Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology
5. Time and Events in the Greeks. Pre-Socratic Philosophers and Plato
The basics of Greek cosmology can already be found in Homer’s works. Schadewaldt analyses the 18th book of the Iliad where Hephaestus forges armour for Achilles as a base for Greek ontology and cosmology. The picture of the world is here in the shape of a circle. There is Earth’s plate in the middle, around Oceanus, and the canopy of the heavens in the shape of a hemisphere above it (see: Schadewaldt, Von Homers Welt und Werk. Aufsatze und Auslegungen Zur Homerischen Frage, 1944). Homer’s picture of the world represents a threefold division: heaven, Earth, and the underworld which correspond to the division of the gods according to the parts of the world which they rule. Zeus controls the heavens, Hades the underworld, and Poseidon the sea. The Earth is com- mon to everyone (see: Schadewaldt, 1944). “Thinking about the world in the oldest time strives for a clear order. 30 We observe that…existence of being appears in such basic categories which are delimited both mythically and onto- logically” (Schadewaldt, 1944). The myth of cosmic cycles gained control over the thinking of pre-Socratic philosophers too. It is obvi- ous, for example, in Anaximander according to whom, everything was born from apeiron and everything will return to it. Empedocles imagined the events in the cosmos as an alternating prevalence of two principles – ﬁ lia and neikos; creation and destruction of the cos- mos which continues without end. Plato perceives the passage of cosmic time from a similar perspective. He dealt with...
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