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date: 25 February 2021

Diocles(4)locked

, mathematician, c. 200 bce
  • G. J. Toomer
  •  and Alexander Jones

Extract

Diocles (4), mathematician (c. 200 bce), wrote Περὶ πυρείων (On Burning-Mirrors), preserved in Arabic translation. This treats both spherical and parabolic mirrors (giving the first proof of the focal property of the parabola). The second part of the work is concerned with

(a) solving a problem of *Archimedes by means of intersecting conics;

(b) solving the problem of finding two mean proportionals (‘doubling the cube’) by intersecting conics;

(c) the same by means of a special curve (misnamed ‘cissoid’ in modern times).

Paraphrases of the last three are given by Eutocius (In Arch. 160 ff., 82 ff., 66 ff.).

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