polyhedra in the history of mathematics

the Prehistory

Neolithic people in Scotland have built stone models of "polyhedra". Their function is unknown.

neolithic polyhedra

two references: Ashmolean Museum  -  Virtual Polyhedra  by George W. Hart

the Antiquity (from 3300 BC to 476 fall of Rome)

The Etruscan preceded the Greeks in their awareness of at least some of the regular polyhedra. The regular polyhedra had a considerable influence in the Greek Antiquity.

the Middle Ages (from 476 to 1492 discovery of America by C. Colomb)

This millennium was not really interested in polyhedra...

the artists of the Renaissance (XVth and beginning of the XVIth century)

Piero della Francesca (1412-1492), Pacioli (1445-1517), Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) with his drawings of skeleton (semi)regular polyhedra, Wenzel Jamnitzer (1508-1585), Dürer (1471-1528)...
Star and other non-convex polyhedra become popular; they lead eventually to Kepler's idea of stellation.

the modern times (from 492 to 1789 French Revolution)

the contemporary age (from 1789 to these days)

a few general references (books, programs, internet sites) about polyhedra
    • Virtual Polyhedra, online polyhedra encyclopaedia by George W. Hart
    • Poly (Pro) is a must program to begin with convex polyhedra
    • Polyhedron Models  and Dual Models  by Magnus J. Wenninger, Cambridge University Press, London & New York, 1971/1983
    • Polyhedra  by Peter R. Cromwell (Cambridge University Press, 1997)
    • Great Stella  by Robert Webb is a very complete program to explore the polyhedra world and create one's own models

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convex polyhedra - non convex polyhedra - interesting polyhedra - related subjects November 2008
updated 03-12-2013