One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of Philolaus or his system of astronomy. "Philolaic system" the astronomical system propounded by Philolaus, according to which both the sun and the planets, including the earth, orbit a central point known as the ‘central fire’. "Philolaic tables" the tabulation of the movements of the celestial objects according to this system.
Mid 17th century. From post-classical Latin Philolaicus from classical Latin Philolāus (ancient Greek Φιλόλαος), the name of an ancient Greek Pythagorean philosopher and astronomer from southern Italy (fl. 430 b.c.) + -icus.
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