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Eratosthenes
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Mathematician
    (circa 276 BC-194 BC)
    Born in Cyrene, Libya
    Mathematician, geographer, historian, and poet
    Chief librarian of the Library at Alexandria
    Calculated the circumference of the Earth based on the angles of the mid-day Sun on the summer solstice in Syrene and Alexandria
    Developed the sieve of Eratosthenes to identify prime numbers
    Wrote a chronology of events since the sack of Troy in 1183 BC
    His detractors nicknamed him ‘Beta,’ on the grounds that while he excelled in many fields, he was not the greatest in any of them.
    After he went blind in his old age, he committed suicide by starving himself to death.
    Most of his works were destroyed in the burning of the Library at Alexandria, so most information about him is second hand.
    His admirers nicknamed him ‘Pentalos’ (‘all-rounder’) for excelling in many fields.
    He criticized Aristotle’s belief that the world was divided into Greeks and barbarians and that the Greeks should maintain racial purity.
    He created the first maps of the world that used lines of longitude and latitude.
    He was good friends with Archimedes, who dedicated the book ‘The Method’ to him.
    A crater on the Moon was named after him.

Credit: C. Fishel


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