By a theorem of Hurwitz , an algebraic curve of genus g ≧ 2 cannot have more than 84(g − l) birational self-transformations, or, as we shall call them, automorphisms. The bound is attained for Klein's quartic
of genus 3 . In studying the problem whether there are any other curves for which the bound is attained, I was led to consider the universal covering space of the Riemann surface, which, as Siegel observed, relates Hurwitz's theorem to Siegel's own result  on the measure of the fundamental region of Fuchsian groups. Any curve with 84(g − 1) automorphisms must be uniformized by a normal subgroup of the triangle group (2, 3, 7), and, by a closer analysis of possible finite factor groups of (2, 3, 7), purely algebraic methods yield an infinite family of curves with the maximum number of automorphisms. This will be shown in a later paper.