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Phidias as the namesake for Phi, the Golden Mean?[edit]

I read in a book, The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers by Richard A. Dunlap (c. 1997, World Scientific Publishing Co. Ltd.) that the Golden Mean is called "phi" in reference to Phidias.

It's not clear from here or the cross-linked Golden Ratio article here on Wikipedia whether this is considered correct or whether this particular Phidias is the same as the mathematician to which Dunlap refers.

Can anyone here confirm or refute this claim

  • Highly unlikely as Phi is simply a greek letter, much as pi is. The ratio has become known by the name of the symbol. Lisiate 02:14, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Like this article, also states that Mark Barr was the first to represent the Golden Ratio using the Greek letter phi. The Wikipedia stub for Mark Barr also links here to Phidias the sculptor. The main article here now justifies the connection by reference to Phidias' Parthenon scupltures. If this is right, the person who commented above was wrong in assuming that there was another Phidias (mathematician).

While I'm here, can't resist posting a mnemonic to Phidias' work:

There once was a sculptor named Phidias
Whose manners in art were invidious
He carved Aphrodite
Without any nightie
It startled the ultra fastidious

Go ahead, delete it if it's against the rules!  :-) Fayenatic london 23:16, 26 November 2006 (UTC)


I was under the impression that the seated statue of Zeus was built as a rivaling response to the statue of Athena. She was the largest at the time and those wanting to build something taller built the seated Zeus. Had he stood up, he would've been taller. Clever! I have always been fond of this story, but can't explain it now that you've said they were built and commissioned by the same people. How can this be? My source is the wonderful professor Susan Kane of Greek and Roman Architecture at Oberlin College.

The cup[edit]

I was told by an archeology student that it has recently been discovered that the inscription, "I belong to Pheidias", was in fact scratched into the cup by a student who wanted to play a joke on his/her professor. Don't have a proper source I'm afraid. (unsigned)


There aren't any, and I guess this article kind of needs them, as there's more information than would be normally in a single section. `T. S. Rice 23:36, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

The deleted sections aren't very good, and they aren't well sourced, but surely we want to build on them. --Wetman 22:29, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

the Elian boy[edit]

Why does the 'love of the sculptor for an Elian boy' link to the Pederasty page? That such an 'Elian boy' exists is far from factual and its inclusion seems gratuitous. I have removed it as a point of principle. —The preceding signed but undated comment was added at 18:08, August 26, 2007 (UTC).

Your edit is inappropriate as the love we are discussing falls within the purview of Greek pederasty, and your opinion on its veracity is of no encyclopedic concern. Haiduc 00:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Thirty Tyrants of Athens?[edit]

Was Phidias' father Charmides one of the Thirty Tyrants of Athens or was it another person who just happened to have the same name and living around the same time period?--Apilok (talk) 20:23, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Disambig link to Archimedes?[edit]

I've reverted a good faith edit by an anon linking Archimedes whose father was also called Phidias in an unorthodos format. Do we want to incldue a proper dab link for thsi Phidias?--Peter cohen (talk) 20:50, 9 November 2009 (UTC)