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Demokritos (c. 460 BCE – c. 370 BCE) was a Greek philosopher primarily remembered today for his formulation of an atomic theory of the universe.

Biography

During the Peloponnesian War, Demokritos was staying in Patrai, Achaia. While there, he caught the attention of and enlisted the help of the Spartan misthios Kassandra to develop his theory. For his mathematical discovery, Demokritos requested the original transcriptions of the Golden Ratio, the Pythagorean Theorem, and Zeno's Paradox.[1]

The reason for this was that he longed to impress a woman he had fallen in love with. After Kassandra brought him what he needed, the two left together to find the woman. Unfortunately, bandits attacked the woman and slew her just a moment before Demokritos reached her. Though Kassandra avenged her, Demokritos was heart-broken.[2]

Personality and traits

Reputed for his joyous outlook on life, Demokritos earned the moniker the "laughing philosopher". He was also an extremely intelligent individual. As a reminder of this, he proved that the universe was infinitely divisible and was one of the first to research Atomism. He also believed in the idea that "The richest person in any land is the one who wants for the least".[1] He also showed himself to proud of his work, as he was ecstatic to share his proved theorem with a woman he had feelings for. His feelings were wasted, however, when she was killed, and he mourned for her over what was not.[2]

Appearances

References

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