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(1,389 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Waldner, Katharina (Berlin)
[German version] [1] Of Alexandria, mathematician and engineer, 1st cent. AD (Ἥρων; Hḗrōn). [German version] A. Life H. of Alexandria, mathematician and engineer. No details of his life are known. He lived after  Archimedes [1], whom he quotes, and before  Pappus, who quotes him. In the Dioptra, ch. 35, H. describes a method for determining the time difference between Rome and Alexandria by observing the same eclipse of the moon at both locations. It is quite likely that this eclipse occurred in AD 62 and that H. probably observed it himself in Alexandria [10. 21-24]. Folkerts, Menso (Mu…


(1,337 words)

Author(s): Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Cobet, Justus (Essen) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Engels, Johannes (Cologne) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Et al.
(Λέων; Léōn). Cf. also Leo. Byzantine emperor Leo [4-9]. Sicilian place name L. [13]. [German version] [1] Spartan king, 6th cent. BC Spartan king, Agiad ( Agiads), grandfather of Cleomenes [3] I (Hdt. 5,39); is said to have been successful in war together with his fellow king Agasicles in the early 6th cent. BC, but to have been defeated by Tegea (Hdt. 1,65). Sparta is said to have already achieved eunomía (‘good order’) before his time [1. 45ff.]. Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) Bibliography 1 M. Meier, Aristokraten und Damoden, 1998. [German version] [2] Tyrant of Phlius, 6th cent. BC Tyran…

Division of angles and circles

(923 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient see  Mathematics I Folkerts, Menso (Munich) II. Classical Antiquity [German version] A. Division of circles The division of circles, i.e. the division of the circumference of a circle into any number of arcs of equal length, is directly correlated to the regular polygons: if a regular n-gon is inscribed in a circle, the circumference of the circle is divided into n sections and the angle at the centre belonging to the side of the n-gon has the value 360°/ n . The Pythagoreans ( Pythagoras [2]) were already interested in the regular polygons a…


(1,146 words)

Author(s): Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) | Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(Διοφαντός; Diophantós). [German version] [1] Writer of comedies Author of comedies, dates unknown; one fragment and the title of one play (Μετοικιζόμενος) have been preserved. Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) Bibliography 1 PCG V, 42. [German version] [2] Commander under Mithridates VI Eupator From Sinope, son of Asclepiodotus, commander to Mithridates VI Eupator. In 110 BC he provided skilful military and diplomatic support to the inhabitants of the city of Chersonesus and thus enabled them to withstand the Scythians (Str. 7,3,1…


(7,446 words)

Author(s): Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) | Hunter, Richard (Cambridge) | Pressler, Frank (Heidelberg) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne) | Et al.
(Ἀπολλώνιος; Apollṓnnios). [German version] [1] Dioiketes of Ptolemy II (259-245 BC) Of Caria, possibly Ptolemaic o ikonomos there in 267 BC. Was dioiketes of Ptolemy II from April /May 259 until the end of 245; in 252 escorted Berenice to her wedding to Antiochus II. At a critical transition period A. found himself responsible for the economy of the kingdom of the Ptolemies, adapting the fiscal system to the monetary economy of the Lagids, for which purpose he was entrusted with the management of finances and the co…


(496 words)

Author(s): Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
(Μέναιχμος/ Ménaichmos). [German version] [1] M. of Sicyon Greek historian and antiquary, 4th cent. BC Greek historian and antiquary of the 4th cent. BC. Author of a Pythian history ( Pythikós), which was superseded by a list of victors of the Pythian Games at Delphi composed by Aristotle (T 3) and therefore must have existed in the early 330s (cf. Syll.3 275). A history of Alexander, ( Historía hē katá ton Makedóna Aléxandron) is entirely lost (T 1), while only fragments remain of a local history of Sicyon ( Sikyōniká). Fragments of a treatise ‘On Artists ( Perí technítōn, F 3-6; 9) deal pr…


(1,542 words)

