By Sir Thomas Heath

ISBN-10: 0486240738

ISBN-13: 9780486240732

"As it really is, the booklet is integral; it has, certainly, no severe English rival." — Times Literary Supplement. Volume I of an authoritative two-volume set that covers the necessities of arithmetic and contains each landmark innovation and every very important determine. This quantity gains vigorous discourses on Euclid, Apollonius, and others.

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Extra resources for A History of Greek Mathematics, Vol. 1: From Thales to Euclid

Example text

It is true that these are Plato’s ideas of what elementary education should include; but it can hardly be doubted that such methods were actually in use in Attica. Geometry and astronomy belonged to secondary education, which occupied the years between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. The pseudo-Platonic Axiochus attributes to Prodicus a statement that, when a boy gets older, i. e. 49 It would appear that geometry and astronomy were newly introduced into the curriculum in the time of Isocrates.

What they began they carried to a height of perfection which has not since been surpassed; if there are exceptions, it is only where a few crowded centuries were not enough to provide the accumulation of experience required, whether for the purpose of correcting hypotheses which at first could only be of the nature of guesswork, or of suggesting new methods and machinery. Of all the manifestations of the Greek genius none is more impressive and even awe-inspiring than that which is revealed by the history of Greek mathematics.

Last of all,35 astronomy is divided into (1) γνωμονική, the art of the gnomon, or the measurement of time by means of the various forms of sun-dials, such as those enumerated by Vitruvius,36 (2) μτωροσκοπική, which seems to have included, among other things, the measurement of the heights at which different stars cross the meridian, (3) διοπτρική, the use of the dioptra for the purpose of determining the relative positions of the sun, moon, and stars. 37 The elementary or primary stage in Greek education lasted till the age of fourteen.

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A History of Greek Mathematics, Vol. 1: From Thales to Euclid by Sir Thomas Heath

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