Menelaus of Alexandria


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Menelaus of Alexandria

 

ancient Greek astronomer and mathematician (first century). Menelaus was the author of works on spherical trigonometry: six books on calculations of chords and the Sphaerica, extant in an Arabic translation, in three books. Menelaus separated trigonometry from geometry and astronomy. Arabic authors also mention a book by Menelaus on hydrostatics.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Menelaus of Alexandria was a Greek mathematician and astronomer, the first to recognize geodesics on a curved surface as natural analogs of straight lines.
Of particular interest are a fragment of an astronomical treatise on planetary theory, probably by Menelaus of Alexandria, and a piece from a canon of lunar eclipses.