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Apollonius of Perga

Apollonius of Perga

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Apollonius of Perga, Greek mathematician, called "The Great Geometra". He lived during the last years of the third century until the beginning of the second century BC Author of the famous Treaty of Conical Sections which is considered as one of the main scientific works of antiquity, thus giving him the right to be the most eminent figure of Greek science in the field of pure geometry.

Of the three great mathematicians of Hellenism, Euclid, Archimedes, and Apollonius, the latter has been the least known throughout the ages. Apollonius represents the specialized technical greatness, the geometric virtuosity par excellence. Data on Apollonius's life are scarce and almost all of the notes that appear in the introductions of the different books of conics.

Apollonius was born in Perga, Pamphylia, South Asia Minor. It was probably about 20 years younger than Archimedes. It seems that he studied and spent a lot of time in Alexandria, whose Museum and Library were at that time the center of Western knowledge. Despite this, it seems strange that there is no reference in the books of his great work "The Conics" to any of the kings of Alexandria.

Apollonius was also a celebrated astronomer; Antiquity's favorite mathematical model for representing planetary motion is due to it. Despite their scientific productivity, only two of Apollonius's many treatises have largely been preserved. All Greek versions of "Divide by a Reason" were long lost, but not before an Arab tradition was made. In 1706 Newton's friend Halley published a translation of the work into Latin and after that appeared translations in current languages.