# What do you ask – did the ancient Greeks have math?

Contents

Yes, the ancient Greeks made significant contributions to mathematics, including the Pythagorean theorem, Euclidean geometry, and advancements in arithmetic and algebra.

## If you need details

Yes, the ancient Greeks are renowned for their contributions to mathematics. According to The Story of Mathematics, “The Greeks laid the foundations for much of modern mathematics, including the idea of deductive reasoning, the theory of plane and solid geometry, trigonometry, and the beginnings of algebra.”

Here are some interesting facts about the ancient Greeks’ mathematical achievements:

• Pythagoras, who lived in the 6th century BCE, is credited with the famous Pythagorean theorem, which relates the sides of a right triangle: a² + b² = c². The theorem had been known by the Chinese and Indians before Pythagoras, but his name remains attached to it in Western mathematics.
• Euclid, who lived in the 4th century BCE, wrote The Elements, a foundational text for geometry that is still studied today. The book is organized in 13 volumes, covering a wide range of topics from plane and solid geometry to number theory and irrationals.
• Archimedes, who lived in the 3rd century BCE, is known for his work on infinitesimals, a precursor to calculus. He is also famous for discovering the principle of buoyancy, which explains why objects float or sink in water, and for calculating the value of pi.
• Greek mathematicians also made significant contributions to astronomy and astrology. For example, Hipparchus, who lived in the 2nd century BCE, developed a system of celestial coordinates and cataloged the positions of over a thousand stars.

To give a better overview of the ancient Greeks’ mathematical legacy, here’s a table summarizing some of their most important achievements:

Mathematician Time Period Accomplishments
Thales 6th century BCE Measured the height of pyramids using similar triangles
Pythagoras 6th century BCE The Pythagorean theorem, harmonic theory, concept of irrational numbers
Euclid 4th century BCE The Elements, a systematic treatment of geometry and number theory
Archimedes 3rd century BCE Methods for approximating pi, calculating surface area and volume, principle of buoyancy
Apollonius 3rd century BCE Conic sections (ellipse, parabola, hyperbola)
Hipparchus 2nd century BCE Stellar cataloging, systems of celestial coordinates
Diophantus 3rd century CE Arithmetica, a collection of algebraic problems
Pappus of Alexandria 4th century CE Synagogue, a collection of geometrical theorems and applications

In conclusion, the ancient Greeks made significant contributions to mathematics that have had a lasting impact on the field. As Bertrand Russell once said, “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty.”

## Response video to “Did the ancient Greeks have math?”

In “The Greek Legacy: How the Ancient Greeks shaped modern mathematics,” the concept of proof is discussed. Ancient Greek mathematicians developed the idea of proof over 2,500 years ago, which established mathematics as a way of understanding and testing the reality of the world. By creating convincing arguments to demonstrate whether something is true or false, the Greeks laid the foundation for modern mathematics. Euclid’s development of proof with basic assumptions called axioms has led to modern mathematical understandings in fields like cryptography and engineering.

IT\\\'S IMPORTANT:  Should i major in math if i'm not a stem major?

The ancient Greeks were incredibly talented mathematicians—but they rarely used numbers in their math. Their particular specialty, geometry, dances around actual quantities, focusing on higher-level logic and constant relationships.

The ancient Greeks were incredibly talented mathematicians—but they rarely used numbers in their math. Their particular specialty, geometry, dances around actual quantities, focusing on higher-level logic and constant relationships.

We are all familiar with the mathematics of ancient Greece. In fact, if we were to ask a person if they knew any mathematical theorem, they would most likely remember the Pythagorean theorem. However, what not many people know is that Greek mathematics was deeply influenced by the mythological, magical and philosophical thinking of the time.

Greek mathematics refers to mathematics texts or arithmetic texts and ideas stemming from the Archaic through the Hellenistic and Roman periods, mostly attested from the late 7th century BC to the 6th century AD, around the shores of the Mediterranean.

As the Greek empire began to spread its sphere of influence into Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and beyond, the Greeks were smart enough to adopt and adapt useful elements from the societies they conquered. This was as true of their mathematics as anything else, and they adopted elements of mathematics from both the Babylonians and the Egyptians.

Influenced initially by the Egyptians, Greek mathematicians would push on to make breakthroughs such as Pythagoras ‘ theory of right-angled triangles and, by focussing on the abstract, bring clarity and precision to age-old mathematical problems.

A major milestone of Greek mathematics was the discovery by the Pythagoreans around 430 bc that not all lengths are commensurable, that is, measurable by a common unit.

Existing specimens of mathematics represent all the major eras—the Sumerian kingdoms of the 3rd millennium bce, the Akkadian and Babylonian regimes (2nd millennium), and the empires of the Assyrians (early 1st millennium), Persians (6th through 4th century bce), and Greeks (3rd century bce to 1st century ce).

The study of mathematics as a "demonstrative discipline" began in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans, who coined the term "mathematics" from the ancient Greek μάθημα (mathema), meaning "subject of instruction".

