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date: 31 January 2023


, of Alexandria (1), mathematician and inventor, fl. 62 ce


, of Alexandria (1), mathematician and inventor, fl. 62 ce
  • G. J. Toomer
  •  and Serafina Cuomo


Heron of *Alexandria (1), (fl. 62 ce) mathematician and inventor, was known as ὁ μηχανικός. The following works are associated with his name. (1) Metrica, three books, on the measurement of surfaces and bodies, and their division in a given ratio. (2) Definitions (Ὅροι), defining geometrical terms and concepts. (3) Geometrica, (4) Stereometrica, and (5) On Measures (Περὶ μέτρων), all works on mensuration. (6) Pneumatica, on the construction of devices worked by compressed air, steam, and water. (7) On Automata-making (Περὶ αὐτοματοποϊκῆς), mostly on the construction of θαύματα (‘wonder-working’ devices). (8) Mechanica, three books (extant only in Arabic, but excerpted by *Pappus book 8), on how to move weights with the least effort, containing (book 1) the foundations of *statics and dynamics, (book 2) the five simple machines, (book 3) the building of lifting-machines and presses. (9) Dioptra, on the construction and use of a sighting-instrument for measurement at a distance (with additions describing other instruments, e.g. a hodometer). (10) Catoptrica (extant only in Latin translation), on the theory and construction of plane and curved mirrors (see catoptrics).


  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

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