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An Investigation of Historical Geometric Constructions - Hippias' Attempt to Trisect an Angle

Author(s): 
Suzanne Harper and Shannon Driskell

            One of the most famous attempts to trisect an angle has been attributed to Hippias of Elis (born around 460 B.C.E.). He was a statesman and philosopher who traveled around being paid for his lectures on poetry, grammar, history, politics, archaeology, mathematics and astronomy. Plato described him as a vain man being both arrogant and boastful, having a wide but superficial knowledge (Burton, 2003 ). Hippias’ contribution to mathematics was small, but significant. In his attempt to trisect an angle, he created a new transcendental curve which unfortunately could not be constructed with only a compass and unmarked ruler; but the curve can be used to divide an angle into not only three, but any number of congruent angles. 

Dummy View - NOT TO BE DELETED