Author(s): Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Schottky, Martin (Pretzfeld) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Eck, Werner (Cologne)
(Νικομήδης; Nikomḗdēs). [German version] [1] Spartan commander, 458 or 457 BC Member of the Spartan royal family of the Agiadae, son of Cleombrotus [2], brother of Pausanias, the victor of Plataeae. In 458 or 457 BC, N. led a Spartan army as the guardian of his underage nephew Pleistoanax to support the inhabitants of the Doris region against the Phocians and on the return march defeated the Athenians near Tanagra (Thuc. 1,107,2-108,1; Diod. Sic. 11,79,4-80,6; Plut. Cimon 17,4-9; Plut. Pericles 10,1-4). Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) [German version] [2] N. I of Bithynia King from 280 BC S…


(99 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] (μεσολάβιον; mesolábion). A mechanical device invented by Eratosthenes [2] to establish graphically the two geometric means x and y between two given lines a and b (as in the relationship a: x = x: y = y: b). The mesolabium enabled the mechanical solution of the problem of the duplication of the cube (‘Delian problem’): if b = 2 a, then x is the desired solution of the equation for the duplication of the cube ( x3 = 2a3 ). Hippocrates [5] of Chios Folkerts, Menso (Munich) Bibliography mes T. L. Heath, A History of Greek Mathematics, Vol. 2, 1921, 258-260.


(723 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna)
(Γέμινος; Géminos) [I]. [German version] [1] Astronomer and mathematician Astronomer and mathematician from the school of Posidonius. Almost nothing is known about his life. The height of his creativity was around 70 BC. It is generally accepted that he lived in Rhodes. The only fully extant treatise by G. is the ‘Introduction to Astronomy’ (Εἰσαγωγὴ εἰς τὰ φαινόμενα). It is in the tradition of  Eudoxus and  Aratus [4]. Similarly to the later writing by  Cleomedes, it is an elementary textbook on astrono…


(947 words)

Author(s): Schwemer, Anna Maria (Tübingen) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Gatti, Paolo (Trento)
(Δωσίθεος; Dōsítheos). [German version] [1] Jewish apostate Son of Drimylos, Jewish apostate. He is supposed to have saved the life of Ptolemy IV Philopator before the battle at Raphia (217 BC)(3 Macc. 1,3). Around 240 BC he was one of the two leaders of the royal secretariat and accompanied Ptolemy III in 225-24 on a trip in Egypt; he held the highest priestly office in Hellenistic Egypt around 222 as the priest of Alexander [4] the Great and the deified Ptolemies. PP 1/8,8; 3/9,5100. Schwemer, Anna Maria (Tübingen) Bibliography V. Tcherikover, A. Fuks, Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum…


(279 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Eck, Werner (Cologne)
[German version] [1] Mathematician, c. AD 200 (Σπόρος; Spóros) or Porus (Πόρος; Póros). It is unclear whether the two individuals of this name living around AD 200 are in fact the same person (v. [5]). S. or Porus wrote a (lost) compilation, Κηρία ( Keria), with extracts on the quadrature of the circle and the duplication of the cube [4. 226]. He criticized Archimedes' [1] approximation of the number pi (thus [1. 258,22]), provided his own solution to the problem of the duplication of the cube [1. 76-78; 4. 266-268] and rejected the Quadratrix of Hippias [5] of …


(103 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(ῥόμβος/ rhómbos). [German version] [1] Geometric shape In the plane, a rectangle with four sides of equal length but with unequal angles ( i.e., with two acute and two obtuse angles; Euc. 1, Def. 22; Censorinus, DN 83,14 Jahn). In three dimensions, a rhombus is the solid of revolution consisting of two cones with the same base (Archim. De sphaera et cylindro 1, def. 6). Folkerts, Menso (Munich) Bibliography 1 T. L. Heath, The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements, vol. 1, 21925, 189 2 A. Hug, s.v. Ῥόμβος ( rhombus), RE 1 A, 1069. [German version] [2] See Top see Top [German version] [3] See Rho…


(6,466 words)

