Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Central Fire

Copernicus was inspired by the cosmology of the ancient Pythagorean, Philolaus, who lived a century after Pythagoras himself. Philolaus said that the world came from both the limited and the unlimited, and he placed the ten points of the tetractys on spheres around the central fire of the cosmos. The Earth sat on the inner sphere, rotating in $24$ hours around its fiery centre. In one conveniently lost work of Aristotle, there is an association between (i) the breath of fire and cosmic time and (ii) orbits and unlimited time.

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