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Pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, is known as an irrational number because it can't be exactly expressed as a ratio of two whole numbers.
For example, when Nicomachus says that a geometric mean is present in the series 6:8:9:12, Godwin says that he is referring to the square root of 72 (= 6 x 12 = 8 x 9), which, he says, is "an irrational number, hence foreign to Pythagorean mathematics".
His prologue is a tribute to Pythagoras for his discovery of irrationals, and the essential role of numbers in understanding how the Old One behaves.
For the giant agave and giant squid send their fruiting irrationals as once-last tiny seed-babies on the wave.
Like the Hindus, the Arabs worked freely with irrationals.