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The Computation of the Size of Cities Most people calculate the area merely from the Sparta and Megalopolis. length of the circumference [of towns or camps]. Accordingly, when one says that the city of Megalopolis has a circuit of fifty stades, andMegalopolis has a circuit of fifty stades, and that of Sparta forty-eight, but that Sparta is twice the size of Megalopolis, they look upon the assertion as incredible. And if one, by way of increasing the difficulty, were to say that a city or camp may have a circuit of forty stades and yet beMegalopolis, they look upon the assertion as incredible. And if one, by way of increasing the difficulty, were to say that a city or camp may have a circuit of forty stades and yet be double the size of one having a perimeter of a hundred, the statement would utterly puzzle them. The reason of this is that we do not remember the lessons in geometry taught us at school. I was led to make these remarks because it is not only commo
elves sometimes by wondering whether it were possible
that Sparta should be bigger, and that too by a great deal,
than Megalopolis, while having a shorter circuit; and at other
times by trying to conjecture the number of men by considering the mere