Jean d'Alembert (1717 - 1783)

Thus metaphysics and mathematics are, among all the sciences that belong to reason, those in which imagination has the greatest role. I beg pardon of those delicate spirits who are detractors of mathematics for saying this .... The imagination in a mathematician who creates makes no less difference than in a poet who invents.... Of all the great men of antiquity, Archimedes may be the one who most deserves to be placed beside Homer.

Discours Preliminaire de L'Encyclopedie, Tome 1, 1967. pp 47 - 48.