Astrophysics and Space Science Library

Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology

From Thales to Heraclides Ponticus

Authors: Couprie, Dirk L.

  • Contains over one hundred pictures to elucidate the text, many of which are originally drawn by the author
  • Provides readers with a comprehensive treatment of archaic astronomical instruments and groundbreaking interpretations for how they might have been used
  • Offers dozens of challenging new interpretations and historical perspectives on ancient Greek cosmology
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  • ISBN 978-1-4419-8116-5
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-4419-8115-8
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-4614-2840-4
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About this book

In Miletus, about 550 B.C., together with our world-picture cosmology was born. This book tells the story. 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. One of the subjects treated in that context is the riddle of the tilted celestial axis. This part also contains an extensive chapter on archaic astronomical instruments. Part Two shows how Anaximander (610-547 B.C.) blew up this archaic world-picture and replaced it by a new one that is essentially still ours. He taught that the celestial bodies orbit at different distances and that the earth floats unsupported in space. This makes him the founding father of cosmology. Part Three discusses topics that completed the new picture described by Anaximander. Special attention is paid to the confrontation between Anaxagoras and Aristotle on the question whether the earth is flat or spherical, and on the battle between Aristotle and Heraclides Ponticus on the question whether the universe is finite or infinite.

“In this book, Dirk L. Couprie presents his efforts at clarifying the views of the pioneers of theoretical cosmology. It covers the crucial period from about the middle of the sixth until the middle of the fourth century B.C., with its focus on the magnificent figure of Anaximander. The book by Dirk Couprie constitutes an important and in several respects indispensable contribution to this field.”

Dmitri Panchenko

St. Petersburg State University

Reviews

From the reviews:

“Independent researcher/philosopher Couprie has extended his doctoral dissertation work on Anaximander (610-547 BCE) to situate him within the context of Greek history and philosophy of astronomy. … Excellent illustrations assist the reader in visualizing the ancient viewpoints. The plethora of detail and the subject matter make this a book most likely to be appreciated by experts rather than general readers. Summing Up: Recommended. Researchers and professionals.” (M.-K. Hemenway, Choice, Vol. 49 (2), October, 2011)

Table of contents (19 chapters)

  • The Archaic World Picture

    Couprie, Dirk L.

    Pages 3-14

  • Archaic Astronomical Instruments

    Couprie, Dirk L.

    Pages 15-49

  • How Thales Was Able to Predict the Solar Eclipse of 28 May 585 B.C.

    Couprie, Dirk L.

    Pages 51-62

  • The Shape of the Earth According to Thales

    Couprie, Dirk L.

    Pages 63-67

  • The Riddle of the Celestial Axis

    Couprie, Dirk L.

    Pages 69-78

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-8116-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-8115-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-2840-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Heaven and Earth in Ancient Greek Cosmology
Book Subtitle
From Thales to Heraclides Ponticus
Authors
Series Title
Astrophysics and Space Science Library
Series Volume
374
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
eBook ISBN
978-1-4419-8116-5
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4419-8116-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4419-8115-8
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4614-2840-4
Series ISSN
0067-0057
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXIV, 262
Topics