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Archytas of Tarentum
Pythagorean, Philosopher and Mathematician King


  • Date Published: October 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521169448

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About the Authors
  • Archytas of Tarentum is one of the three most important philosophers in the Pythagorean tradition, a prominent mathematician, who gave the first solution to the famous problem of doubling the cube, an important music theorist, and the leader of a powerful Greek city-state. He is famous for sending a trireme to rescue Plato from the clutches of the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius II, in 361 BC. This 2005 study was the first extensive enquiry into Archytas' work in any language. It contains original texts, English translations and a commentary for all the fragments of his writings and for all testimonia concerning his life and work. In addition there are introductory essays on Archytas' life and writings, his philosophy, and the question of authenticity. Carl A. Huffman presents an interpretation of Archytas' significance both for the Pythagorean tradition and also for fourth-century Greek thought, including the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle.

    • Was the first book-length study of Archytas of Tarentum, prominent mathematician and philosopher in fourth-century Greece
    • Presents a lively interpretation of the significance of Archytas of Tarentum
    • Provides a full commentary on fragments of Archytas' writing and testimonia on his life
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Huffman's book offers expert discussion of a variety of difficult topics … a much needed and authoritative commentary … Lucid argued, helpfully organised, and impressive in its scholarship, this book sets a high standard indeed … a rich volume of over 600 pages … there is much of real value here … a detailed and scholarly treatment of dauntingly difficulty material. Scholars owe Huffman a debt for undertaking this task, and executing it with such authority. It is a work to emulate'. Sylvia Berryman, The University of British Columbia

    Review of the hardback: 'We have here another blockbuster offering from Carl Huffman who has already put us in his debt by a definite study of Philolaus. This work will serve in turn to establish Archytas as a philosopher in his own right, and not simply a footnote to Pythagoras, as has all too often been the case hitherto.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521169448
    • length: 682 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 38 mm
    • weight: 0.99kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introductory Essays:
    1. Life, writings and reception
    2. The philosophy of Archytas
    3. The authenticity question
    Part II. Genuine Fragments:
    1. Fragment 1
    2. Fragment 2
    3. Fragment 3
    4. Fragment 4
    Part III: Genuine Testimonia:
    1. Life and writings (A1–A6, B5–B8)
    2. Moral philosophy and character
    3. Geometry: the duplication of the cube (A14 and A15)
    4. Music
    5. Metaphysics
    6. Physics
    7. Miscellaneous testimonia
    Appendix: Spurious writings and testimonia
    Appendix: Archytas' name.

  • Author

    Carl Huffman, DePauw University, Indiana

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