Person: Sporus Of Nicaea
Sporus was a Greek mathematician who worked on the classical problems of squaring the circle and duplicating the cube.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- In his turn, Sporus taught Pappus of Alexandria, or perhaps was an older pupil at the same time as Pappus, and we know of him through Pappus's writings and the writings of Eutocius.
- Sporus worked mainly on the classical problems of squaring the circle and duplicating the cube.
- Sporus also used approximations which are early examples of integration.
- Not only did Sporus work on squaring the circle and duplicating the cube but he also constructively criticised others work in these areas.
- There seems little doubt that Sporus's criticism is valid.
- Sporus also criticised Archimedes for not producing a more accurate approximation of π.
- Hence we cannot regard as appropriate the censure of Sporus of Nicaea, who seems to charge Archimedes with having failed to determine with accuracy the length of the straight line which is equal to the circumference of the circle, to judge by his passage in his Keria where Sporus observes that his own teacher, meaning Philon of Gadara, reduced the matter to more accurate numerical expression than Archimedes did ...
- Sporus also wrote on the size of the Sun and on comets.
- Sporus's writings and teaching clearly had a large impact on Pappus who describes him as having a high reputation.
Born about 240, (possibly) Nicaea (now Iznik), Bithynia (now Turkey). Died about 300.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Greek, Origin Turkey
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive