Monday, January 18, 2016

Eudemus of Rhodes (c.370 BC - c.300 BC)

Eudemus was a student of Aristotle and an associate of Theophrastus. Following the death of Aristotle he went back to Rhodes and founded a school there. Though it seems his school did not survive his death, Rhodes nonetheless was the home of several philosophers in the Peripatetic tradition.

Like Theophrastus he wrote a history of astronomy. He also wrote a history of mathematics and treatises on arithmetic astrology, geometry and physics.

Around 320 BC, Eudemus wrote a formal history of Greek mathematics. No longer extant it was summarised in the fifth century CE by Proclus (411-485 BC). From this and other scattered sources it appears that Thales (624- 547 BC) was the first to start and prove certain elementary geometric theorems, although it is not known exactly what the concept of ‘proof’ may have meant to him.
Eudemus of Rhodes (c.370 BC - c.300 BC)
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