The Works of Archimedes: Volume 1, The Two Books On the Sphere and the Cylinder: Translation and Commentary

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 8, 2004 - Mathematics - 386 pages
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This is the first faithful translation into English of the works of Archimedes, the greatest scientist of antiquity. The works translated here--the two books On Sphere and Cylinder--were the great pride of Archimedes himself. Accompanying the translation is the first scientific edition of the diagrams, which incorporates new information from the recently discovered Archimedes Palimpsest. The volume also includes the first English translation of Eutocius's ancient Commentary. Professor Netz's commentary studies Archimedes's work from such contemporary research perspectives as scientific style and the cognitive history of mathematical texts.

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Archimedes was a mathematician and inventor, born in Syracuse, Sicily, about 287 B.C. He became famous for his law of the lever and for inventing the catapult, parabolic mirror, and the mechanical crane that was capable of capsizing a ship by overturning it. These inventions were designed to defend Syracuse during the Second Punic War, which were waged between Rome and Carthage. While Archimedes made fundamental contributions to physics, his greatest contributions were to theoretical mathematics. Some of his works have come down to us. When Syracuse was taken in 212 B.C., Archimedes was killed by the Roman soldiers, being at the time intent upon a mathematical problem.

Reviel Netz is Assistant Professor of Classics at Stanford University. He is the author of The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics (1999; 0521 62279 4), which was a joint winner of the Runciman Award for 2000.

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