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

Chrysippus of Soloi

  • Paul T. Keyser
Reference work entry

BornSoli (near Mersin, Turkey), circa280 BCE

DiedAthens, (Greece), 207 BCE

Chrysippus’ chief astronomical contribution was his cosmology, which served as the dominant paradigm until the time of astronomer  Ptolemy (circa 150).

Chrysippus was born under the rule of Ptolemy II (the Greek king of Egypt); but his family was Kilikian (a Semitic people), and he learned Greek before he moved (at about 20) to Athens. There he studied philosophy under the Stoic scholarch Kleanthes (the name “Chrys-ippos,” meaning “gold-steed,” may translate his native name). From 232 BCE until his death, Chrysippus was scholarch of the Stoa, one of the four major schools of philosophy in Athens.

Chrysippus wrote extensively on Stoic philosophy – 90 % of all Stoic writings in the third century BCE were by him – covering astronomical topics in such works as On the Kosmos, On Motion, On Nature, and On the Void through which he standardized Stoic doctrines. (His writings are now preserved solely in extracts.)


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Selected References

  1. Diogenes Laertius (1970). Lives of Eminent Philosophers. 7 179–202. (Earliest extant biography, to be used cautiously.)Google Scholar
  2. Gould, Josiah B. (1970). Philosophy of Chrysippus. Albany: State University of New York Press, pp. 119–126.Google Scholar
  3. Hahm, David E. (1977). The Origins of Stoic Cosmology. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, pp. 81–82, 105–107, 122–125, 156–174, 230–232, 238–239.Google Scholar
  4. Long, A. A. and David Sedley (1987). The Hellenistic Philosophers. 2 Vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 274–289, 294–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Sedley, David (1998). “Chrysippus (c.280-c.206 BC).” In Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward Craig. Vol. 2, pp. 345–346. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA