Archimedes studied also the ellipse and accomplished its quadrature, but to the hyperbola he seems to have paid less attention. It is believed that he wrote a book on **conic** sections.

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It is worthy of notice that Apollonius nowhere introduces the notion of directrix for a **conic**, and that, though he incidentally discovered the focus of an ellipse and hyperbola, he did not discover the focus of a parabola. Conspicuous in his geometry is also the absence of technical terms and symbols, which renders the proofs long and cumbrous.

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The absolute scholar is in fact a rather uncanny being. He is instinct with Nietzsche's finding that to be interested in something, to be totally interested in it, is a libidinal thrust more powerful than love or hatred, more tenacious than faith or friendship — not infrequently, indeed, more compelling than personal life itself. Archimedes does not flee from his killers, he does not even turn his head to acknowledge their rush into his garden when he is immersed in the algebra of **conic** sections.

— "The Cleric of Treason"