Recently re-published article: “Did a state legislature once pass a law saying pi equals 3?” (originally from Feb. 22, 1991) discusses various urban-mythological and apparently one real-life attempt to legislate a value for pi that even an elected politician can understand.
I recall from a world history class I took in college, an even earlier attempt was mentioned in the textbook. Will someone please help fight (or confirm) my ignorance here?
It was claimed that a late-medieval or early-Renaissance king tried to decree the same thing. But I don’t remember enough details to be sure of anything. I’m fairly sure the king in question was Frederic Barbarossa, or a least one of Frederics of the era. I haven’t been able to find it with google (but, admittedly, I’ve only tried a quick and superficial search on… something). I’m not entirely sure what more to search for.
Has anybody but me ever heard of this early attempt to decree a simple value for pi?
(Yes, I know about the even earlier attempt mentioned in Leviticus. And I know the ancient Greek math geniuses worked their way through various approximations, but they always knew those were just approximations.)