Geometry the Old-Fashioned Way

I failed to keep note of where I got this link from, so I apologize to whatever fine person sent me over here.

Science Vs has a splendid page that lets one have fun doing geometry in the classical Greek format, with tools that are the equivalent of straightedge and compass. The compass is used properly, too: there’s no cheating and copying distance by lifting the compass carefully and setting it back down. You have to draw from a center point and a chosen radius each time, the way classical constructions are supposed to be done.

There’s a package of forty challenges offered, things like drawing squares or making rosettes of circles or the like, and if that’s not enough there’s the challenge in beating a par for the number of moves required. Meanwhile I’m gratified to learn that, years after I had to do this stuff for school, I’ve still remembered how to do bisections of lines and angles, and how to drop perpendiculars to a point.

(I haven’t figured yet how to draw a circle to an arbitrary point — sometimes you don’t need to connect anywhere particular — but imagine if I read the instructions maybe that would be obvious or something.)


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

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