Chronology

1 - 500


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(500 BC - 1)
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(500 - 900)

1

  • Chinese mathematician Liu Hsin uses decimal fractions.

20

60

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

90

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

110

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

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.

250

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

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.

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.

460

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.