``The insignificance of Roman achievements in the fields of mathematics, science, philosophy, and many of the arts is the best answer to those `practical' people who condemn abstract thought that is not motivated by utilitarianism. Certainly one lesson to draw from the history of the Romans is that people who scorn the highly theoretical work of mathamaticians and scientists and decry its uselessness are ignorant of the manner in which practical and important developments have arisen.''
__Morris Kline in Mathematics in Western Culture
Alfred North Whitehead
"The death of Archimedes by the hands of a Roman soldier is symbolical of a world change of the first magnitude: the theoretical Greeks, with their love of abstract science, were superseded in the leadership of the Europeaan world by practical Romans... The Romans were a great race, but they were cursed with the sterility which waits upon practicality. They did not improve upon the knowledge of their forefathers, and all their advances were confined to the minor technical details of engineering. They were not dreamers enough to arrive at new points of view, which could give a more fundamental control over the forces of nature. No Roman lost his life because he was absorbed in the contemplation of a mathematical diagram."
__Alfred North Whitehead in An Introduction to Mathematics
Eric Temple Bell
``Rome won the war, finally destroyed Carthage, and marched on to almost unimaginable heights of splendor, but not in science or mathematics. As bluntly practical as the soldier who dispatched Archimedes, the Romans were the first wholehearted exponents of virile living and bucolic thinking, and the first important people to realize that a modicum of brains can be purchased by those who have only money or power. When they needed any science or mathematics not already reduced to easy rule of thumb, the Romans enslaved a Greek. But they blundered when thay killed Archimedes. He was only seventy-five and still in full possession of his powers. In the five years or more of which the soldier robbed him, his truly practical mind might have taught the Romans something to ward off the fatty degeneration of the intellect which finally rendered tham innocuous.''
__E. T. Bell in The Development of Mathematics, p. 74.