The word Greek comes across our educational years time and time again. In history we read about them in Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire, in religion we read about the legendary Greek Gods, in language we read about their symbolism and literature. The Ancient Greeks are famously known for their history, literature, arts, science, philosophy and religion. However there is one field the Greeks have mastered in, mathematics that we do not appreciate as much as we should be. Therefore this article summarizes the greatest personalities in the ancient Greek history. Being a mathematician is not an easy task but the Greek seems to have mastered in the field. Here is a list of the top 15 famous Greek mathematicians and their contributions!
He was also known as Euclid of Alexandria and referred as the father of geometry deduced the Euclidean geometry. The name has it all, which in Greek means “renowned, glorious”. He worked his entire life in the field of mathematics and made revolutionary contributions to geometry.
The famous ‘Pythagoras theorem’, yes the same one we have struggled through in our childhood during our challenging math classes. This genius achieved in his contributions in mathematics and become the father of the theorem of Pythagoras. Born is Samos, Greece and fled off to Egypt and maybe India. This great mathematician is most prominently known for, what else but, for his Pythagoras theorem.
Archimedes is yet another great talent from the land of the Greek. He thrived for gaining knowledge in mathematical education and made various contributions. He is best known for antiquity and the invention of compound pulleys and screw pump.
4. Thales of Miletus
He was the first individual to whom a mathematical discovery was attributed. He’s best known for his work in calculating the heights of pyramids and the distance of the ships from the shore using geometry.
Aristotle had a diverse knowledge over various areas including mathematics, geology, physics, metaphysics, biology, medicine and psychology. He was a pupil of Plato therefore it’s not a surprise that he had a vast knowledge and made contributions towards Platonism. Tutored Alexander the Great and established a library which aided in the production of hundred of books.
He was a Hellenistic Greek mathematician and was best known as the father of algebra and attributed to a series of books. His equations can be defined as polynomial equations in several unknowns. The compilations of his books were called Arithmetica.
He’s best known as the person who calculated the circumference of the earth, also the first one to calculate the tilt of the Earth’s axis. Both of the calculations were remarkably accurate, therefore he became world famous for his incredibly accurate calculations.
The intelligent and perspicacious Hipparchus, ancient Greek mythologist made many mathematical contributions throughout his lifetime. He was the founder of trigonometry and the first to develop a reliable method to predict solar eclipses. He possessed the first mathematical trigonometric table.
9. Hero of Alexandria
He described a method for iteratively computing the square root of a number. This method is known as the Hero’s formula in today’s world, thereby gaining became more famously known as the ‘Hero of Alexandria’.
Ptolemy was a famous mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer and a poet of a single epigram in Greek Anthology.
The author/writer and mathematician took the advantage of his knowledge over the two fields to write several scientific researches. The Great treatise is one of his renowned works now known as Almagest.
Xenocrates of Chalcedon was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, and leader (scholarch) of the Platonic Academy from 339/8 to 314/3 BC.
Xenocrates is known to have written a book on numbers, theory of numbers and geometry. He had the unique talent of calculating the syllables out of an alphabet. One attempted to find the total number of syllables that could be made from the letters of the alphabet.
Anaxagoras gave a number of novel scientific accounts of natural phenomena. Due to his exceptional knowledge over mathematics and astronomy, he produced the correct explanation of eclipses and description of the sun as a fiery mass larger than the Peloponnese. He also explained meteors and rainbows.
Hypaitia of Alexandria was the daughter of a mathematician and took her father as an inspiration to become a mathematician herself. Not only was she a mathematician but a philosopher as well. She taught as the head at a school, her subject was the knowledge of Plato and Aristotle. She is the first woman to make valuable contributions in the field of mathematics. Hypaitia was the first woman to take the bold step to pursue with her dreams and became an inspiration to many young women who became the world’s most famous geniuses ever.
Antiphon was the first to give an upper and lower bound for the values of Pi by inscribing and then circumscribing a polygon around a circle and finally proceeding to calculate the polygons areas. The method was applied to squaring the circle. He made comprehensive changes in the world of mathematics through his profound knowledge over the subject such that is known and applied in the modern day.
Diocles was a philosopher, priest, an emperor, mathematician and geometer. This famous mathematician was most popularly known for his work in the sub classification of geometry. His name is associated with the geometric curve called the Cissoid of Diocles. This method was used in solving the problem of doubling the cube.