Occupation: astronomer, geometer, healer and politician.
Son of: Aiskhines
Dates: c. 408-347 BC
Brief biography: Impoverished. Went to Athens age c. 23; cost of travel and 2 months’ stay were paid by a friend with whom he went, Theomedon, a healer. Studied geometry with Arkhutas, medicine with Philistion, and philosophy with Plato. Further generosity of friends paid for a trip to Egypt (again in the company of a healer, one Khrusippos); stayed 16 months with priests, during which he had diplomatic dealings with King Nekhtanibef II on behalf of Agesilaus II of Sparta, and composed his Oktaetris. Settled at Cyzicus and founded a school. Visited Mausolus in Caria. Met Plato again on second trip to Athens. Lectured on cosmology, meteorology and theology. Invented the hippopede to explain planetary motion, and his mathematics lies behind Euclid books 5, 6, and 12. His home town honoured him on his return; he introduced laws. His Phainomena was versified by Aratos and commented on by Hipparkhos.
References: G L Huxley DSB 4.465-7. DL 8.86-91.
T E Rihll
Last modified: 11 April 2007