Talk:Aristarchus of Samos

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Untitled[edit]

It is said here that Aristarchos learned from Erathostenes about the circumference of the earth. Erathosthenes lived later than Aristarchos. Aristarchos never tried to give absolute measures, only relativ distances and sizes of the discs of moom and sun.

To make things clear you need images, geometrical drawings.  

Edybevk 14:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

According to Aetius, as cited here, "Aristarchus sets the Sun among the fixed stars and holds that the Earth moves round the sun’s circle (i.e., ecliptic)". That would mean that Aristarchus recognized the sun as a star, and possibly the stars as suns (as did Democritus). It would also raise the question whether Aristarchus truly assumed the stars to be infinitely far away, as the sun obviously is not. Furthermore, it contradicts some summaries which state that Plutarch and Archimedes are the only references to Aristarchus' heliocentrism.

I found only two pages with that quote, though, so I'd prefer to check the source, also to get some context. It's in the Doxographi Graeci by Hermann Diels. If anyone has a copy, please add anything about Aristarchus you can find in it, otherwise I'll try to get my hands on it eventually. --Eloquence 15:34 Nov 12, 2002 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Talk:Aristarchus-Aristarchus → Aristarchus of Samos - text describes Aristarchus of Samos. The original page Aristarchus will be used as a disambiguation page (there are 4 meanings)

Voting[edit]

  • Support. This will clear the page, since there are at least 4 meanings for Aristarchus. I believe that Aristarchus should be a disambiguation page. --FocalPoint 17:27, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per FocalPoint. Mushroom 17:28, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose see below. Septentrionalis 21:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - as FocalPoint says. Awolf002 21:14, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

There should definitely be a dab page, with a header from the astronomer to the dab. (There should also be a link to Aristarchus of Samothrace to remind readers that these are two different people.)

The question is whether they should be

This is whether Aristarchus of Samos is, or should be, the primary meaning of Aristarchus. He is clearly primary to the crater and the asteroid; and the present article on the grammarian is a stub. The grammarian deserves much more than a stub; but, until he gets it, I think having the astronomer at this page is best. Also, an overwhleming majority of the links to Aristarchus mean to the astronomer, and likely always will. Better to disambiguate a few than all. Septentrionalis 21:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I see that we have a until now a 3 out of 3 agreement that something has to be done. Even though the second suggestion of Septentrionalis is a viable alternative, I will insist, however, on the first suggestion. My reasoning is as follows:

  1. Using a composite name was the way that ancient Greeks were calling their contemporaries. Either their father's name (usually for people within the same city) or their place of origin. Therefore, it appears to me better in terms of historical accuracy.
    • The Greeks did it when they needed to disambiguate, just like WP. Taken ad absurdum this would argue for Aristotle of Stagira. Septentrionalis
      • The argument seems fair, but the Greeks and subsequently the world community until now have not usually disambiguated for Aristotle. On the other hand, many people mention Aristarchus by his name of origin. You may believe me (or check for yourself): I corrected ALL the links to this page (ALL means all I was sure about, >90%). In many cases, Aristarchus was mentioned already as "Aristarchus of Samos". So Wikipedia editors in many cases did disambiguate for Aristarchus.--FocalPoint 10:55, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
        • Oh, he certainly has been called Aristarchus of Samos; Theocritus has been called Theocritus of Syracuse too; but I'm not convinced it's necessary. Septentrionalis 15:47, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. Check the link (Special:Whatlinkshere/Aristarchus). Currently references to the astronomer, the grammarian, the crater and the asteroid are all here. By following the first suggestion, they would all point to the correct entry (the disambiguation Aristarchus), even if we do not do any changes. By following the second suggestion, all references to the grammarian, the crater and the asteroid will be wrong. Therefore it appears to me that it makes more sense in terms of simplicity and practicality.
    • This misstates policy and custom: nothing should point to a dab page except a few backreferences from the disambiguated pages. There is a team out doing this; but I would not like to add to their burdens (and I don't trust all of them to tell Samos from Samothrace either, especially since the linking text often doesn't say.) This maximizes their work. Septentrionalis 21:46, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. Finally, with the mind on the user's standpoint, looking for Aristarchus, I would prefer to see the disambiguation first, than the "primary" page on the astronomer and then follow the disambiguation link for the other meanings.
    • As a user, I deeply disagree. I would rather find this page with one click than two. (This is paid for by taking three clicks rather than two for the other pages; but many fewer people will be looking for them.) Septentrionalis 21:46, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
    • I hope that changing the links will save this one click in all linked searches. Nevertheless, your point is valid and your preference understandable.

