On Eutocius: A Thesis of J. Mogenet

  • Wilbur Richard Knorr


In an extensive study of the anonymous Introduction (Prolegomena) to Ptolemy’s Syntaxis, J. Mogenet has proposed the thesis that its author was the mathematical commentator Eutocius.1 While the manuscripts of the Introduction bear one or another specific attribution, these are clearly the surmises of later copyists and editors and have been rejected by modern scholars.2 The work consists of about 15 chapters on mathematical topics bearing directly on aspects of Ptolemy’s Book I. While its most impressive section is the sequence of geometric propositions on isoperimetric plane and solid figures,3 most of the Introduction deals with explanations of computational procedures—e.g., multiplication, division, and the extraction of square roots in the sexagesimal system–required for the study of Ptolemy.4


Geometric Problem Initial Term Ancient Text Greek Text Compendium Versus 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilbur Richard Knorr
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in the History of ScienceStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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