Archive for Era – Ancient

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-0551 – Confucius – bio

K’ung-fu-tzu, known to western history as Confucius was born in China in -551 and became known as a thinker and philosopher. He studied and taught about a concept of the ideal man and how he should live and interact with others. His teachings about ethics were based on a version of the golden rule, “What […]

-0334 – Zeno (of Citium) – bio

Zeno was born in -334 in Citium (Kition), a city kingdom on the island of Cyprus. Cyprus is a Mediterranean island south of Turkey and West of Syria. Cyprus was under Persian influence, then conquered by the Greeks under Alexander in -333, and after his death became part of Hellenistic Egypt. Zeno is considered to […]

-0425 – Plato – bio

Plato was born in Athens, Greece around -425. While he is mostly known today as the father of western philosophy, he also studied and taught mathematics and considered math as a branch of philosophy and an important method of understanding. Plato followed in the footsteps of Pythagoras, was a student of Socrates, and founded a […]

-0600 – Sushruta – bio

Sushruta lived in Northern India near the modern city of Benares (or Varanasi) and taught the principles of Ayurvedic medicine and surgery along the banks of the river, Ganges. He authored one of the earliest texts on medicine and surgery, known as “Sushruta Samhita”, which contains descriptions of illnesses and medicinal plants, and many surgical […]

-0460 – Zeno (of Elea) – bio

Zeno of Elea, was born around -460 in southern Italy and influenced the thinking and work of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Zeno studied under the philospher Parmenides and became famous for posing paradoxical problems. Plato wrote a dialogue called “Parmenides”, which is our primary source on the thinking of Zeno. PRECURSOR: -0575 – Pythagoras CONCURRENT: […]

-0325 – Euclid – bio

Euclid was a Greek mathematician and scholar who worked in Alexandria during the rule of Ptolemy. Euclid is best known for his vast collection of mathematics and geometry in a series of books called, “The Elements”. While it is possible that most of the work compiled in The Elements had been discovered previously by others, […]

-0575 – Pythagoras – bio

Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician born around -575 on the island of Samos. He is best known for the “Pythagorean theorem” which states that in a triangle with a ninety degree angle (right angle), a square formed by the long side opposite the right angle (the hypotenuse) is equal to the sum of the squares […]

-0200 – magnetic compass

The first magnetic compasses were made and used in China around -200. They were probably simple objects made from magnetic lodestone which were crafted so they could turn to orient themselves in a magnetic field. They were used as “devining” tools to reveal hidden knowledge through rituals. Around 700, Chinese inventors began using magnetized needles […]

-0408 – Eudoxus – bio

Eudoxus was born around -0408 in Cnidus (now in Turkey) as a Greek and was a mathematician and an astronomer. He learned mathematics from Archytas, astronomy in Egypt, philosophy from Plato and was a teacher to Aristotle. Eudoxus created the first concept of spherical astronomy and planetary motion. He worked on the theory of proportion, […]

-0190 – Hipparchus – bio

Hipparchus was born around -0190 in Nicea, Greece, which is now part of Turkey. He was a mathematician and an accomplished astronomer who has generally been credited with observing and measuring the precession of the equinoxes, which is a small shift in the apparent position of stars that is caused by a wobble in the […]