--FocalPoint 22:41, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I support the change to a disambiguation page, however this will not save us work as point 2 seems to suggest. Per policy, the links to this dab must be fixed by re-pointing them to the correct page. We'll just have to bite that bullet! Awolf002 21:17, 30 January 2006 (UTC)


Point 2 indicated "even if we do not do any changes". This does not suggest we should not. In fact Awolf002's remark is 100% right. I have started biting that bullet Awolf002. Taste is OK so far.--FocalPoint 07:53, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not conviced by any of FocalPoint's three arguments, and have said so in their places. Septentrionalis 21:46, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

One of the first?[edit]

This edit by an anon appears to be relying on two extremely doubtful paragraphs from Heliocentrism. I shall revert unless a reliable source outside WP can be found. We should not propagate our errors. Septentrionalis 04:14, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

His Views "Revived" by Copernicus[edit]

The article now has: "His astronomical ideas ... were successfully revived and developed by Copernicus...." This makes it sounds as if Copernicus was conscious of the fact that Aristarchus had already proposed such views and that his own views originated from Aristarchus. In fact, Copernicus was inspired by what he had learnt about the Pythagorean view that all the heavenly bodies revolved around a central fire. I don't think that Copernicus even knew of Aristarchus. Correct me if I'm wrong. Otherwise I think the article should be edited. Isokrates 14:38, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

You are wrong :o).--MWAK 17:48, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Copernicus wrote a section for his book (De Revolutionibus) which makes it clear he was aware of both Aristarchus' and the previous Pythagorean theories. For some reason, he crossed this out, and did not include it in the actual printing of his book, however (my suspicion is that he wanted to take credit for the heliocentrism idea, and not reveal that it came from Aristarchus, but I have no additional evidence of this). BTW, his version of heliocentrism matches Aristarchus' model, not the Pythagorean model. Qed (talk) 19:32, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

My memory of an astronomy course from 1987 is indelible. Copernicus was aware of and inspired by Aristarchus. Please recall that medieval and renaissance education involved massive readings in whatever ancient literature was available. --CRATYLUS22 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.42.137.167 (talk) 07:03, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

See Owen Gingrich "DID COPERNICUS OWE A DEBT TO ARISTARCHUS" Journ. Hist. Astronomy xvi p 37 (1985) who argues that Copernicus was NOT influenced by Aristarchus's heliocentric ideas in developing his own and did not know of them when he developed his ideas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.103.234.23 (talk) 23:19, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

But isn't Aristarchus cited in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.222.72.242 (talk) 09:17, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

POV changes by 128.220.212.135[edit]

The user with the IP 128.220.212.135 has added extensive text that strike me as POV-laden and with some OR mixed in, as well. Can someone more knowledgable than me clean this article from these things? Or should we wholesale revert to an older version? Awolf002 11:54, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Inquisition[edit]

In the main article, it is said that Aristarchus was opposed to the Inquisition. Nothing is said about the fact that Protestants such as Luther attacked Copernicus, whose opinions were similar to those of Aristarchus. See the Galileo Talk page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.194.4.21 (talk) 10:54, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Suppressive[edit]

The word "suppressive" is used in the main article, but it is not clear who or what is being suppressed. Geostatic ideas are and were found the world over, starting with the Sumerians in 3500 B.C. 128.220.205.89, 128.220.212.149 and 128.220.212.135, all in the same place in America, are behind the talk about sinister suppression. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.194.4.21 (talk) 11:23, 14 December 2007 (UTC) 128.220.212.169 is in the same place as the other three. 128.220.212.174 is in the same place. The history is very bad.

