Ancient Greek Cosmogony
This paper was given as a public lecture to open the 2007 Conference of Greek Studies. It discusses some themes in ancient Greek thought concerning the origins of the cosmos, and differentiates Greek philosophical cosmogony from the creation tales that preceded it, in other contemporary cultures and in Greek religion and literature. It discusses some of the principal problems formulated by Greek cosmogonists and the types of solution they suggested, and draws some parallels with similar problems in the origins of life and the elements for the Greeks, and compares some ancient and modern formulations of these problems and their solutions. This paper also draws some contrasts between Greek philosophical cosmogony and early Christian thinking about the origins of the world.