The Foundation of the Hellenic World's exhibition on the development of mathematics and mathematical thought in the ancient Greek world, a period in which the foundations of science were established, attempts to demonstrate one of the most important aspects of ancient Greek culture.
In accordance with the Foundation's general policy and vision, the exhibition targeted from the beginning two basic objectives or messages:
- To demonstrate that the mathematics of the ancient Greeks was the foundation stone of scientific thought.
- To emphasize that mathematics is for everyone, since:
- it contributes to the personal growth of each individual
- it is an intellectual challenge
- it can help us in many activities and
- it is an essential part of the history and culture of the society that creates and uses it
The exhibition spans the whole period of Greek mathematics from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, and covers the most important events and people in the history of Greek mathematics.
Pre-Hellenic mathematics, that of the Egyptians and the Babylonians, is also dealt with briefly, as is the story of the Greek texts themselves from the end of the ancient world as they passed from Byzantine monks and Arab copyists to the European scientists of the Renaissance and the scientific revolution. The basic applications of mathematics to other sciences during this period, with special emphasis on astronomy, mathematical geography and music, complete the picture of Greek mathematics.
Furthermore, the exhibition sets out the cultural framework of Greek mathematical thinking, from the Hellenic cities of Asia Minor and southern Italy to Classical Athens and the Alexandria of the Hellenistic Period.