2.4.1 Alcibiades I (119r – 125r)


Euclid’s Heiberg amendment1 re dunamis


EG Turner’s letter of 23 Jun 1981 to David Fowler, re Oxyrrhyncus and Euclid

You can see the vim and energy with which Eric G Turner, in this handwritten letter to Prof David H. Fowler, now alas no longer with us, and his plea for a kind of ‘joint search dialectic’.   He might have been thinking of the ‘flocking’ emergences known to Jacob Fink of Denmark’s Saxo Institute can have given that title, a suitable subtitle (if Thesleff were to endorse this) being the word of Democritus and ps.-Aristotle,  συναγελαστικον   [ps-Aristotle frr. 313, 321.]

He appeals for co-ordinated foregatherings of Greek mathematics experts  —  such as Fowler himself in 1981 — to foregather synagelastically with papyrology  experts such as Parsons today, with his prodigious expertise in papyrology.   They might jointly issue a report leading to a convincing decoding of the Naples Archaeology’s mosaic.  All 5 of the open-collared figures in the foreground are seen to foregather, although the figure in the far right (stage-right) seems eager to go his separate way, his ‘kata mian’ wandering from the school, or herd, or flock or herd.

[Present-day computer graphics experts of the present day, such as Rudy Rucker, have reduced ‘flocking’ to the three maxims, Copy/Hide/DonotBump.  Rucker does this in his ‘The Lifebox The Computer and the Soul.”   Treasures are there, Turner wrote, in the Oxyrrhyncus papyri, on Euclid and his historical progenitors.  Many of Euclid’s fragments are also available under such conditions — in the Heiberg critical edition of Elements especially its largely unexplored Volume 5.

Turner had expressed his “strong hunch” that this Egypt-sourced Oxyrrhyncus papyri  material would yield up valuable new finds.   My further hope and suggestion is that more about Theaetetus’s and Socrates Alternate’s additions to their contemporary editions of ELEMENTS might thus be possible.   The hope is the more vivid with Tufts and various computer-accessible files more fully available.    I mean to refer to Volume 5, TLG5022, which I discussed with Prof. Boter of Amsterdam some years ago now.

computer-assisted researches are making large-scale advances in recent years, carrying forward the valuable early work beginning with Brandwood at

Manchester.  This can likely help resolve problems which the loss of Eudemus of Rhodes’s History of Geometry continues to cause, Philip of Opus one likely


EG Turner’s letter of 23 Jun 1981 to David Fowler, re Oxyrrhyncus and Euclid


Menander papyrus, its midword -nst-, cf -ns- in Euthd, Elts

Alcibiades I