Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Taub, Liba 2016. A Companion to Science, Technology, and Medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome. p. 232.

    Fitzgerald, John T. 2013. Cosmologies of the ancient Mediterranean world. In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi, Vol. 47, Issue. 2,

    2012. Pneuma and Realized Eschatology in the Book of Wisdom. p. 245.

    Salles, Ricardo 2012. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

    Sharples, Robert W. 2012. A Companion to Ancient Philosophy. p. 430.

  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008

12 - Cosmology

By the time of the death of Aristotle, there was some measure of agreement among educated Greeks about the nature of the cosmos. The great astronomers of the fourth century, Eudoxus and Callippus, had worked out a model of concentric spheres, each inner one having poles located in the one next to it on the outside. Epicurean cosmology is offered to humanity for its comfort and reassurance. The arguments with which he defended his theories were as good as he could make them; he tackled the propositions of the Timaeus and the Physics, and endeavoured to show that they were wrong and he was right. Stoicism had influential supporters among thinking people in the Hellenistic and Roman world. Like Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics held that the cosmos in which we live is the only one in the universe. Their cosmos, like Aristotle's, is a corporeal continuum, with no void space inside it, and matter itself is continuous, not atomic.
Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053617
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
Algra K. A. (1988) ‘The early Stoics on the immobility and coherence of the cosmos’, Phronesis 33.
Algra K. A. (1992) ‘“Place”, in context: on Theophrastus fr. 21 and 22 Wimmer’, in Fortenbaugh et al. (1992).
Algra K. A. (1993) ‘Posidonius' conception of the extra-cosmic void: the evidence and the arguments’, Mnemosyne 46.
Algra K. A. (1995) Concepts of Space in Greek Thought, PhA 65 (Leiden).
Asmis E. (1984) Epicurus' Scientific Method, Cornell studies in classical philology 42 (Ithaca/London).
Barnes J. (1989a) ‘The size of the sun in antiquity’, ACD 25.
Barnes J. (1978) ‘La doctrine du retour éternel’, in Brunschwig (1978a).
Bodnár I. (1992) ‘Anaximander on the stability of the earth’, Phronesis 37.
Clay D. (1983a) Lucretius and Epicurus (Ithaca, New York/London).
Cohen M. R. & Drabkin I. E. , edd. (1966) A Source Book in Greek Science (Cambridge, Mass.; 1st edn New York 1948).
Englert W. G. (1987) Epicurus on the Swerve and Voluntary Action, American Classical Studies 16 (Atlanta).
Furley D. J. (1967) Two Studies in the Greek Atomists, 1. Indivisible Magnitudes. 2. Aristotle and Epicurus on Voluntary Action (Princeton).
Furley D. J. (1985) ‘Strato's theory of the void’, in Wiesner (1985–7) I.
Furley D. J. (1989a (1966)) ‘Lucretius and the Stoics’, in Furley (1989c).
Furley D. J. (1989b (1985)) ‘Strato's theory of the void’, in Furley (1989c).
Furley D. J. (1989c) Cosmic Problems: Essays on Greek and Roman Philosophy of Nature (Cambridge).
Glucker J. (1988) ‘Πρòζτòν ∊ιπóντα – Sources and credibility of De Stoicorum repugnantiis 8’, ICS 13.
Gottschalk H. B. , ed. (1965) Strato of Lampsacus: Some Texts, Edited with a Commentary, Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, Lit. and Hist. Sect. (11.6).
Gottschalk H. B. (1967) (rev. Steinmetz 1964) Gnomon 39.
Hahm D. E. (1977) The Origins of Stoic Cosmology (Columbus Ohio).
Hahm D. E. (1991) ‘Aristotle and the Stoics: a methodological crux’, AGPh 73.
