Greek Culture: SCIENCE!

Detailing scientific principles made by the Ancient Greeks.

Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Theorem

Pythagoras (c. 570 - 495 B.C.E.) was an ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher. He is famous for his theorem, which was creatively named "The Pythagorean Theorem". Really guys. But anyway, this took the form of a squared plus b squared equals c squared. This applies to all right triangles. For example, if the two shorter sides of a triangle, a and b, were 2 and 3 centimeters, then you have 4 plus 9, or 13. Then you find the square root of that. This is about 3.6. Now you know the length of the longest side of the triangle.

  1. Please yell at me if this is mathematically incorrect or an outrageous religious heresy.
  2. Please don't yell at me for turning this into a math lesson. I know you hate math.
  3. If you want to know why I'm telling you this, you'll find out later.

Eratosthenes and the Circumference of the Earth

Eratosthenes (c. 276 - 195 B.C.E.) was another Greek mathematician who eventually became the chief librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He is best known for accurately determining the circumference of the Earth with some complex and undoubtedly tedious method I don't have to go into right now. His calculation was 252,000 stadia, one stade being approximately .157 kilometers. He also calculated the distance between the Moon and Earth (780,000 stadia) and created a mathematical system for calculating prime numbers.

Archimedes and the Crown

Archimedes (c. 287 - 212 B.C.E.) was a Greek inventor and philosopher born in Syracuse, on the island of Sicily. As you may have learned in science class, he is known for being asked by a king whether his crown was pure gold. He realized that you could determine the volume of an object by finding out how much water it displaced. When he made this discovery he ran through the streets naked shouting "eureka!" which meant: "I have found it!" in Greek. No disclosure on whether the crown was a fake or whether Archimedes was arrested for running through the street naked. Archimedes also invented the Archimedes Screw, which drew water up a slope easily and quickly.
Ah, you mortals have fallen into my trap.

The outcome of the Peloponessian War is your responsibility. You cannot fail now. Or else.


Image Credits-

"Eratosthenes; The Measurement of the Circumference of the Earth". Following the Path of Discovery. 24 Mar. 2015.


"Archimedian Screw". Clipart ETC. 24. Mar. 2015.


"6.5- Applications of Matrices and Determinants". People.Richland.Edu. 24 Mar. 2015.


Online Sources-

"Archimedes of Syracuse". Archimedes Palimpsest. 24 Mar. 2015.


"Pythagoras". Math Open Reference. 22 Mar. 2015


"Eratosthenes' Calculation of Earth's Circumference". Windows2Universe. 22 Mar. 2015.


Written Sources-

Pearson, Anne. Eyewitness Ancient Greece. New York, New York, USA. Dorling Kindersly Limited.

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