Because they [the ancient Greeks] feared infinite processes they missed the limit process. In approximating a circle by a polygon they were content to make the difference smaller than any given quantity, but something positive was always left over. Thus the process remained clear to the intuition; the limit process, on the other hand, would have involved the infinitely small.
The Pythagoreans were... familiar with the construction of a polygon equal in area to a given polygon and similar to another given polygon. This problem depends upon several important and somewhat advanced theorems, and testifies to the fact that the Pythagoreans made no mean progress in geometry.Florian Cajori