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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Philolaus"

Philolaus [Astro*Index]


(BC480-?) Greek philosopher. Born at Tarentum or Croton, in southern Italy.

Eminent member of the Pythagorean school, second only to Pythagoras himself, he fled to Thebes, Greece, when the Pythagoreans were persecuted in southern Italy. Most of his work was quite mystical. He advanced the theory that the Earth was not located at the center of the universe, but moved through space, together with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the stars, all of which revolved--in separate spheres--about a central fire, with the Sun being only a reflection of the central fire. In order to bring the number of these imaginary spheres to 10 (which had magical properties, being the sum of the digits 1,2,3,4), he introducted a fictitious planet, located on the opposite side of the Sun, and thus perpetually hidden from our view.

See also:
♦ Pythagoras


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine