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Anaxagoras is believed to have enjoyed some wealth and political influence in his native town of Clazomenae, in Asia Minor.However, he supposedly surrendered this out of a fear that they would hinder his search for knowledge.All things existed in this mass, but in a confused and indistinguishable form.).Mind is no less unlimited than the chaotic mass, but it stood pure and independent, a thing of finer texture, alike in all its manifestations and everywhere the same.He was the first to give a correct explanation of eclipses, and was both famous and notorious for his scientific theories, including the claims that the sun is a mass of red-hot metal, that the moon is earthy, and that the stars are fiery stones.These speculations made him vulnerable in Athens to a charge of impiety. Citizens of Lampsacus erected an altar to Mind and Truth in his memory, and observed the anniversary of his death for many years.Diogenes Laertius reports the story that he was prosecuted by Cleon for impiety, but Plutarch says that Pericles sent his former tutor, Anaxagoras, to Lampsacus for his own safety after the Athenians began to blame him for the Peloponnesian war. Anaxagoras wrote a book of philosophy, but only fragments of the first part of this have survived, through preservation in work of Simplicius of Cilicia in the 6th century AD.
Anaxagoras is referred to and admired by Cyrus Spitama, the hero and narrator of Creation, by Gore Vidal.The Roman author Valerius Maximus preserves a different tradition: Anaxagoras, coming home from a long voyage, found his property in ruin, and said: "If this had not perished, I would have"—a sentence described by Valerius as being "possessed of sought-after wisdom!" – 461 BC) he went to Athens, which was rapidly becoming the centre of Greek culture.This subtle agent, possessed of all knowledge and power, is especially seen ruling in all the forms of life.In a quote chosen to begin Nathanael West's first book "The Dream Life of Balso Snell", Marcel Proust's character Bergotte says, "After all, my dear fellow, life, Anaxagoras has said, is a journey." Anaxagoras appears as a character in Faust, Part II by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
According to Diogenes Laertius and Plutarch, in later life he was charged with impiety and went into exile in Lampsacus; the charges may have been political, owing to his association with Pericles, if they were not fabricated by later ancient biographers.