In Daniel Boorstin's book "The Creators" the following occurs:
"Anthemius (died before 558)... earned fame in the Middle Ages for his works of mathematics and geometry on the properties of cones and parabolas. He was said to have been the first to show that an ellipse could be drawn by a string looped around two fixed points.."
Does anyone know of a reference that substantiates this claim? Anthemius was the principle architect of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople during Justinian's rule.