Thales of Miletus

623 BC - 546 BC

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Thales of Miletus ( THAY-leez; Greek: Θαλῆς; c. 626/623 – c. 548/545 BC) was an Ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosopher from Miletus in Ionia, Asia Minor. Thales was one of the Seven Sages, founding figures of Ancient Greece. Many regard him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition, breaking from the prior use of mythology to explain the world and instead using natural philosophy. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Thales of Miletus has received more than 2,903,224 page views. His biography is available in 114 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 106 in 2019). Thales of Miletus is the 15th most popular philosopher (up from 16th in 2019), the 5th most popular biography from Türkiye (down from 4th in 2019) and the 2nd most popular Philosopher.

Thales of Miletus is most famous for his belief that everything in the world is made up of water, air, earth, and fire.

Memorability Metrics

  • 2.9M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 86.34

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 114

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 15.71

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.59

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)


Among philosophers, Thales of Miletus ranks 15 out of 1,267Before him are Avicenna, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Niccolò Machiavelli, Friedrich Nietzsche, Augustine of Hippo, and Heraclitus. After him are Francis Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, John Locke, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Montesquieu.

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Among people born in 623 BC, Thales of Miletus ranks 1 Among people deceased in 546 BC, Thales of Miletus ranks 1After him are Anaximander, and Croesus.

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In Türkiye

Among people born in Türkiye, Thales of Miletus ranks 5 out of 1,347Before him are Suleiman the Magnificent (1494), Paul the Apostle (5), Herodotus (-484), and Heraclitus (-535). After him are Saint Nicholas (270), Osman I (1254), Saint George (280), Selim II (1524), Mehmed the Conqueror (1432), Ahmed I (1590), and Galen (129).


Among philosophers born in Türkiye, Thales of Miletus ranks 2Before him are Heraclitus (-535). After him are Diogenes (-404), Anaximander (-610), Anaxagoras (-500), Epictetus (50), Xenophanes (-570), Gregory of Nazianzus (329), Ibn Taymiyyah (1263), Leucippus (-500), Anaximenes of Miletus (-585), and Chrysippus (-281).