Thales 623 BC – about 546 BC



Thales 623 BC – about 546 BC

Thales (of Greek Θαλης) by Miletus is an ancient Greek philosopher, considered to be the first philosopher in the Greek tradition.

He founded the Miletus School, setting the stage for European science.

He is considered the first of the seven wise men of Greece.

Tales was born around 623 BC. in the Ionian city of Miletus, located on the west coast of Asia Minor (today Turkey).

According to the information provided by Diogenes, Thales is the son of the merchant Examios, who is married to Cleopulina.

Ancient sources point out the noble Phoenician family background.

His father is believed to be the heir to a rich Miletus family.

Ordinary trader

Ancient Greek merchant ship

Thales gets a good education and starts his life as a regular trader.

He travels a lot and spends long periods in Egypt, Thebes and Memphis where he gains knowledge of Egyptian mythology, astronomy and mathematics. Later, he began to deal with politics and economics.

In Egypt

In Egypt, Thales manages to measure the pyramids, assuming at some point of the day the shadow of each object is equal to its height. Herodotus, according to Herodotus, has been able to predict even the solar eclipse in Miletus.

The Egyptian pyramids

The Egyptian pyramids

The forecasting of the lunar eclipses was easy because it is known that they were repeated every 19 years, but the use of complex geometric and trigonometric calculations and complex tables was needed to predict solar eclipse. This is what makes him famous and is the only undisputed fact of his scientific work.

Thales is the first in ancient Greece to try to give naturalistic explanations to the world without resorting to the supernatural.

He explains the earthquakes, imagining that Earth is floating on water, and when the waves shake it, it causes an earthquake. Therefore, earthquakes are not the result of supernatural processes.

According to his cosmological theory, the world originates from an initial water substance.

He believes that water is the principle of all things.

Another important point is the innovative approach to the use of geometry – both theoretical and practical. According to Thales, “space is the greatest thing because it contains all things.”

Two works are attributed to Thales – “About the Solstice” and “About the Equinox”, as well as 200 poems.

It is believed that he has discovered to the Greeks the constellation Small bear as a pneumatic instrument.

First points out that the moon shines with reflected light and the solar eclipses appear when the Moon closes the Sun and creates the mathematical method of studying the movement of the celestial bodies.

Tales introduces the Egyptian calendar. Most of his achievements, however, suggest that much of his “discoveries” have been borrowed from Egyptian science.

The First School of Natural Philosophy

But the fact is that it is he who created the first school of natural philosophy.

The main source for Thales’ philosophy is Aristotle, who attributes credit for his first research into the causes of things.

Aristotle himself, however, had no access to Thales’ works, and in turn had other sources.

Though Thale’s historical significance is undeniable, there is little certainty about his theories.

Tales (quotes) from Thales

The bliss of the body lies in the health, the bliss of mind – in knowledge.

Most stupid than anything – the verb, that’s why it reveals everything to us.

Wisest of all is the time, so it reveals everything to us.

In the enemy and probably do not believe it. In friends and incredible believe.

The Best Way to Virtue – Avoid Killing Others.

Wisest of all – time, it reveals everything.

Which is easy? To give advice to others.

The hardest is knowing yourself, it is easiest to explore others.

We must remember our friends, not only when they are present, but also in their absence.