The works of Archimedes


This book is intended to form a companion volume to my edition of the treatise of Apollonius on Conic Sections lately published. If it was worth while to attempt to make the work of “the great geometer” accessible to the mathematicianof to-day who might not be able, in consequence of its lengthand of its form, either to read it in the original Greek or in a Latin translation, or, having read it, to master it and grasp the whole scheme of the treatise, I feel that I owe even less of an apology for offering to the public a reproduction, on the same lines, of the extant works of perhaps the greatest mathematical ìgenius that the world has ever seen.
Michel Chasles has drawn an instructive distinction between the predominant features of the geometry of Archimedes and of the geometry which we find so highly developed in Apollonius. Their works may be regarded, says Chasles, as the origin and basis of two great inquiries which seem to share between them the domain of geometry. Apollonius is concerned with the Geometry of Forms and Situations, while in Archimedes we find the Geometry of Measurements dealing with the quadrature of curvilinear plane figures and with the quadrature and cubature of curved surfaces, investigations which “gave birth to the calculus of the infinite conceived and brought to perfection successively by Kepler, Cavalieri, Fermat, Leibniz, and Newton.” But whether Archimedes is viewed as the man who, with the limited means at his disposal, nevertheless succeeded in performing what are really integrations for the purpose of finding the area of a parabolic segment… free ebook