Chapter

Introduction

Alan C. Bowen and Robert B. Todd

in Cleomedes' Lectures on Astronomy

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780520233256
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928510 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233256.003.0001
Introduction

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The Heavens (Caelestia) is the only surviving work by Cleomedes. In the absence of any external biographical information on him, his floruit has to be inferred from the probable date of his treatise. While in the Caelestia he deals primarily with elementary astronomy and some aspects of cosmology, he also anticipates and assumes instruction in Stoic physical theory, and cites without explanation doctrines from Stoic metaphysics, epistemology, semantics, and logic. Since Cleomedes admitted using material from Posidonius, his work was sometimes seen simply as a repository of Posidonian doctrines and treatises, or, in more modified claims, as an amalgam of earlier Stoic literature and Posidonian components. If any source is to be assigned to the conjunction of rigorous reasoning, observations, and physical theory that is so pervasive in the Caelestia, the only possible candidate is Posidonius, even if Cleomedean demonstrative procedures are not regarded as Posidonian in every detail.

Keywords: The Heavens; Caelestia; astronomy; cosmology; Stoic physical theory; Posidonius

Chapter.  6463 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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