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Cleomedes' Lectures on Astronomy: A Translation of The Heavens

Alan C. Bowen
Robert B. Todd
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Pages: 254
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1ppcs5
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  • Book Info
    Cleomedes' Lectures on Astronomy
    Book Description:

    At some time around 200 A.D., the Stoic philosopher and teacher Cleomedes delivered a set of lectures on elementary astronomy as part of a complete introduction to Stoicism for his students. The result wasThe Heavens (Caelestia),the only work by a professional Stoic teacher to survive intact from the first two centuries A.D., and a rare example of the interaction between science and philosophy in late antiquity. This volume contains a clear and idiomatic English translation-the first ever-ofThe Heavens,along with an informative introduction, detailed notes, and technical diagrams. This important work will now be accessible to specialists in both ancient philosophy and science and to readers interested in the history of astronomy and cosmology but with no knowledge of ancient Greek.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-92851-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-18)

    The Heavens(in LatinCaelestia; in GreekMeteōra; literally “Things in the Heavens”)¹ is the only surviving work by the Stoic philosopher Cleomedes. In the absence of any external biographical information on him,² hisfloruithas to be inferred from the probable date of his treatise.

    Clearly this work cannot have been composed earlier than the time of the latest historical figure mentioned in it, Posidonius of Apamea (ca.135–ca.51 b.c.).³ It is also unlikely to have been composed much after a.d. 200 on the general grounds that Cleomedes’ polemics against Peripatetics (followers of Aristotle) and Epicureans are typical of...

  6. TRANSLATION OF CLEOMEDES’ THE HEAVENS

    • Book One of Cleomedes’ The Heavens
      (pp. 19-96)

      “Cosmos” is used in many senses, but our present discussion² concerns it with reference to its final arrangement,³ which is defined as follows: a cosmos is a construct formed from the heavens, the Earth, and the natural substances within them.⁴ This [cosmos] encompasses all bodies, since, as is demonstrated elsewhere, there is, without qualification, no body existing outside the cosmos.⁵ Yet the cosmos is not unlimited, but is limited, as is clear from its being administered throughout by Nature. For it is impossible for Nature to belong to anything unlimited, since Nature must control what it belongs to.

      II: And...

    • Book Two of Cleomedes’ The Heavens
      (pp. 97-166)

      Epicurus and most of his school¹ claimed that the Sun was the size it appeared to be² because they followed only the sense presentation caused by sight: that is, they made this presentation a criterion of its size.³ We can therefore see what follows from their claim: namely; that if the Sun is the size it appears to be, it is quite clear that it will have in total more than one size, in that it appears larger as it rises and sets, but smaller as it culminates, while from the highest mountains it appears extremely large when it rises.⁴...

    • Figures
      (pp. 167-192)
  7. APPENDIX: POSIDONIUS ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY (Fragment 18EK)
    (pp. 193-204)
  8. GLOSSARY OF SELECTED TERMS
    (pp. 205-210)
  9. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 211-222)
  10. PASSAGES FROM CLEOMEDES IN COLLECTIONS OF TEXTS
    (pp. 223-224)
  11. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 225-230)
  12. INDEX LOCORUM
    (pp. 231-239)