Cleostratus was an astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

 of ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

. He was a native of Tenedos
Tenedos or Bozcaada or Bozdja-Ada is a small island in the Aegean Sea, part of the Bozcaada district of Çanakkale province in Turkey. , Tenedos has a population of about 2,354. The main industries are tourism, wine production and fishing...

, and the Chaldean
Babylonian mathematics
Babylonian mathematics refers to any mathematics of the people of Mesopotamia, from the days of the early Sumerians to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC. Babylonian mathematical texts are plentiful and well edited...

 astronomer Naburimannu
Nabu-ri-man-nu was a Chaldean astronomer and mathematician.Classical and ancient cuneiform sources mention an astronomer with this name:...

 may have been a contemporary of him. He is believed by some scholars to have introduced the zodiac
In astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude which are centred upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year...

 (beginning with Aries
Aries (constellation)
Aries is one of the constellations of the zodiac, located between Pisces to the west and Taurus to the east. Its name is Latin for ram, and its symbol is , representing a ram's horns...

 and Sagittarius
Sagittarius (constellation)
Sagittarius is a constellation of the zodiac, the one containing the galactic center. Its name is Latin for the archer, and its symbol is , a stylized arrow. Sagittarius is commonly represented as a centaur drawing a bow...

) and the solar calendar
Solar calendar
A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the position of the earth on its revolution around the sun .-Tropical solar calendars:...

 to Greece from Babylonia
Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia , with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as a major power when Hammurabi Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as...

. Censorinus
Censorinus, Roman grammarian and miscellaneous writer, flourished during the 3rd century AD.He was the author of a lost work De Accentibus and of an extant treatise De Die Natali, written in 238, and dedicated to his patron Quintus Caerellius as a birthday gift...

 (De Die Natali, c. 18) considers Cleostratus to have been the real inventor of the octaeteris
In astronomy, an octaeteris is the period of eight solar years after which the moon phase occurs on the same day of the year plus one or two days....

, or cycle of eight years. The octaeteris was used before the Metonic cycle
Metonic cycle
In astronomy and calendar studies, the Metonic cycle or Enneadecaeteris is a period of very close to 19 years which is remarkable for being very nearly a common multiple of the solar year and the synodic month...

 of 19 years, and was popularly attributed to Eudoxus
Eudoxus or Eudoxos was the name of two ancient Greeks:* Eudoxus of Cnidus , Greek astronomer and mathematician.* Eudoxus of Cyzicus , Greek navigator....

. Theophrastus
Theophrastus , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age, and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and...

 (de Sign. Pluv., p. 239, ed. Basil. 1541) mentions him as a meteorological observer along with Matricetas of Methymna and Phaeinus of Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. Gaius Julius Hyginus
Gaius Julius Hyginus
Gaius Julius Hyginus was a Latin author, a pupil of the famous Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor, and a freedman of Caesar Augustus. He was by Augustus elected superintendent of the Palatine library according to Suetonius' De Grammaticis, 20...

 (Poetica Astronomica, ii. 13) says that Cleostratus first pointed out the two stars in Auriga
Auriga (constellation)
Auriga is a constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for 'charioteer' and its stars form a shape that has been associated with the pointed helmet of a charioteer. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains among the 88 modern...

 called Haedi
Haedi, , is a classical and easily observed pair of stars in the constellation of Auriga. It is composed of the stars ζ Aurigae Hoedus I and η Aurigae Hoedus II, where Hoedus is a medieval Latin spelling of Haedus....

. The crater Cleostratus
Cleostratus (crater)
Cleostratus is a lunar crater near the northwest limb of the Moon. It lies to the northeast of the crater Xenophanes, and west-southwest of the prominent Pythagoras...

 on the Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

is named after him.


Did Cleostratus introduce the Babylonian zodiac to Greece? (List of articles) Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
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