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San Francisco—Previously hidden writings of the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes are being uncovered by powerful x-ray beams nearly 800 years after a Christian Monk scrubbed off the text and wrote over it with prayers.
—Associated Press: August 5, 2006
They found my man Archimedes buried
under layers of prayer and paintings of God.
Formulae for buoyancy,
for flotation, gravity and math drifted invisibly
under the Ave, under the Pater Noster—
his life became a palimpsest and his work—
his running down the street
wet, naked, exuberant, full of glory—
was covered over, concealed, repressed.
But today he came to me dripping from the bath.
He grabbed my hands and danced me
in city streets, singing “Eureka, Eureka, Eureka,”
while around us angels with
pocket protectors exalted, and praised God,
from Whom flows all knowledge,