When I saw the spine of this book at a library sale, I stuck it in my pile without even really looking at it. After all, it would only cost ten cents. It wasn’t until I got it home that I realized what I’d bought. And that was…
A picture book biography of a Greek man I’d never actually heard of, but who turns out to be a pretty epic guy. The man is Eratosthenes.
Like I said, I’d never heard of him. But, as it turns out, I should have. Because he tutored the son of Ptolemy III, ruler of Egypt, and went on to be THE LIBRARIAN OF THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA.
:O :O :O
Oh yeah, and he used geometry to learn the circumference of the Earth at its equator. But who cares about that when he controlled THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA.
Well, it turns out some geographers and mathematicians care about it. And I can understand why, I guess. It is pretty impressive.
Anyway, this book tells the story of Eratosthenes’ early education, rise as a philosopher, mathematician, and cartographer, and finally his triumph in measuring the circumference of the Earth. The methods he used are carefully (though simply) described, leaving the reader both in awe at Eratosthenes and also feeling that perhaps he could have thought of it himself. :D
A faraway illustration is given of an Olympic race in which the participants are nude. Nothing can be seen because we are so far away, but…
It is explained that the word ‘museum’ is derived from the nine daughters of Zeus, who are called the Muses.
Conclusion. All around brilliant.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret