The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Eudoxius – Eudoxus

82

EUDOXUS.

Justinian, classes Eudoxius among the older teachers, and cites his exposition of a constitution of Severus and Antoninus of a. d. 199, which appears in Cod. 2. tit. 12. s. 4. Again, in Basil. i. pp. 810, 811, is cited his exposition of a consti­tution of Diocletian and Maximihian, of A. d. 193, which appears in Cod. 2. tit. 4. s. 18, with the interpolated words excepto adulterio. In both these passages, the opinion of Heros Patricius is pre­ferred to that of Eudoxius. In like manner, it appears from the scholiast in the fifth volume of Meerman's Thesaurus (JCtorum Graecorum Com-inentarii, p. 56; Basil.) ed. Heimbach, i. p. 403) that Domnintis, Demosthenes, and Eudoxius, dif­fered from Patricius in their construction of a con­stitution of the emperor Alexander, of A. d. 224, and that that constitution was altered by the com­pilers of Justinian's code in conformity with the opinion of Patricius. Eudoxius is cited by Patri-ciiis (Basil, iii. p. 61) on a constitution of A. d. 293 (Cod. 4. tit. 19. s. 9), and is cited by Theo-dorus (Basil, vi. p. 227) on a constitution of A. d. 290. (Cod. 8. tit. 55. s. 3.) In the latter passage Theodoras, who was a contemporary of Justinian, calls Eudoxius" his teacher. Whether this expres­sion is to be taken literally may be doubted, as Theodorus also calls Domninus, Patricius, and Stephanus (Basil, ii. p. 580) his teachers. (Zacha-riae, Anecdota, p. xlviii.; Zimmern, 7?. 7?. G. i. §§ 106, 109.)

The untrustworthy Nic. Comnenus Papadopoli (Praenot. Mystag'. pp. 345, 402) mentions a Eu­ doxius, Nomicus, Judex veli, and cites his Synop­ sis Legum, and his scholia oil the No veils of Alexius Comnenus. [J. T. G.]

EUDOXIUS, a physician, called by Prosper Aquitanus a man " pravi sed exercitati ingenii," who in the time of the emperor Theodosius the Younger, A. d. 432, deserted to the Huns. (Okro- nicon. Pithoean. in Labbe, Nova BibliotL MSS. Libror. vol. i. p. 59.) [W. A. G.]

EUDOXUS (Etf5o£os) of Cnidus, the son of Aeschines, lived about b. c. 366. He was, accord­ing to Diogenes Laertius, astronomer, geometer, physician,, and legislator. It is only in the first capacity that his fame has descended to our day, and he has more of it than can be justified by any account of his astronomical science now in exist­ence. As the probable introducer of the sphere into Greece, and perhaps the corrector, upon Egyp­tian information, of the length of the year, he enjoyed a wide and popular reputation, so that Laertius, who does not even mention Hipparchus, has given the life of Eudoxus in his usual manner, that is, with the omission of all an astronomer would wish to know. According to this writer, Eudoxus went to Athens at the age of twenty-three (he had been the pupil of Archytas in geometry), and heard Plato for some months, struggling at the same time with poverty. Being dismissed by Plato, but for what reason is not stated, his friends raised some money, and he sailed for Egypt, with letters of recommendation to Nectanabis, who in his turn recommended him to the priests. With them he remained sixteen months, with his chin and eyebrows shaved, and there, according to Laertius, he wrote the Octaeteris. Several ancient writers attribute to him the invention or introduc­tion of an improvement upon the Octaeterides of his predecessors. After a time, he came back" to Athens with a band of pupils, having in the

EUDOXUS.

mean time taught philosophy in Cyzicum and the Propontis : he chose Athens, Laertius says, for the purpose of vexing Plato, at one of whose symposia he introduced the fashion of the guests reclining in a semicircle ; and Nicomachus (he adds), the" son of Aristotle, reports him to have said that pleasure was a good. So much for Laertius, who also refers to some decree which was made in honour of Eu­doxus, names his son and daughters, states him to have written good works on astronomy and geo­metry, and mentions the curious way in which the bull Apis told his fortune when he was in Egypt. Eudoxus died at the age of fifty-three. Phanocritus wrote a work upon Eudoxus (Athen. vii. p. 276, f.), which is lost.

The fragmentary notices of Eudoxus are numerous. Strabo mentions him frequently, and states (ii. p. 119, xvii. p. 806) that the observatory of Eudoxus at Cnidus was existing in his time, from which he was accustomed to observe the star Canopus. Strabo also says that he remained thirteen years in Egypt, and attributes to him the introduction of the odd quarter of a day into the value of the year. Pliny (H. N. ii. 47) seems to refer to the same thing. Seneca (Qu. Nat. vii. 3) states him to have first brought the motions of the planets (a theory on this subject) from Egypt into Greece. Aristotle (Metaph. xii. 8) states him to have made separate spheres for the stars, sun, moon, and planets. Archimedes (in Arenar.) says he made the dia­meter of the sun nine times as great as that of the moon. Vitruvius (ix. 9) attributes to him the in­vention of a solar dial, called dpdxvrj: and so on.

But all we positively know of Eudoxus is from the poem of aratus and the commentary of Hip­parchus upon it. From this commentary we learn that Aratus was not himself an observer, but was the versifier of the ^a.iv6^va. of Eudoxus, of which Hipparchus has preserved fragments for comparison with the version by Aratus. The result is, that though there were by no means so many nor so great errors in Eudoxus as in Aratus, yet the opi­nion which must be formed of the work of the former is, that it was written in the rudest state of the science by an observer who was not very com­petent even to the task of looking at the risings and settings of .the stars. Delambre (Hist. A sir. Ane. vol. i. p. 107) has given a full account of the comparison made by Hipparchus of Aratus with Eudoxus, and of both with his own observations. He cannot bring himself to think that Eudoxus knew anything of geometry, though it is on record that he wrote geometrical works, in spite of the praises of Proclus, Cicero, Ptolemy, Sextus Empi-ricus (who places him with Hipparchus), &c., &c. Eudoxus, as cited by Hipparchus, neither talks like a geometer, nor like a person who had seen the heavens he describes : a bad globe, constructed some centuries before his time in Egypt, might, for anything that appears, have been his sole authority. But supposing, which is likely enough, that.he was the first who brought any globe at all into Greece, it is not much to be wondered at that his reputation should have been magnified. As to what Proclus says of his geometry, see eucleides.

Rejecting the'O/craeTijp/s mentioned by Laertius, which was not a writing, but a period of time, and also the fifth book of Euclid, which one manuscript of Euclid attributes to Eudoxus (Fabric. Bill. Graec. vol. iv. p. 12), we have the following works, all lost, which he is. said to have written:

Pages
About | First

81

82

83
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.