Introduction to ancient greek mathematics :
Ancient greeks are regarded as one of the major discoverer of “Geometry”. The greeks were not intrested in numbers much. So they showed their interest in geometry which led to major discoveries. The notable achievements of the greek mathematicians were observed mainly in the period of 6th century BC to 4th century AD.
The word “Mathematics” was termed by pythagoreans (the followers of pythagoras) from the greek word “mathema” meaning ” subject of instructions”.
Major discoveries in ancient greek mathematics
Some of the major discoveries made by the ancient greek mathematicians are as follows :
The concept of theorems and postulates was introduced by the ancient greek mathematicians.
Euclid’s elements were introduced.
One of the most important discovery was theory of conic sections during Hellinistic period.
Archimede’s principle was introduced during this period.
Some major contributions were also made in the field of astronomy.
Other achievements were also made in number theory, applied mathematics, mathematical analysis and were close to integral calculus.
Major ancient greek mathematicians
The most famous greek mathematicians are:
Pythagoras had major contributions in the field of Mathematics. He introduced pythagoras theorem and its proof. He also proved the existence of irrational numbers. He had interests in other fields such as astronomy and philosophy. His studies had a great influence on Plato. He also established an academy with an aim to spread Mathematics in the universe.
He was a pre – Socratic greek philospher. He made a significant contribution in the field of cosmology. He studied the celestial bodies closely.
He was a Greek mathematician and an astronomer. He was the first astronomer to place sun at the center of the solar system instead of Earth. He proposed heliocentric model of solar system. He calculated distance of sun, moon from earth and their sizes.
He introduced Thales theorem and many corollaries which he used to calculate the height of pyramid and distance of ship from the shore.
He introduced a book named Elements. He defined the terms theorems, proofs, postulates etc. His major contribution was conic section.
Archimedes gave an approximate value of Pi. He also calculated area covered by the arc of parabola and had major contribution in area of calculus. He produced the solution for infinite summation series.
His contributions are observed in modern integration.
and many other greek mathematicians existed during the hellinistic period.
The origins of Greek mathematics are not easily documented. The earliest advanced civilizations in the country of Greece and in Europe were the Minoan and later Mycenean civilization, both of which flourished during the 2nd millennium BC. While these civilizations possessed writing and were capable of advanced engineering, including four-story palaces with drainage and beehive tombs, they left behind no mathematical documents.
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