Author(s): Høyrup, Jens (Roskilde) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
Almost all we know about the mathematics of the pre-Greek cultures of the Ancient Near East, essentially Mesopotamian and Egyptian mathematics, originates from written sources. These are mainly from the scribal traditions, even though some sources give a glimpse of the mathematics of ‘lay’ practitioners. When scribes were concerned with the properties of mathematical objects, the purpose was always to calculate something. That is always true in professional practice, but it also holds for school texts, even when these deal with situations …


(550 words)

Author(s): Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa)
(Διονυσόδωρος; Dionysódōros). [German version] [1] Taxiarch to Theramenes c. 400 BC Taxiarch to Theramenes, betrayed to the Thirty by Agoratus (Lys. or. 13,30; 39-42). The latter was taken to court in 399/98 BC by D.'s brother and brother-in-law, Dionysius, the speaker of the 13th oration written by Lysias. Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) [German version] [2] Theban and Olympic winner, envoy and participant in the battle of Issus Theban and Olympic winner. Sent as an ambassador to  Darius [3] and taken prisoner together with other Greek ambassadors by Parmenion in …


(604 words)

Author(s): Leppin, Hartmut (Hannover) | Johne, Klaus-Peter (Berlin) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] [1] Praefectus praetorio Orientis 405-414 AD Probably sent to Persia as an envoy in AD 383, comes sacrarum larg. (eastern region) in AD 400; magister officiorum (eastern region) at the latest in AD 404, cos. 405; at the latest from AD 406 patricius. A. gained considerable political influence in his role as praefectus praetorio Orientis from AD 405-414, initially under Arcadius, later under the underage Theodosius II. He was a Christian, but looked upon pagan culture with an open mind [1. 82 f.]. Through the building of walls, he took…


(124 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] (νεῦσις/ neûsis, ‘inclination’, in the mathematical sense: ‘verging’) is a geometric operation that cannot be performed with a compass and ruler alone. It allows problems  that lead to cubic and other higher equations (for example, cube duplication, angle trisection, squaring the circle) to be solved geometrically. A neûsis construction is necessary when a straight line through a given point is supposed to intersect two given lines so that the distance between the points of intersection is equal to a certain distance. Nicomede…


(3,891 words)

Author(s): Kinzl, Konrad (Peterborough) | Riedweg, Christoph (Zürich) | Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Bartels, Jens (Bonn) | Et al.
(Διόδωρος, Διόδορος; Diódōros, Diódoros). Well-known representatives of the name: the philosopher D. [4] Kronos, the mathematician D. [8] of Alexandria, the universal historian D. [18] Siculus, the early Christian theologian D. [20] of Tarsus. [German version] [1] Athenian fleet commander in the Peloponnesian War Athenian, fleet commander with Mantitheus at the end of 408-407 BC at the Hellespont with a sufficient number of ships, so that Alcibiades [3] was able to sail to Samos and Thrasyllus and Theramenes to Athens (Diod. Sic. 13,68,2). (Traill, PAA 329550; Develin 171). Kinzl, …


(2,514 words)

Author(s): Visser, Edzard (Basle) | Zahrnt, Michael (Kiel) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Et al.
(Μενέλαος/Menélaos, Attic Μενέλεως/Menéleos; Latin Menelaus). [German version] [1] Ruler of Sparta, married to Helena A significant character in the cycle of myths about the Trojan War ( Troy: Cycle of myths). A younger brother of Agamemnon, who ruled the most significant power centre in Greek myth, Mycene, by marriage to Zeus's daughter Helen ( Helene [1]; their only child was a daughter, Hermione) M. became king of a region in the Eurotas valley with its capital Sparta and Amyclae [1], which was significant…


(716 words)

