The Pythagorean tradition spoke also of so-called polygonal or figurate numbers.
Other than that he was born at Alexandria in Egypt and that his career coincided with the first three decades of the 4th century ad, little is known about his life.
Judging by the style of his writings, he was primarily a teacher of mathematics.
As a source of information concerning the history of Greek mathematics, he has few rivals. His principal work, however, was the Synagoge c. The only Greek copy of the Synagoge to pass through the Middle Ages lost several pages at both the beginning and the end; thus, only Books 3 through 7 and portions of Books 2 and 8 have survived.
A complete version of Book 8 does survive, however, in an Arabic translation.
Book 1 is entirely lost, along with information on its contents. The Synagoge seems to have been assembled in a haphazard way from independent shorter writings of Pappus. Nevertheless, such a range of topics is covered that the Synagoge has with some justice been described as a mathematical encyclopedia.
The Synagoge deals with an astonishing range of mathematical topics; its richest parts, however, concern geometry and draw on works from the 3rd century bc, the so-called Golden Age of Greek mathematics.
Book 2 addresses a problem in recreational mathematics: Book 4 concerns the properties of several varieties of spirals and other curved lines and demonstrates how they can be used to solve another classical problem, the division of an angle into an arbitrary number of equal parts.
The analytic proof involved demonstrating a relationship between the sought object and the given ones such that one was assured of the existence of a sequence of basic constructions leading from the known to the unknown, rather as in algebra.
With three exceptions the books are lost, and hence the information that Pappus gives concerning them is invaluable.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Pappus of Alexandria, (flourished ad ), the most important mathematical author writing in Greek during the later Roman Empire, known for his Synagoge (“Collection”), a voluminous account of the most important work done in ancient Greek mathematics.
(c. ) Greek mathematician Pappus was the last notable Greek mathematician and is chiefly remembered because his writings contain reports of the work of many earlier Greek mathematicians that would otherwise be lost.
Pappus of Alexandria, Greek geometer, flourished about the end of the 3rd century CE. In a period of general stagnation in mathematical studies, he stands out as a remarkable exception.
How far he was above his contemporaries, how little appreciated or understood by them, is shown by the absence of. Number theory (or arithmetic or higher arithmetic in older usage) is a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the leslutinsduphoenix.com mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss () said, "Mathematics is the queen of the sciences - and number theory is the queen of mathematics.".
Pappus’s theorem, in mathematics, theorem named for the 4th-century Greek geometer Pappus of Alexandria that describes the volume of a solid, obtained by revolving a plane region D about a line L not intersecting D, as the product of the area of D and the length of the circular path traversed by.
Pappus of Alexandria was a late Greek geometer whose theorems provided a foundation for modern projective geometry. Virtually nothing is known about his life. He wrote his major work.