Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Did You Know?

*I could proudly claim we Iranians have used the solar calendar ever since we reckoned the need to keep track of our days. While even today there are many cummunities that use a lunar calendar despite the fact that urban and agricultural societies need a solar calendar to be able to function sceintifically. Even Omar Khayam has cited that he used ancient sourses for designing his "Jalali Calendar", which is a more accurate calendar than the "Gregory Calendar" which was designed 200 years after the "Jalali Calendar" and todays Christian calendar is based on it.

*While "Plutarch", a Roman historian-army commander, was traveling in Persian in 700 BCE, he passed through a city called "Hekmatane", (todays Hamedan). In "Hekmatane", he came across a school (university) whome he discribed as to have a head faculty and 100 students. In the school they learned astronomy, medicine, philosophy and mathematics. Very many of the world's greatest scholars and physicians visited them at the university. "Plutarch" mentioned of similar schools in all Iranian cities. If science did not prevail in Iran, then what were these people studying? what happened to that knowledge?

*"Plotinus", a Greek historian who visited Iran in 100 BCE, wrote, "when I was in Iran, they were measuring the radius of the Earth and its curvature". Other refrences to the spherical shape of the Earth can be found in "Yasht's". To measure the Earth's radius you have to be familiar with astronomy and mathematics. This was when the Greeks still assumed that the Earth was a flat land sorrounded by water.

*"Phisaghorous", (Pythogarus) the Greek philosopher and mathematician spent 20 years of his life in Iran and "Babylon", (which was a part of the acient Persian Empire), accurding to his biography. During this time he learned the knowledge of the "Moghan", (Magi). His philosophy of light was under the influence of Persians who believed in spherical Earth rotating around the central Sun. There has also been doubts about the famous theory of right angle triangles. Today, it is a know fact that the theory did not belong to "Pythogarus" but was named after him later on. Towards the end of "Ghajar" era, French archaeologists found some documents in "Elam" which was published in France. Among the findings were 17 cases of the right-angle triangles with different dimensions and calculations similar to those of "Pythogarus". Apparently, they were looking for a single solution and its possible that they found it.

*There is an ancient Greek thesis from somebody named "Paapoos". He cited "Estaans" the Moughan as a naturalist philosopher believing in "self management and self-recycling power of nature provided that humans do not destroy it". This philosophy is still valid and we have to take care of our environment.

*"Oghladous" was an Iranian who was born in Asia Minor and migrated to "Eskandarieh" (Alexandria) to work and never lived in Greece.

*While the Greeks had no progressive calculation and mathematics and nothing to offer in Algebra, Babylonians were using a numaric system and had even invented 0. At this time Greeks used alphabets for numbers. "Araashmidous" the greatest mathematician in ancient Greece, wrote a book to represent a big number, and called it his masterpiece. However, thousands of years before the Greeks, Elamians had a numaric system similar to what we have today.

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