Philosophy Index

Anaxarchus

Anaxarchus (380–320 BCE) was a philosopher of ancient Greece, and a follower of the school of Democritus. He was also was a friend of Alexander the Great, and travelled with him on his campaigns to Asia.

Very little is known about Anaxarchus’ philosophical beliefs. He is reported by historians to have been an influence for Pyrrho, who became the founder of Skepticism. Pyrrho was with Anaxarchus on Alexander’s Asiatic campaigns.

Cicero and Diogenes Laërtius both wrote that Anaxarchus offended Nicocreon, a tyrant of Cyprus, when Nicocreon was visiting Alexander. Later, Nicocreon ordered the execution of Anaxarchus, which was carried out through brutal torture.

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Name: Αναξαρχος (Anaxarchus)
Born: 380 BCE, Abdera, Thrace
Died: 320 BCE