Author(s): Schachter, Albert (Montreal) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(Αρισταιο̃ς; Aristaîos). [German version] [1] Greek rural deity Rural deity linked with sheep, the discovery of olive oil and honey, hunting, healing, prophecy and the end- ing of a period of drought on Ceos (cf. Apoll. Rhod. 2,500 ff.). In literature he is famous for the death of his bees, which occurred because he was responsible for the death of  Euridices, and he successfully searched for ways to restore the bee populations (Verg. G. 4,315-558). A. is a complex figure who can be found in Central Greece, in Arcadia, on Ceos and in Cyrene. He was the husband of Auto…

Quadrature of the circle

(1,369 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(ὁ τοῦ κύκλου τετραγωνισμός/ ho toû kýklou tetragōnismós, Latin quadratura circuli). [German version] I. The nature of the problem The quadrature of the circle is one of the three 'classic problems' (the other two being the trisection of an angle, cf. division of angles and circles, and the duplication of the cube) of ancient Greek mathematics. The problem is to find the side x of a square such that its area is equal to the area of a circle with radius r using a geometric procedure; that is,  to determine the value of the variable x in the equation x 2 = π r 2. Accordingly, the solution to the q…


(210 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] (Θεύδιος; Theúdios). Mathematician and philosopher from Magnesia, probably 4th century BC. The only information about him comes from the catalogue of mathematicians in Proclus's [2] commentary on Euclid [1. 67, Z. 12-20]. T. is mentioned there after Eudoxus [1] and before Philippus of Medma, who was a pupil of Plato [1]; Therefore, T. was probably a contemporary of Aristotle [6]. According to Proclus, T., Menaechmus [3] and Deinostratus conducted research together at the Academy ( Akadḗmeia ), improved the arrangement of the 'Elements', and put many limited pr…


(168 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] (Eυτόκιος; Eutókios) The mathematician E. of Ascalon was presumably born around AD 480; the widespread assumption that he was a pupil of the architect  Isidorus of Miletus is hardly plausible [1. 488]. He wrote commentaries on three works of  Archimedes [1] ( Perì sphaíras kaì kylíndrou, Περὶ σφαίρας καὶ κυλίνδρου, kýklou métrēsis, κύκλου μέτρησις, Perì epipédōn isorrhopiôn, Περὶ ἐπιπέδων ἰσορροπιῶν, text editions [3. 1-319]) as well as on the first four books of Apollonius' Kōniká (Κωνικά) [13] (dedicated to  Anthemius [3], text edition [4. 168-361]…


(272 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] [1] see Groma see  Groma (surveying) Folkerts, Menso (Munich) [German version] [2] see Clocks see  Clocks (time measurement) Folkerts, Menso (Munich) [German version] [3] Arithmetic technical term Arithmetic technical term from Greek numerical theory. The term was adopted from geometry, where the gnomon describes the shape of an angle bar that remains when a smaller square is removed from a larger square. The Pythagoreans represented arithmetic series with geometrically arranged dots (pebbles) in the form of figures, so t…


(5,673 words)

Author(s): Walter, Uwe (Cologne) | Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Knell, Heiner (Darmstadt) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Et al.
[German version] I Greek (Φίλων/ Phíl ōn). [German version] [I 1] Athenian politician Athenian from Acharnae who was exiled by the Oligarchic regime in 404 BC (Triakonta). During the civil war, he lived as a metoikos (resident without Attic citizenship) in Oropos awaiting the outcome of events. Following his return, when he applied to join the boulḗ he was accused of cowardice and other misdemeanours at a dokimasia investigation (Dokimasia) (Lys. 31; possibly 398 BC). Walter, Uwe (Cologne) Bibliography Blass, vol.1, 480f.  Th.Lenschau, A. Raubitschek, s.v. P. (2), RE 19, 2526f. …

Mechanical method

(255 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] The ‘Method (Ἔφοδος; Éphodos) of Archimedes [1] is our source for his mechanical method from which he derived geometric formulas. To compare the surfaces of two figures, he disassembled each into an infinite number of parallel lines and balanced them on a scale. On one side of the scale, one surface is hung up at one point, i.e., as a whole. On the other side, the surface is hung up along the entire arm, i.e., each layer remains where it is and acts with a different leverage. When ea…


