At one of the few occasions a mathematician expresses himself outside his technical works, I've read, maybe in a short autobiographical or a note on pedagogy specifically, someday a quote by Karl Weierstraß.

There he was arguing that school education at his time puts too much emphasis on studies of the culture of the antiquity, like ancient and dead languages as Latin or ancient Greek, mythology, ancient literature and philosophy, in contrast to modern thought, as we have developed in Germany, for example, with the romantic movement.

When I remember correctly he wrote in this context something like:

German: Man mag mich für einen Böotier halten. Aber haben wir nicht eine eigene Kultur?

English translation: You may think that I'm a "Böotier". But don't we have our own culture?

Although the word "Böotier" is in rare use and obsolete nowadays, I can't find anything the like on google when I search for the relevant keywords. But, I'm sure it was said.

Can you help me to identify the exact quote - with source to the document in which it was said and when published?

  • 3
    In English it would be Boeotian.
    – user14111
    Feb 22 at 11:29


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.