Ancient Greek Mathēmata from a Sociological Perspective: A Quantitative Analysis

Isis 109 (3):445-472 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This essay examines the quantitative aspects of Greco-Roman science, represented by a group of established disci¬plines, which since the fourth century BC were called mathēmata or mathē¬ma¬tikai epistē¬mai. In the group of mathēmata that in Antiquity normally comprised mathematics, mathematical astronomy, harmonics, mechanics and optics, we have also included geography. Using a dataset based on The Encyclopaedia of Ancient Natural Scientists, our essay considers a community of mathēmatikoi (as they called themselves), or ancient scientists (as they are defined for the purposes of the present paper) from a sociological point of view, focusing on the size of the scientific population known to us and its disciplinary, temporal and geographical distribution. A diachronic comparison of neighboring and partly overlapping communities, ancient scientists and philosophers, allows the pattern of their interrelationship to be traced. An examination of centers of science throughout ancient history reveals that there were five major centers – Athens, Alexandria, Rhodes, Rome and Byzantium/Constantinople – that appear and replace one another in succession as leaders. These conclusions serve to reopen the issue of the place of mathēmata and mathēmatikoi in ancient society.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ZHMAGM
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-03-12
View other versions
Added to PP index
2018-09-20

Total views
34 ( #54,969 of 2,425,830 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #37,799 of 2,425,830 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.