Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology

Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology

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In Miletus, about 550 B.C., together with our world-picture cosmology was born. This book tells the story. In Part One the reader is introduced in the archaic world-picture of a flat earth with the cupola of the celestial vault onto which the celestial bodies are attached. One of the subjects treated in that context is the riddle of the tilted celestial axis. This part also contains an extensive chapter on archaic astronomical instruments. Part Two shows how Anaximander (610-547 B.C.) blew up this archaic world-picture and replaced it by a new one that is essentially still ours. He taught that the celestial bodies orbit at different distances and that the earth floats unsupported in space. This makes him the founding father of cosmology. Part Three discusses topics that completed the new picture described by Anaximander. Special attention is paid to the confrontation between Anaxagoras and Aristotle on the question whether the earth is flat or spherical, and on the battle between Aristotle and Heraclides Ponticus on the question whether the universe is finite or infinite.When he uses the dodecahedron for his description of the shape of the earth, he must have done so intentionally. ... As far as I know, nobody has drawn the simple consequence that the many hollows he is speaking of must be the 12 pentagonal faces of the ... describes the hollows or cavities of the earth he has not yet introduced the shape of the earth as a dodecahedron, which he does in Phaedo 110b.

Title:Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology
Author:Dirk L. Couprie
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2011-03-23


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