*Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics*. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.

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## Ancient Conceptions and Misconceptions

Archaeologists have found artifacts demonstrating that ancient Babylonians and Egyptians made numerous observations of **celestial** events such as full moons, new moons, and **eclipses**, as well as the paths of the Sun and Moon relative to the stars. The ancient Greeks drew upon the work of the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, and they used that knowledge to learn even more about the heavens.

As far back as the sixth century B.C.E., Greek astronomers and mathematicians attempted to determine the structure of the universe. Anaximander (c. 611 B.C.E.–546 B.C.E.) proposed that the distance of the Moon from Earth is 19 times the **radius** of Earth. Pythagoras (c. 572 B.C.E.–497 B.C.E.), whose name is given to the **Pythagorean Theorem**, was perhaps the first Greek to believe that the Earth is spherically shaped.

The ancient...

This section contains 2,069 words(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page) |