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Important Figures


Midwife and first female physician in ancient Athens

Time period: 4th Century BC

  • A legendary figure credited as the first female midwife or physician in ancient Athens.
  • According to Roman author Gaius Julius Hyginus, Agnodice studied medicine under Herophilus, and worked as a physician in her home city of Athens disguised as a man, because women at the time were forbidden from practising medicine.


Mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer

Born: 287 BC in Syracuse, Sicily, Magna Graecia
Died: 212 BC in Syracuse, Sicily, Magna Graecia (age 75)

  • Considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time
  • Created geometrical theorems to find the area of a circle and surface area and volume of a sphere
  • Derived an accurate approximation of pi
  • Anticipated modern calculus
  •  Created a system using exponentiation for expressing very large numbers


Mathematician and "father of geometry"

Born: mid-300s BC in Alexandria

Died: mid-200s BC in Alexandria

  • His Elements is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics
  • Deduced the theorems of what is now called Euclidean geometry
  • Wrote works on perspective, conic sections, spherical geometry, number theory, and mathematical rigor


Physician and "father of western medicine"

Born: 460 BC in Kos, Ancient Greece
Died: 370 BC in Larissa, Ancient Greece (aged 90)

  • Founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine
  • Established medicine as a distinct field of study
  • Credited with coining the Hippocratic Oath, which is still relevant and in use today
  • Credited with greatly advancing the systematic study of clinical medicine


Philosopher and mathematician

Born: 570 BC on Samos
Died: 495 BC in Croton or Metapontum (aged around 75)

  • In antiquity, Pythagoras was credited with many mathematical and scientific discoveries, including the Pythagorean theorem, Pythagorean tuning, the five regular solids, the Theory of Proportions, the sphericity of the Earth, and the identity of the morning and evening stars as the planet Venus.

Links: Science, Medicine, & Mathematics

Ancient Greek Tech

What can we learn from Ancient Greek medicine?

The Greek Legacy: How the Ancient Greeks shaped modern mathematics

How taking a bath led to Archimedes' principle