(3) A third method was developed by Ptolemy (100-170 AD), a Greek speaker who lived in Alexandria, in Egypt. But the scheme, amplified by Aristotle to include more than two spheres for each planet, was unsuccessful, as it did not explain the phenomena of varying brightness of the planets. Like the atoms of which it is solely composed (along with the void through which the atoms move), the cosmos has neither beginning nor end, either in time or in space. The atoms can neither be created nor destroyed, but the things they compose have both beginings and ends. Aristotle accepted the four Platonic elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire as the basis for phenomena on both the Earth (the planet) and in the atmosphere, but he added a fifth element -- known as "aether" -- as the matter of the heavenly bodies (moon, planets, sun, and stars). Title: Heaven And Earth In Ancient Greek Cosmology, Author: MaxieMcgowan, Name: Heaven And Earth In Ancient Greek Cosmology, Length: 1 pages, Page: 1, Published: 2013-07-21 . This is a critical point, as there is a widespread misconception that ancient peoples thought the Earth was flat. The first circle (the "epicycle") moves in one direction, the second circle (the "deferent") in the opposite, producing as a result motion similar to retrograde motion. These worlds, endless in number, also have beginnings and ends; they are not eternal. Each planet was sandwiched between spheres moving at different rates in different directions, producing changes in direction equivalent to retrograde motions. The Demiurge fashioned the cosmos out of materials provided by a pre-existing "chaos", or jumble of matter, which the Demiurge organized into the four elements -- Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Technically more complicated than either of the two above, it can be understood as follows for the case of the sun: The sun moves on an earth-centered circle, but at an irregular rate determined by the condition that its rate of rotation be uniform with respect not to its own geometric center, but with respect to an equant point some distance from the geometric center. Finally, it should be noted that Aristarchus, in the third century BC, proposed (in a work now lost) that the sun, not the earth was the center of the universe. The project of "saving the phenomena" dominated cosmology until the time of Newton, and has the following components: (i) Basic assumption: All heavenly bodies move in circular motions or motions compounded out of circles. Moreover, (iii) from a cultural point of view, it seemed appropriate that the earth -- the planet we inhabit -- be at the center, since after all, aren't humans (and for Aristotle, the Greeks) the most important part of the cosmos? For a long time his name was synonymous with the model of the heavens. Eudoxus (408-355 BC) was a student of Plato's who attempted a model made up of concentric spheres. These four elements arise from the working of the two For decades and indeed centuries the theory, contained in his book "Almagest" (Arabic for "The Greatest") enabled accurate predictions to be made. The number of epicycles, eccentrics, and equants used was "ad hoc" -- just enough were used to obtain the desired result, but there was no way of knowing in advance how many were required. We can distinguish the primary elements of the theory as follows: (i) The earth as the center of the cosmos and does not move ("geocentrism") (ii) The sun moves around the earth and is not its center ("heliodynamism") (iii) Heavenly motions are circular (or spherical, in three dimensions) Problems and Attempts at Solutions Aristotle's theory became "canonical", or widely accepted as authoritative and definitive for nearly 2000 years -- until the time of Copernicus and his successors. Moreover, (iii) from a cultural point of view, it seemed appropriate that the earth -- the planet we inhabit -- be at the center, since after all, aren't humans (and for Aristotle, the Greeks) the most important part of the cosmos? These worlds, endless in number, also have beginnings and ends; they are not eternal. The circle (in three dimension, the sphere) is the most perfect of geometric figures, since each point on the circumference is equidisant from the center, and the only curve appropriate to the movement of the heavenly bodies. (iii) The solar seasons were not quite equal, as should be expected for perfectly circular motion. This will be especially relevant as we examine Copernicus in the next unit. 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. (ii) The cosmos consists of many different worlds, randomnly formed by the collision of atoms, not just the one earth-centered world of Aristotle. Thales, often called the father of Greek science and mathematics, asked questions about the universe that were not based on the actions of gods or demons. (ii) The cosmos consists of many different worlds, randomnly formed by the collision of atoms, not just the one earth-centered world of Aristotle. The underlying theme in Greek science is the use of observation and experimentation to search for simple, universal laws. But it must account for the retrograde motions of the planets, which cannot be done with just one sphere for each planet, since that sphere must turn uniformly. (ii) Planets sometimes seemed brighter and sometimes less bright, which was interpreted to mean that they are sometimes closer and sometimes further from the earth. A brief tour of some of the astronomical ideas and models from ancient Greece. These are the fixed stars. Like the atoms of which it is solely composed (along with the void through which the atoms move), the cosmos has neither beginning nor end, either in time or in space. (ii) Empirical observation: But the heavenly bodies (with the exception of the stars, which appear always to move in simple circular motion about the earth) do not demonstrate simple circular motions - inlcuding the phenomena of retrograde motion, varying brightnesses, and varying velocities. Aristotle accepted the four Platonic elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire as the basis for phenomena on both the Earth (the planet) and in the atmosphere, but he added a fifth element -- known as "aether" -- as the matter of the heavenly bodies (moon, planets, sun, and stars). The large circle is the sun, the medium circle is the Earth and the smallest circle is the moon. cosmological worldview, developed by the Greeks in the 4th century B.C. Consequently, Plato's question of "saving the phenomena" became: what types of mathematical hypotheses can be fashioned using only circles and motions compounded out of circles, in order to produce geometrical paths which approximate the observed motions. (ii) Planets sometimes seemed brighter and sometimes less bright, which was interpreted to mean that they are sometimes closer and sometimes further from the earth. Looking at the night sky the ancient Greeks found two primary kinds of celestial objects; the fixed stars and the wandering stars. Early Greek and Roman Cosmology. Views of the Cosmos of Epicurus and Lucretius But even in the ancient world there were dissenting, if minority voices. It was Aristotle (384-322 BC) who made explicit the proposition that the earth is the center and does not move, with the sun as well as the moon, planets and stars circling it. It was Aristotle (384-322 BC) who made explicit the proposition that the earth is the center and does not move, with the sun as well as the moon, planets and stars circling it. An Ancient Chinese Cosmology: Main Features: Studies in Ancient Greek and Chinese Cosmology. He shared the view of Aristotle and Plato that the cosmos, consisting of just one world, was spherical in shape and had a definite center (unlike Epicurus and Lucretius mentioned above). This produced planetary motion at unequal distances from the earth, helping to explain the fact that planets sometimes appear brighter and sometimes less bright, with brighter appearance interpeted as closer position. He shared the view of Aristotle and Plato that the cosmos, consisting of just one world, was spherical in shape and had a definite center (unlike Epicurus and Lucretius mentioned above). (iii)The cosmos is infinite in extent and therefore cannot be spherical in shape. Lunar eclipses also allowed for another key understanding about our home here on Earth. The dividing line between the two was the orbit of the moon. The atoms can neither be created nor destroyed, but the things they compose have both beginings and ends. 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