Μηδείς ἀγεωμέτρητος εἰσίτω μου τὴν στέγην -> let no one ignorant of geometry come under my roof (inscription on Plato's Academy, acc. to Pseudo-Galen, De partibus philosophiae 2.5)

Amusesmile

  • Semi-Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 1
Hello,

One of my professors has sent our class on a sort of wild goose chase trying to find out what this quote means and where it comes from.  We're about half way there but we're stumped on the rest of it.  Any help would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance:

"This attitude if, of course, entirely anti-scientific, and anyone who attempts it is science is simply disqualified from the conversation of science -- no prerequisites, no class. No rigorous argument, no discussion. No evidence, no credit. "Μηδείς αγεωμέτρητος εισίτω μοι την στέγην, ήγουν μηδείς άδικος παρεισερχέσθω τήδε. Δίκαιον γαρ και ισότης έστι η Γεωμετρία." (Yes, I know this is ancient Greek to you. Google to the rescue -- but it'l take more than one step)."

Progress so far:

mèdeis ageômetrètos eisitô mou tèn stegèn

let no one ignorant of geometry come under my roof

an inscription above the door of Plato's Academy

and according to http://plato-dialogues.org/faq/faq009.htm#call2

.... Saffrey traces the oldest references to this inscription back to a mention in an oration written in 362 A.D. by the emperor Julian the Apostate refering to an inscription at the entrance of the Academy without giving its precise wording (which might suggest that the story was well known already), and an anonymous scholion in a manuscript of Aelius Aristides whose author, according to him, might be the fourth century orator Sopatros, which mentions the full text of the inscription, adding that ageômetrètos has been put in place of anisos kai adikos ("unfair and unjust"), sometimes used in similar inscriptions at the entrance of sacred places ("Let no unfair or unjust person enter"), because "geometry seeks fairness/equality and justice/righteousness (hè gar geômetria tèn isotèta kai tèn dikaiosunèn zètei)". The same association with the notions of equality and justice can be found in the reference to the inscription found in Johannes Tzetzes' Chiliades (trans. Thousdands (?)), whose text is as follows:

Πρό τω προθύρωη τω αύτοΰ γράψας ύπήρχε Πλάτωη
Μηδείς άγεωμέτρητος είσίτω μου τήν στέγην
Τουτέστιν, άδικος μηδείς παρεισε ρχέσθω τήδε Ίσότης γάρ καί δίκαιόν έστι γεωμετρία.

Tzetzes, Chiliades, VIII, 974-7

Pro tôn prothurôn tôn hautou grapsas hupèrche Platôn
 Mèdeis ageômetrètos eisitô mou tèn stegèn
Toutestin, adikos mèdeis paresierchestô tèide
 Isotès gar kai dikaion esti geômetria.

On the front of his doorway Plato had written
'Let no one who is not a geometer enter my house.'
That is, 'Let no one who is unjust come in here',
for geometry is equality and justice.

("Plato had written at the front door of his house: "Let no one who is not geometer enter under my roof", that is, "Let non one unjust sneak in here", because geometry is equality/fairness and justice/righteousness").

Chiliades text lead me back to Book VII of Plato's Republic.
but I am still having trouble finding an exact translation for the rest of the passage...
« Last Edit: 11 Jun, 2012, 09:01:57 by billberg23 »


billberg23

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 5996
    • Gender:Male
  • Words ail me.
but I am still having trouble finding an exact translation for the rest of the passage...
Not exactly clear which phrase(s) you want translated.  It looks as if you've already covered all the territory!  And according to The Rules (click at top of page and read before posting, please, as advised) your title contains the sentence you want translated;  however, you seem to have no problem with the title sentence.
Do you mind if we move your post, soon, to the proper forum (Ancient Greek -> English)?  You're currently posting it under "Modern Greek -> English".






 

Search Tools