Author Topic: Capital latin L in Greek fractions?  (Read 1153 times)

gregroz

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Capital latin L in Greek fractions?
« on: 15 Mar, 2016, 02:47:16 »
Found in probably Roman era text - about fractions of days

L' δ' κ' = 4/5 (?)
α' L' ι' = 1 3/5 (?)

Is that a Latin letter L or something other? Print is old, looks exactly as Latin L with all the other numbers and fractions using only Greek letter-numbers. The text doesn't use ligatures but an old print.
I'm not sure if I should transcribe it with L. Or could it be a print placeholder for some kind of special mathematics sign/convention?


billberg23

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Re: Capital latin L in Greek fractions?
« Reply #1 on: 15 Mar, 2016, 03:37:51 »
We're puzzled by what you mean with "print" and "Roman era text."  Are we looking at a papyrus, an inscription on stone, a manuscript, an incunabulum, or some other medium?  Can you provide a photo or at least a wider context?
« Last Edit: 15 Mar, 2016, 03:40:45 by billberg23 »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

gregroz

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Re: Capital latin L in Greek fractions?
« Reply #2 on: 15 Mar, 2016, 23:09:16 »
It's not a manuscript, it's in the retyped old modern book/article.

Original text is post-Hellenistic ancient time (Roman era I call it)
Manuscript - unknown
I had a reprint of a page from retyped in book-like print from late19th or early 20th century.
That 19th/20th cent. Greek text and translation was printed with standard type in italic (slant) polytonic Greek letters (standard "modern" scholar conventions) and footnotes in Latin.
In the main Greek text there is only that "letter L" that is not a standard Greek letter, and it looks nothing like stigma or other obsolete letters-numbers in the standard forms (I double checked these letters in Wikipedia). This "L" is slant to the right as are Greek letters. Just two strokes, the vertical one is slant the same way as a capital Iota, and it grows the vertical line from the bottom to the right, which looks exactly like capital L (in sans-serif fonts like Arial or the one used here on forum). It does have (in both cases) a very slightly noticeable little thicker blob at the right-end of the horizontal line, but this could be just the old print artefact. It is just letter L, I wouldn't doubt it could be anything else and I doubt anyone would say it is ambiguous. It just surprises me.

It was a transcription of the table with number of days in one row. Some of them as fractions.

And the reprint had a translation, which renders:

L' δ' κ' as: 4/5
α' L' ι' as: 1 3/5

And I'm puzzled what that "L" is. Is this capital Roman letter or maybe a print convenction (a placeholder) for some kind of special sign



billberg23

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Re: Capital latin L in Greek fractions?
« Reply #3 on: 15 Mar, 2016, 23:38:09 »
Still not clear on a number of your terms, e.g. "a reprint of a page from retyped in book-like print":  what is being "retyped"?  A book?  Or something like a book ("book-like")?  If so, what is its title, and what is its subject?  How do we know it is from "post-Hellenistic ancient time (Roman era I call it)"?  From what is "the table with number of days" transcribed?  "The reprint had a translation", but the original didn't?
Still trying to figure out what kind of "text" we're dealing with.
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος

gregroz

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Re: Capital latin L in Greek fractions?
« Reply #4 on: 16 Mar, 2016, 02:31:31 »
It was modern book about astronomy an mathematics, chapter on more or less Claudius Ptolemy's era. It had mathematical text translated and sometimes photographic pictures or scans of this old modern scholar (like Pingree or someone like that) - his book/article or what have you was typed with a typewriter from manuscript (perhaps changing it to modern conventions, I strongly suspect).
I don't have access to that book, I only had taken a copy of that one page, now misplaced and I only have my note/transcript.

Basically I think it is a question about mathematical writing conventions.

I'm sorry I asked without actual print at hand.