1452Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Herodotus from a Pythagorean point of view
- Sep 19, 2006Hi 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
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 expositions 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.
In a commentary on Platos Republic, the Greek
philosophers 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)
Adams 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)
2. VITRUVIAN MAN
Leonardo da Vincis 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. Leonardos
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.
3. THE OUTSTRETCHED ARMS OF VITRUVIAN MAN
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.
4. PLATOS ATLANTIS
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.
5. CENTRAL ATLANTIS
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.
6. HERODOTUS AND A VOYAGE UP THE NILE
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.
--- j_t_palomares <j_t_palomares@...> wrote:
> Hi Les,P.O. Box 314
> What points did you have in mind?
> --- In email@example.com, leslie
> <neoplatonist2000@...> wrote:
> > To get the ball rolling, has anyone
> > looked at "The Histories" by Herodotus from a
> > Pythagorean point of view?
> > Les Greenhill
Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
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