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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Diophantus of Alexandria – an Alexandrian mathematician

Diophantus was a Greek mathematician, famous for his work in algebra. He often called the ‘father of algebra' who was the first to use symbols, or variables to represents unknown quantities.

He likely flourished during the 3rd century. He lived in Alexandria, the center of the scientific thought of the Hellenic world.

For many centuries, Alexandria was a scientific and cultural center for the ancient world, because of Ptolemy’s founding of the Musaeon, the temple of the Muses, a kind of Academy of Sciences which attracted leading scholars. For the first to the third century scholars such as Heron, Ptolemy and Diophantus worked here.

Diophantus of Alexandria wrote several books the most influential by far being his Arithmetica, and extensive treatise on number theory and algebraic equations.

Only six of the 13 books which make up the Arithmetic have survived today. Diophantus ‘Arithmetic’ is a collection of problems (189 in all) each of which comes with one or more solutions and the necessary explanations. Many of this problems concern various ways of writing sums, differences or products of numbers as perfect squares.
Diophantus of Alexandria – an Alexandrian mathematician

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