The “English” word Computer
When the Nile flooded Ancient Egypt, farmers who had fields along the river lost their boundaries. When Thales was there to count
In the great pyramid from its shadow, he was also commissioned to find a way so that after the ebb and flow the Egyptian farmers could rediscover the boundaries of their fields.
The theory of similar shapes has been known since the middle of the 7th century BC.
X. With the help of this theory Thales the Milesian (624 – 547 BC), one of the seven sages of antiquity, was able to calculate the height of the great pyramid of Cheops from the length of its shadow, eliciting admiration of the king of Egypt, Amasi.
Plutarch tells us the following: “After Thales set up his staff,
the end of the shadow of the pyramid from the two identical triangles resulting from the contact of the sun’s rays, proved that the ratio of the shadow of the pyramid to the shadow of the bar was the same as the ratio of the height of the pyramid to the length of the bar “.
Diogenes Laertius, in fact, claims that Thales measured the shadow of the pyramid, when the length of the
bar became equal to the length of its shadow.
In order for the farmers to find the boundaries of their fields, Thales placed stakes at regular intervals along the river along the coast. From each stake he tied long ropes outwards, towards the fields, that is, vertically in the direction of the river. The ropes along them, depending on the distances, had knots. With the help of the nodes he measured exactly the borders of each field since it had a constant distance from the river.
This method of calculating accurately was called a node (I calculate, I measure exactly with the help of nodes). Later the Latins took it where those who knew how to perform mathematical or arithmetic operations, shouted it out loud (compass) and the calculation in them became combaso or compasso (measure in Portuguese, compass in Italian but also compass = compass). Compasso, however, is also called diabetes in geometry, an instrument that, in addition to constructing circles, also measures equal distances, while in music it is a way to quantify the sounds of a composition.
Since then, I measure or calculate accurately (compaso) turned into compute, where the computer (computer).