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Eudoxus, Callippus and the Astronomy of the Timaeus

Gregory, AD; (2003) Eudoxus, Callippus and the Astronomy of the Timaeus. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies , 46 (S78) pp. 5-28. 10.1111/j.2041-5370.2003.tb02132.x. Green open access

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Abstract

Whether the astronomy of the Timaeus had any significant influence on Eudoxus' theory of homocentric spheres is a matter of contention. Some commentators deny any such influence.1 Here I argue for a view of the Timaeus' astronomy, and of Eudoxus' astronomy, whereby Eudoxus' work was as much a natural development of the Timaeus as Callippus' work was of Eudoxus. I also argue for an important interpretative principle. This is that Plato, Eudoxus and Callippus could not account for all the phenomena they were aware of, and were aware of that fact. If the Timaeus presents a prototype, Eudoxus can then be seen to develop this astronomy, making the model more sophisticated and complex while staying within the cosmological principles, and attempting to solve the key problems which were left unsolved by the Timaeus model. He does this in much the same way as Callippus made Eudoxus' model more complex and sophisticated, and attempted to solve the leading problems in that model. I also consider some further objections to a significant interaction between Plato and Eudoxus, based on supposed philosophical differences, dating, and the evidence of later commentators. I conclude that these provide no significant obstacle to considering there to be a fruitful liaison between Plato and Eudoxus.

Type: Article
Title: Eudoxus, Callippus and the Astronomy of the Timaeus
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-5370.2003.tb02132.x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-5370.2003.tb02132...
Language: English
Additional information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gregory, AD; (2003) Eudoxus, Callippus and the Astronomy of the Timaeus. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies , 46 (S78) pp. 5-28., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-5370.2003.tb02132.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475054
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