(143 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] In the same way as postulates, axioms were presumably introduced in conflict with Eleatic philosophy in order to enable the acceptance of the existence of the manifold [1. 322-325; 2; 3]. According to Aristotle, axioms are central to every branch of knowledge, particularly the law of contradiction and the principle of the excluded middle (Metaph. Γ 3,1005a19-b27); for the organization of the fundamental principles of a branch of knowledge wherein proof is sought see Aristot. An. p…


(3,425 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
Folkerts, Menso (Munich) [German version] A. Introduction (CT) Taking their point of departure from the mathematical accomplishments of the Egyptians and Babylonians, the Greeks remodelled mathematics into a deductive system based on a theory of proof. For the Greeks, unlike for their predecessors, mathematics was a science practiced for its own sake, which also investigated its own foundations; thus, practical considerations and directly numerical problems faded into the background. The main accomplish…


(132 words)

Author(s): Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] [1] Prisoner of war from Pedasa Prisoner of war from Pedasa, who, according to Hdt. 8,104f., as a eunuch, had become one of the closest confidants of  Xerxes I and is said to have taken his revenge on the slave trader Panionius (Ath. 6,266e attests that the story was well known).  Eunuchs Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) Bibliography 1 P. Briant, Histoire de l'empire perse de Cyrus à Alexandre, 1996, 283-288 2 P. Guyot, Eunuchen als Sklaven und Freigelassene, 1980, Register s.v. [German version] [2] Mathematician from Colophon of Colophon, mathematician. He continued …


(261 words)

Author(s): Engels, Johannes (Cologne) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(Λεωδάμας; Leōdámas). [German version] [1] Athenian orator, c. 400 BC The Athenian L. of Acharnae, a skilful orator (Aristot. Rh. 2,23,25 1400a 31-35), was rejected at his dokimasia of 382 BC to assess his candidacy for the eponymous archonship ( Archontes) because of his political role prior to 403 (Lys. 26,13f.). Engels, Johannes (Cologne) Bibliography PA 9076 Davies 13921, p. 523 LGPN 2, s.v. Leodamas (2) Traill, PAA 605085. [German version] [2] Athenian rhetor, 4th cent. BC Son of Erasistratus of Acharnae, outstanding Athenian rhetor, student of Isocrates (Plut. Mor…


(2,746 words)

Author(s): Bloch, René (Berne) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Et al.
(Διοκλῆς; Dioklês). [German version] [1] Hero in Megara Hero in Megara. He supposedly died in battle, bravely covering a youth with his shield. At his grave boys competed for who could give the sweetest kiss. This agon, which took place every spring, was called Dioclea (Schol. Pind. Ol. 7,157; 13,156a; Theoc. 12,27-33 with Schol.: Aition). Perhaps the kisses represented farewell kisses repeated in the cult of the hero ([1]; to the contrary [2]). According to Schol. Aristoph. Ach.774 the agon was founded…


(4,648 words)

Author(s): Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa) | Et al.
Epithet of many gentilicia [1]. Famous persons: the jurist Salvius I. [1]; the doctor I. [2]; the emperor I. [11], called ‘Apostata’; the bishops I. [16] of Aeclanum and I. [21] of Toledo. [German version] [1] L. Octavius Cornelius P. Salvius I. Aemilianus Roman jurist, 2nd cent. AD Jurist, born about AD 100 in North Africa, died about AD 170; he was a student of  Iavolenus [2] Priscus (Dig. 40,2,5) and the last head of the Sabinian law school (Dig. 1,2,2,53). I., whose succession of offices is preserved in the inscription from Pupput, provi…


(1,483 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) | Brodersen, Kai (Mannheim)
(Εὔδοξος; Eúdoxos). [German version] [1] of Cnidus Ancient mathematician and astronomer One of the most important ancient mathematicians and astronomers, he was presumably born in 391/390 BC (on the problem of dating see [7. 137-139]). He studied mathematics with  Archytas [1] and medicine with  Philistion. At the age of 23 he went to Athens and it is said that, among other things, he attended lectures there with  Plato. At the expense of his Cnidian friends, presumably in 365/4 [11], E. went with a letter…


