The Full Wiki

Autolycus of Pitane: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Autolycus of Pitane (c. 360 BC–c. 290 BC) was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, and geographer.

Contents

Life and work

Autolycus was born in Pitane, a town of Aeolis within Western Anatolia. Of his personal life nothing is known, although he was a contemporary of Aristotle and his works seem to have been completed in Athens within the years 335 BC and 300 BC. Euclid references some of Autolycus' work, and Autolycus is known to have taught Arcesilaus. Autolycus' surviving works include a book on spheres entitled On the Moving Sphere and another On Risings and Settings of celestial bodies. Autolycus' works were translated by Maurolycus in the sixteenth century.

On the Moving Sphere is believed to be the oldest mathematical treatise from ancient Greece that is completely preserved.[1] All Greek mathematical works prior to Autolycus' Spheres are taken from later summaries, commentaries, or descriptions of the works.[1] One reason for its survival is that it had originally been a part of a widely used collection called "Little Astronomy".[2] In his Sphere, Autolycus studied the characteristics and movement of a sphere. The work is simple and not exactly original since it consists of only elementary theorems on spheres that would be needed by astronomers, but its theorems are clearly enunciated and proved.[2] Its prime significance, therefore, is that it indicates that by his day there was a thoroughly established textbook tradition in geometry that is today regarded as typical of classical Greek geometry.[2] The theorem statement is clearly enunciated, a figure of the construction is given alongside the proof, and finally a concluding remark is made. Moreover, it gives indications of what theorems were well known in his day (around 320 BCE).[2] Two hundred years later Theodosius' wrote Sphaerics, a book that is believed to have a common origin with On the Moving Sphere in some pre-Euclidean textbook, possibly written by Eudoxus.

In astronomy, Autolycus studied the relationship between the rising and the setting of the celestial bodies in his treatise in two books entitled On Risings and Settings. The second book is actually an expansion of his first book and of higher quality. He wrote that "any star which rises and sets always rises and sets at the same point in the horizon." Autolycus relied heavily on Eudoxus' astronomy and was a strong supporter of Eudoxus' theory of homocentric spheres. The lunar crater Autolycus was named in his honour.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Boyer (1991). "The age of Plato and Aristotle". p. 97. "A few years after Dinostratus and Menaechmus there flourished a mathematician who has the distinction of having written the oldest surviving Greek mathematical treatise. We have described rather fully the work of earlier Hellenic mathematicians, but it must be borne in mind that the accounts have been based no on original work but on later summaries, commentaries, or description. Occasionally a commentator appears to be copying from an original work extant at the time, as when Simplicius in the sixth century of our era is describing the quadrature of lines by Hippocrates. But not until we come to Autolycus of Pitane, a contemporary of Aristotle, do we find a Greek author one of whose works has survived."  
  2. ^ a b c d Boyer (1991). "The age of Plato and Aristotle". pp. 97–98. "One reason for the survival of little treatise, On the Moving Sphere, is that it formed a part of a collection, known as the "Little Astronomy," widely used by ancient astronomers. On the Moving Sphere is not a profound and probably not a very original work, for it includes little beyond elementary theorems on the geometry of the sphere that would be needed in astronomy. Its chief significance lies in the fact that it indicates that Greek geometry evidently had reached the form that we regard as typical of the classical age. Theorems are clearly enunciated and proved. Moreover, the author uses without proof or indication of source other theorems that he regards as well known; we conclude, therefore, that there was in Greece in his day, about 320 B.C., a thoroughly established textbook tradition in geometry."  

References

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AUTOLYCUS OF PITANE, Greek mathematician and astronomer, probably flourished in the second half of the 4th century B.C., since he is said to have instructed Arcesilaus. His extant works consist of two treatises; the one, Hcpi ravovj.thv s v4aipas, contains some simple propositions on the motion of the sphere, the other, IIEpi EirtroXWV Kai Sbo €wv, in two books, discusses the rising and setting of the fixed stars. The former treatise is historically interesting for the light it throws on the development which the geometry of the sphere had already reached even before Autolycus and Euclid (see THEODOSrus OF Tripolis).

There are several Latin versions of Autolycus, a French translation by Forcadel (1572), and an admirable edition of the Greek text with Latin translation by F. Hultsch (Leipzig, 1885).


<< Autolycus

Automatic writing >>


Simple English

Autolycus of Pitane (ca. 360 BC—d. ca. 290 BC) was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, and geographer. He was born in Pitane, a town of Aeolis, in Asia Minor. His works were probably completed in Athens between the years 335 BC and 300 BC. Autolycus' surviving works include a book on spheres (called On the Moving Sphere) and another on the rising and setting of celestial bodies. On the Moving Sphere is believed to be the oldest mathematical treatise from ancient Greece that is completely preserved.[1]

Euclid mentions Autolycus' work. Autolycus also taught Arcesilaus.

Maurolycus translated Autolycus' works in the sixteenth century.

Mathematics

Autolycus studied the movements of a sphere. It is believed they were the earliest written mathematics related books which have actually survived. Theodosius' Sphaerics was based on Autolycus' work on spheres.

Astronomy

Autolycus studied the relationship between the rising and the setting of the celestial bodies, and wrote that "any star which rises and sets always rises and sets at the same point in the horizon."

He has a lunar crater named after him.








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message