| Share
 

Primum Mobile

in the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, was the tenth (not ninth) sphere, supposed to revolve from east to west in twenty-four hours, carrying with it all the other spheres. The eleven spheres are: (1) Diana or the Moon, (2) Mercury, (3) Venus, (4) Apollo or the Sun, (5) Mars, (6) Jupiter, (7) Saturn, (8) the starry sphere or that of the fixed stars, (9) the crystalline, (10) the primum mobile, and (11) the empyrean. Ptolemy himself acknowledged only the first nine; the two latter were devised by his disciples. The motion of the crystalline, according to this system, causes the precession of the equinoxes, its axis being that of the ecliptic. The motion of the primum mobile produces the alternation of day and night; its axis is that of the equator, and its extremities the poles of the heavens.

They pass the planets seven, and pass the `fixed' [starry sphere],
And that crystallin sphere ... and that `First-Moved.'

Milton: Paradise Lost, iii. 482.

Primum Mobile
is figuratively applied to that machine which communicates motion to several others; and also to persons and ideas suggestive of complicated systems. Socrate was the primum mobile of the Dialectic, Megaric, Cyrenaic, and Cynic systems of philosophy.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Primum Mobile from Infoplease:

  • primum mobile: meaning and definitions - primum mobile: Definition and Pronunciation
  • Primum Mobile - Primum Mobile in the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, was the tenth (not ninth) sphere, supposed to ...
  • Dictionary Index - Dictionary Index PRF Priam priapean priapic priapism priapitis Priapus Pribilof Islands price price ...
  • Nine Spheres - Nine Spheres (The). Milton, in his Arcades, speaks of the “celestial syrens' harmony that ...
  • Fixt - Fixt (The). That is, the Firmament. According to the Ptolemaic System, the earth is surrounded by ...

Related Content

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring