# Euclid of Alexandria

### Quick Info

(probably) Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria, Egypt

**Euclid**was a Greek mathematician best known for his treatise on geometry:

*The Elements*. This influenced the development of Western mathematics for more than 2000 years.

### Biography

**Euclid of Alexandria**is the most prominent mathematician of antiquity best known for his treatise on mathematics

*The Elements*. The long lasting nature of

*The Elements*must make Euclid the leading mathematics teacher of all time. However little is known of Euclid's life except that he taught at Alexandria in Egypt. Proclus, the last major Greek philosopher, who lived around 450 AD wrote (see [1] or [9] or many other sources):-

Not much younger than these [pupils of Plato] is Euclid, who put together the "Elements", arranging in order many of Eudoxus's theorems, perfecting many of Theaetetus's, and also bringing to irrefutable demonstration the things which had been only loosely proved by his predecessors. This man lived in the time of the first Ptolemy; for Archimedes, who followed closely upon the first Ptolemy makes mention of Euclid, and further they say that Ptolemy once asked him if there were a shorted way to study geometry than the Elements, to which he replied that there was no royal road to geometry. He is therefore younger than Plato's circle, but older than Eratosthenes and Archimedes; for these were contemporaries, as Eratosthenes somewhere says. In his aim he was a Platonist, being in sympathy with this philosophy, whence he made the end of the whole "Elements" the construction of the so-called Platonic figures.There is other information about Euclid given by certain authors but it is not thought to be reliable. Two different types of this extra information exists. The first type of extra information is that given by Arabian authors who state that Euclid was the son of Naucrates and that he was born in Tyre. It is believed by historians of mathematics that this is entirely fictitious and was merely invented by the authors.

The second type of information is that Euclid was born at Megara. This is due to an error on the part of the authors who first gave this information. In fact there was a Euclid of Megara, who was a philosopher who lived about 100 years before the mathematician Euclid of Alexandria. It is not quite the coincidence that it might seem that there were two learned men called Euclid. In fact Euclid was a very common name around this period and this is one further complication that makes it difficult to discover information concerning Euclid of Alexandria since there are references to numerous men called Euclid in the literature of this period.

Returning to the quotation from Proclus given above, the first point to make is that there is nothing inconsistent in the dating given. However, although we do not know for certain exactly what reference to Euclid in Archimedes' work Proclus is referring to, in what has come down to us there is only one reference to Euclid and this occurs in

*On the sphere and the cylinder*. The obvious conclusion, therefore, is that all is well with the argument of Proclus and this was assumed until challenged by Hjelmslev in [48]. He argued that the reference to Euclid was added to Archimedes' book at a later stage, and indeed it is a rather surprising reference. It was not the tradition of the time to give such references, moreover there are many other places in Archimedes where it would be appropriate to refer to Euclid and there is no such reference. Despite Hjelmslev's claims that the passage has been added later, Bulmer-Thomas writes in [1]:-

Although it is no longer possible to rely on this reference, a general consideration of Euclid's works ... still shows that he must have written after such pupils of Plato as Eudoxus and before Archimedes.For further discussion on dating Euclid, see for example [8]. This is far from an end to the arguments about Euclid the mathematician. The situation is best summed up by Itard [11] who gives three possible hypotheses.

(i) Euclid was an historical character who wrote the

(ii) Euclid was the leader of a team of mathematicians working at Alexandria. They all contributed to writing the 'complete works of Euclid', even continuing to write books under Euclid's name after his death.

(iii) Euclid was not an historical character. The 'complete works of Euclid' were written by a team of mathematicians at Alexandria who took the name Euclid from the historical character Euclid of Megara who had lived about 100 years earlier.

It is worth remarking that Itard, who accepts Hjelmslev's claims that the passage about Euclid was added to Archimedes, favours the second of the three possibilities that we listed above. We should, however, make some comments on the three possibilities which, it is fair to say, sum up pretty well all possible current theories.
*Elements*and the other works attributed to him.(ii) Euclid was the leader of a team of mathematicians working at Alexandria. They all contributed to writing the 'complete works of Euclid', even continuing to write books under Euclid's name after his death.

(iii) Euclid was not an historical character. The 'complete works of Euclid' were written by a team of mathematicians at Alexandria who took the name Euclid from the historical character Euclid of Megara who had lived about 100 years earlier.

