In the early 2nd century AD, Nicomachus of Gerasa wrote a work on arithmetic in which he skilfully presented and illustrated the number theory that goes back to Pythagoras and his school. It deals with prime numbers including the "sieve of Eratosthenes" as well as numbers of all other kinds, the relation of numbers, but also square and cubic numbers and mean values. Nicomachus clearly presents ancient number theory and thus became a key figure for later mathematics. The work was highly influential: the scholars Apuleius (2nd century) and Boethius (5th/6th century) translated it into Latin, several commentaries from late antiquity have survived, and the Greek philosopher Proclus (5th century) even saw himself as the reincarnation of Nicomachus. Indeed, as late as the 14th century, Nicomachus appears alongside Socrates and Cicero as one of the most important thinkers of antiquity on the Schöner Brunnen in Nuremberg.
Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, has now translated the work into German for the first time and presented it in a bilingual edition with an introduction and explanations. The book thus provides new access to one of the most powerful representations of ancient mathematics.