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p. 574. Eratosthenes and the system of the worldlocked

  • Peter Thonemann


Few aspects of the Hellenistic world have captivated the modern imagination so much as the Museum and Library of Ptolemaic Alexandria, a dedicated institution of learning and research, populated by librarians, poets, and scholars, and munificently endowed by an enlightened Ptolemaic state. The 3rd and 2nd centuries bc saw spectacular developments in the fields of mathematics, geography, the natural sciences, humanistic scholarship, and poetry. The most impressive figure associated with the Museum was the mathematician, astronomer, chronographer, literary critic, and poet Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c.276–194 bc). ‘Eratosthenes and the system of the world’ outlines the work of Eratosthenes; his contemporary, Archimedes of Syracuse (c.287–212 bc); and the philosophical ‘schools’ of Hellenistic Athens.

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