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The idea may have begun as an archetypal theme of mythology that the pre-Socratic philosophers reworked into a more systematic form.Unfortunately, it is impossible to reconstruct their thinking in much detail, and clear references attributing the doctrine to Democritus (c. 507 b.c.e.) are quite late, dating to the fifth and ninth centuries c.e., respectively.Others less spiritually inclined, however, hoped to use these cosmic sympathies to manipulate the world for material benefit or to predict the course of future events.Astrologers employed the theory of melothesiain the practice of medicine. 50 c.e.) somewhat anticipated Plotinus by calling man "a miniature heaven" (On the Creation 27.82).Theories of the body politic remained strong in early modern times, even inspiring the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes (15881679).
The ideas were commonplace during the Renaissance and early modern times but lost their plausibility when a mechanistic model of the universe became dominant in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Kosmos at this time meant "order" in a general sense and implied a harmonious, and therefore beautiful, arrangement of parts in any organic system; hence it also referred to order in human societies, reflected in good government.
Comparisons between society and the human being, as well as society and the universe, were varieties of microcosmic theory.
The structure of each is tripartite and hierarchical.
The class of philosopher-kings corresponds to reason (located in the head), the warrior class corresponds to irascibility (located in the breast), and the worker class corresponds to appetite (located in the belly).