the name of the earliest of the schools of philosophy in Greece, the prominent members of which were natives of Ionia, one and all of whom traced the beginning or basis of things back to the action of some physical agent, such as water, air, fire, &c., and among whom are reckoned such men as Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Heraclitus.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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