Archimedes Cubic and Quadric Equations

Michael Lahanas

Αρχιμήδης ο Μαθηματικός: εξισώσεις τρίτου και τετάρτου βαθμού

Griechische Mathematik: Archimedes - Kubische und biquadratische Gleichungen

They were very upset when I said the development of the greatest importance to mathematics in Europe was the discovery by Tartaglia that you can solve a cubic equation: although it is of little use in itself, the discovery must have been psychologically wonderful because it showed that a modern man could do something no ancient Greek could do. It therefore helped in the Renaissance, which was freeing man from the intimidation of the ancients. What the Greeks are learning in school is to be intimidated into thinking that they have fallen so far below their ancestors. [From: "Cubic Equations, or Where Did the Examination Question Come From?" (by H. B. Griffiths and A. E. Hirst (quoting Richard Feynman reporting on a 1980 visit to Greece), American Mathematical Monthly, February 1994, pp.151-161 ]

The three most famous mathematical problems of Ancient Greeks were:

  • References

    H. -W. Alten, A. Djafari Naini, M. Folkerts, H. Schlosser, K.-H. Schlote, H. Wußling, 4000 Jahre Algebra, Springer Verlag (In German).