Eudoxus of Cnidus

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Eudoxus of Cnidus

(yo͞odŏk`səs, nī`dəs), 408?–355? B.C., Greek astronomer, mathematician, and physician. From the accounts of various ancient writers, he appears to have studied with Plato in Athens, spent some time in Heliopolis, Egypt, founded a school in Cyzicus, and spent his later years in Cnidus, where he had an observatory. It is claimed that he calculated the length of the solar year, indicating a calendar reform like that made later by Julius Caesar, and that he was the discoverer of some parts of geometry included in the work of Euclid. He was the first Greek astronomer to explain the movements of the planets in a scientific manner. His system involved a number of concentric spheres supporting the planets in their paths. Some scientists still held this belief at the time of Copernicus.

Eudoxus of Cnidus

 

Born circa 408 B.C.; died circa 355 B.C. Ancient Greek mathematician and astronomer. Student of Archytas of Tarentum.

Eudoxus traveled in Greece and Egypt, later settling in his homeland in the city of Cnidus. He founded a school for mathematicians and astronomers. Eudoxus was the first to develop the general theory of proportion (discussed in the fifth book of Euclid’s Elements). According to Archimedes, Eudoxus developed the method of exhaustion. In astronomy he made one of the first attempts to develop a theory of planetary motion. His works have not been preserved.

REFERENCE

Kol’man, E. Istoriia matematiki v drevnosti. Moscow, 1961.