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2 Birth of Geometry as We Know It Some historians have tended to dismiss the early science as “merely magic and sorcery”. But others have forcefully espoused the diametrically opposite view: The ancients employed precisely the same method as modern scientists! Indeed, the model of explanation they had for events in nature, for disease, for astronomical phenomena, and so on, was tried out. Corrections were attempted for the shortcomings. Eventually, through trial and error, with failures and mistakes, humanity arrived at our state of today.
But compare that to the cave paintings of 30,000 years ago! Amazingly, however, the earliest mathematics we encounter is qualitatively of the same nature as the mathematics of today. For no other science can one assert the same. An important precondition for humans to be able to live in a well organized society, based on agriculture, is the existence of a reliable calendar. Indeed, without secure knowledge on the changes of the seasons, it is not possible to sow the grain or other seeds at the right time.
The priests of Babylonia are also frequently called Magis, and of course the term is preserved today in our word magic. Heralds were sent out proclaiming the change of regent, and one of them happened to encounter Cambyses and his men in Ecbatana in Syria. When brought before the rightful, if incompetent, King, the herald was questioned about the situation. Cambyses suspected that Patizeites had double-crossed him, but the latter had the explanation ready: “I think, my Lord, that I know what happened.