…Artists and Scientists […] amongst them the humblest is a thousand times greater than the great Xerxes
“Who can only be great? Artists and Scientists! Nobody else! Amongst them the humblest is a thousand times greater than the great Xerxes.”
From the short story “Enthymesis” of the book “Leviathan” by Arno Schmidt (1949)
“Enthymesis” is the diary of Philostratus, a supposed student of the great Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276 – 195 B.C.), written during a surveying journey across the Saharan desert, with the objective of determining the Earth’s dimensions. Eratosthenes maintained that the Earth is a sphere, and actually measured its dimensions with remarkable accuracy. Philostratus, a lover of infinite distances, was appalled by the limited nature of such a shape and insisted that the Earth is flat.