Sunday, June 22, 2008

The thing about Nichomachus ....

The town of Ajloun with the Qal'at ar Rabad on the hilltop


Went up into the hills of Anjara yesterday; a spectacular place that overlooked al Qal'at ar Rabad, the Islamic castle on the hill at Ajloun, built in 1184 by 'Izz ad-Din Usama bin Munqith, a general of Saladin, who defeated the Crusaders in 1187.  And then I learnt about Nichomachus ... the ancient mathematician of the first century AD .... and the 'thing' about him is that he hailed from Gerasa ... our very own Jerash .... just a ten minute drive from Anjara. 

The geometry of a chair ...


... more geometry ...

And as you survey the undulating hills that mold the Jordan Valley into the Great Rift Valley, you can't help but remember the terrible battles of death and destruction that took place centuries ago on this seemingly peaceful land, in the name of dominion for some, and survival for others; nor imagine the burning beacons that would have been lit at night to pass signals from one castle to another along the vast communication route that linked the lands of Jordan with Syria and Egypt, nor even the great achievements of individuals such as Nichomachus who lived among these rolling hills all those years ago.

It's almost as if we are still struggling with this effort today, as no matter how many beacons are lit in this darkness all pervading, it's a case of see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing, at least on the political front.  


... and some more!

So it was refreshing indeed to meet a mathematician from Anjara, whose love of all things mathematical and musical, led him and his wife to redesign their home and create a small cultural space in honour of Nichomachus, (this link is for the mathematicians amongst you) who left his mark on the subject for over a thousand years.
 
Meanwhile, until peace prevails,  and we get back to the business of human ingenuity, is it any wonder that I continue to take photos, enchanted by the simple things in life even for a fleeting moment ... J


2 Comments:

Anonymous Onzlo said...

So can anyone go to this place?

Monday, June 23, 2008  
Blogger joladies said...

xHi Onzlo, I believe it is by invitation as the location is within the owner's home. But I suppose if you are a professor of either subject .... you may be very welcome! I shall try and get more info and post it when I do. J

Monday, June 23, 2008  

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