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Eudoxus of Cnidus

Eudoxus of Cnidus (yōdŏkˈsəs, nĪˈdəs) [key], 408?–355? B.C., Greek astronomer, mathematician, and physician. From the accounts of various ancient writers, he appears to have studied with Plato in Athens, spent some time in Heliopolis, Egypt, founded a school in Cyzicus, and spent his later years in Cnidus, where he had an observatory. It is claimed that he calculated the length of the solar year, indicating a calendar reform like that made later by Julius Caesar, and that he was the discoverer of some parts of geometry included in the work of Euclid. He was the first Greek astronomer to explain the movements of the planets in a scientific manner. His system involved a number of concentric spheres supporting the planets in their paths. Some scientists still held this belief at the time of Copernicus.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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