a few fragments of his works have been preserved.