Person: Conon Of Samos
Conon of Samos was a Greek astronomer and mathematician who discovered the curve now known as the spiral of Archimedes.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Conon is remembered particularly for Callimachus's poem Berenice's Lock about the constellation Coma Berenices.
- It may be as a result of this poem that Conon is well known to Virgil and Propertius.
- The following day the lock of hair had vanished and Conon declared that he could see it in the stars between Virgo, Leo and Bootes.
- Conon was a lifelong friend of Archimedes and the two exchanged mathematical ideas.
- Pappus states that the curve now known as the spiral of Archimedes was discovered by Conon although it was much used by Archimedes.
- cited as the propounder of a theorem about the spiral in a plane which Archimedes proved: this would, however, seem to be a mistake, as Archimedes says at the beginning of his treatise that he sent certain theorems, without proofs, to Conon, who would certainly have proved them had he lived.
- Conon's work on conic sections became a basis for the fourth book of Conics of Apollonius of Perga despite the fact that Apollonius makes less than admiring remarks about Conon in the preface.
- Apollonius says that Conon sent a piece of work to Thrasydaeus which discussed the points of intersection of conics (including circles) but that Conon's results were incorrect and were seen to be so by Nicoteles of Cyrene.
- The work to which Apollonius refers is Conon's Pros Thrasydaion which is now lost so we cannot judge the accuracy of the comments.
- Also lost is Conon's major work on astronomy, the seven books of De astrologia, which included solar eclipse observations.
- Ptolemy attributes seventeen "signs of the seasons" to Conon which he may have given in this work.
- that Conon was a careful observer and that he "recorded solar eclipses observed by the Egyptians".
Born about 280 BC, Samos, Greece. Died about 220 BC, (possibly) Alexandria, Egypt.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Greek, Astronomy, Origin Greece
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive