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Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, elegiac poet, athlete, geographer, astronomer, and music theorist. He was the first person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography as we understand it. He invented a system of latitude and longitude. Most importantly E was the first person to calculate the circumference of the earth by using a measuring system using stades, or the length of stadiums during that time period. If you remember from basic math what circumference implies, this means he thought the earth was round... and measured it during his lifetime (276 BC – 195 BC).
Originally posted by monguzi
you are absolutely right Harte!
and maybe it is just me, but i always found how smart these guys were shocking... If only they hadn't burned the library.
Originally posted by Byrd
They no longer study the classics in school, and I think it's a bit of a loss. I remember reading Edith Hamilton's book on the Romans and bugging the librarians till they came up with a copy of her book on the Greeks. Amazing woman: en.wikipedia.org...
Originally posted by Maegnas
Ποιος το λεει αυτο? Σε τι μοναδες μετραμε το μηκος και το πλατος του Παρθενωνα?
Says who? What measuring units does one use in the multiplication?
The Sumerians were about 2500 years older than the age you describe, without archaeological digs, direct written references and trade records at their disposal it is only natural that Roman historians didn't know about them.