Lagura: Wise, yet human

“Stargazer, earth crasher”

Slightly older than Socrates was Thales, a man of science with a knack for practical things. He lived in the Greek island of Miletus.

As a scientist he predicted with uncanny accuracy the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BC. He also compiled an almanac: a yearly publication forecasting the weather, also the rise and ebb of tides.

In philosophy he stated that everything comes from water, which, evaporating becomes air, even fire, and by condensing turns to earth, even iron.

Being also a shrewd businessman, in a particular year he cornered the entire harvest of olives and its highly priced oil.

Thales devised a method using the stars, especially the Little Dipper or Bear (Ursa Minor) to enable navigation of boats by night.

It was his passion for stargazing that proved to be a serious source of embarrassment. While gazing at the stars one night and pacing to and fro around his garden, Thales suddenly fell into a well and unceremoniously landed on muddy waters. His cries for help made his maidservant search for and go down into the well. As the hefty lady grabbed him by the waist to lift him up the well, Thales had to avoid looking at the servant who tried her best to suppress a mischievous smile.

So low literally had her proud and wise master fallen.


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