Heracleides of Pontus
(c. 390 bc–c. 322 bc) Greek astronomer
Heracleides, who was born in Heraclea, now in Turkey, was an associate and possibly a pupil of Plato. Although none of his writings have survived, two views that were unusual for the time have been attributed to him. The philosopher Simplicius of Cilicia, a usually reliable source, reports that “Heracleides supposed that the Earth is in the center and rotates while the heaven is at rest.” If this is accurate he must have been the first to state that the Earth rotates, a view that found as little support in antiquity as it did in the medieval period. The second doctrine attributed to him is that Mercury and Venus move around the Sun, which moves around the Earth – a view adopted later by Tycho Brahe in the 16th century.

Scientists. . 2011.

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