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Greek mathematics – Geometry and Proofs

By | 2017-07-18T11:36:00+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Math|

An Egyptian papyrus from about 100 AD which is a piece of one of Euclid's books Because people in ancient Greece had only very clumsy ways of writing down numbers, they didn't like algebra. They found it very hard to write down equations or number problems. Instead, Greek mathematicians were more focused on geometry, and used geometric [...]

How to prove the Pythagorean Theorem

By | 2017-10-14T16:39:50+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, How, Science|

Diagram for proving the Pythagorean Theorem You can prove the Pythagorean Theorem for yourself, using the proof described on the Pythagorean Theorem page. Just get a square piece of paper, and draw the lines on it that you see in the third drawing (the drawing of a square). Draw the diagonal lines as in [...]

Who was Aristarchus of Samos?

By | 2017-07-18T07:51:54+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

A copy of Aristarchus' work on parchment from Constantinople, about 950 AD. It shows the relative sizes of the sun, the Earth, and the moon Aristarchus, who was born on the Greek island of Samos around 310 BC, spent most of his life working at the University of Alexandria in Egypt. Aristarchus is the first person we [...]

Who was Anaximander? Infinity and Greek science

By | 2017-07-18T07:32:45+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Theater of Miletus Anaximander was born about 610 BC in the Greek city of Miletus, in what is now Turkey. So he was able to have the great mathematician Thales of Miletus as his teacher. Thales was probably about 35 when Anaximander was twenty years old. The two mathematicians worked together for most of their lives. Anaximander [...]

Who was Anaxagoras? Greek scientist

By | 2017-07-18T06:58:55+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

A map showing Clazomenae Like Thales before him, Anaxagoras was born in what's now Turkey. Anaxagoras was born around 500 BC in a city called Clazomenae, in the Persian Empire. When he was a child, Clazomenae participated in the Ionian Revolt and soon became part of the Athenian Empire. Anaxagoras seems to have been born into a rich family, and he [...]

Ancient Greek science

By | 2017-07-18T06:53:56+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Greek doctor letting blood out of a patient because he believes in the four humors By about 600 BC, ancient Greek people were getting richer from trading between Egypt, West Asia, Carthage, and Europe. Now richer families could afford to send their boys to college. More boys got a good education and became scientists. Soon those scientists started to make a lot of [...]

The sun in Greek astronomy

By | 2017-07-18T06:39:20+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

The sun at sunset At first the Greeks imagined that the sun was the god Helios, or Apollo, driving his chariot around and around the earth. In the morning he began driving up in the sky, and then in the evening he drove back down again, and that was the sunset. At night the horses rested under the earth. (Compare to the [...]

What is parallax? History of astronomy

By | 2017-07-18T06:35:00+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Parallax and your finger Parallax comes from the Greek word "para", meaning "alternate" and "alla", meaning "change". Greek people used the word parallax to describe how an object seems to move when you look at it from two different places. The easiest way to see parallax in action is to hold out your left arm [...]

The moon in Greek astronomy

By | 2017-07-18T06:19:24+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, History, Science|

A photograph of the moon from space Early Greeks thought of the moon as the goddess Artemis. Where the Egyptians had thought of the moon as a man and the sun as a woman, the Greeks reversed that and thought of the moon as a woman. By the Archaic period, however, educated Greek men and women knew from observing solar eclipses and ships sailing to the horizon [...]

Ancient Greek astronomy

By | 2017-07-18T06:14:54+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Eclipse of the sun The art of astrology, the study of the stars in order to predict future events, and to interpret people's characters, was already very advanced before the Greeks began to interest themselves in the stars. The Egyptians and especially the Mesopotamians had done a lot of scientific observations and had named the constellations of stars, and [...]