Notes and Bibliography



  1. "Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about." (II Chronicles 4:2) Some authors claim this passage as evidence that the ancient Hebrews used a value of 3 for pi. This passage occurs as part of a description of the building of Solomon's temple, and all the measurements in it are very round numbers, so perhaps this was not meant to be more than a rough estimate.
  2. Around the turn of the century the Indiana legislature, in a fit of piety, tried to pass a law mandating the value of pi to be 3, citing the biblical passage quoted above as proof of the correct value.
  3. Heath, T.L. (ed.), The Works of Archimedes (Dover Edition, 1953), 93-98. Original published 1897, Cambridge University Press. Heath's translations of Archimedes and Euclid are still generally considered the standard today.
  4. The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements, trans. by Sir Thomas L. Heath, p. ??? Cambridge University Press, 1957.
  5. The Works of Archimedes, op. cit., p. ???
  6. Intermediate steps, supplied by Eutocius for the most part, are shown in Heath's translation enclosed in square brackets.