Philosophy[edit]

In the paragraph entitled "Heliocentrism", there is much irrelevant philosophical chatter about Lakatos and others. Also, the passage sounds as though it has been translated from some other language. Heliocentrism is actually meaningless, according to the theory of relativity. Heliostaticism is also meaningless, by the same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.134.94.122 (talk) 16:26, 13 December 2007 (UTC) Plato and Aristotle are mentioned. They did not invent geostaticism or geocentrism, which were much older.

Site[edit]

The web-site http://www.dioi.org occurs a large number of times in a short article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.141.242.167 (talk) 10:50, 21 December 2007 (UTC) It appears six times. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.141.242.167 (talk) 11:46, 3 January 2008 (UTC) A lot of pushing of a site has been removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.194.4.21 (talk) 11:04, 5 January 2008 (UTC) The Aristarchus articles in other languages are free from this site-pushing by an American University and www.dioi.org. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.145.152.142 (talk) 15:54, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

POV[edit]

128.220.212.174 has failed to mention the later notorious Luther saga. Many Egyptians were geostaticists long before Greek legislation came in. Your history is bad. There is a lot of POV-pushing in the Aristarchus article, probably because the Galileo article is semi-protected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.41.51.240 (talk) 12:03, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Meaningless[edit]

The phrase " awkwardly complex" occurs in the text. These words are meaningless when applied to a geocentric model of the solar system or any other model of the same. It is not possible to measure in numbers the degree of awkwardness of any system, geocentric or heliocentric. The same applies to the degree of complexity of the same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.41.51.240 (talk) 12:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Adding new points of fact[edit]

Someone undid the edits by me to this article that had added new facts that Aristarchus had theorized: (1) day and night produced by the spinning Earth, (2) the annual seasons produced by the Earth's tilted spin axis, and (3) that Aristarchus had defined the "solar system" as a physical entity -- ie, separate from the stars (an infinite distance away) and the Sun stood at its center. This article contains nothing about day and night, the annual seasons, or the fact that the "solar system" did not exist as an idea separate from the "universe" until Aristachus. It seems rather significant that Aristarchus discovered, or at least first theorized, the existence of the solar system. Thus, someone should add these new points of facts to this article. It can be me, or it can be someone else. DFurlani (talk) 23:40, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Aristarch?[edit]

This stated that Aristarch was an alternative spelling (presumably in English). Where? It's conventional in German; it can be used as an abbreviation, like Hom. or Aristot. or Pl., but where is it in modern English running text, neither quoting nor citing German? (Aristarch Belopolsky is a different man.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:12, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

5 calls for clarity[edit]

There are five calls for clarification in the article, some not answered for months. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.194.42.37 (talk) 16:05, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

You are right, the article as written is full of inaccuracies. I am not a professional historian, but I've read enough to fix quite a lot. Unfortunately in many cases, the right way to fix it, is to simply delete sentences and abandon sources, because they are just wrong. Perhaps I will try to do something in my sandbox and see what people think -- this article needs serious work. Qed (talk) 17:59, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Alberto Gomez Gomez[edit]

An article by Alberto Gomez Gomez has appeared in the "Further Reading". If Gomez wants to tell us about "vicious persecution", "life-wiping natural catastrophes" and the like, he can do so elsewhere. See pages 8 and 39. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.55.83 (talk) 17:09, 5 December 2011 (UTC) Alberto Gomez Gomez also says about Aristarchus, "he was sidelined in the annals of history almost to the point of oblivion". See page 39. No proof is produced for any of this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.55.83 (talk) 17:17, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Gomez says that his paper "omits touchy questions" and promptly includes them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.97.55.83 (talk) 17:30, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Gomez says "Instead, we are several thousand years behind schedule." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.178.158.35 (talk) 16:16, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Alberto Gomez Gomez speaks of the "survival of the species". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.160.201.70 (talk) 11:20, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Gomez must think that he is very important. He speaks in terms of millennia and the species, apparently of mankind. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.161.134.251 (talk) 13:23, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
The article was submitted for publication on 5/5/2011. It is not clear if it was ever published. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 135.19.112.240 (talk) 13:41, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

