Greek Math (OK, just Greek)


TwoPi and I just got back from a long-anticipated trip across the Atlantic.  And, except for the fact that camels are about fifty times taller than they look and really really scary to ride (unless you’re ten.  Then, apparently, they’re totally cool.) the trip was amazing.  Especially because we found mathy things, and who doesn’t like mathy things???

This, by the way, might be my favorite photo:

Two of the days we spent in Greece, and everything was in Greek.   Which is obvious, but it made it seem like there was math everywhere.  Even on Sprite bottles.

Plus a lot of the signs were posted in both Greek and Latin alphabets, so I could try to sound out the Greek and then see if I was right.  [I spent a similar amount of time reading signs in Montreal, once, and then checking myself on the English subtitles].

It was like all these years I’ve spent learning and teaching math symbols paid off in a completely unexpected way.  (Even though, ummm, joining a sorority might have had the same effect.  But I digress.)

Unfortunately, with only a couple days, we didn’t do anything that had any actual math content during this portion of the trip.  But I did find this sign, which made me really happy.  (I blacked out the Latin part so that you could sound it out.)


5 Responses to “Greek Math (OK, just Greek)”

  1. Barry Leiba Says:

    “Forward Pythagoras”? Or does “forward” (οδοσ) have some idiomatic meaning, such as “Lane” or “Alley” ?

  2. Ξ Says:

    It’s the Pythagora part that I thought was really cool. I think οδοσ has an idiomatic meaning; if I remember correctly, it was on all the streets. (That particular pictures was taken in Rhodes and οδοσ almost sounds like Rhodes, but not quite. I can’t remember if I saw the term in any other city.)

  3. Brent Yorgey Says:

    οδοσ means simply “road” or “street”.

  4. Brent Yorgey Says:

    Technically I suppose it is οδός which means “road/street/way” but accents are typically not included on inscriptions.

  5. Ξ Says:

    Thanks Brent — I’d tried to reverse engineer what the word was, but didn’t have the accent right and that seemed to make a difference.

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