COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY
CNRS, Paris, Goya@vjf.cnrs.fr
Discussions on the Eternity of the world in Late Antiquity
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 5.2 (2011) 111–173
Keywords: Christians, Pagans, Philoponus, Simplicius, Aristotle, Proclus, Themistius, Neoplatonism, physics, creation, change, motion
Abstract: This article studies the debate between the Neoplatonist philosophers Simplicius and John Philoponus on the question of the eternity of the world. The first part consists in a historical introduction situating their debate within the context of the conflict between Christians and Pagan in the Byzantine Empire of the first half of the sixth century. Particular attention is paid to the attitudes of these two thinkers to Aristotle's attempted proofs of the eternity of motion and time in Physics 8.1. The second part traces the origins, structure and function of a particular argument used by Philoponus to argue for the world's creation within time. Philoponus takes advantage of a tension inherent in Aristotle's theory of motion, between his standard view that all motion and change is continuous and takes place in time, and his occasional admission that at least some kinds of motion and change are instantaneous. For Philoponus, God's creation of the world is precisely such an instantaneous change: it is not a motion on the part of the Creator, but is analogous to the activation of a state (hexis), which is timeless and implies no change on the part of the agent. The various transformations of this doctrine at the hands of Peripatetic, Neoplatonic, and Islamic commentators are studied (Alexander of Aphrodisias, Themistius, al-Kindi, al-Farabi), as is Philoponus' use of it in his debate against Proclus.
ΣΙΓΜΑ. The Centre of Educational Projects, Novosibirsk, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Geminοs. Introduction to the Phenomena
Introduction, Russian translation and notes
Language: Russian, translated from the Greek
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 5.2 (2011) 174–233
Keywords: Scientific manual, Greek science, astronomy, calendars, stars, planets
Abstract: A commented Russian translation of the Introduction to the Phenomena (Elementa astronomiae, Εἰσαγωγὴ εἰς τὰ Φαινόμενα) by the Greek mathematician and astronomer Geminοs of Rhodes (Γεμῖνος ὁ Ῥόδιος, fl. c. 70 BC). This introductory astronomy book, based on the works of earlier astronomers such as Hipparchus, treats the following general subjects: the zodiac; the motion of the Sun; the constellations; the celestial sphere; days and nights; the risings and settings of the zodiacal signs; calendars; phases of the Moon; eclipses; star phases; terrestrial zones and geographical places; and the uselessness of the stars for making weather predictions. The text is prepared for the participants of educational project “ΤΕΧΝΗ. Theoretical foundations of Arts, sciences and technology in the Greco-Roman World" (Novosibirsk, Russia).
The centre for Ancient philosophy and the classical tradition,
Novosibirsk State University, Russia, email@example.com
Balter Burkert. Astronomy and Pythagoreanism
Language: Russian, translated from the English
Issue: ΣΧΟΛΗ 5.2 (2011) 234–311
Keywords: Pythagoras, Plato, Philolaus, Greek astronomy, lore and science, harmony of the spheres, planets, cosmos
Abstract: A Russian translation of a chapter on astronomy from the famous book of Prof. Walter Burkert is prepared for the participants of educational project “ΤΕΧΝΗ. Theoretical foundations of Arts, sciences and technology in the Greco-Roman World" (Novosibirsk, Russia). The chapter treats the structure of the world and planetary system; the theory of planetary movements; the cosmos of Philolaus; harmony of the spheres and astral immortality. Original publication: Weisheit und Wissenschaft: Studien zu Pythagoras, Philolaos und Platon (Nürnberg, 1962); prepared on the basis of the revised English edition: Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism, tr. by E. Minar (Cambridge, MA, 1972).