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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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Chapter One

Chapter One

(p.99) Chapter One
Cleomedes' Lectures on Astronomy

Alan C. Bowen

Robert B. Todd

University of California Press

This chapter states that the Sun is not the size it appears to be, as the Epicureans believed, but has a size calculable as far larger than that. The Sun appears larger as it rises and sets, and smaller at its culmination, because it is seen at the horizon through air that is denser and damper, while it is seen culminating through less adulterated air. The Sun's being one foot wide, of which there is a consequence, is also a falsehood. The Sun is the cause of virtually all the variety found among things on the Earth, since the Earth shows considerable contrast at some latitudes. Epicurus has nothing to do with astronomy, not to mention with philosophy.

Keywords:   Sun, Epicurus, size, culmination, astronomy, philosophy, Earth

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