A recent special on the American PBS NOVA series talked about a recently identified manuscript of the Greek philosopher/mathematician Archimedes' The Method. The discussion got a little hysterical, we think, when the commentators talked about what the world might have been like if the manuscript hadn't been lost for 2 millennia.

I for one wonder what the world would have been like if Archimedes had bothered taking on a student or two. Were the Greek Dark Ages really inevitable? Why was it the end of everything that Archimedes was working on when he was killed during the Roman takeover of Syracuse? Can we best protect the Library at Alexandria by having lots and lots of copies or lots and lots of students?

Archimedes' home page at Drexel
NOVA's page on the Archimedes palimpsest

I can't help it; this reminds me of A CanticleForLeibowitz.

Created by KKris. Last Modification: Sunday 19 of October, 2003 09:48:05 EDT by KKris.