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Look Inside Pappus of Alexandria and the Mathematics of Late Antiquity

Pappus of Alexandria and the Mathematics of Late Antiquity


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: June 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521036894

£ 32.99

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About the Authors
  • This book is at once an analytical study of one of the most important mathematical texts of antiquity, the Mathematical Collection of the fourth-century AD mathematician Pappus of Alexandria, and also an examination of the work's wider cultural setting. An important first chapter looks at the mathematicians of the period and how mathematics was perceived by people at large. The central chapters of the book analyse sections of the Collection, identifying features typical of Pappus's mathematical practice. The final chapter draws together the various threads and presents a fuller description of Pappus's mathematical 'agenda'. This is one of few books to deal extensively with the mathematics of Late Antiquity. It sees Pappus's text as part of a wider context and relates it to other contemporary cultural practices and opens avenues to research into the public understanding of mathematics and mathematical disciplines in antiquity.

    • Pappus of Alexandria is quite a neglected subject
    • Relates mathematical practices to other cultural practices in Late Antiquity
    • Concludes that Pappus had a precise agenda and used his sources strategically
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '[Cuomo] takes a refreshing approach to the history of mathematics.' Journal of Roman Studies

    '… Cuomo does an admirable job in hopefully tempting more students and scholars from different fields to tackle these themes and, even more importantly, to cooperate and cross the lines between disciplines.' De novis libris iudicia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521036894
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 141 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.336kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The outside world
    2. Bees and philosophers
    3. Inclined planes and architects
    4. Altars and strange curves
    5. The inside story
    General index
    Index locorum.

  • Author

    Serafina Cuomo, Birkbeck College, University of London

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