13 Facts About Philolaus


Philolaus was born in a Greek colony in Italy and migrated to Greece.


Philolaus has been called one of three most prominent figures in the Pythagorean tradition and the most outstanding figure in the Pythagorean school.


Philolaus argued that at the foundation of everything is the part played by the limiting and limitless, which combine in a harmony.


Philolaus discussed a Central Fire as the center of the universe and that spheres revolved around it.


The pupils of Philolaus were said to have included Xenophilus, Phanto, Echecrates, Diocles, and Polymnastus.


In one source, Diogenes Laertius speaks of Philolaus composing one book, but elsewhere he speaks of three books, as do Aulus Gellius and Iamblichus.


One of the works of Philolaus was called On Nature.


Philolaus composed a work on the Pythagorean philosophy in three books, which Plato is said to have procured at the cost of 100 minae through Dion of Syracuse, who purchased it from Philolaus, who was at the time in deep poverty.


The story of Plato's purchase of these books from Philolaus was probably invented to authenticate the three forged treatises of Pythagoras.


Philolaus is trying to show how the ordered universe that we know came into its present condition.


The system that Philolaus described predated the idea of spheres by hundreds of years, however.


Philolaus argued at the foundation of everything is the part played by the ideas of limit and the unlimited.


One of the first declarations in the work of Philolaus was that all things in the universe result from a combination of the unlimited and the limiting; for if all things had been unlimited, nothing could have been the object of knowledge.