Finding the center of a circular starting line in an ancient greek stadium

Chris Rorres, David Gilman Romano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Two methods for finding the center and radius of a circular starting line of a racetrack in an ancient. Greek Stadium are presented and copared. The first is a method employed by the archaeologists who surveyed the starting line and the second is a least-squares method leading to a maximum-likelihood circle, We show that hte first method yields a circle whose radius is somewhat longer that the radius determined by the last-squares method and propose reasons for this differnce. A knowledge of the center and radius of the starting line is useful for determining units of length and angle used by the anceint Greeks, in addition to providing information of how ancient racetracks were laid out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalSIAM Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • Archaeology
  • Circles
  • Degree
  • History of mathematics
  • Least squares
  • Racetrack
  • Stadium
  • Starting line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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