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date: 04 October 2022

Nicomachus(3)locked

, of Gerasa, Neopythagorean author, fl. c. 100 ce

Nicomachus(3)locked

, of Gerasa, Neopythagorean author, fl. c. 100 ce
  • G. J. Toomer
  •  and Reviel Netz

Extract

Nicomachus of *Gerasa (fl. c. 100 ce), a *Neopythagorean author of mostly scientific works of an introductory character. Two of his works are extant: (1) Introduction to Arithmetic (Ἀϱιθμητικὴ εἰσαγωγή), in two books, (2) Manual of Harmonics (Ἐγχειϱίδιον ἁϱμονικῆς). He also wrote, all now lost: a Θεολογούμενα ἀϱιθμητικῆς (extracts preserved in the work of the same name attributed to *Iamblichus(2)), a Life of Pythagoras (Porph, VP 20, 59) and an Introduction to Geometry (Introd. Arith. 2.6.1). To modern readers, he often appears to be disturbingly philosophizing, to the detriment of the scientific content, and to be elementary to the point of becoming trivial. He did however have great influence in antiquity (Iamblichus, Asclepius and *Philoponus have all written commentaries on the Arithmetic, which was even translated into Latin by *Apuleius, forming the basis of *Boethius’ own work in Arithmetic; other works were heavily used by Iamblichus). He may be the best representative of the absorption of scientific themes into ancient philosophical education in the Pythagoreanizing tradition.

Subjects

  • Science, Technology, and Medicine

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