Starting March 15, 2014…we’re going to be treated to the works of a nearly lost Mathematical Master:
Archimedes lived in the Greek city of Syracuse in the third century B.C.E. He was a brilliant mathematician, physicist, inventor, engineer, and astronomer. In 10th-century Constantinople (present day Istanbul), an anonymous scribe copied Archimedes’ treatises in the original Greek onto parchment. In the 13th century, a monk erased the Archimedes text, cut the pages along the center fold, rotated the leaves 90 degrees and folded them in half. The parchment was then recycled, together with the parchment of other books, to create a Greek Orthodox prayer book. This process of reuse is called palimpsesting; the result of the process is a palimpsest. In 1999, the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and a team of researchers began a project to read the erased texts of the Archimedes Palimpsest—the oldest surviving copy of works by the greatest mathematical genius of antiquity. Over 12 years, many techniques were employed by more than 80 scientists and scholars in the fields of conservation, imaging, and classical studies. The Walters presented the exhibition “Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes” in 2011; it comes to The Huntington in spring 2014 to complement the Library’s history of science collections and to tell the story of the Archimedes Palimpsest’s journey and the discovery of new scientific, philosophical, and political texts from the ancient world. The manuscript demonstrates that Archimedes discovered the mathematics of infinity, mathematical physics, and combinatorics—a branch of mathematics used in modern computing.
BTW, that was from the Huntington Website, which you should really visit…as in a lot.
The Exhibit of these finds starts March 15 and will run through June 22.
Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
Monday holidays: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Huntington is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Huntington observes summer hours and is open from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays. (After Labor Day, hours are 12 noon-4:30 p.m. Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri.; 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat., Sun.; closed Tues.)