Thursday, March 17, 2022

Apollonius of Perga

APOLLONIUS OF PERGA (Greek, c. 240-190 BCE)

Euclid, Archimedes, and Apollonius of Perga (now in modern Turkey): These three constitute the ancestry of analytic geometry. Of Apollonius's numerous works on geometry, only the Conics has survived, and then only the first four of the eight books are certainly original. Books V-VII came to us in an Arabic translation, and it is unknown if Book VIII was ever finished. Many of his ideas are known only from the works of others, though it's uncertain how much is genuinely his.

  • His work on conic sections introduced the definitions of ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola that we use today.
  • His works in astronomy and other topics have not survived, except for fragments in other authors.


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