archive

hello




Two characters are speaking, Meton is the astronomer (see D Barrett (trs.), Aristophanes, Birds (London, 1978):-

Meton: I propose to survey the air for you: it will have to be marked out in acres.

Peisthetaerus: Good lord, who do you think you are?

Meton: Who am I? Why Meton. THE Meton. Famous throughout the Hellenic world - you must have heard of my hydraulic clock at Colonus?

Peisthetaerus (eyeing Meton’s instruments): And what are these for?

Meton: Ah! These are my special rods for measuring the air. You see, the air is shaped - how shall I put it? - like a sort of extinguisher: so all I have to do is to attach this flexible rod at the upper extremity, take the compasses, insert the point here, and - you see what I mean?

Peisthetaerus: No.

Meton: Well I now apply the straight rod - so - thus squaring the circle: and there you are. In the centre you have your market place: straight streets leading into it, from here, from here, from here. Very much the same principle, really, as the rays of a star: the star itself is circular, but sends out straight rays in every direction.

Peisthetaerus: Brilliant - the man’s a Thales.

squaring the circle




MICROCOSMOS - The Grass People (Documentary)