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They had to be specially carved out of wood and carefully fitted into the type. The thin lines of geometry were particularly ill-suited to woodcuts, because everything but the line had to be cut away. No longer could astronomers casually flip back and forth between their wordprocessing environment and their draw environment. Even textbook editions of Euclid's Elements of geometry came to be published without full sets of diagrams in order to make them cheap enough for students to buy. As the diagrams were suppressed, the formulations themselves became incomprehensible.

That investigation concerns the physicist. 11 What could be more useful for research, better suited to teaching ... But in the sky there are no such lines and intersections. They have been thought up by extraordinarily ingenious men with a view to teaching and demonstration. 12 Copernicus broke this truce at a very nervous time. Martin Luther's Protestant challenge to Rome was spreading throughout Germany. For a while, the Catholic tradition of openness to scientific speculation THE FIRST FICTION 45 held; it was Luther who first denounced Copernicus's theory as blasphemy.

Geometry, on the other hand, was used with confident abandon. Initially, the Greeks even recorded the results of their computations as geometric angles. Only gradually did they become comfortable expressing angles as numerical ratios to the angle of a full circle. Thus, the size of the full moon was expressed as 1I180th of the whole circle, where today we would just say two degrees or, more accurately, half a degree. This practice of measuring or enumerating only relative to something else was already being experimented with in Homer's time: t/ both sides were to be willing, Achaians and Trojans, to cut faithful oaths 0/ truce, and both to be numbered, and the Trojans were to be counted by those with homes in the city, while we were to be allotted in tens, we Achaians, and each 0/ our tens chose a man 0/ Troy to pour wine for it, still there would be many tens left without a wine steward.

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