Born: about 480 B.C. in (possibly) Miletus, Asia Minor
Died: about 420 B.C.


    Leucippus, who seems to have flourished about 440 B.C., came from Miletus and it is thought that he founded the School at Abdera on the coast of Thrace near the mouth of the Nestos River. He carried on the scientific rationalist philosophy, which had begun to become associated with Miletus. He was very much influenced by Parmenides and Zeno. So little is known of him that Epicurus (a later follower of Democritus) was thought to have denied his existence altogether.

    Leucippus credited by Aristotle and by Theophrastus with having originated the theory of atomism. It has been difficult to distinguish his contribution from that of his most famous pupil, Democritus since his writing were re-edited together with Democritus in the same collection in the fourth century. Leucippus was led to atomism in the attempt to mediate between monism (as represented by Parmenides) and pluralism (as represented by Empedocles).

    All of Leucippus’ works, among which the book Megas Diakosmos (The Great Order of the Universe) and Peri Nou (On Mind) were most famous, are lost. In the fourth century B.C. his writing were re-edited together with those of his disciple Democritus in the same collection.



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