## Gippocrates HiosskiyAncient Greek mathematician and astronomer
Country:
Greece |

**Content:**

- Hippocrates of Chios: A Greek Luminary in Mathematics and Astronomy
- Founding the Science of Geometry
- Hippocrates' Lunes and the Quest for Quadrature
- Other Mathematical Explorations
- Astronomical Insights: Comets and the Milky Way

## Hippocrates of Chios: A Greek Luminary in Mathematics and Astronomy

Early Life and MisadventuresHippocrates of Chios, hailing from the Greek island of Chios, embarked on a mercantile career in his youth. However, fortune did not favor him, and after a dismal trade venture, he found himself bankrupt. Undeterred, Hippocrates ventured to Athens, where his mathematical prowess began to shine.

## Founding the Science of Geometry

Hippocrates' most significant contribution to science was his compilation of the first comprehensive treatise on geometric knowledge. Entitled "Elements," his work laid the foundation for the geometric tradition that Euclid and subsequent scholars would follow. Van der Waerden estimates that Hippocrates' "Elements" covered material similar to Books I-IV of Euclid's "Elements."

## Hippocrates' Lunes and the Quest for Quadrature

Fragments of Hippocrates' "Elements" survive in Simplicius' (6th century CE) commentaries on Aristotle. Notably, these fragments explore the "Hippocratean lunes" - crescent-shaped figures bounded by circular arcs. Using lunes, Hippocrates attempted to solve the ancient problem of squaring the circle. While he identified three types of lunes that could be squared, he ultimately failed to generalize the solution. In the 19th century, it was proven that squaring the circle using only a compass and straightedge is impossible.

## Other Mathematical Explorations

On the island of Chios, Hippocrates grappled with another celebrated problem of antiquity: cube duplication. He reduced this challenge to the task of inserting two mean proportionals between two given line segments.

## Astronomical Insights: Comets and the Milky Way

Hippocrates also pondered the nature of celestial phenomena, including the Milky Way and comets. His and his disciple Aeschylus' views on comets, as recounted by Aristotle, demonstrate remarkable scientific intuition. They proposed that the tail of a comet is not an inherent part of it but rather a result of light bouncing off atmospheric moisture, which then reaches the Sun. Hippocrates also recognized comets as cosmic entities with extended intervals between appearances, similar to the periodicity observed in modern cometary observations.