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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).



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.


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Para conseguir que un personaje pierda sus rasgos especificos y se quede solo en el estereotipo, un recurso efectivo y muy usado por Plauto es, efectivamente, la caricatura (Cebe 9 y 120), es decir, la exageracion brutal del defecto moral del personaje tipo, como ocurre con Euclion, el senexauarus de Aulularia, donde el senex pater queda desdibujado en algun momento ante la fuerza caricaturesca (Garcia-Hernandez, 230) del pappus parcus:
While this text provides little additional information above and beyond that of the Euclid scholium and Pappus, it does help us to establish terminology.
Flosculos blancos; ramas estigmaticas vinotinto oscuro, pappus pajizo" (Holotypus COL [517544]; isotypi COL [517543], NY).
Pappus measured the heights of the centres of the circles from the base of the arbelos.
TEOREMA DEL HEXAGONO DE PAPPUS Si los puntos A, B y C estan en una recta, y los puntos A', B' y C' estan en otra recta, entonces los puntos de interseccion P = AB' [interseccion] A'B, Q = BC' [interseccion] B'C y R = CA' [interseccion] C'A estan alineados.
The social element consists, for example, in Descartes's having encountered the problem of Pappus in 1631 by way of Jacobus Golius, a professor at Leiden where Descartes had enrolled in 1630.
Fermat was also very much influenced by Apollonius, Pappus, and Diophantos [42, p.
A more subtle approach is to follow the hint given by Pappus of Alexandria (circa AD 340), who used the intrinsic symmetry of the isosceles triangle in an instructive way.
Newton se declara continuador de la tradicion de Arquimedes, y sobre todo de Pappus de Alejandria, quien hablo de una mecanica universal.
De todos ellos, destacamos la labor de dos de ellos: su maestro Pappus y su hija Hipatia.
His narrative is broadly chronological, beginning with the rediscovery of classical sources including Archimedes and Pappus by dal Monte, Stevin, Benedetti, the young Galileo, and others and continuing through discussion of the work of Galileo and his disciples and the rise of mechanical philosophy and Descartes.