Philolaus a Pythagorean philosopher, was born at Crotona, or Tarentum, towards the close of the 5th century B.C. Aresas, a probable disciple of Pythagoras, was his master; so that we receive the Pythagorean doctrine from Philolaus, only as it appeared to the third generation, and an account of it is therefore more properly in place in a general examination of the philosophy of Pythagoras (q.v.). It has been repeated once and again that Philolaus divined the true theory of the universe, and was the virtual predecessor of Copernicus. Nothing can be more false. In his scheme indeed, not the earth, but fire, is placed in the centre of the unit verse; that fire, however, is not the sun, which, on the contrary, he makes revolve around the central πῦρ. The scheme, in so far as it can be understood, is altogether fantastic, based on no observation or comparison of phenomena, but on vague and now unintelligible metaphysical considerations. The only predecessor of Copernicus in antiquity was Aristarchus of Samos, whose remarkable conjectures appeared first in the editio princeps of Archimedes-published after Copernicus wrote. Of Philolaus's three works, written in the Doric dialect, only fragments now remain. See Bockh, Leben, nebst den Bruchstiicken seiner Werke (Berl. 1819); Smith, Diet. of Gr. and Rom. Biog. and Mythol. s.v.; Ueberweg, Hist. of Philos. (see Index in volume 2); Butler, Hist. of Ancient Philos. volume 2. (J.H.W.)

Bible concordance for PHILOLOGUS.

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