John Playfair’s claim that Hindus had a good theory of gravity (late 1700-s)

Manish​ said:
“Gravity was discovered by Newton? Lol. Read John Playfair’s treatise from 1794 where he clearly says that the Hindus knew about gravity around 4500BC. The Sanskrit root “grah” means to grab/to attract/ and is used to describe celestial bodies.”

So I dug up the reference: – and it is true that John Playfair had an opinion of this sort. ( Google Books link )

That (some English contemporary of Newton saying this) doesn’t necessarily mean the claim was right, of course. Computing planetary positions does not necessarily require a theory of gravity as clear as Newton’s.


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