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(păp`əs), fl. c.300, Greek mathematician of Alexandria. He recorded and enlarged on the results of his predecessors, including Euclid and Apollonius of Perga, in his Mathematical Collection (8 books; date conjectural). The six and a half extant books, edited and translated into Latin by Commandinus (1588), stimulated a revival of geometry in the 17th cent.; Descartes expounded several of his problems. The collection was reedited by Frederick Hultsch (1876–78). Pappus' other works include a commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest.


See T. L. Heath, A Manual of Greek Mathematics (1931).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a winglike growth or very large trichome on the fruits and seeds of many plants. The pappus assists in the spreading of the fruits and seeds by the wind.



(Pappus of Alexandria). Years of birth and death unknown. Greek mathematician of the second half of the third century.

Pappus was the author of Mathematical Collections in eight books, only the last six of which are extant. The first two books were devoted to arithmetic, and the third through fifth books deal primarily with geometry. The sixth is on astronomy, the seventh contains a commentary on the works of Apollonius of Perga, including the latter’s Conic Sections, and the eighth deals with mechanics. Pappus’ work, a compendium of many works that have since been lost, is a valuable source for the history of Hellenistic mathematics.


Pappi Alexandrini collectionis quae supersunt, vols. 1–3. Edited by F. Hultsch. Berlin, 1876–78.


Heiberg, J. L. Estestvoznanie i matematika v klassicheskoi drevnosti. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936. (Translated from German.)
Sarton, G. A. A History of Science. Cambridge, Mass., 1952.



the aggregate of hairs or scales in a ring of one, two, or more rows on the apex of the inferior ovary and fruit of most plants of the families Compositae, Valerianaceae, and some others. The pappus helps in the distribution of seeds and fruits by means of wind, water, and animals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An appendage or group of appendages consisting of a modified perianth on the ovary or fruit of various seed plants; adapted to dispersal by wind and other means.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pappi, Franz U., Sozialstruktur und politische Konflikte in der Bundesrepublik.
Pretresse: on connait notamment une pretresse de la deesse louvite Huwassanna (Pappi) et une pretresse AMA.DINGIR LIM du nom de Baza.
It is for this reason that seedless pappi blowing about in the wind are often seen.
Focusing the aims of gender policies, Franz Urban Pappi and Ilona Ostner (1994: 139) distinguish between three "role models": difference, equality and sameness.
Diventa aiuto regista di Enzo De Caro per Io Peter Pan (1989) e Ladri di futuro (1990), e quindi con Pappi Corsicato, Mario Martone (Rasoi, 1993) e Francesco Calogero (Nessuno, 1992).
aastal peeti kunstnike televisioonist teatrisse lahkumise pohjuseks nende halba varustamist, mistottu neil ei olnud paberit, pappi, naelu ega vineeri.
The portrayal of white South African men is generally uncomplimentary, whereas the Frenchman Pappi Pascal, the Hungarian potter, Matyas, and the Italian doctor, Belotti (who assists Camille in establishing a clinic), are admired for their cosmopolitan civility.
The opening section of the exhibition lays down scholarly foundations, based primarily on research by Gianni Pappi demonstrating that Ribera's Roman years were by no means a mere 'prologue' to his move to Naples -rather, as indicated by his membership of the Academy of St Luke, they were a period of professional activity and success.
When word got out that we were having some pretty good success, we handed out a few flies to Justin's brother who runs a 50-foot G&S, the Pappi. Kevin had a guest who was an expert fly fisherman.
Tabinda Bukhari introduced the band, which had Shahid Pappi on the drum, Imtiaz Hussein on the tabla, Zahid Hussain on the dholak and Taufiq Hussain on the keyboard.