In this wiki article, the history of gravity starts with Aristotle. However, what were the ideas about Earth's gravity and motion of planets before Aristotle?

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    $\begingroup$ Motion of planets and things falling down were not ascribed to the same mechanism until Newton, so there was no "gravity". Aristotle's ideas about sublunar bodies moving towards the center (of the Earth and the universe), and superlunar bodies moving in circles around it go back to Anaximander. Atomists had atoms falling "down" in the void, suggesting an absolute downward direction, some connect that to "gravity". But overall there was not much of anything that can be cogently connected to the concept. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Dec 12 '20 at 0:12

The earliest is simply observational. We walk on the surface of the earrh and things fall down. This is so obvious a thing that it passed without comment. We know this is the case because when stories talk about flying things like say pegasus or the like, it was seen as fabulous. That is against nature, against the norm.

I'd say Aristotle is unlikely to be the originator of the idea of gravity as you mention. This is a common mistake. He was writing about was known of physics then, in the same way that Feynman did with his lectures. But no-one makes the mistake that Feynman discovered everything he wrote about.

The motion of the sun is referred to in an ancient egyptian myth about how the sun god Ra travels in a golden boat above the sky from east to west, then disembarks onto a night boat on which he travels through the underworld. This goes back at least 2500 BCE. We can see thos as progress as he us also said to have bern born every day in the east and died every noght in the west. That is the sun, far from being created every day in the east and destroyed at the end of every day in the west, travels around the world.

Much later, people realised that this meant the earth must hang upon nothing, so to speak, and given that both the sun and the moon are round, it couldn't have been much of a leap to think that so must the earth. This was realised by the time of early Greek natural philosophy in Miletus, on the coast of what is now modern day Turkey.


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