What is the meaning of the text inside this AMS logo?

enter image description here

The image is from here, and the logo seems to have been frequently used until the 80's. The text is


but Google translate and Googling have not helped.

Added: (07-11-2019) Who is the author (designer/ suggester) of this AMS logo?


put on hold as off-topic by Wojowu, C.F.G, YCor, user44191, Yemon Choi Nov 13 at 11:57

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics within the scope defined in the help center." – Wojowu, C.F.G, YCor, user44191, Yemon Choi
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Greek_phrases $\endgroup$ – damiano Nov 6 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ There should be no space between (what you have written as) the first two words. $\endgroup$ – Toby Bartels Nov 6 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Can you show or link to this logo? The logo at ams.org has no words, and I'd like to see if there are any other transcription issues (like the one in my previous comment). It almost matches the top phrase at @damiano's link, but not quite. $\endgroup$ – Toby Bartels Nov 6 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ This is undoubtedly a reasonably interesting question, but it is definitely not research mathematics. $\endgroup$ – LSpice Nov 6 at 18:45
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    $\begingroup$ Questions about (old) Greek are welcome at Latin Language SE. I'm a mod there and I wouldn't mind if this was migrated there if considered off-topic here. $\endgroup$ – Joonas Ilmavirta Nov 8 at 9:18

ἀγεωμέτρητος μη εἰσίτω - Let no one untutored in geometry enter here

According to tradition this text was displayed in the entrance of Plato's Academy. (The tradition is of a late data, see this critical discussion.) Nicolaus Copernicus choose to print it on the cover page of the book De Revolutionibus.

image from 1938 (left) and from 2015 (right)

enter image description here De Revolutionibus

  • $\begingroup$ The version of this motto in lines 18&19 on page 118 at archive.org/stream/inporphyriiisago00elia (which is the original, according to the Wikipedia link in @damiano's comment on the question) has μηδεὶς instead of μη. But I guess that the meaning is the same. (ETA: And your image agrees with Wikipedia's original.) $\endgroup$ – Toby Bartels Nov 6 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ Can you provide a page reference in the pdf? $\endgroup$ – Matt F. Nov 6 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ @MattF. --- the pages of the AMS pdf are unnumbered, the logo with the Greek text is on the 6th page. $\endgroup$ – Carlo Beenakker Nov 6 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. "Que nul n'entre ici s'il n'est géomètre", in French. Someone wrote on his office at the ENS ""Que nul n'entre ici s'il n'est géomètre algébriste". $\endgroup$ – Joël Nov 6 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @C.F.G Well, Aristotles would have pronounced it as it is written, "ageometretos me eisito", but let's not start the usual debeate about reuchlinian vs erasmian pronunciation of classic Greek :D $\endgroup$ – Pietro Majer Nov 7 at 8:28

The phrase «Μηδείς αγεωμέτρητος εισίτω μοι την θύρα» (or «Μηδείς αγεωμέτρητος εισίτω μοι την στέγη») is a phrase that supposedly was on the threshold of Plato's Academy and translates to: "do not let anyone ignorant of geometry through my door" (or under my roof). See for instance this discussion https://www.plato-dialogues.org/faq/faq009.htm

The phrase in AMS' logo translates to "Do not be ignorant geometry".

Edit: The above translation is not correct. The word "εισίτω" is a form of the verb "εἴσειμι" which means "to come into" (wiktionary). I initially thought that it was a form of "ειμί" which means "to be".

So finally the AMS' logo says: "Do not enter if you don't know geometry" or "You will not enter if you don't know geometry".

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    $\begingroup$ Is the AMS changing the meaning by changing μηδεὶς to μη? $\endgroup$ – Toby Bartels Nov 6 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ "μηδεὶς" translates to "no one", whereas "μη" translates to "don't". I choose to interpret AMS' phrase as "Do learn about geometry, otherwise Plato will not let you in his Academy". By the way the word "μη" is still used in modern Greek in the same way. $\endgroup$ – Panagiotis Koutsourakis Nov 6 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ With the εισίτω, the AMS is still saying not to enter, right? From "No one enter without geometry" to "Don't enter without geometry"? (εισίτω = εἰς + ἴτω, which is imperative, right?) $\endgroup$ – Toby Bartels Nov 6 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ @TobyBartels You are absolutely right. See my edit. $\endgroup$ – Panagiotis Koutsourakis Nov 6 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ For the abbreviated version in the logo, maybe the idiomatic translation would be like the signs about shirts and shoes and service: No geometry, no entry. $\endgroup$ – Matt F. Nov 6 at 17:32

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