Who is Thales?

Among the Asiatic colonies appeared also the world-famous Greek philosophers. The earliest of these who was widely recognized was Thales, a native of the city of Miletus. He lived about 600 years before Christ, and is the first man of whom we have it definitely recorded that he travelled in search of knowledge. Naturally, these colonial Greeks were seafarers, but in their wanderings they clung to the seashore as traders, whereas Thales, a man of wealth and influence at home, left his city, his countrymen, and even his ships to spend years of study in foreign lands. The centres of culture which he thus sought were, first, Crete, which was still the traditional home of Greek civilization; second, Tyre and Sidon, the wealthy cities of the Phoenicians; and, third, Egypt, where he remained for years. Thales was an astronomer, who is said to have been the first who reckoned out the eclipses of the sun and was able to foretell them. He was also the founder of geometry, who discovered and demonstrated the first simple relations of lines and spaces and angles which geometry is teaching to this day. And, above all, in the eyes of his own times, he was a "philosopher," that is, he advanced theories which he thought explained the world and its construction, the relations of matter and of mind.

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Read about Who is Thales? in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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