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

Archytas of Tarentum

  • Thomas Hockey
Reference work entry

Flourished (Italy), fourth century BCE

Archytas is called the last of the Pythagoreans. He was a student of  Philolaus, friend of  Plato, and, according to some sources, teacher of  Eudoxus. Archytas argued that things cannot exist independently of place. Consequently, if one travels to the supposed “edge” of the Universe, and there stretches out both arms, only one arm would continue to exist. As this seemed absurd, Archytas concluded that the premise is false and that the Universe must be unbounded. A crater on the Moon is named for Archytas.

Selected Reference

  1. Huffman, Carl (2005). Archytas of Tarentum: Pythagorean, Philosopher and Mathematician King. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth ScienceUniversity of Northern IowaCedar FallsUSA