The Elements of Nature: Air, Earth, Water, Fire – commemorative set of stamps by Greece

October 3rd, 2013

Difficult to categorize in terms of importance, the four elements have been an object of fascination for science and philosophy since ancient times, when they were at the heart of Greek thought. According to ancient Greek philosophers and scientists, earth, air, fire and water were the fundamental components of matter: everything was formed from these four elements in different proportions and the whole world was made up of them.

There were conflicting principles and theories regarding which was the primary and most important element in the creation of the world. The ancient Greek philosopher Thalis of Miletus (624-546 BC) believed that material bodies were all based on the fundamental element of water. Anaximenes (585-525 BC) on the other hand thought that air was the most important element, and that earth and water were made of condensed air. For his part, Heraclitus argued that fire was the force that moved the world.

Empedocles ultimately came up with the theory that all four elements are essential and that each one has fundamental properties so that every material thing is composed from all four of them.

The elements of nature appeared on four stamps in a commemorative set by Hellenic Post. They weredesigned by EleniApostolou.

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