The other day, I was wondering aloud how the Romans did all the maths they needed for their engineering achievements in those very cumbersome Roman numerals. Mr. Waffle tells me that they did the difficult bits in Greek numbers and then translated them back into Roman numerals at the end.
Did you know that already? I am rather surprised about the numbers of my friends who did Greek in school, it turns out it’s useful for odd conversations in your 40s. A friend’s wife said something quite innocent about some word possibly coming from the Greek for horse and she was instantly corrected by her husband and mine who said, “No, hippos is a horse*.” Reporting, this rather disapprovingly, to some other friends, it turned out that they had studied Greek also and one of them said wistfully, “Greek was my favourite subject.” She is not the kind of person I would have thought of as a lover of ancient Greek but it just goes to show how little we know of our friends. I suppose at this stage you could count on the fingers of one hand the numbers of children anywhere studying ancient Greek except maybe in Greece.
Bonus prize for you, if you know how the Greeks did their numbers. I can stop any time.
*This is very unlike both of them and I can only attribute it to the lasting power of Greek teaching in the Irish school system.
Small Latin and no Greek in my case. All I can no remember of the former is: 1. my teacher’s naughty rhymes for remembering verb conjugations; 2. my utter bafflement on being introduced to the concept of noun cases. My Latin teacher was quite the character. He had a smallholding and periodically would bring in his considerable harvest to sell to the other teachers; there’d be turnips and cabbages rolling around the school foyer. He’d punish boys (never girls) by making them sit on his knee, sometimes with a boy on either knee. I also recall him once getting a pupil to spread out his hand on the table then producing a flick knife and performing a trick with it on the hand. How times change in more ways than one.
I studied both Latin and Greek in “high school” (we were three students in Greek the first year, two for the next two years) but I liked Latin better. If I once knew how the Romans and the Greeks managed to count, which I certainly did, I forgot it altogether, sorry.
Latin but no greek for me. There were two Latin teachers, the boring one (if you had a second hand text book, someone would have neatly written in his three dry jokes at the appropriate places) and the one who was subsequently done for child abuse. The latter much the better teacher, and sounds somewhat like Praxis’s one although he was an equal opportunity abuser (and once made me recite a poem with a mouth full of marbles to improve my elocution)
Yes, I am a Latin and no Greek person also- but who knew there was so much Greek out there, look at Viviane.
I have to say those who went to school in England seem to have had much the most exciting teachers, if not precisely desirable.
It was sum, es, est, sumus, estis…
In case you’re wondering – and if you get my drift.