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Let No One Enter Who Does Not Know Geometry

MULTIZ321

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Tradition has it that the phrase "Let No One Enter Who Does Not Know Geometry" was inscribed over the Door of Plato's Academy.

Just read about this today in the book 'Map of Bones' by James Rollins. Am enjoying the book.


Richard
 

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Over the doors of the Widener Library (Harvard)

A funny story about inscriptions over the door of institutions of higher learning.

By Gene Fant

The Harvard seal is ubiquitous in Cambridge, Massachusetts (the letters VE-RI-TAS imposed on open books), on t-shirts, signs, and buildings as far as the eye can see.

“Veritas is the Harvard motto, and it does mean “truth” but technically the full motto is “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae. ‘Truth for Christ and the Church.’ There are a few places around campus that still have this, including over the doors of the Widener Library. And it’s not just any open books; the way I’ve heard it, one book is the Bible, one represents the great learning of the past in written form, and in some versions, the third book is face down, representing the necessity of God’s self-revelation beyond human reasoning that may be found in books. In fact, Emerson Hall, which houses the department of philosophy, has a biblical inscription over the doors that reads ‘What Is Man that Thou Art Mindful of Him?’, which is in the Psalms.” [Ps. 8:4].

Visitors to Harvard Yard tend to have their photos made in front of the Statue of the Three Lies, which is among the most photographed sculptures in America. It’s supposed to be a representation of John Harvard, the college namesake but the figure is that of a model (lie #1), the inscribed term “founder” is likewise wrong (lie #2), and the date inscribed for the founding of the college is erroneous (lie #3). I could not help but note the irony that the motto is “veritas” but the most influential image of campus is not the library but rather the “lying” statue.

A fun reference: http://www.bu.edu/mfeldman/Harvard/statue.html

Who knew?
 
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