Chronology for 1AD to 500

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About 1AD
Chinese mathematician Liu Hsin uses decimal fractions.

About 20
Geminus writes a number of astronomy texts and The Theory of Mathematics. He tries to prove the parallel postulate. (See this History Topic.)

About 60
Heron of Alexandria writes Metrica (Measurements). It contains formulas for calculating areas and volumes.

About 90
Nicomachus of Gerasa writes Arithmetike eisagoge (Introduction to Arithmetic) which is the first work to treat arithmetic as a separate topic from geometry.

About 110
Menelaus of Alexandria writes Sphaerica which deals with spherical triangles and their application to astronomy.

About 150
Ptolemy produces many important geometrical results with applications in astronomy. His version of astronomy will be the accepted one for well over one thousand years.

About 250
The Maya civilization of Central America uses an almost place-value number system to base 20. (See this History Topic.)

250
Diophantus of Alexandria writes Arithmetica, a study of number theory problems in which only rational numbers are allowed as solutions.

263
By using a regular polygon with 192 sides Liu Hui calculates the value of π as 3.14159 which is correct to five decimal places. (See this History Topic.)

301
Iamblichus writes on astrology and mysticism. His Life of Pythagoras is a fascinating account.

340
Pappus of Alexandria writes Synagoge (Collections) which is a guide to Greek geometry.

390
Theon of Alexandria produces a version of Euclid's Elements (with textual changes and some additions) on which almost all subsequent editions are based.

About 400
Hypatia writes commentaries on Diophantus and Apollonius. She is the first recorded female mathematician and she distinguishes herself with remarkable scholarship. She becomes head of the Neo-Platonist school at Alexandria.

450
Proclus, a mathematician and Neo-Platonist, is one of the last philosophers at Plato's Academy at Athens.

About 460
Zu Chongzhi gives the approximation 355/113 to π which is correct to 6 decimal places. (See this History Topic.)

499
Aryabhata I calculates π to be 3.1416. He produces his Aryabhatiya, a treatise on quadratic equations, the value of π, and other scientific problems.

About 500
Metrodorus assembles the Greek Anthology consisting of 46 mathematical problems.


List of mathematicians alive in 1AD.

List of mathematicians alive in 500.



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JOC/EFR August 2001

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