Menelaus of Alexandria


Menelaus of Alexandria was a Greek astronomer, scientist, and mathematician who lived around 100 CE. Menelaus made a significant and lasting contribution to the fields of astronomy, geometry, and trigonometry. His major work, the Spherics survives and presents what is today called Menelaus' Theorem. The theorem uses lettered diagrams of pure geometry to calculate spherical triangles or distances across a sphere with implications for the practical study of astronomy such as the trajectory of planets. Menelaus, and others like him, reduced the physical world to a purely geometric one, and so he was then able to calculate the unmeasurable, an approach which became the very foundation of modern science.

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