The mathematics of greeks and their impact to now



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THE MATHEMATICS OF GREEKS AND THEIR IMPACT TO NOW
The first noted intellectual activity of human civilizations was found in the riverside areas of Egypt and Mesopotamia(now Iraq).The developed Mathematics there were mainly solutions of very practical elementary problems of everyday life,arising in agriculture,irrigation and commerce.But this trend declined long before the Christian era.It moved gradually to the coasts of the Medditerranean.This took place approximately during 800 B.C. to 800 A.D.The first part of the above period is called the Greek era.Greek Mathematics and Greek Philosophy have their origins in Ionia(in now Western Turkey).Political events made Greeks of Ionia immigrate to Italy,especially to Sicily where they moved their intellectual activities.

Mathematics and Philosophy flourished in Athens after 490 B.C.Later after the Greek foundation of Alexandria,Egypt (331 B.C.) the major scientific developments happened

there till 500 A.D.
Ancient Greek scholars were the first people to study Mathematics as science,apart from

practical problems.The Greeks made important advances by introducing the idea of

logical deduction and proof in order to create a systematic general theory of Mathematics,

in Arithmetic and Geometry.

Modern exact sciences and today’s technology relied their developments on this foundation of Mathematics and related sciences such as Physics and Astronomy,etc by ancient Greeks.
The first noted Greek mathematicians and philoshophers were Thales (625 B.C.-547 B.C.) and Pythagoras (570 B.C.-500 B.C.).The words Philoshophy and Mathematics

were first introduced by Pythagoras who taught that “everything is a number”.

Followed by Plato (427-347 B.C.) and Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), founder of logic among others.

Eudoxus (408-355 B.C.) did of tremendous impact work in geometry and number theory.

Euclid’s(330-275 B.C.) books “Elements” were written 300 B.C..It is a comprehensive (THE FIRST IN HISTORY) treatise of 13 volumes on geometry and number theory, the most long-lived of all mathematical works and of the most impact.Euclid also wrote the first “Optics”.

Archimedes (287-212 B.C.) wrote the famous “works” and among many inventions he

did in Physics,Engineering ,Mathematics,especially Geometry, he invented “Calculus” and he started calculating famous number “Pi”.
The list of famous ancient Greek philoshophers and mathematicians is very long,

over 300 major researchers who greatly contributed to our contemporary civilization.

As the last one we would like to mention the well known mathematician,philoshopher and astronomer Ptolemy(108-178 A.D.) who wrote the famous works “Geography”,”Handy Tables”,and “Almagest”.
C.Columbus to realise his voyage to discover AMERICA read very carefully,was inspired and used the Ptolemy’s work “Geography”.
The first computing machine was invented in ancient Greece.
Subsequent rising civilizations understood the great value of the Greek mathematical works and translated them in their languages repeatedly.Initially translated in Arabic,then in Byzantine,etc.The Scientific Revolution of 16th and 17th centuries is based on the direct translation from ancient Greek by Vatican which was mistakes free.
After 1945 the center of science moved here in U.S.A and many contemporary Greek research mathematicians work in this beautiful country and contribute to the advancement of Mathematical Sciences and Technology,that is to the betterment of

our intellectual and everyday lifes.

George A.Anastassiou,Ph.D

Professor of Mathematics



The University of Memphis


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