Diophantus, Algebra

LCL 362: 512-513


Greek Mathematics

XXIII. Algebra: Diophantus

(a) General

Anthol. Palat. xiv. 126, The Greek Anthology, ed. Paton (L.C.L.) v. 92–93

Οὕτός τοι Διόφαντον ἔχει τάφος· ἆ μέγα θαῦμα· καὶ τάφος ἐκ τέχνης μέτρα βίοιο λέγει. ἕκτην κουρίζειν βιότου θεὸς ὤπασε μοίρην· δωδεκάτην δ᾿ ἐπιθείς, μῆλα πόρεν χνοάειν· τῇ δ᾿ ἄφ᾿ ἐφ᾿ ἑβδομάτῃ τὸ γαμήλιον ἥψατο φέγγος, ἐκ δὲ γάμων πέμπτῳ παῖδ᾿ ἐπένευσεν ἔτει. αἰαῖ, τηλύγετον δειλὸν τέκος, ἥμισυ πατρὸς τοῦδε καὶ ἡ κρυερὸς μέτρον ἑλὼν βιότου. πένθος δ᾿ αὖ πισύρεσσι παρηγορέων ἐνιαυτοῖς τῇδε πόσου σοφίῃ τέρμ᾿ ἐπέρησε βίου.


Algebra : Diophantus

XXIII. Algebra: Diophantus

(a) General

Palatine Anthologya xiv. 126, The Greek Anthology, ed. Paton (L.C.L.) v. 92–93

This tomb holds Diophantus. Ah, what a marvel! And the tomb tells scientifically the measure of his life. God vouchsafed that he should be a boy for the sixth part of his life; when a twelfth was added, his cheeks acquired a beard; He kindled for him the light of marriage after a seventh, and in the fifth year after his marriage He granted him a son. Alas! late-begotten and miserable child, when he had reached the measure of half his father’s life, the chill grave took him. After consoling his grief by this science of numbers for four years, he reached the end of his life.b

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.diophantus-algebra.1941