On the Heavens

Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE)
Translated by John Leofric Stocks (1882 - 1937)

On the Heavens (Greek: Περί ουρανού, Latin: De Caelo or De Caelo et Mundo) is Aristotle's chief cosmological treatise. In it Aristotle argues that the Earth is a sphere by pointing to the evidence of lunar eclipses. Aristotle also provides a detailed explanation of his theory of 'gravity' arguing that things which contain 'earth' fall towards the centre of the Universe because 'earth' is naturally attracted to the centre of the Universe. Aristotle argues that if the planet Earth was moved to the location of the Moon then objects which contain 'earth' would not fall towards the centre of the Earth but rather towards the centre of the Universe. Aristotle believed that the more 'earth' an object contained the faster it would fall. Aristotle argues that there is another type of matter called 'fire' which is naturally repelled from the centre of the Universe. In addition to his own theories Aristotle expounds the theories of the Pythagoreans (that the Earth is one of the stars and that numbers are the literal building blocks of our world) and Democritus (that matter is made of atoms and objects float because of the motions of these atoms). (Summary by Geoffrey Edwards)

Genre(s): Classics (Greek & Latin Antiquity), Ancient, Astronomy, Physics & Mechanics

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Book I Chapters 1-4 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 02 Book I Chapters 5-6 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 03 Book I Chapters 7-8 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 04 Book I Chapters 9-11 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 05 Book I Chapter 12 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 06 Book II Chapters 1-4 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 07 Book II Chapters 5-8 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 08 Book II Chpaters 9-12 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 09 Book II Chapters 13-14 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 10 Book III Chapters 1-3 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 11 Book III Chapters 4-8 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 12 Book IV Chapters 1-3 Geoffrey Edwards
Play 13 Book IV Chapters 4-6 Geoffrey Edwards