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The Works of Archimedes: Volume 1, The Two Books On the Sphere and the Cylinder: Translation and Commentary [Paperback]

Archimedes , Reviel Netz

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Book Description

30 July 2009
Archimedes was the greatest scientist of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time. This book is Volume I of the first authoritative translation of his works into English. It is also the first publication of a major ancient Greek mathematician to include a critical edition of the diagrams and the first translation into English of Eutocius' ancient commentary on Archimedes. Furthermore, it is the first work to offer recent evidence based on the Archimedes Palimpsest, the major source for Archimedes, lost between 1915 and 1998. A commentary on the translated text studies the cognitive practice assumed in writing and reading the work, and it is Reviel Netz's aim to recover the original function of the text as an act of communication. Particular attention is paid to the aesthetic dimension of Archimedes' writings. Taken as a whole, the commentary offers a groundbreaking approach to the study of mathematical texts.

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Review of the hardback: ' … this translation is certainly an event of great importance concerning the edition of ancient Greek mathematics. the forthcoming volumes are awaited with impatience!' Zentralblatt MATH

Book Description

This is Volume I of the first authoritative translation of Archimedes' works into English. Also provided are a scientific edition of the diagrams, a translation of the ancient commentator Eutocius and a commentary, where attention is paid to the cognitive and aesthetic nature of Archimedes' mathematical practice.

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The extraordinary influence of Archimedes over the scientific revolution was due in the main to Latin and Greek-Latin versions handwritten and then printed from the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scholarly Gem 24 Jun 2014
By Arthur41 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A richly annotated historical and mathematical treasure. It will take you some time to digest it, but well worth the modest price. You might consider purchasing a few simple instruments to follow the constructions.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an incredible Mathematical Exposition 6 Jun 2014
By Stephanie Fisher - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The story of this translation coming to be discovered by the modern world is nothing less than amazing. It was lost, written over, and found thousands of years later. The astonishing modern techniques used to uncover this text is incredible. The team that was assembled to translate and interpret the text was some 80 people. Bravo!

Now for the meat of the review. This is a mathematics book. Archimedes proves various theorems about spheres and cylinders. If you are studying the origins of mathematics or have intense mathematics interest, this is definitely your book. You can watch as Archimedes virtually invents geometry and he doesn't cut any corners. His work is very detailed and meticulous. It's very impressive. After Archimedes goes through his proofs, there is also commentary about his proofs by another Greek mathematician, Eutocius. He explains Archimedes prior work in the book so the reader can ostensibly understand the material better.

The author, Netz, also goes into incredible detail about how to interpret the translation and gives a lot of context in between the ancient Greek writings. If you were an ancient script translator this would also be extremely useful.

How could I give this book anthing but 5 stars? It's amazing that its available after all these years and after painstaking translation.

I would like to caution that average joe (like me) that may have found this book on TED or other various outlets about what this book is not: You will not be getting any storytelling by Archimedes. You won't be getting any insights about the life and times of ancient greeks. You will be getting math and translations about math, specifically geometry proofs. Lots and lots of ancient geometry proofs about spheres and cylinders. Cheers!
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