Eutocius of Ascalon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eutocius of Ascalon (/jˈtʃəs/; Greek: Εὐτόκιος ὁ Ἀσκαλωνίτης; c. 480 – c. 540) was a Greek mathematician who wrote commentaries on several Archimedean treatises and on the Apollonian Conics.

Life and work[edit]

Little is known about the life of Eutocius, he was born in Ascalon, then in Palestina Prima. He wrote commentaries on Apollonius and on Archimedes; the surviving works of Eutocius are:

  • A Commentary on the first four books of the Conics of Apollonius.
  • Commentaries on:
    • the Sphere and Cylinder of Archimedes.
    • the Quadrature of the Circle of Archimedes (In Archimedis circuli dimensionem in Latin).
    • the Two Books on Equilibrium of Archimedes.

Historians owe much of their knowledge of Archimedes' solution of a cubic by means of intersecting conics, alluded to in The Sphere and Cylinder, to Eutocius and his commentaries. Eutocius dedicated his commentary on Apollonius' Conics to Anthemius of Tralles, also a mathematician, and architect of the Hagia Sophia patriarchal basilica in Constantinople.[1]


  1. ^ Boyer, p. 193. "Eutocius (born ca. 480), commented on several Archimedean treatises and on the Apollonian Conics. It is to Eutocius that we owe the Archimedean solution of a cubic through intersecting conics, referred to in The Sphere and Cylinder but not otherwise extant except through the commentary of Eutocius; the commentary by Eutocius on the Conics of Apollonius was dedicated to Anthemius of Tralles (t534), an able mathematician and architect of St. Sophia of Constantinople."


  • Boyer, Carl Benjamin (1991). A History of Mathematics (Second ed.). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-54397-7.

External links[edit]