Note that AuthorHouse is what is often called a vanity publisher. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.145.200.153 (talk) 10:40, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Precise precision[edit]

A sentence states "The difference between the sidereal and tropical years is identical to precession." I wanted to change this to "annual precession" but that won't quite do it. Years are in time and precession is in degrees, so some sentence tinkering is needed. Not so much as to confuse a reader; just a little more accurately. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 23:32, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Another odd addition of arc to time appears in the phrase "each of 18 Callipic years plus 10
2/3 degrees". It is not clear what the 10 2/3 degrees are added to, one Callipic year, 18 of them
or a Great year. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.182.255.191 (talk) 09:42, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The whole confused passage has been deleted now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.145.228.82 (talk) 11:08, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Stellar Parallax[edit]

The comment in the article that Aristarchus was correct that there is no stellar parallax is wrong. Parallax was first measured in 1838 by Friedrich Bessel. Until then, telescopes were not strong enough to measure the very small displacement at such distances. Aristotle had remarked that stellar parallax, if it existed, would prove the the geocentric theory was false. When Galileo was brought before the Catholic Church and asked to either renounce or prove the Copernican theory, he was unable to prove it, first because his telescope was inadequate to measure parallax, and second, because he clung too closely to Copernicus's theory which was based on circular orbits of the sun, while he ignored Kepler's correct model of elliptical orbits. — Preceding unsigned comment added by FAMiniter (talkcontribs) 20:25, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

I have replaced the present tense with the past. This improves the article and includes your objection. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.161.171.200 (talk) 13:19, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
1. Galileo was NOT asked to "prove" Copernican theory. 2. Nevertheless, Galileo thought he HAD proven it using an argument about the tides (his argument was incorrect, but he didn't know that); this argument is included in the book that caused Galileo to be summoned before the inquisition in the first place. 3. In the trial transcript there is no mention of Galileo's theory of the tides by either side -- so it would be ridiculous for the court to have asked for proof and Galileo to not have mentioned the tides. The church made their own decision about geocentrism and simply told Galileo to admit he held a geocentric position then renounce it, or face "vigorous interrogation" (which was a euphemism for torture). Neither Galileo, nor the church had the mathematical ability or data to reproduce Kepler's model (which had already been published by Kepler by this point, BTW), and also lacked the ability to see the problem with Copernicus' model from the circles versus ellipse issue. Qed (talk) 00:24, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Brilliant observation by Aristarchus?[edit]

This is probably a brilliant observation by Aristarchus or it wouldn't be here. I fail to see it. "Aristarchus pointed out that the Moon and Sun have nearly equal apparent angular sizes and therefore their diameters must be in proportion to their distances from Earth, so that that the diameter of the Sun was between 18 and 20 times larger than the diameter of the Moon."

How about "Betelguese is the same apparent angular size as Phoebus therefore their diameters must be in proportion to their distances from Earth." This might be true (and yes, well beyond the observational capabilities of the Ancients). But my point is, how does stating this help the problem? What if it were 1/2 or twice? Why does this statement help measure diameters? I guess it is obvious to everyone else. I must be missing the point here. Student7 (talk) 01:10, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Aristarchus' reasoning for why the Sun is between 18 and 20 times further away than the moon, is more involved and required some observational work and some basic trigonometry (which the ancient Greeks accomplished with something called "chord geometry"). Specifically he used https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus%27_inequality Qed (talk) 21:49, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

multiple issues[edit]

There are very few references in this article, only 9 for an article of this length with quite a bit of technical data. The year lengths given in the precession section don't make sense, I suspect there should be a quarter added to each. Sceptic1954 (talk) 18:25, 24 December 2012 (UTC) The issues are in the last two sections, only one reference there.Sceptic1954 (talk) 18:28, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

Size of the Earth?[edit]

I remember Carl Sagan saying that Aristarchus estimated the size of the Earth. Shouldn't that be included in his Bio?

albabe - The Writer/Artist Formally Known as Al Gordon 18:09, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm not finding that. What I'm finding is that he tried to estimate the ratios of sizes of the moon and sun compared to the earth. He was "close enough" on the moon. Way off on the sun. The methods of measurement were just too imprecise until the 17th century or so.
He created a heliocentric solar system. But probably because "fire" (the sun) was superior to "earth," and not because it explained the otherwise epicyclic trajectories of the planets, which he didn't have. In other words, he had the answer to a question that wasn't really asked in any formal manner. Student7 (talk) 23:23, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Plutarch does say he indeed created a heliocentric solar system with the earth revolving around it! Student7 (talk) 23:26, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanx so much for the response! I really appreciate it.

