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Eratosthenes of Cyrene (Ancient Greek Mathematician and Scientist)

Eratosthenes of Cyrene (Greek Ἐρατοσθένης) was a Greek mathematician, athlete, geographer, astronomer & poet. He called himself Philologos ("friend of learning"), but had the name Pentathlos given to him in honor of his varied accomplishments. He also had the nickname Βῆτα (beta) because he proved himself to be the second best in the world in most fields of knowledge.

Eratosthenes of Cyrene Demographics:
  • Born - c. 276 BC
  • Birthplace - Cyrene (modern-day Libya)
  • Died - c. 195 BC
  • Place of death - Capital of Ptolemaic Egypt
  • Nationality - Ancient Greek
  • Marriage - Never married.
  • Occupation - 3rd chief librarian, Great Library of Alexandria.
  • Skills - Mathematician, athlete, geographer, astronomer, & elegiac poet.
Eratosthenes of Cyrene Scientific Discoveries & Inventions:
  • Invented the leap day.
  • Developed system of latitude and longitude.
  • First Greek to calculate the circumference of the Earth.
  • Calculated the tilt of the earth's axis (with great accuracy).
  • Calculated the distance from the earth to the sun.
  • Created a map of the world (from available geographical knowledge of the time).
  • Founder of scientific chronology.
  • Produced a simple algorithm for finding prime numbers (known as the Sieve of Eratosthenes).
  • Invented the armillary sphere.
  • Wrote a treatise on the octaëteris, an eight-year lunar-solar cycle.
  • Said to have compiled a star catalogue containing 675 stars.
  • Produced a map of the Nile's route to Khartoum.
Eratosthenes of Cyrene Life:
  • Good friend of Archimedes.
  • Eratosthenes studied in Alexandria & subsequently Athens.
  • His teachers included Lysanias of Cyrene (scholar), Ariston of Chios (philosopher) & Callimachus (poet & scholar from Cyrene).
  • He settled in Alexandria in 255 BC after being asked to tutor Ptolemy III Euergetes' son Philopater.
  • Appointed as librarian of the Alexandrian library (by Ptolemy III Euergetes I), after succeeding the second librarian, Apollonius of Rhodes.
  • His writings also include the poem Hermes, which was inspired by the field of astronomy.
  • Eratosthenes unfortunately became afflicted with blindness in his old age.
  • He is reported to have committed suicide by voluntary starvation.
Related Links:
Eratosthenes' Mask for Primes (10x10)

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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