THE TEACHINGS OF ANAXAGORAS
 AS Pericles was a very cultivated man, he liked to meet
and talk with the philosophers, and to befriend the
artists. He was greatly attached to the sculptor
Phidias, and he therefore did all in his power to save
him from the envy of his fellow-citizens.
Anaxagoras, a philosopher of great renown, was the
friend and teacher of Pericles. He, too, won the
dislike of the people; and, as they could not accuse
him also of stealing, they charged him with publicly
teaching that the gods they worshiped were not true
gods, and proposed to put him to death for this crime.
Now, Anaxagoras had never heard of the true God, the
God whom we worship. He had heard only of Zeus, Athene,
and the other gods honored by his people; but he was so
wise and so thoughtful that he believed the world could
never have been created by such divinities as those.
He observed all he saw very attentively, and shocked
the people greatly by saying that the sun was not a god
driving in a golden chariot, but a great glowing rock,
which, in spite of its seemingly small size, he thought
must be about as large as the Peloponnesus.
Of course, this seems very strange to you. But
Anaxagoras lived more than two thousand years ago, and
since then people have constantly been finding out new
things and writing them in books, so it is no wonder
that in this matter you are already, perhaps, wiser
than he. When you come to study about the sun, you will
 that Anaxagoras was partly right, but that, instead of
being only as large as the Peloponnesus, the sun is
more than a million times larger than the whole earth!
Anaxagoras also tried to explain that the moon was
probably very much like the earth, with mountains,
plains, and seas. These things, which they could not
understand, made the Athenians so angry that they
exiled the philosopher, in spite of all Pericles could
Anaxagoras went away without making any fuss, and
withdrew to a distant city, where he continued his
studies as before. Many people regretted his absence,
and missed his wise conversation, but none so much as
Pericles, who never forgot him, and who gave him money
enough to keep him in comfort.
Another great friend of Pericles was a woman called
Aspasia. She was so bright that the wisest men of
Athens used to go to her house merely for the pleasure
of talking to her. All the best-informed people in town
used to assemble there; and Cimon and Pericles,
Phidias, Anaxagoras, and Socrates were among her