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Democritus -460 - -360 (100)

The world is a theater, life is a drama: You come, see and leave.


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Democritus was born in Abdera, Thrace around 460 BC, his family was of aristocratic origin. Abdera was the third richest city of the Athenian alliance as it was a port for conducting trade with the interior of Thrace .

From his early youth Democritus showed inclination towards the study and investigation of nature. With money from his paternal heritage he traveled around the whole known world, Egypt, Persia, Babylon , possible India and Ethiopia. As he wrote : "I therefore wandered in several places, investigating the most remote places and met many countries and climates and heard too many educated people. I spent a total of eight years in a foreign country.

During these wanderings he was acquainted with the philosophy of Thales, of Anaximander, Anaximenes and Heraclitus.In Miletus he might first met the man who was to mark his life, Levkippos. From him he was taught the philosophy of Parmenides, Empedocles, Pythagoras. When Democritus returned to Abdera, he had exhausted all his share of the paternal inheritance. His brother took care of him financially.

In Abdera Democritus devoted himself to teaching and writing. He was among the first who believed that matter is composed of inseparable, invisible, "atoms", that the Milky Way is the light from distant stars, that the universe has other "worlds " and even some residential. His interests were extremely wide, in almost all areas of human knowledge.

It seems that the appreciation Democritus enjoyed by his countrymen caused the envy of some of them, who thought to request the activation of an ancestral Act, which provided for the prohibition of burial in his homeland for who had squandered their patrimony. Democritus replied by reading the work of the Great decor, arguing that not only he has squandered patrimony, but multiplied it since he created a valuable philosophical work . He was named 'the Laughing philosopher', perhaps because he professed that cheer is a goal for each person's life. He died at a very advanced age; he is classified as one of the longest-lived Greek thinkers, various sources mention that lived from 90 up to 109 years. We do not know the exact date of his death, which conventionally placed in 360 BC and for his end are various legends. According to one, he committed suicide, being in very old age, with abstention from food.