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Some Original Sources for Modern Tales of Thales - Conclusion and References

Michael Molinsky (University of Maine at Farmington)


While this article has discussed a few of the most common stories involving Thales that appear in modern sources, it has by no means covered them all.  Readers are encouraged to perform their own explorations, tracing modern statements about Thales (or any other mathematicians of interest, for that matter) back to their original sources.  Listed below as references are some useful resources on Thales, many of which include both the original Greek or Latin texts as well as English translations.  The growth of digital libraries means it has never been easier to gain access to historically important works.  Finally, always remember:  Reading is Fundamental!


  1. Babbitt, Frank Cole (trans.). Moralia. Volume 2. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928.  Perseus Digital Library. Web.  14 Jan. 2015.
  2. Barnes, Jonathan (ed.). The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. Volume 2. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1995. Print.
  3. Bonstock, John (trans.) and Henry T. Riley (trans.).  The Natural History of Pliny. Volume 6. London: H. G. Bohn, 1855-57. HathiTrust Digital Library.  Web. 22 Aug. 2015.
  4. Burnyeat, Myles (ed.) and M. J. Levett (trans.). The Theaetetus of Plato. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1990. Print.
  5. Eves, Howard. In Mathematical Circles. Boston: Prindle, Weber and Schmidt, 1969. Print.
  6. Heath, T. L. (ed.). The Works of Archimedes, London: C. J. Clay and Sons, 1897. Online Library of Liberty. Web. 23 Aug. 2015.
  7. Hicks, Robert D. (trans.). Lives of Eminent Philosophers. Volume 1. London: W. Heinemann, 1980. Print.
  8. Morrow, Glenn R. (trans.). A Commentary on the First Book of Euclid's Elements. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1970. Print.
  9. Rogers, Benjamin B. (trans.). Aristophanes. Volume 2. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979. Print.
  10. Redlin, Lothar, Ngo Viet and Saleem Watson. “Thales’ Shadow.”  Mathematics Magazine 73:5 (Dec. 2000): 347-353.  JSTOR. Web. 22 Dec. 2014.
  11. Wasserstein, A. “Thales’ Determination of the Diameters of the Sun and the Moon.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies 75 (1955): 114-116.  JSTOR. Web. 23 Aug. 2015.
  12. Wöhrle, Georg (ed.), Richard McKirahan (trans.), Ahmed Alwishah, and Gotthard Strohmaier. The Milesians: Thales. 2014. Print. Traditio Praesocratica; Volume 1.

Michael Molinsky (University of Maine at Farmington), "Some Original Sources for Modern Tales of Thales - Conclusion and References," Convergence (November 2015)