Aristarchus, (1) of Samos, a Greek astronomer, who flourished about 280 B.C. He is credited with having suspected that the earth turned on its axis and revolved round the sun. A short treatise of his on the size and distance of the sun and moon is extant.
(2) Of Samothrace, the famous Homeric critic, whose edition of the Iliad and Odyssey has been the basis of all other editions, was born about 158 B.C. He went to Alexandria as a youth, and acted as tutor to the sons of Ptolemaeus Philometor. His revision of Homer has been charged with undue severity, and it is said that he arbitrarily altered and struck out many verses. On this point it is difficult to form an opinion. Aristarchus exercised his faculties upon the works of Pindar, Aratus, Archilochus, and other poets. It is said that he went to Rome, and that he died in Cyprus about 88 B.C.