# Mathematician:Menaechmus

## Mathematician

Greek mathematician and geometer.

Known for his friendship with Plato.

Apparently discovered conic sections, and used them to provide a solution to the problem of Doubling the Cube using the parabola and hyperbola.

Brother of Dinostratus.

His work on conic sections is known primarily from an epigram by Eratosthenes.

Proclus Lycaeus mentions that **Menaechmus** was taught by Eudoxus of Cnidus.

Plutarch suggests that Plato disapproved of **Menaechmus'** solution for Doubling the Cube by using of mechanical devices, which is puzzling -- the proof currently known appears to be purely algebraic.

Some sources, perhaps inspired by Joannes Stobaeus, suggest that **Menaechmus** was at one point a teacher of Alexander the Great, but, while possible, this is uncertain.

## Nationality

Greek

## History

- Born: about 380 BCE in Alopeconnesus, Thracian Chersonese
- Died: about 320 BCE, possibly in Cyzicus

## Theorems

## Notable Quotes

*There is no royal road to Geometry.*- -- To Alexander the Great
- -- Quoted in 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*:*They Say: What Say They? : Let Them Say*

The correct attribution of this quote is dubious. Proclus Lycaeus attributes it to Euclid, in response to Ptolemy I Soter.

Joannes Stobaeus ($5$th century) reports Menaechmus as saying to Alexander the Great:

*O King, for traveling over the country, there are royal road and roads for common citizens, but in geometry there is one road for all.*- -- Quoted in 1970: Petr Beckmann:
*A History of Pi*

- -- Quoted in 1970: Petr Beckmann:

## Also known as

In Greek: **Μέναιχμος**.

## Sources

- 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next):*They Say: What Say They? : Let Them Say* - 1986: David Wells:
*Curious and Interesting Numbers*... (previous) ... (next): A List of Mathematicians in Chronological Sequence - 1986: David Wells:
*Curious and Interesting Numbers*... (previous) ... (next): $1 \cdotp 25992 \, 10498 \, 94873 \, 16476 \ldots$ - 1997: David Wells:
*Curious and Interesting Numbers*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): A List of Mathematicians in Chronological Sequence - 1997: David Wells:
*Curious and Interesting Numbers*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $1 \cdotp 25992 \, 10498 \, 94873 \, 16476 \ldots$ - 1998: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**Menaechmus**(*fl*. 350 bc) - 2008: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(4th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**Menaechmus**(*fl*. 350 bc)