I'll check with my Cosmos DVD set and make sure Carl definitely says that Aristarchus estimated the size of the earth... but, you're right, it's hard to find anything like that on the net. My comment HERE shows up, which is ironically kinda funny. I found a few pages saying that Eratosthenes estimated the size of the Earth.

I did find this, but it's not from an exactly "scientifically reliable" source:

http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080808053210AAR7LHy

albabe - The Writer/Artist Formally Known as Al Gordon 20:45, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

No, Aristarchus did not measure the size of the earth. Eratosthenes did that, as Carl Sagan said: "with nothing more than feet, sticks, and brains" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8cbIWMv0rI) Qed (talk) 21:53, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Stars are suns?[edit]

The claim that Aristarchus thought that the stars were just small suns is cited here: http://solar-center.stanford.edu/FAQ/Qsunasstar.html but this is just a webpage which itself gives some fairly unimpressive sources for this claim. The issue is that Aristarchus did not need to think the stars were suns in order to deal with the parallax problem. He could continue to accept the prevailing view of the time that the stars were point of light on a surrounding sphere (the firmament), and simply claim that the sphere itself is very large. This, I believe, is actually the sense that is used by Archimedes in discussing Aristarchus' heliocentric mode. So I believe this source is just making a mistake. Is there a better source? If not I would move that this claim be reduced to something like:

"To explain the lack of parallax in the stars that would result from a moving earth, he suggested that the radius of the sphere of stars, also known as the firmament, was an exceedingly large distance."<citation: Archimedes, The Sand Reckoner>

Remember, that the sum total of authentic writings on Aristarchus numbers two (Sand Reckoner, and his Sun/Moon radius work) and so it makes very little sense to go beyond the scope of those two pieces of work. Citing other works just introduces other people's "interpretation" of the sources, rather than the only authentic sources themselves. Qed (talk) 19:48, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Your doubts about the source http://solar-center.stanford.edu/FAQ/Qsunasstar.html are spot on. It received full /r/badhistory treatment, just like this very article in the actual form. --79.27.15.174 (talk) 01:49, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I know, I wrote this due to another post there, in anticipation of this. But /r/badhistory is not a reliable source of analysis either. They are mostly in it to cultivate their own sense of superiority in absence of actual analysis. They would rather that Wikipedia continue to be incorrect, so that they can have their lulz. My main point, is that this article should retreat back to the original sources (using translations, such as Heath), and refrain from using secondary analysis since nearly all of it seems unreliable. Qed (talk) 15:45, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The problem with original sources is that they are not self-explanatory, that is, Wikipedia:No_original_research. The main fault of this page is that it manages to give the impression that heliocentrism was widely held in ancient Greece, and it does so by citing (while not giving access to) primary sources: that this was not the case can only be explained through secondary sources.
I'm the actual poster on Reddit, and, while I am fully aware that it is surely not a possible source, I posted there first (starting from /r/AskHistorians) mostly in order get a confirmation of my strong suspects. As you can see, I did not issue a call to arms for edits to this page, a thing that in my understanding would have been against Wikipedia policies. Given my experience on my language's Wikipedia, and the very fact that I am from a non English-speaking country, I'm disinclined to intervene personally, yet as you can see A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy by O. Neugebauer could be a more reliable source than, sadly, the page by The Standford Solar Center, and an internet retrievable one. --82.61.189.135 (talk) 17:31, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
A call to arms to edit an entry on Wikipedia is not against Wikipedia policies. Many classrooms around the world now perform as a standard exercise: "find some weak article in Wikipedia and fix it". Just follow the standard rules of Wikipedia, and who cares how many people do it, or if it is part of a group effort or not? It is also not the point: the people in r/badhistory, and probably even most people in r/AskHistorians are not qualified to edit this page. You, however, have identified a few obvious weaknesses. My claim is, that they are most easily addressed by removing the extraneous secondary source analysis, not replacing it with your own. (I am qualified, but I have a conflict of interest.)
Relying on Neugebauer, would certainly bring the article up to Wikipedia's typical standards, but it would also perpetuate the disease created by the interpretation done in these secondary sources. These authors will inevitably spout their opinion about Aristarchus' connection with the Pythagorean model, or the degree to which Copernicus owes his insight to Aristarchus. But that's an invention of theirs, and has nothing to do with a biography or what one can objectively know about Aristarchus. Historical "sources", is not the same thing as citing a peer reviewed journal, like, Nature. In Nature, the peer review is done before the work is published, while Historical analysis is typically peer reviewed after the work is published. Qed (talk) 19:21, 19 May 2015 (UTC)


