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Maths books should be read both forwards and backwards?


Jan 28, 2012
I'm not sure where, but I remember reading something like that somewhere. It said 'mathematics should be read both forwards and backwards' or 'maths books should be read both forwards and backwards' or some variation of that, but I'm not sure exactly. I also remember it sort of had something to do with Lagrange, but whether he's the one who said it, I don't know. Does anyone know the exact quote or the person who said it?


Well-known member
Jan 26, 2012
Could you be misremembering Marlow's diabolical play:

Now that the gloomy shadow of the night,
Longing to view Orion's drizzling look,
Leaps from th' antartic world unto the sky,
And dims the welkin with her pitchy breath,
Faustus, begin thine incantations,
And try if devils will obey thy hest,
Seeing thou hast pray'd and sacrific'd to them.
Within this circle is Jehovah's name,
Forward and backward anagrammatiz'd
Th' abbreviated names of holy saints,
Figures of every adjunct to the heavens,
And characters of signs and erring stars,
By which the spirits are enforc'd to rise:
Then fear not, Faustus, to be resolute,
And try the utmost magic can perform.
CB (Devil) (Devil) (Devil)
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