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The doxography for Xenophanes of Colophon unambiguously attributes to him a theory that all the meteora, i.e. all 'objects suspended above us' or 'objects seen in the sky' are different types of clouds. My concern in this paper is with two sets of assumptions that are likely to have framed Xenophanes' theory: a) assumptions concerning the size and shape of the eareth, and b) assumptions concerning the motions of the fixed stars.


Alexander Mourelatos presented “Earth and Stars in the Cosmology of Xenophanes” at the meeting of the Society with the Central Division in Chicago in 2000. A revised version was first published in French as "La Terre et les étoiles dans la cosmologie de Xénophane" ; transl. C. Louguet, in A. Laks and C. Louguet, edd., Qu’est ce que la philosophie présocratique? Lille, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2002, pp. 331-350. In a further revised form, it was incorporated in "The Cloud-Astrophysics of Xenophanes and Ionian Material Monism," in The Oxford Guide to Presocratic Philosophy, edd. Patricia Curd and Daniel W. Graham, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 134-68.

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