In the history of Ancient Greek mathematics, has a significant place. Ancient Greeks were engrossed by the power of rationality. They loved music, architecture, and mathematics for that matter. Ancient Greeks were neither interested in algebra nor were they experts in it.

Ancient Greek Mathematics

Of all the various topics in mathematics, geometry was their focus. Pythagoras, Aristotle, Euclid, Thales, and Archimedes were renowned Greek mathematicians among others. It is not easy to trace the origins of Greek mathematics because of lack of written evidence.

Byzantine Greek codices or manuscript books were an important source of ancient Greek mathematics. Arabic translations of the Greek works were also helpful. However, the accuracy of these works is debated.

Ancient Greek Mathematics

Ancient Greek Mathematics

A study on Greek mathematics will be more scientific when we divide the ancient Greek period into classical and Hellenistic. The earliest evidence of Greek mathematics may be traced back to the age of Thales of Miletus, one of the seven wise men in Greece. Not much is known about his date of birth and death. It is estimated that he lived from 624 to 548 BC. He found the Ionian school.


The name of Pythagoras is the most familiar of that of all Greek mathematicians. The Pythagorean order is followed by people all over the world today. His achievements include the study of proportion, a study of plane and solid geometry, number theory and so on.

According to the Pythagoras theorem, the square on the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares on the sides. Pythagoras was both a mathematician and a philosopher who influenced the high priests of philosophy like Plato. He founded the Pythagorean School in 585 BC.

Ancient Greek Mathematicss

Pythagoras and Thales are credited with the invention of numerous mathematical advances. Further, the sophist school situated at Athens made its own contributions to the development of mathematics.

In the Hellenistic period, Archimedes was able to use infinitesimals in a way that is similar to modern integral calculus. He also approximated the value of Pi. The theory of conic sections largely developed during the Hellenistic period.

Ancient Greece Science

The development of Greek mathematics and astronomy during the Hellenistic period was noteworthy. Including the achievement of the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical calculator, the science of mathematics reached its zenith during this period.

Ancient Greek Mathematics

Greek Mathematicians Geometry

Democritus of Abdera discovered that the volumes of a cone and a pyramid are 1/3 the volumes of the respective cylinder and prism. He has also written a number of books on geometry, numbers, tangencies, and irrationals of which the first is said to be very significant. Euduxus of 408 BC developed the theory of proportion and irrationals.

The names of ancient Greek mathematical works run to pages. A few may be mentioned. Elements written by Euclid at around 300 BC was the most comprehensive work from history on geometry. Pappus had written the Mathematical Collection which was an account of classical mathematics from Euclid to Ptolemy. Treasury of Analysis was his work.