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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Archimedes was the greatest scientist of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time. This book is Volume I of the first authoritative translation of his works into English. It is also the first publication of a major ancient Greek mathematician to include a critical edition of the diagrams and the first translation into English of Eutocius' ancient commentary on Archimedes. Furthermore, it is the first work to offer recent evidence based on the Archimedes Palimpsest, the major source for Archimedes, lost between 1915 and 1998. A commentary on the translated text studies the cognitive practice assumed in writing and reading the work, and it is Reviel Netz's aim to recover the original function of the text as an act of communication. Particular attention is paid to the aesthetic dimension of Archimedes' writings. Taken as a whole, the commentary offers a groundbreaking approach to the study of mathematical texts.

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About the author (2004)

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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