Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2010

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Daniel D. Anderson


The Conics of Apollonius remains a central work of Greek mathematics to this day. Despite this, much recent scholarship has neglected the Conics in favor of works of Archimedes. While these are no less important in their own right, a full understanding of the Greek mathematical corpus cannot be bereft of systematic studies of the Conics. However, recent scholarship on Archimedes has revealed that the role of secondary commentaries is also important. In this thesis, I provide a translation of Eutocius' commentary on the Conics, demonstrating the interplay between the two works and their authors as what I call conjugate. I also give a treatment on the duplication problem and on compound ratios, topics which are tightly linked to the Conics and the rest of the Greek mathematical corpus. My discussion of the duplication problem also includes two computer programs useful for visualizing Archytas' and Eratosthenes' solutions.


Apollonius, Archimedes, conic sections, Conics, Eutocius, Greek mathematics


ix, 176




Copyright 2010 Colin Bryan Powell McKinney

Additional Files

archytas.pde (5 kB)
Archytas solution visualization program

eratosthenes.pde (1 kB)
Eratosthenes solution visualization program

Included in

Mathematics Commons