I was reading a paper in which a famous quotation appears just after the author name. The paper is: Willems, Jan C. "Paradigms and puzzles in the theory of dynamical systems." Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on 36.3 (1991): 259-294 [link], and the quotation (in german) is taken from Wittgenstein's "Tractatus".
I found it quite surprising, since it was actually the first time that I saw a famous quotation at the beginning of a technical journal paper.
Out of curiosity, I would like to know if starting with a famous quotation is a reasonably accepted practice in scientific publications. In particular, I'm interested in papers published in technical/mathematical journals.