Гераклид Понтийский. Фрагменты и свидетельства

Translated title of the contribution: Heraclides of Pontus. Fragments and testimonia

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Heraclides of Pontus (c. 388–310 BCE), a Platonic philosopher, worked in various literary genres, esp. dialogue. He discussed such typical Platonic topics as the transmigration of the soul, composed philosophical lives, dialogues or treaties about politics, literature, history, geography, etc., and wrote a series of works on astronomy and the philosophy of nature. Nothing is preserved. The present publication contains a collection of testimonies about Heraclides' lost writings.

Heraclides' approach to the past is best understood in contrast with this found in early Peripatetics. Aristotle and his followers, such as Aristoxenus and Dicaearchus, present Pythagoras, the Pythagoreans and Empedocles as figures not entirely devoid of legendary features. At the same time the Peripatetic biographers do not fail to place them in proper historical setting as intellectuals, initiated important philosophical and religious movements. According to Dicaearchus, for instance, the sages are known for their highly practical maxims and general rules of right conduct; Pythagoras developed a new lifestyle and promulgated it in his public and private teaching; Socrates introduced a new form of intellectual and moral pursuit; while Plato founded an institutional framework for philosophical studies having thus paved the way to a systematic research, conducted by the Peripatetics, etc. In a striking contrast with this, in the dialogues of their contemporary Heraclides of Pontus Pythagoras, Empedocles and other ancient philosophers are predominantly literary figures and super-heroes who's supernatural powers are clearly beyond the reach of ordinary men. At the same time, the theories these fictitious personages profess are tailored according to a recognizably Platonic draft.

As an astronomer Heraclides thought of an infinite universe, in fact believing that every star is a kosmos, located in the infinite either. He famously advanced the theory of terrestrial rotation, hypothesizing that the apparent diurnal rotation of the heavens is better explained by the rotation of the Earth, and in this context correctly observed that, unlike other planets, Venus as morning and evening star has the maximum elongation from the Sun's position (that is to say is never located far from the Sun).

The evidences are translated and numbered in this book according to a new edition by Schütrumpf et al. 2008. The work will be useful for students of Ancient philosophy as well as for a wider readership, including those scholars and students who are interested in Greek culture in general.
Translated title of the contributionHeraclides of Pontus. Fragments and testimonia
Original languageRussian
Place of PublicationСанкт-Петербург
PublisherИздательство РХГА
Number of pages122
ISBN (Print)978-5-88812-987-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020



State classification of scientific and technological information

  • 02.91 History of philosophy


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