Huby P. M. (1978) ‘Epicurus' attitude to Democritus’, Phronesis, 23.
Kenney E. J. (1972) ‘The historical imagination of Lucretius’, G&R 19.
Kidd I. G. (1988) Posidonius, II: The Commentary, 2 vols., Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries 14 A & B (Cambridge) (vol. I see Edelstein & Kidd 1972).
Kirk G. S. (1955) ‘Some problems in Anaximander’, CQ 5 ; repr. in Furley D. J. & Allen R. E. , edd.
Kirk G. S. (1970) Studies in Presocratic Philosophy, vol. I (London).
Konstan D. (1972) ‘Epicurus on “up” & “down” (Letter to Herodotus § 60)’, Phronesis 17.
Laks A. & Most G. W. , edd. (1993a) Théophraste: Métaphysique (Paris).
Lapidge M. (1978) ‘Stoic cosmology’, in Rist (1978).
Lennox J. (1985) ‘Theophrastus on the limits of teleology’, in Fortenbaugh et al. (1985).
Long A. A. (1985) ‘The Stoics on world-conflagration and everlasting recurrence’, in Epp (1985).
Long A. A. & Sedley D. N. , edd. (1987) The Hellenistic Philosophers, 2 vols.: i. Translations of the principal sources with philosophical commentary; ii. Greek and Latin texts with notes and bibliography (Cambridge, various reprints).
Mansfeld J. (1979) ‘Providence and the destruction of the universe in early Stoic thought’, in Vermaseren M. J. , ed., Studies in Hellenistic Religions, EPRO 78 (Leiden) ; repr. in Mansfeld (1989b) study 1.
Mansfeld J. (1986) ‘Diogenes Laertius on Stoic philosophy’, in Giannantoni (1986a) ; repr. in Mansfeld (1990b).
Mansfeld J. (1994a) ‘Epicurus peripateticus’, in Alberti A. , ed., Realtà e ragione, Studi di filosofia antica (Florence).
Mau J. (1954a) Zum Problem des Infinitesimalen bei den Antiken Atomisten (Berlin).
Mau J. (1973) ‘Was there a special Epicurean mathematics?’, in Lee E. N. , Mourelatos A. P. D. & Rorty R. M. , edd., Exegesis and Argument. Studies presented to Gregory Vlastos (Assen).
Nussbaum M. C. (1986) ‘Therapeutic arguments: Epicurus and Aristotle’, in Schofield & Striker (1986a).
Nussbaum M. C. (1994) The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics (Princeton).
O'Brien D. (1981) Theories of Weight in the Ancient World, vol. I: Democritus, Weight and Size, PhA 37 (Leiden/Paris).
Sambursky S. (1959) Physics of the Stoics (London).
Sandbach F. H. (1985) Aristotle and the Stoics, PCPhS suppl. vol. 10 (Cambridge).
Schmid W. (1936) Epikurs Kritik der platonischen Elementenlehre, Klassisch-philologische Studien 9 (Leipzig).
Schmidt J. (1990) Lukrez, der Kepos und die Stoiker, Untersuchungen zur Schule Epikurs und zu den Quellen von De rerum natura (Frankfurt am Main).
Sedley D. N. (1976a) ‘Epicurus and his professional rivals’, in Bollack & Laks (1976).
Sedley D. N. (1976b) ‘Epicurus and the mathematicians of Cyzicus’, CErc 6.
Sedley D. N. (1983b) ‘Epicurus’ refutation of determinism’, in AA. VV. (1983).
Sedley D. N. (1998) Lucretius and the Transmission of Greek Wisdom (Cambridge).
Sorabji R. (1980a) Necessity, Cause, and Blame: Perspectives on Aristotle's Theory (Ithaca, N.Y. and London).
Sorabji R. (1983) Time, Creation and the Continuum (London).
Sorabji R. (1988) Matter, Space and Motion: Theories in Antiquity and Their Sequel (London).
Todd R. B. (1978) ‘Monism and immanence: foundations of Stoic physics’, in Rist (1978b).
Todd R. B. (1985) ‘The title of Cleomedes' treatise’, Philologus 129.
Vlastos G. (1965) ‘Minimal parts in Epicurean atomism’, Isis 56 ; repr. in Graham (1995).
Wasserstein A. (1978) ‘Epicurean science’, Hermes, 106.
Wehrli F. , ed. (1969a) Straton von Lampsakos, Die Schule des Aristoteles: H. 5, Zweite Auflage (Basle/Stuttgart).
Wolff M. (1988) ‘Hipparchus and the Stoic theory of motion’, in Barnes & Mignucci (1988a).