Historical Astronomy: Ancient Greeks: Strato

Strato of Lampsacus
340 BC to 286 BC
Born in Lampsacus,
Short Biography

Srato was the third director of the Lyceum, the school Aristotle founded, and also one of the teachers of Aristarchus.

Importance to Astronomy

Strato didn't actually do anything for astronomy or models of the solar system. And he wasn't that important in the nascant science of the Middle Ages, when Aristotle ruled. However, I wanted to mention him in the spirit of "if only his writing were more well known." It turns out, he had a few good ideas related to motion that fixed some of Aristotle's most grevious mistakes.

Strato realized that falling motion was accelerated motion and that the weight of the object didn't really matter in how long it took to fall. This was very different from Aristotle, who argued that objects fall with a constant speed and that the speed was proportional to the weight of the object.

Strato based his claims on some simple observations, while Arostotle based his claims on, well, I don't know, but it wasn't observation.

Unfortunately, no one paid any attention to Strato, and so physics had to wait 1900 years until Galileo finally straightened out the physics of motion.

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