23 Jan 2011

Eighteen-hundred-and-eighty times as great

I often consult Perseus Online because it's such a useful resource but one day I randomly ran into what must be the craziest classical Greek word I've ever set eyes on yet:

'eighteen-hundred-and-eighty times as great'

(Try saying that three times fast.) And when might the context even arise to say such a thing?! I still have much to learn about these ancients.


  1. From Wikipedia "Hipparchus":Theon of Smyrna wrote that according to Hipparchus, the Sun is 1,880 times the size of the Earth, and the Earth twenty-seven times the size of the Moon; apparently this refers to volumes, not diameters.

  2. Yes, the ancient measurements of the cosmos are interesting historically in themselves. But aside from Hipparchus and this one context, one has to admit that it's a very unused term.