This essay examines the urban grid of Neapolis, a town founded at the end of the sixth century BC, in the light of the latest archaeological investigations. After describing the limits of the city, marked by its walls, and the intersecting grid of plateiai and stenopoi, the authors strive to uncover the principles informing the design of the city, which revolves around the notions of circle and center, as well as the principle of the “golden ratio”, already known in Pythagorean geometry. Aristophanes must have been very familiar with these principles, as he uses them to mock the architects of his time in the person of the character of Meton, an architect who boasts he can measure the city and thereby transform a circle into a square.
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