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date: 09 December 2022

Eudoxus(1)locked

, of Cnidus, mathematician

Eudoxus(1)locked

, of Cnidus, mathematician
  • G. J. Toomer
  •  and Alexander Jones

Extract

Eudoxus of *Cnidus, (c.390–c. 340 bce) was an outstanding mathematician and did important work in *astronomy and geography; he was versatile in ‘philosophy’ in general. According to the not entirely trustworthy ancient biographical tradition (see especially Diog. Laert. 8. 86 ff.), he was a pupil of *Archytas in geometry and of *Philistion in medicine; he came to Athens to hear the Socratics when about 23, later spent time in Egypt studying astronomy with the priests, then lectured in *Cyzicus and the Propontis, visited the court of *Mausolus, and finally returned to teach at Athens, where he was acquainted with Plato; he drew up laws for Cnidus, and died aged 52.In geometry he invented the general theory of proportion, applicable to incommensurable as well as commensurable magnitudes, found in Euclid bk. 5 (scholion in Heiberg, Euclidis Opera 5. 280). This greatly helped to assure the primacy of geometry in Greek *mathematics.

Subjects

  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

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