Dates
Characters
Theories and discoveries
585 BC
Thales of Miletus
Prediction of an eclipse
580 BC
Thales of Miletus
Magnets and attraction to rubbed amber
550 BC
Anaximenes
Flat Earth
525 BC
Pythagoras
Understanding the world and mathematics
520 BC
Anaximander
Earth surface is curved (cylinder)
500 BC
Pythagoreans
Earth is a sphere
480 BC
Oenopides
Finds angle of Earth’s tilt to ecliptic
475 BC
Parmenides
Earth is a sphere
470 BC
Anaxagoras
Materials are made of “seeds” (atoms)
470 BC
Anaxagoras
Sun, moon and stars are made of same material as Earth
470 BC
Anaxagoras
Sun as a hot glowing rock
455 BC
Philolaus
Earth Rotates
445 BC
Leucippus
Indivisble atoms
425 BC
Democritus
Atomic theory
390 BC
Plato
Theory of knowledge
390 BC
Plato
Ether as a fifth element
370 BC
Aristotle
Free falling bodies accelerate but heavier bodies fall faster
360 BC
Heracleides
Venus and Mercury orbit the sun
352 BC
Chinese
Recorded observation of a supernova
350 BC
Heracleides
Rotation of the Earth
340 BC
Aristotle
Earth is a sphere
340 BC
Aristotle
Space is continuous and always filled with matter
335 BC
Kiddinu
Precession of equinoxes
335 BC
Strato
Experiments with falling bodies and levers
330 BC
Aristotle
Physics and metaphysics
330 BC
Aristotle
Geocentric cosmology
325 BC
Pytheas
Tides are caused by moon
306 BC
Epicurus
Support for atomic theory
265 BC
Zou Yan
Five elements: water, metal, wood, fire and earth
260 BC
Aristarchus of Samos
Ratio of Earth-Sun distance to Earth-Moon distance from angle at half moon
260 BC
Aristarchus of Samos
Distance and size of moon from Earth’s shadow during lunar eclipse
240 BC
Archimedes
Principle of levers and compound pulley
240 BC
Archimedes
Archimedes’ principle of hydrostatics
235 BC
Eratosthenes
Measurement of Earth’s circumference
170 BC
Chinese
Record of sun spots
150 BC
Hipparchus
Precession of the equinoxes
130 BC
Hipparchus
Size of moon from parallax of eclipse