Among his contemporaries in the third century BCE, Apollonius of Perga was dubbed 'the great geometer' for his treatise on conic sections. Civil servant and classical scholar Thomas Little Heath (1861–1940) published this English translation in 1896, with standardised notation and a thorough introduction to the subject.
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Active in Alexandria in the third century BCE, Apollonius of Perga ranks as one of the greatest Greek geometers. Building on foundations laid by Euclid, he is famous for defining the parabola, hyperbola and ellipse in his major treatise on conic sections. The dense nature of its text, however, made it inaccessible to most readers. When it was originally published in 1896 by the civil servant and classical scholar Thomas Little Heath (1861–1940), the present work was the first English translation and, more importantly, the first serious effort to standardise the terminology and notation. Along with clear diagrams, Heath includes a thorough introduction to the work and the history of the subject. Seeing the treatise as more than an esoteric artefact, Heath presents it as a valuable tool for modern mathematicians. His works on Diophantos of Alexandria (1885) and Aristarchus of Samos (1913) are also reissued in this series.
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