Topics in the History of Mathematics: The Emergence of Greek Mathematics (1988)

Open University

Thales of Miletus (624-547 BC). The Greeks are responsible for the initial explosion of Mathematical ideas. For several centuries, Greek mathematics reign the mathematical world, with great advances in Number Theory, the Theory of Equation, and in particular Geometry. The first great Greek mathematician is Thales of Miletus. He brought the knowledge of Egyptian Geometry to the Greeks and discovered several theorems in elementary Geometry. He predicted a Solar Eclipse in 585 BC and could calculate the height of a pyramid, as well as how far a ship is from land. One of his pupils, the Greek philosopher, Anaximander of Miletus (610-546 BC), is considered the founder of Astronomy.
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Documentary Description

Euclid’s Elements is one of the most reprinted books of all time. How did it come about and why does it remain a classic textbook? Starting with the concept of ‘proof’, which was a relatively new one in the third century BC, this film looks at each of the thirteen books in detail. It shows how this classic text has been passed down to us and how historians were able to recreate the original text from later, amended editions.


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