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1452Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Herodotus from a Pythagorean point of view

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  • leslie greenhill
    Sep 19, 2006
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      Hi JT and Melanie

      A few days ago I said I would provide extracts from my
      new exposition “Grand Design in the works of Leonardo,
      Vitruvius, Plato and Herodotus”. The extracts enhance
      the material in another of my works “How Plato
      designed Atlantis”.

      The first thing to say about the following material is
      that it represents only one strand of a larger theme
      from a unique ancient design technique. Nevertheless,
      the examples given below have historic significance.
      They should enable readers to reach some conclusions
      about the claims I made in the exposition’s synopsis.

      The strand in the examples relates to the number 36
      and variants of that number, such as 360, a number
      associated in antiquity with the number of days in a
      sacred year. There are many published discussions on
      this matter. Thirty-six is a square number: 6 x 6.

      The second matter relates to Greek and Roman measures.
      A Roman foot and a Greek foot each contained 16 digit
      divisions. Sixteen is another square number: 4 x 4.
      A Greek stade contained 600 Greek feet.

      Here, then, is data for thought and discussion.

      1. PLATO

      In a commentary on Plato’s Republic, the Greek
      philosopher’s most famous book, James Adam, author of
      The Republic of Plato writes:

      “We know from the Laws that Plato counted 360 ‘days’
      in the year. (Adam, Vol. II, p. 301)”

      Adam’s footnote to this passage states:

      “The number of Senators in the Laws is 360: these are
      to be divided into 12 sections of 30 each, and each
      section is to administer the State for one month. The
      number 60 with its multiples and divisors is the
      dominant number throughout the Laws. 360 ‘days’ is of
      course only an ideal division of the year: see § 6.
      Plato elsewhere recognises (with Philolaus) 364 1/2
      days (Rep. IX 587 E …)”. (Adam, Vol. II, p. 301)


      Leonardo da Vinci’s famous illustration of Vitruvian
      Man, the man in the square and the circle, generally
      follows the formulation given by the Roman architect
      Vitruvius in his famous treatise “The Ten Books on
      Architecture” (Book 3.1.1 – 7). I recommend the
      version translated by Morris Hicky Morgan and
      published by Dover: see website below. Leonardo’s
      illustration is also provided on the second website




      Note the lines marked on the body by Leonardo. The
      lines on the upper body are locations mentioned by

      Vitruvius says the “well shaped man” is six feet tall
      and that the measure of his outstretched arms is the
      same. Accordingly, the square is 6 by 6 feet, an area
      of 36 square feet.


      In Book 3.1.2 Vitruvius says the breadth of the breast
      is one fourth of the body height. Accordingly, the
      breadth of the breast is 1.5 feet (one cubit). See
      the lines on the shoulders in the illustration.
      Therefore, the distance from the side of the breast to
      the tip of an outstretched arm is 2.25 feet:

      2.25 + 1.5 + 2.25 = 6 feet.

      The number 2.25 is 1.5 squared, that is, 1.5 x 1.5.
      And 2.25 is equal to 36 digits.


      There are two main features of Atlantis as described
      by Plato in “Critias”: the central water/land ring
      arrangement (see my “How Plato designed Atlantis”) and
      the great rectangular plain 3000 stades by 2000
      stades. The plain contains 60,000 allotments, each
      allotment being 10 stades by ten stades (includes
      water frontages): see Stephanus 118 – 9. Note how
      Plato brings the number six into the discussion. As
      previously stated, a Greek stade contained 600 Greek
      feet. Therefore each allotment is 6000 by 6000 feet
      or 36,000,000 square Greek feet.


      The water and land ring arrangement is circular and is
      27 stades in diameter. The radius of the arrangement
      is 13.5 stades; 13.5 stades is equal to 8100 Greek
      feet or 129,600 Greek digits. The number 129,600 is
      360 squared, that is, 360 x 360.


      In “The Histories” Herodotus reports that the Egyptian
      coastline measures 3600 stades and that this is equal
      to 60 schoeni (an Egyptian measure, he reports): see
      Book 2.6 – 7. The number 3600 is a square number:
      60 x 60.

      A few paragraphs later Herodotus discusses a voyage up
      the Nile. Heliopolis is, he says, 4860 stades from
      Thebes (Book 2.9). The distance 4860 stades can be
      expressed in terms of digits: 4860 x 600 (the number
      of feet in a stade) = 2,916,000 Greek feet. Multiply
      the latter number by 16, the number of digits in a
      foot, and the product is 46,656,000 digits.

      The number 46,656,000 can be expressed as 360 x 360 x
      360, that is, 360 cubed. Compare this with the
      Atlantis radius formulation of 360 x 360 digits.

      All this is brought into a clear, cohesive and larger
      context in “Grand Design in the works of Leonardo,
      Vitruvius, Plato and Herodotus”. I hope that any
      reader using this material for other purposes will
      properly attribute the source. (I have been
      disappointed, but not surprised, to find that some
      data from the Atlantis exposition is being used in a
      less than ethical manner.

      Les Greenhill

      --- j_t_palomares <j_t_palomares@...> wrote:

      > Hi Les,
      > What points did you have in mind?
      > JT
      > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, leslie
      > greenhill
      > <neoplatonist2000@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > To get the ball rolling, has anyone
      > > looked at "The Histories" by Herodotus from a
      > > Pythagorean point of view?
      > >
      > > Les Greenhill
      > >
      > >

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