Heraclides of Pontus (c. 388–c. 315 BC)

Heraclides of Pontus was a Greek philosopher who was the first to suggest that the rotation of Earth would account for the apparent rotation of the stars. Until fairly recently, it was believed that, although Heraclides argued for a geocentric universe, he suggested that Mercury and Venus orbited the Sun. (Heliocentric theories were rejected at the time of Heraclides because it was believed that Earth's rotation would cause falling bodies to be deflected westward.) However, D. C. Lindberg (Chicago, 1992) has produced many references to indicate that Heraclides' theories never espoused heliocentrism.