Mathematician:Theon of Smyrna

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Greek: Θέων ὁ Σμυρναῖος.

Greek philosopher and mathematician, whose works were strongly influenced by the Pythagorean school of thought.

Made astronomical observations of Mercury and Venus between 127 and 132, as reported by Claudius Ptolemy.

His writings appear to contribute nothing that was not already known, and he appears to show incomplete understanding of that about which he does write. Of greatest interest are his historical notes.

Not to be confused either with his son Theon the Priest or with Theon of Alexandria.


Greek (from Smyrna: a city in what is now Turkey)


  • Born: c. 70 CE, Smyrna (now Izmir), Turkey
  • Died: c. 135 CE


  • Expositio rerum mathematicarum ad legendum Platonem utilium ("On Mathematics Useful for the Understanding of Plato"): an introductory survey of Greek mathematics.
  • Commentaries on the main authorities of mathematics and astronomy
  • An important work on Ptolemy
  • A commentary on Plato's Republic which he himself references in his surviving works.

Also known as

Theon of Alexandria called him the old Theon (or Theon Senior).

Claudius Ptolemy referred to him as Theon the Mathematician.