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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The article analyses the forms and texts of Hellenistic mathematics. Three stylistic codes were employed in these texts, each related to a specific mathematical content: the demonstrative, the procedural, and the algorithmic code. Greek mathematical works, such as those by Apollonius of Perge, were not diffused through official channels, and instead were usually sent to some addressee, and were frequently preceded by a prefatory epistle, so each “edition” was actually a single copy, to be diffused by the recipient to relevant people. The prefatory letters of Archimedes’ works show that he regularly circulated lists of open problems and conjectures, and then their solutions. Mathematical texts were canonical, and elicited a variety of activities, especially the writing of commentaries, perhaps first by Heron of Alexandria. Late antique authors, such as Diophantus, Pappus, and Serenus, transform this canon.

Keywords: Apollonious of Perge, Archimedes, Diophantus, Heron of Alexandria, mathematics, Pappus, proofs, Serenus

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