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Cleomedes' Lectures on AstronomyA Translation of  The Heavens$
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Cleomedes and Lawrence Witmer

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233256

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233256.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Cleomedes' Lectures on Astronomy

Alan C. Bowen

Robert B. Todd

University of California Press

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

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