A Brief Biography of Eratosthenes

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Eratosthenes was born in 276 B.C. in a Greek colony in Cyrene, a country in North Africa better known in the present day as Libya. He raised by modest parents, his mother’s name is not known, and his father’s name could be one of two that have been discovered, Aglaos or Ambrosios. Even though they were modest parents, they were somehow able to have enough money for an education for their son. They would have had to own land that was worth at least 20 minas (type of Athenian currency), and his parents would have been free citizens. He was a typical, curious baby and as he grew older, he asked hundreds of questions that no one could answer. He was extremely interested in the sky, because it was something that he could not reach up and touch. He wondered how what the distance between the sun and earth was and what the sun was made of, why there was wind, and why the stars moved. Like most young Greek boys, when Eratosthenes was about six, he began to go to school in the local gymnasium, where he learned reading, writing, mathematics, poetry, music and physical education. He was very strong in math but geography was by far his favourite subject. In his early years, he was given the nickname Beta, the second letter of the Greek alphabet, because he never came in first place (taken by Archimedes). Later in life, he got the nickname Pentathlos. This word meant an athlete that participated in 5 sporting events or to describe someone who was good at a variety of different
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