(1,081 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna)
(Θεαίτητος; Theaítētos). [German version] [1] T. of Athens, mathematician, c. 400 BC Mathematician, a native of Athens, pupil of Theodorus [2] of Cyrene and later a member of Plato's Academy ( Akadḗmeia ). In Plato's [1] dialogue named after him, T. appears (together with the aged Theodorus [2]) as about fifteen years old in 399 BC; he was therefore born c. 414. Plato describes him as gentle, courageous and quick to apprehend. After he had been wounded in the battle of Corinth, T. contracted dysentery and died in 369. T. contributed substantially to the theory of irrational quantiti…


(1,669 words)

Author(s): Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg) | Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) | Albiani, Maria Grazia (Bologna) | Et al.
(Νικόμαχος/ Nikómachos). [German version] [1] Healing hero See Gorgasus and Nicomachus Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) [German version] [2] Athenian official, 410-404 BC Allegedly the son of a slave and only later accepted as an Athenian citizen. In 410-404 BC, N. led the commission for recording the laws ( anagrapheîs tôn nómōn). Exiled under the Thirty ( triákonta ), he returned in 403 and again became anagrapheús. In 399/8 BC, N. was accused of manipulating the laws, thus e.g. contributing to the sentencing of the demagogue Cleophon [1] in 404, evading his …


(372 words)

Author(s): Freitag, Klaus (Münster) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg)
(Ἑλικών; Helikṓn). [German version] [1] Mountain range in central Greece Mountain range in central Greece, dividing the Copais Basin and the upper Cephissos Valley from the Gulf of Corinth (cf. Str. 9,2,25; Paus. 9,28,1-31,7). The western part of the H. belonged to Phocis and the eastern part to Boeotia. The highest elevation is the peak of the Palaiovouno (1,748 m). Few passes lead over the H., which is rich in springs and forests and was famed for its herbs. The H. has large areas that were used in anti…


(3,100 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Frede, Michael (Oxford) | Matthaios, Stephanos (Cologne) | Berger, Albrecht (Berlin) | Groß-Albenhausen, Kirsten (Frankfurt/Main) | Et al.
[German version] I Greek (Θεοδόσιος/ Theodósios). [German version] [I 1] Greek mathematician and astronomer, 2nd/1st cent. BC Greek mathematician and astronomer. Folkerts, Menso (Munich) [German version] I. Life and works According to Str. 12,4,9, T. was one of the most important men in Bithynia; the birthplace Tripoli given in the Suda (s. v. Θ.) may relate to another T. As Strabo also names T.’ sons as important mathematicians, T. must belong in the 2nd half of the 2nd cent. BC, or, at the latest, the 1st half of the 1st. …


(385 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] (Δεινόστρατος; Deinóstratos) D. is mentioned in Eudemus' list of mathematicians as the brother of Menachmus, who was a pupil of Eudoxus (Procl. in primum Euclidis elementorum librum comm., p. 67,11 Friedlein). He therefore lived in the middle of the 4th cent. BC  Pappus of Alexandria reports (4,30, p. 250,33-252,3 Hultsch) that to square the circle D. used a curve that was accordingly called the quadratrix (τετραγωνίζουσα). This curve, said to have already been used by Hippias of Elis for the trisection…


(734 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(Αὐτόλυκος; Autólykos). [German version] [1] Son of Hermes and Chione Son of Hermes and Chione (or Philonis, who also bore the singer  Philammon to Apollo, Hes. fr. 64,14). He was included in various mythical family circles, as the father of  Odysseus' mother Anticlea (Hom. Od. 11,85), of  Jason's mother Polymede (Apollod. 1,107) and of Aesimus, the father of  Sinon. He gives the newborn Odysseus his name, and it is whilst hunting with his sons on Mount Parnassus that Odysseus receives the wound in his th…


