Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization . Many clever **Babylonians**, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours?

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Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever **Babylonians**, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilisation, what there is particularly immortal about yours?

— G. K. Chesterton,

Let us suppose that we have set the problem of finding a solution to the equation This is a problem for which the **Babylonians** around 1700 BC found the excellent approximation ...This is the identical problem which Pythagoras asserted had no fractional solution and in whose honor he was supposed to have sacrificed a hecatomb of oxen the problem which caused the existentialist crisis in ancient Greek mathematics. The exists (as the diagonal of the unit square); yet it does not exist (as a fraction)!

— Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh,