Eratosthenes

In 1993, Jacques Dutka shared information about the Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, reportedly nicknamed “’New Plato’” (Fisher, 1982, p. 803).  Dutka said, “About 230 B.C., Eratosthenes of Cyrene (275-194 B.C.) made a measurement of the circumference of the Earth, assumed spherical in form” (Dutka, 1993, p. 55). Dutka goes on and describes that “His method was based on a remarkably simple proportion relating the difference between the latitudes of two stations on the same meridian, obtained from celestial observations, and their terrestrial distance apart” (Dutka p. 55). Having said that, Eratosthenes had a career. Specifically, Kelly Trumble mentioned that Eratosthenes, held the prestigious job of Librarian at the Library of Alexandria (Trumble, 2003 p. 24).

Centuries after Eratosthenes lived, the Apostle Paul said, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (NIV, Rom 4:25). God does not remember the sins of the justified, though man records history for His or man’s purposes. With that in mind, the library’s total contents have been under contention. Roger S. Bagnall shared the state of research in the year 2002. Bagnall said, “Moreover, if we are to give any credence to these numbers, why should we not be consistent in our credulity and believe that Demetrios of Phaleron already had amassed 200,000 volumes in the first decade of the third century B.C. as Pseudo-Aristeas says” (Bagnall, 2002, p.). According to Daniel Heller-Roazen, the Library of Alexandria may have burned down in “the fourth century” (Heller-Roazen, 2002, p. 149) BC.

With growing interest in astronomy and the mathematical sciences as a computer science major, my extracurricular activities are increasingly involving observance of the heavens and sacred spheres of thought. During this experience, the more technology improves, the more I seek fundamental understanding.

Bibliography

Bagnall, R. (2002). Alexandria: Library of Dreams. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 146(4), 348-362. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/1558311

Dutka, J. (1993). “Eratosthenes’ Measurement of the Earth Reconsidered” Archive for History of Exact Sciences, 46(1), 55-66. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/41134135

Fisher, R. (1982). Conon and the Poet : A Solution to “Eclogue”, III, 40-2. Latomus, 41(4), 803-814. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/41532688

Heller-Roazen, D. (2002). Tradition’s Destruction: On the Library of Alexandria. October, 100, 133-153. Retrieved from http://0-www.jstor.org.library.regent.edu/stable/779096

Trumble, K., & Marshall, R. M. (2003). The Library of Alexandria. New York, NY: Clarion Books.

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Author: Jonathan Kelly

For university education, Jonathan Kelly studies liberal arts and sciences. In his free time, he studies history and ethics in science fiction.

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