(162 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] (Θυμαρίδας; Thymarídas). Mathematician from Paros; according to Iamblichus (v. P. 104), T. was an early Pythagorean (Pythagorean School). He defined 'unity' (μονάς/ monás; i.e. the One that generates all the natural numbers) as περαίνουσα ποσότης ( peraínousa posótēs, 'limiting quantity'; Iambl. in Nicomachi arithmeticam introductionem 11,2-5) and called prime numbers εὐθυγραμμικός ( euthygrammikós, 'rectilinear'; ibid.  27,4), because they can only be set out in one dimension. The name 'Flower of T.' (Θυμαρίδειον ἐπάνθημα, Thymarídeion epánthēma) is gi…


(196 words)

Author(s): Frey, Alexandra (Basle) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(Κάρπος; Kárpos). [German version] [1] Son of Zephyrus and a certain Hore Handsome youth, son of Zephyrus and of a certain Hore ( Horae). He organizes a swimming race with  Calamus, his best friend, but drowns in the event. In mourning, his friend kills himself and is turned into reeds. C. is turned into a crop of the field (Nonnus, Dion. 11,385-481). Frey, Alexandra (Basle) [German version] [2] C. of Antioch Mathematician A mathematician, who lived presumably in the 1st or 2nd cent. AD. Information on him is given in four fragments by Pappus (8,3), Proclus (in Euc…


(7,286 words)

Author(s): Knell, Heiner (Darmstadt) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Baumhauer, Otto A. (Bremen) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld) | Blume, Horst-Dieter (Münster) | Et al.
[German version] I Greek (Θεόδωρος; Theódōros). [German version] [I 1] Of Samos, Greek architect, bronze sculptor and inventor, Archaic period Multitalented Greek inventor, architect, bronze sculptor and metal worker ( toreutḗs; Toreutics) of the Archaic period from Samos (for the occupational image cf. architect). His father was Telecles (Hdt. 3,41; Paus. 8,14,8; 10,38,6) or according to other sources (Diog. Laert. 2,103; Diod. Sic. 1,98) Rhoecus [3]; his name is so frequently mentioned in conjunction with the latter that …


(19,876 words)

Author(s): Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Zahrnt, Michael (Kiel) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Schottky, Martin (Pretzfeld) | Et al.
(Πτολεμαῖος/ Ptolemaîos). Personal name meaning 'warlike' (not 'hostile'), first recorded in Hom. Il. 4,228; the name occurred in Macedonia in the 5th and 4th cents. BC, from where it spread to Thessaly, still in the 4th cent. (IG IX 2, 598). It became prominent with the Lagid dynasty, and became common, not only in Egypt, where it may at first have indicated solidarity with the dynasty, but also elsewhere. It underwent many deformations and transmutations. Ptolemies Famous persons: P. [1] I Soter, P. [6] III Euergetes; P. [22], the son of Caesar; the scientist Claudius P. [65]. Ameling, Wa…


(603 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[German version] (Ὑψικλῆς; Hypsiklês). Hellenistic mathematician and astronomer. From the introduction to book 14 of Euclid's ‘Elements’ written by him, it follows that H. lived in Alexandria around 175 BC. It is attested by MSS that he composed what later was added as book 14 to the ‘Elements’ of  Euclides [3] (ed. [1]). Like bk. 13 it deals with the inscribing of regular bodies into a sphere and was thought of as an explanation to a lost work of  Apollonius [13] about dodecahedra and icosahedra. H. shows that the planes th…


(2,119 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Degani, Enzo (Bologna)
[1] of Syracuse C. 287-232 BC [German version] A. Life A. was born in 287 BC in Syracuse, son of the astronomer Phidias. He was friends with King Hieron II, and later with his son Gelon. A. probably spent some time in Alexandria; he later sent on his writings to the mathematicians (Conon, Dositheus, Eratosthenes) who were working there. In Syracuse, A. studied problems of mathematical and physical theory, but also their practical applications; the machines and physical apparatus which he built (e.g. the s…


