- Lucian, Toxaris 27 (1st c. CE): “[Demetrius] had heard it said that the Pyramids in spite of their great height cast no shadow.” (trans. F. W. Fowler and H. G. Fowler)
- Cassiodorus, Variae Epistolae 7.15 (5th c. CE): “the Pyramids of Egypt, the shadows of which do not extend beyond the space of their construction.” (trans. Mrs. Edward Cresy) (Note: This passage is omitted from the standard English translation and can be found only in the complete Latin text.)
- Authors of Various Antiquities (1560): "The Pyramids are towers in Egypt, of such an height that no human power could have constructed them; they exceed all mensuration that could be taken by their shadows:—in fact, they have no shadows." (trans. Spengler and qtd. in Vyse's Operations)
Today I thought I'd share a few interesting excerpts from "ancient texts" that present a "fact," believed in antiquity, and demonstrably wrong, which calls into question alternative authors' desire to take the stories at face value. Today's odd claim is the demonstrably false notion that the pyramids of Egypt cast no shadow.
Now, let us prove that the pyramids cast shadows. Here is a NASA photograph of the three pyramids of Giza, with their shadows clearly visible on the lower side of each structure.
Thus, demonstrable observation once again shows why ancient texts need to be taken with a large grain of salt, a hint of common sense, and supporting evidence.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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