A12 Of the first philosophers most thought that some form of matter alone was the origin [arche] of all things…. Thales, the founder of such philosophy, says that it was water (as the earth appears to rest on water), taking perhaps this supposition from seeing that the nourishment of all things is moist, and because the sperm of all living things is moist, and water is the principle [arche] of all things whose nature it is to be moist. (Aristotle, Metaphysics A3 983b)

A14 [The earth] lies upon water, this is the oldest account that has come to us which, it is said, Thales the Milesian held because it remains floating like a log or some such thing (for things do not remain upon air but upon water), as if the same argument ...

Get Ancient Greek Philosophy, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.