This book represents a new departure in science studies: an analysis of a
scientific style of writing, situating it within the context of the
contemporary style of literature. Its philosophical significance is that it
provides a novel way of making sense of the notion of a scientific style.
For the first time, the Hellenistic mathematical corpus - one of the most
substantial extant for the period - is placed centre-stage in the discussion
of Hellenistic culture as a whole. Professor Netz argues that Hellenistic
mathematical writings adopt a narrative strategy based on surprise, a
compositional form based on a mosaic of apparently unrelated elements, and a
carnivalesque profusion of detail. He further investigates how such stylistic
preferences derive from, and throw light on, the style of Hellenistic poetry.
This important book will be welcomed by all scholars of Hellenistic
civilization as well as historians of ancient science and Western
Table Of Contents:
1. The carnival of calculation;
2. The telling of mathematics;
3. Hybrids and mosaics;
4. The poetic interface; Conclusions and qualifications.