GOLDEN RATIO AND THE ANCIENT EGYPT

by Nikhat Parveen, UGA

The Egyptians thought that the golden ratio was sacred. Therefore, it was very important in their religion. They used the golden ratio when building temples and places for the dead. If the proportions of their buildings weren't according to the golden ratio, the deceased might not make it to the afterlife or the temple would not be pleasing to the gods. As well, the Egyptians found the golden ratio to be pleasing to the eye. They used it in their system of writing and in the arrangement of their temples. The Egyptians were aware that they were using the golden ratio, but they called it the "sacred ratio."

The Egytians used both Pi (Π) and Phi (Φ) in the design of the Great Pyramids. The Greeks, who called it the Golden Section, based the entire design of the Parthenon on this proportion.

Phidias (500 BC - 432 BC), a Greek sculptor and mathematician, studied phi and applied it to the design of sculptures for the Parthenon.

Plato (circa 428 BC - 347 BC), in his views on natural science and cosmology presented in his "Timaeus," considered the golden section to be the most binding of all mathematical relationships and the key to the physics of the cosmos.

Egyptians used the Golden Ratio for their pyramids and the layout of the three great pyramids of Giza use the curve of the Golden Ratio that is predominant in a nautilus shell.

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