Greek mathematician, astronomer, and geographer whose book
Synagogue/Collection deals with nearly the whole body of Greek geometry,
mostly in the form of commentaries on texts the reader is assumed to
have to hand.
Nothing is known of his life and many of his writings survive only in
translations from the original Greek.
Without the Collection, much of the geometrical achievement of his predecessors
would have been lost for ever.
It reproduces known solutions to problems in geometry, and also frequently
gives Pappus' own solutions, or improvements and extensions to existing
solutions. For example, he handles the problem of inscribing five regular
solids in a sphere in a way quite different from Euclid.
Among Pappus' other works are a commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest and
a commentary on Euclid's Elements. Pappus is also believed to be the
author of the Description of the World, a geographical treatise that
has come down to us only in Armenian and bearing the name of Moses of
Khoren as its author