The ancient Greek civilization lasted untilabout 600 BCE Originally, the Egyptian and Babylonian influence wasgreatest in Miletus, a city of Ionia in Asia Minor and the birthplace ofGreek philosophy, mathematics and science.

Ancient Greece had several schools, mostly private and open only to men. Typically arithmetic wastaught until age 14, followed by geometry and astronomy until age 18. The most famous scholars ofancient Greece were the Athenian trio Socrates, Plato and Aristotle7whose writings were central tothe western philosophical tradition.

Mathematics was developed before the Greeks and in other places on earth independently. It was developed in Babylonia and Egypt (and the ancient Greeks said they initially learned mathematics from the Babylonians and Egyptians) as well as India, China, and elsewhere.

But the Greeks created a mathematics of a different kind. It was formal mathematics with explicit axioms, precise definitions, and proofs that relied on strict logical deduction.

Even now, most mathematics courses before college aren’t formal in that sense.

You also ask if all people have a sense of mathematics. Although some cultures didn’t develop much mathematics, those that had a need for it did. It’s one of those things that’s needed to advance civilization. There seems to be no impediment to creating mathematics.

The ancient Greeks were incredibly talented mathematicians—but they rarely used numbers in their math. Their particular specialty, geometry, dances around actual quantities, focusing on higher-level logic and constant relationships. Why was mathematics important in ancient Greece?

## I am sure you will be interested in these topics as well

Did ancient Greece use math?
Ancient Greek mathematics was not limited to theoretical works but was also used in other activities, such as business transactions and in land mensuration, as evidenced by extant texts where computational procedures and practical considerations took more of a central role.
Similar
How did Greeks do math without zero?
In reply to that: The Greeks knew of zero as a concept but did not think of it as a number with the same usefulness in mathematics as the numbers 1–9. According to Aristotle, it was not possible to divide by 0 and get a meaningful result, so the Greek system was based on 9 numbers—no zero.
What type of math did the ancient Greeks focus on?
Thales Theorem
The ancient Greeks were thinking about math as far back as the 6th century BC. Their focus: geometry. One of the biggest names from this period was Thales, who lived in Ionia, the region of ancient Greece that was actually on the southwestern coast of modern-day Turkey.
How were the Greeks so good at maths?
The astronomical knowledge of Babylonian and Chaldean culture became available to the Greeks who profited by exploiting it systematically. This led to the advance of many Greek mathematical tools, such as the use of a numeral system with 60 as its base, which allowed the Greeks to divide circles into 360 degrees.
How did ancient Greece contribute to math?
Response: How did ancient Greece contribute to mathematics? Greeks refined analytical methods by introducing deductive reasoning and mathematical rigor in proofs. Rigor was a thoroughness and attention to detail for improving accuracy. Proofs established analytical methods as having a formalized structure.
What kind of math did the ancient Greeks invent?
The ancient Greeks certainly didn’t invent math. Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and others had their own sophisticated mathematical traditions, some of which influenced the Greeks, and even early farmers and hunter-gatherers had at least modest knowledge of simple math (adding, subtracting, etc.) and geometry.
Did the ancient Greeks have math?
Response will be: The ancient Greeks were incredibly talented mathematicians—but they rarely used numbers in their math. Their particular specialty, geometry, dances around actual quantities, focusing on higher-level logic and constant relationships. Why was mathematics important in ancient Greece?
Did the ancient Greeks contribute much to mathematics?
The response is: There is a significant contribution made by Ancient Greeks to the field mathematicians from fundamentals of geometry to the idea of formal proof. Greek mathematician also contributed importantly to ideas on number theory, mathematical analysis, applied mathematics, and, at times, approached close to integral calculus. Click to see full answer.
How did ancient Greece contribute to math?
As a response to this: How did ancient Greece contribute to mathematics? Greeks refined analytical methods by introducing deductive reasoning and mathematical rigor in proofs. Rigor was a thoroughness and attention to detail for improving accuracy. Proofs established analytical methods as having a formalized structure.
What kind of math did the ancient Greeks invent?
The ancient Greeks certainly didn’t invent math. Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and others had their own sophisticated mathematical traditions, some of which influenced the Greeks, and even early farmers and hunter-gatherers had at least modest knowledge of simple math (adding, subtracting, etc.) and geometry.
Did the ancient Greeks have math?
The ancient Greeks were incredibly talented mathematicians—but they rarely used numbers in their math. Their particular specialty, geometry, dances around actual quantities, focusing on higher-level logic and constant relationships. Why was mathematics important in ancient Greece?
Did the ancient Greeks contribute much to mathematics?
There is a significant contribution made by Ancient Greeks to the field mathematicians from fundamentals of geometry to the idea of formal proof. Greek mathematician also contributed importantly to ideas on number theory, mathematical analysis, applied mathematics, and, at times, approached close to integral calculus. Click to see full answer.

Rate article