# Pythagorean astronomical system

An astronomical system positing that the Earth, Moon, Sun, and planets revolve around an unseen "Central Fire" was developed in the fifth century BC and has been attributed to the Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus. The system has been called "the first coherent system in which celestial bodies move in circles", anticipating Copernicus in moving "the earth from the center of the cosmos [and] making it a planet". Although its concepts of a Central Fire distinct from the Sun, and a nonexistent "Counter-Earth" were erroneous, the system contained the insight that "the apparent motion of the heavenly bodies" was (in large part) due to "the real motion of the observer". How much of the system was intended to explain observed phenomena and how much was based on myth, mysticism, and religion is disputed. While the departure from traditional reasoning is impressive, other than the inclusion of the five visible planets, very little of the Pythagorean system is based on genuine observation. In retrospect, Philolaus's views are "less like scientific astronomy than like symbolical speculation." (Wikipedia).

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## Related pages

Pythagoras | Pythagoreanism | Philolaus