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date: 03 March 2021


, of Samos, Greek mathematician and astronomer, 1st half of 3rd cent. bce
  • G. J. Toomer


Conon of *Samos (first half of 3rd cent. bce), mathematician and astronomer. After observing star-risings and weather phenomena in Italy and Sicily, he became famous by his identification (c.245 bce) of a group of stars near the *constellation Leo as the ‘asterization’ (Πλόκαμος, ‘Coma Berenices’) of the lock of hair dedicated by Queen *Berenice (3) II to the victory of Ptolemy III (see ptolemy(1)). This flattery was celebrated by *Callimachus (3) (Aetia fr. 110) in a poem imitated by Catullus (Catull.66). The story that Conon compiled observations of solar eclipses is dubious. In mathematics he wrote on intersecting conics (Apollonius, Conics 4 pref.) and was a correspondent of *Archimedes, who respected him and regrets his early death (e.g. Quadratura parabolae, praefatio).

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