), of Samos, a mathematician and astronomer, lived in the time of the Ptolemies Philadelphus and Euergetes (B. C. 283-222), and was the friend and probably the teacher of Archimedes, who survived him. None of his works are preserved. His observations are referred to by Ptolemy in his φάδεις ἀπλανῶν
, and in the historical notice appended to that work they are said to have been made in Italy (Petav. Uranolog.
p. 93), in which country he seems to have been celebrated. (See Virgil's mention of him, Ecl.
According to Seneca (Nat. Quaest.
7.3), he made a collection of the observations of solar eclipses preserved by the Egyptians. Apollonius Pergaeus (Conic.
lib. iv. praef.) mentions his attempt to demonstrate some propositions concerning the number of points in which two conic sections can cut one another. Conon was the inventor of the curve called the spiral of Archimedes
[ARCHIMEDES] ; but he seems to have contented himself with proposing the investigation of its properties as a problem to other geometers. (Pappus, Math. Coll.
He is said to have given the name (Coma Berenices
to the constellation so called [BERENICE, No. 3], on the authority of an ode of Callimachus translated by Catullus (lxvii. de Coma Berenices
); a fragment of the original is preserved by Theon in his Scholia on Aratus. (Phaenom.
146 ; see also Hyginus, Poet. Astron.
But it is doubtful whether the constellation was really adopted by the Alexandrian astronomers.
The strongest evidence which remains to us of Conon's mathematical genius consists in the admiration with which he is mentioned by Archimedes.
See his prefaces to the treatises on the Quadrature of the Parabola
and on Spirals.