Nicomachus of Gerasa

▪ Roman philosopher and mathematician
flourished c. AD 100, Gerasa, Roman Syria [now Jarash, Jordan]

      Neo-Pythagorean philosopher and mathematician who wrote Arithmētikē eisagōgē (Introduction to Arithmetic), an influential treatise on number theory. Considered a standard authority for 1,000 years, the book sets out the elementary theory and properties of numbers and contains the earliest-known Greek multiplication table.

      Nicomachus was interested in philosophical questions dealing with whole numbers, the classification of even and odd numbers and their ratios, and wondrous or curious properties of numbers. For example, he was interested in the notion of “perfect numbers,” such as 6, which equals the sum of its proper divisors, and “amicable numbers,” pairs of numbers, such as 220 and 284, whose proper divisors sum to one another. He was not interested, however, in abstract theorems on whole numbers and their proofs, as found in Books VII–IX of Euclid's Elements; contrary to Euclid's approach, Nicomachus would merely give specific numerical examples. A Latin translation of the Arithmētikē by Lucius Apuleius (Apuleius, Lucius) (c. 124–170) is lost, but a version by Ancius Boethius (Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus) (c. 470–524) survived and was used in schools up to the Renaissance. Nicomachus also wrote Encheiridion Harmonikēs (“Handbook of Harmony”) on the Pythagorean theory of music (Pythagoreanism) and the two-volume Theologoumena arithmetikēs (“The Theology of Numbers”) on the mystic properties of numbers; only fragments of the latter survive.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nicomachus of Gerasa — See Greek arithmetic, geometry and harmonics …   History of philosophy

  • Nicomachus — For other people named Nicomachus, see Nicomachus (disambiguation). Nicomachus (Greek: Νικόμαχος; c. 60 – c. 120) was an important mathematician in the ancient world and is best known for his works Introduction to Arithmetic (Arithmetike… …   Wikipedia

  • Nicomachus (disambiguation) — Nicomachus (c. 60 – c. 120) from Gerasa, was a mathematician and Pythagorean philosopher. Nicomachus may also refer to: Nicomachus (scribe) (c. 410 BC) a scribe tasked with publishing the laws of Solon Nicomachus of Thebes (4th century BC),… …   Wikipedia

  • Nikomachos von Gerasa — (griechisch Νικόμαχος Nikómachos) war ein antiker Philosoph, Mathematiker und Musiktheoretiker. Er lebte in der römischen Kaiserzeit; seine Geburt fällt frühestens ins 1. Jahrhundert, sein Tod spätestens ins späte 2. Jahrhundert. Nikomachos… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nicomaque De Gerasa — Nicomaque de Gérase Pour les articles homonymes, voir Nicomaque. Nicomaque de Gérase, né à Gérase, l actuelle Jerash, en Jordanie, vécu en 150 (d autres sources donnent 60 120), était un mathématicien et philosophe néo pythagoricien. Le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nicómaco de Gerasa — Para otros usos de este término, véase Nicómaco (pintor). Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes… …   Wikipedia Español

  • mathematics — /math euh mat iks/, n. 1. (used with a sing. v.) the systematic treatment of magnitude, relationships between figures and forms, and relations between quantities expressed symbolically. 2. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) mathematical procedures,… …   Universalium

  • Greek arithmetic, geometry and harmonics: Thales to Plato — Ian Mueller INTRODUCTION: PROCLUS’ HISTORY OF GEOMETRY In a famous passage in Book VII of the Republic starting at Socrates proposes to inquire about the studies (mathēmata) needed to train the young people who will become leaders of the ideal… …   History of philosophy

  • Jerash — Coordinates: 32°16′20.21″N 35°53′29.03″E / 32.2722806°N 35.8913972°E / 32.2722806; 35.8913972 …   Wikipedia

  • Никомах Герасский — Никомах из Герасы, Никомах Герасский (Νικόμαχος ὁ Γερασένος) (1 я пол. 2 в. н. э.)  древнегреческий философ (представитель неопифагореизма), математик, теоретик музыки. Биографических сведений о Никомахе не сохранилось. Годы жизни… …   Википедия

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.