(2,633 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) | Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Zaminer, Frieder (Berlin) | Di Marco, Massimo (Fondi Latina) | Et al.
(Εὐκλείδης; Eukleídēs). [German version] [1] Athenian archon in 403/2 BC Athenian archon in 403/2 BC. During his year in office Athens made a new start following the Oligarchy of the Thirty (e.g., see And. 1,87-94) and, among others, officially adopted the Ionian alphabet (Theopomp. FGrH 115 F 155). Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) Bibliography Develin 199 LGPN 2, Εὐκλείδης (9). [German version] [2] of Megara Student of Socrates Student of Socrates, founder of the  Megarian School; born between 450 and 435, probably died early in the 360s. In Plato's Phaedon (59c) E. is named among those …

Pappus of Alexandria

(727 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(Πάππος Ἀλεξανδρεύς; Páppos Alexandreús). [German version] I. Life Eminent Greek mathematician. Based on his calculation of a partial solar eclipse for the year AD 320, it is assumed that P. lived in the first half of the 4th cent. (on this and on erroneous dating in the Suda see [2. 2-4]). Folkerts, Menso (Munich) [German version] II. Works The most important surviving work is the Συναγωγή/ Synagōgḗ, customarily cited as the Collectio (ed. [1], French translation [3], edition and English translation of book 7 [2]). Of the 8 books, the first is wholly lost, the se…

Duplication of the Cube

(1,109 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
(κύβου διπλασιασμός/ kýbou diplasiasmós according to Eratosthenes, in [1. 88,16]). [German version] I. General The duplication of the cube ─ besides the  division of angles and circles and the  squaring of the circle ─ belongs to the three classic problems in Greek  mathematics. The challenge is such: to find ─ through the use of geometry ─ for a given cube with a side-length of a (and thus the volume of a 3) the side x of another cube whose volume is twice as big as that of the given cube. The problem is therefore to find the value of x, to which applies: x 3 = 2 a 3 (that is: x = a 32). The problem thus…


(744 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Matthaios, Stephanos (Cologne) | Bringmann, Klaus (Frankfurt/Main) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
(Ζηνόδωρος/ Zēnódōros). [German version] [1] Greek mathematician, probably at the beginning of the 2nd cent. BC Greek mathematician, probably at the beginning of the 2nd cent. BC [5; 6. 604 f.]. He wrote a work 'Isoperimetric figures' (Περὶ ἰσοπεριμέτρων σχημάτων, Perì isoperimétrōn schēmátōn) in which he proved that of all figures of the same circumference the circle has the greatest area, and formulated the proposition that of all bodies of the same surface area the sphere has the greatest volume [3; 4; 7]. Substantial parts of the …

Land surveying

(895 words)

Author(s): Folkerts, Menso (Munich)
[English version] The writings of the Roman surveyors ( agrimensores) deal with their various areas of activity: measurement of areas; limitation, i.e. division by orthogonal boundaries; creation of land registers and general parceling maps; functioning as a judges or experts in land law, particularly in boundary disputes; collaboration in religious ceremonies; units of length and area, weights and determining area and volume. Mathematical questions are dealt with most notably by Balbus' work Expositio et ratio omnium formarum (ca . AD 100), the anonymous Liber podismi and a wo…


(381 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Börm, Henning (Kiel) | Folkerts, Menso (Munich) | Zimmermann, Bernhard (Freiburg)
(Πολύιδος/ Polýidos, Latin Polyidus). [German version] [1] Mythical seer and miracle-worker from Corinth ('of wide learning'). Mythical seer and miracle-worker from Corinth (cf. Cic. Leg. 2,33), descendant of Melampus [1] (Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 115a; Paus. 1,43,5), spouse of Eurydameia, father of Euchenor (Hom. Il. 13,663-668; cf. Cic. Div. 1,89), Cleitus [2], Astycrateia and Manto (not identical with the seeress Manto). His powers are testified to by numerous accounts of his assitence: in Corinth, for example…
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