Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Callippus of Cyzikus

  • Roberto TorrettiEmail author
Reference work entry

Alternate Name


BornCyzikus (near Erdek, Turkey), circa370 BCE

Diedpossibly Athens, (Greece), circa300 BCE

Callippus, a fellow-citizen and follower of Eudoxus, is best known for his modifications to the Greek lunar calendar and to Eudoxus’ model of the planetary spheres.

Callippus made observations from the Hellespont and moved circa 334 BCE to Athens, where he associated with  Aristotle. To improve the accuracy of Eudoxean planetary models, Callippus added two spheres to the model of the Sun, two to that of the Moon, and one each to the models of Mars, Venus, and Mercury. The two new spheres assigned to the Sun accounted for its unequal motion in longitude, which  Meton and  Euctemonhad discovered a century earlier but Eudoxus ignored. Callippus assigned 94, 92, 89, and 90 days to the northern spring, summer, autumn, and winter, respectively. (The error in these numbers ranges between 0.08 and 0.44 days.) Presumably, the two new spheres for the Moon performed a similar...

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Selected References

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  6. Hübner, Wolfgang (1999). “Kallippos [5].” In Der neue Pauly: Enzyklopädie der Antike, edited by Hubert Cancik and Helmuth Schneider. Vol. 6, cols. 202–203. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.Google Scholar
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Diego PortalesSantiagoChile