Aristarchus of Samos

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Aristarchus of Samos was an Astronomer and Mathematician. Aristarchus the first Philosopher or Scientist known to Historians who taught that the Earth orbits the Sun yearly. Aristarchus or Aristarchos was an Ancient Greek who lived roughly at the time 325 - 255 BCE.

Aristarchus also taught that the Earth rotates on its axis daily. Other philosophers before Aristarchus suggested that the earth moves but Aristarchus was the first to work out a proper Heliocentric theory. Aristarchus taught that the sun and the fixed Stars remain unmoved while the Planets move. [1] which was remarkably progressive for his time.

The modern Greeks named a telescope after Aristarchos. [2]


Because of his heliocentric theory a different philosopher called Cleanthes wanted Aristarchus indicted for impiety.

[Cleanthes] thought it was the duty of the Greeks to indict Aristarchus of Samos on the charge of impiety for putting in motion the Hearth of the Universe, this being the effect of his attempt to save the phenomena by supposing heaven to remain at rest and the Earth to revolve in an oblique circle, while it rotates, at the same time, about its own axis.

Galileo was threatened with torture for suggesting that the earth orbits the sun, forced to make a public recantation and kept under house arrest for the rest of his life. We don't know what happened to Aristarchus but we do know legal action can't stop the earth orbiting the sun. [3] [4][5]

See alsoEdit


  1. Who discovered that the Sun was a star?
  2. The 2.3m Aristarchos Telescope
  3. Aristarchus
  4. Aristarchus of Samos
  5. ARISTARCHUS, c.325 ? - 255 ? BC Greek Astronomer

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