Varahamihira was an Indian astrologer whose main work was a treatise on mathematical astronomy which summarised earlier astronomical treatises. He discovered a version of Pascal's triangle and worked on magic squares.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- The school of mathematics at Ujjain was increased in importance due to Varahamihira working there and it continued for a long period to be one of the two leading mathematical centres in India, in particular having Brahmagupta as its next major figure.
- The most famous work by Varahamihira is the Pancasiddhantika (The Five Astronomical Canons) dated 575 AD.
- One treatise which Varahamihira summarises was the Romaka-Siddhanta which itself was based on the epicycle theory of the motions of the Sun and the Moon given by the Greeks in the 1st century AD.
- Other works which Varahamihira summarises are also based on the Greek epicycle theory of the motions of the heavenly bodies.
- There is, however, quite a debate about interpreting data from Varahamihira's astronomical texts and from other similar works.
- Varahamihira made some important mathematical discoveries.
- In particular he examines a pandiagonal magic square of order four which occurs in Varahamihira's work.
Born 505, Kapitthaka, India. Died 587, India.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Indian, Astronomy, Origin India
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive