History of Mathematics

Thales's Theorem
©Gabriel Nagypal
600 BCE Jan 1

Thales's Theorem

Babylon, Iraq

Greek mathematics allegedly began with Thales of Miletus (c. 624–548 BCE). Very little is known about his life, although it is generally agreed that he was one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. According to Proclus, he traveled to Babylon from where he learned mathematics and other subjects, coming up with the proof of what is now called Thales' Theorem.[23]

Thales used geometry to solve problems such as calculating the height of pyramids and the distance of ships from the shore. He is credited with the first use of deductive reasoning applied to geometry, by deriving four corollaries to Thales' Theorem. As a result, he has been hailed as the first true mathematician and the first known individual to whom a mathematical discovery has been attributed.[30]

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Last Updated: : Wed Jan 31 2024