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Publications on Anaximander


Many craters on the moon bear the names of famous philosophers and astronomers. A modest crater at 66N, 48W, which is not even indicated on many maps of the moon, has been named after Anaximander.



1. books

  • De verordening van de Tijd. Interpretatie en vertaling van het fragment van Anaximander met een appendix over de visualisering van zijn wereldbeeld (The Ordinance of Time. Interpretation and Translation of Anaximander's Fragment, with an Appendix on the Visualization of his World-Picture), Dissertation Amsterdam, Delft, Eburon 1989.

On front and back of the book you see front and back of a badly damaged statue that bears the name (An)aximandr(os) and that was found at the Bouleuterion at


  • Anaximander in Context, New Studies in the Origins of Greek Philosophy. Albany, State University of New York Press 2003 (together with Robert Hahn and Gerard Naddaf).

One of the many pictures in this book is my reconstruction of Anaximander's map of the world:

See for reviews of this book:


by Robin Waterfield, A quotation from this review: The reader will see that I think there is an upward trend in the usefulness of the three monographs contained in this book. Couprie's is certainly the best.

by Aryeh Finkelberg, Isis, Volume 96, Issue 3,Sep 2005, p.422–424. A quotation from this review: This (Couprie's) essay is a contribution to the ongoing discussion of Greek astronomical theories in general and of Anaximander's seminal ideas in particular, and it will be of interest to both the professional and the general reader.

by Daniel W.Graham, Ancient Philosophy,Vol.24, 3004, p.449-455. With some misunderstandings.

  • Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology: From Thales to Heraclides Ponticus. New York etc.: Springer, 2011. Series: Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Vol. 374.


2. articles

  • “The Visualization of Anaximander’s Universe”. in: Apeiron, A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science, 1995 (28), no. 3, 159-181.


This picture is a representation of Anaximander's universe in summer (left) and in winter (right). We see the wheels of sun and moon circling around the drum-shaped earth. The wheels of the stars (which are, according to Anaximander, nearest to the earth) together make up a sphere. For further explanation of these pictures, see my article in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


  • “Anaximander’s Discovery of Space”, in: A.Preus (ed.), A.Preus (ed.)Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy VI. Before Plato. Albany, State University of New York Press 2001, pp.23-48.



  • “prēstēros aulos Revisited”, in: Apeiron, A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science, 34.2001, no.3, pp.193-202.

In the article prēstēros aulos Revisited, it is argued that Anaximander compared the light of the celestial bodies with beams of lightning, and not with the "nozzle of a bellows", as is commonly thought.

For the full text of the article, click here



  • "Greek Influence on the Representation of the Heaven in Ptolemaic Egyptian Art", paper read at the XVth International Congress of Aesthetics in Japan (Makuhari), 27-31 August, 2001 (published on the CD-Rom of the Congress: "The Great Book of Aesthetics, Proceedings", ed. by Ken-ichi Sasaki and Tanehisa Otabe, Tokyo 2004)

In the paper Greek Influence on the Representation of the Heaven in Ptolemaic Egyptian Art it is argued these Egyptian representations of the heaven are possibly influenced by Anaximander's conceptions. The first one shows a twofold arching Nut (the goddess of the heavens) and a curled earth-god Geb on the ceiling of a room in the
temple of Isis on the Island of Philae. The other one shows a threefold arching Nut on the ceiling of a room in the temple of Hathor at Dendara.

For the full text of this paper, including all the pictures, click here.



  • Anaximander und die Geschichte des griechischen Weltmodells: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Detlev Fehling” (Anaximander and the History of the Greek World-Picture: A Discussion with Detlev Fehling), in: Prima Phlosophia 17.2, April-June 2004, pp.127-143.

For the full text of this article (in German), click here.

  • “Anaximander of Miletus”, p. 33–38 in: Meet the Philosophers of Ancient Greece, ed. by Patricia O’Grady, Aldershot 2005 (together with Heleen J.Pott)


  • "Problems with Amaximander’s Numbers". Apeiron 42 (2009), p. 167–184.


3. reviews


  • “Imagining the Universe”, Apeiron 2002 (35): 47-59. Review article of Robert Hahn, Anaximander and the Architects. The Contributions of Egyptian and Greek Architectural Technologies on the Origins of Greek Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press 2001 (together with H. J. Pott).


  • “Anaximander’s Legacy and the Stability of the Earth” (review of Carlo Rovelli, Anaximandre de Milet ou la naissance de la pensée scientifique. Paris, Dunod, 2009), Hyperboreus 2009 (15): 1-10. 2009.


4. Papers


  • Anaximander’s Numbers, or the Discovery of Space, read at the 15th Annual Conference of the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at Binghamton NY, October 25-27, 1996.
  • The Translation of Anaximander’s ‘Poetical Words’, read at the 20th World Congress of Philosophy at Boston Mass., August 10-16, 1998.


This is my translation of Anaximander's fragment:


Whence things have their origin,
Thence also their destruction happens,
As is the order of things;
For they execute the sentence upon one another
- The condemnation for the crime -
In conformity with the ordinance of Time.