Well, maybe then I'd have to ask 'em. They certainly are far more qualified than whoever wrote this.
I honestly don't understand your insistence with original sources. It was by arguing on poorly understood original sources that whoever wrote this article was able to affirm that heliocentrism was predominant in ancient classic civilization, an idea that is impossible to find in any actual historical work: this demonstrates that sources do not explain themselves, and any assessment based on them is by itself an interpretation.
Moreover, Wikipedia can't be a collection of original sources (would be too long) or their summary: not only it would be near to useless and unreadable, but the very choice of which sources include and which not would be way more subjective than most secondary sources.
Given these problems, the Wikipedia policy of giving a summary of "experts' interpretations" is a reasonable compromise.
I get that you are from a STEM field, and as a Theoretical Physics guy you have all my understanding, but it looks to me that you are severely misunderstanding the historical method: there is near to nothing that one can objectively know about pretty much anything in history. There is lot that we can reasonably know/hypothesize, and the Aristarchus-Pythagoreans connection is a natural thing to infer about (of course, one is not to write "we know" but "it has been suggested that". As for sources, I am quite disilluded toward Peer-Review, but there are historical journals that practice it too (and most of published books by professional historians for the specialistic public like the one I suggested definitely go through an editorial reviewing process). --95.239.204.56 (talk) 15:20, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If this was the result of arguing poorly understood original source, then it is in violation of NOR. But actually, that's not what happened. People actually found bad secondary sources. But since the entire corpus of primary Aristarchus material is so small, I just don't see the point in including anyone's secondary analysis. The idea that heliocentrism was common at the time is clearly not substantiated as is evidence by the mere existence of the Almagest. It is fair to say that the idea did periodically appear every once in a while, but it was almost certainly at least a minority if not a marginal point of view.
In terms of the historical method, in the case of the acquisition of knowledge, we can know things some objectively. The case of Aristarchus is of particular note here, precisely because there is so little original material on him. This article should basically say, "he lived at time X", "he tried to measure the sizes of the moon and sun", "Archimedes made the first claim to him authoring a book about heliocentrism and explained how the parallax problem was dealt with", "Selucia was more assertive in his support for heliocentrism", "other references to him, discuss his being persecuted for thinking that Olympus moved". There you go, done. You can dive into Aristarchus' Theorem if you like, and maybe discuss how Copernicus seems to have been aware of him before Aristarchus was translated more generally, but I think that's the furthest extent that you need. The only thing where it might be useful to invoke a secondary source on is if you can find someone to say that Aristarchus was the first to pose the heliocentric theory. I don't otherwise see the need to invoke any method, historical or otherwise to write this article.
In particular mentions of the Pythagoreans or whether or not the stars were suns really needs to be omitted. I'm sorry, but if you can find someone who somehow connects the Pythagoreans with Aristarchus, you can pretty much ignore their "historical analysis" regardless of their credentials. It does not matter what their argument is, you know up front, they don't have a single document or concrete evidence of any kind to back that up. All the nonsense that tries to connect them have been written by people afterwards who does not understand the distinction between the two models, or is at best just over-extrapolating from the fact that Aristarchus lived at about that time. Qed (talk) 22:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)