Simplicius on the Planets and Their Motions: In Defense of a by Alan C. Bowen

By Alan C. Bowen

Although the digression ultimate Simplicius’ remark on Aristotle’s De caelo 2.12 has lengthy been misinterpret as a heritage of early Greek planetary conception, it truly is in reality an artistic examining of Aristotle to take care of the authority of the De caelo as a sacred textual content in past due Platonism and to refute the polemic fixed by means of the Christian, John Philoponus. This booklet indicates that the severe query pressured on Simplicius was once even if his school’s attractiveness of Ptolemy’s planetary hypotheses entailed a rejection of Aristotle’s argument that the heavens are made up of a unique subject that strikes via nature in a circle concerning the heart of the cosmos and, hence, a repudiation of the thesis that the cosmos is uncreated and eternal.

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Simplicius on the Planets and Their Motions: In Defense of a Heresy

Although the digression last Simplicius’ statement on Aristotle’s De caelo 2. 12 has lengthy been misinterpret as a heritage of early Greek planetary concept, it truly is in reality an inventive studying of Aristotle to keep up the authority of the De caelo as a sacred textual content in past due Platonism and to refute the polemic fixed by way of the Christian, John Philoponus.

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19– 21 for an allusion to Philoponus’ background in late Platonic exegesis. 17–19 (with Hoffmann 1987, 197–199 on Philoponus’ ‘anonymity’ in Simplicius’ writings). 1–7 [= Wildberg 1987, F7]. 05, p. 221. Ptolemy was active in the middle parts of the second century ad [cf. Toomer 1978, 186–187]. introduction 15 centric planetary theory developed in Meta. 8, and defend his own conviction that, in matters concerning how the planets move, it is better to follow planetary hypotheses developed long after Aristotle.

1]—in each case Simplicius presents himself as Heracles cleaning out the Augean stables—not something that one throws out. ) So, even if the phrase «τὰ κοπρίων ἐκβλητότερα» is found in numerous authors—Plutarch, for example, writes at Quaest. conv. ) than κόπρια—it does not follow that, if κόπρος and κόπρια are the same there, they are the same here as well. Simplicius may just as well be thinking instead of ‘shitty things’, that is, items used to clean feces—the mosses, leaves, bits of cloth, and so forth used in ancient personal hygiene instead of toilet paper, for instance—and thus intend a much more vivid invective.

At the same time, Simplicius also tries to uphold the validity of the cosmology expounded in the De caelo and, thus, its authority as a sacred text in the late Platonic program of education. 16 In Chapters 2–4, I will show how this is accomplished. Chapter 2 explains Simplicius’ view of astronomical hypotheses in general, a view foundational to the apologia. Chapter 3 details the apologia itself; and Chapter 4 looks to how Simplicius uses past literature to construct and supplement his apologia.

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