Person: Eutocius Of Ascalon
Eutocius was a Greek mathematician who wrote commentaries on works of Archimedes and Apollonius.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Eutocius wrote commentaries on three works of Archimedes.
- From this it was thought that Eutocius was a pupil of Isidorus and his dates were deduced from this information.
- However, further investigation showed that this contradicted other information such the dedications that Eutocius makes in some of his other works.
- It was then realised that the comment at the end of Eutocius's commentary to Archimedes' On the Sphere and Cylinder was inserted by a later editor of the work who was indeed a pupil of Isidorus of Miletus.
- It is thought that the first of Eutocius's commentaries on Archimedes was written around 510.
- Ascalon, where Eutocius was born, had a long history and is mentioned in the Old Testament as Askelon.
- It seems likely that Eutocius left Ascalon and went to Alexandria to study.
- Certainly this reads as if Eutocius is addressing his teacher and Paul Tannery's deduction seems secure.
- One has to assume that indeed Ammonius did approve, for Eutocius went on to write commentaries on other works by Archimedes, namely Measurement of the circle and On plane equilibria.
- Eutocius also edited and wrote commentaries on the first 4 books of the Conics of Apollonius.
- One sees immediately that commentators such as Eutocius are very important in the history of mathematics and many important works have only survived due to the work of the commentators.
- Eutocius does not appear to have done any original work.
- Obviously nothing of real astronomical interest has come down from Eutocius.
Born about 480, Ascalon, Palestine (now Ashqelon, Israel). Died about 540.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Greek, Astronomy, Geometry, Origin Israel
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive