|© 1998 Bernard SUZANNE||Last updated December 5, 1998|
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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
Hippocrates, born in the island of Chios, in Ionia, started, according to a tradition recorded in Philoponus' Commentary on Aristotle's Physics, as a merchant and came to Athens to prosecute pirates who had robbed him of all his goods. Required to stay there for a while to settle his case, he consorted with philosophers and became interested in mathematics, so that in the end, he stayed in Athens from about 450 to 430 B. C. He was, according to Proclus (Commentary on Euclid, I), the first to write Elements (possibly around 430 B. C.), more than one century before those of Euclid (usually dated from around 300 B. C.), but his works are no longer extant and are known only from references by later commentators. In trying to square the circle, Hippocrates adressed the problem of the surface of lunes, figures included between two intersecting arcs of circles.