There is some strong evidence to accept (i). It was accepted without question by everyone for over 2000 years and there is little evidence which is inconsistent with this hypothesis. It is true that there are differences in style between some of the books of the

*Elements*yet many authors vary their style. Again the fact that Euclid undoubtedly based the

*Elements*on previous works means that it would be rather remarkable if no trace of the style of the original author remained.

Even if we accept (i) then there is little doubt that Euclid built up a vigorous school of mathematics at Alexandria. He therefore would have had some able pupils who may have helped out in writing the books. However hypothesis (ii) goes much further than this and would suggest that different books were written by different mathematicians. Other than the differences in style referred to above, there is little direct evidence of this.

Although on the face of it (iii) might seem the most fanciful of the three suggestions, nevertheless the 20th century example of Bourbaki shows that it is far from impossible. Henri Cartan, André Weil, Jean Dieudonné, Claude Chevalley and Alexander Grothendieck wrote collectively under the name of Bourbaki and Bourbaki's

*Eléments de mathématiques*contains more than 30 volumes. Of course if (iii) were the correct hypothesis then Apollonius, who studied with the pupils of Euclid in Alexandria, must have known there was no person 'Euclid' but the fact that he wrote:-

.... Euclid did not work out the syntheses of the locus with respect to three and four lines, but only a chance portion of it ...certainly does not prove that Euclid was an historical character since there are many similar references to Bourbaki by mathematicians who knew perfectly well that Bourbaki was fictitious. Nevertheless the mathematicians who made up the Bourbaki team are all well known in their own right and this may be the greatest argument against hypothesis (iii) in that the 'Euclid team' would have to have consisted of outstanding mathematicians. So who were they?

We shall assume in this article that hypothesis (i) is true but, having no knowledge of Euclid, we must concentrate on his works after making a few comments on possible historical events. Euclid must have studied in Plato's Academy in Athens to have learnt of the geometry of Eudoxus and Theaetetus of which he was so familiar.

None of Euclid's works have a preface, at least none has come down to us so it is highly unlikely that any ever existed, so we cannot see any of his character, as we can of some other Greek mathematicians, from the nature of their prefaces. Pappus writes (see for example [1]) that Euclid was:-

... most fair and well disposed towards all who were able in any measure to advance mathematics, careful in no way to give offence, and although an exact scholar not vaunting himself.Some claim these words have been added to Pappus, and certainly the point of the passage (in a continuation which we have not quoted) is to speak harshly (and almost certainly unfairly) of Apollonius. The picture of Euclid drawn by Pappus is, however, certainly in line with the evidence from his mathematical texts. Another story told by Stobaeus [9] is the following:-

... someone who had begun to learn geometry with Euclid, when he had learnt the first theorem, asked Euclid "What shall I get by learning these things?" Euclid called his slave and said "Give him threepence since he must make gain out of what he learns".Euclid's most famous work is his treatise on mathematics

*The Elements*. The book was a compilation of knowledge that became the centre of mathematical teaching for 2000 years. Probably no results in

*The Elements*were first proved by Euclid but the organisation of the material and its exposition are certainly due to him. In fact there is ample evidence that Euclid is using earlier textbooks as he writes the

*Elements*since he introduces quite a number of definitions which are never used such as that of an oblong, a rhombus, and a rhomboid.

The

*Elements*begins with definitions and five postulates. The first three postulates are postulates of construction, for example the first postulate states that it is possible to draw a straight line between any two points. These postulates also implicitly assume the existence of points, lines and circles and then the existence of other geometric objects are deduced from the fact that these exist. There are other assumptions in the postulates which are not explicit. For example it is assumed that there is a unique line joining any two points. Similarly postulates two and three, on producing straight lines and drawing circles, respectively, assume the uniqueness of the objects the possibility of whose construction is being postulated.

The fourth and fifth postulates are of a different nature. Postulate four states that all right angles are equal. This may seem "obvious" but it actually assumes that space in homogeneous - by this we mean that a figure will be independent of the position in space in which it is placed. The famous fifth, or parallel, postulate states that one and only one line can be drawn through a point parallel to a given line. Euclid's decision to make this a postulate led to Euclidean geometry. It was not until the 19th century that this postulate was dropped and non-euclidean geometries were studied.

There are also axioms which Euclid calls 'common notions'. These are not specific geometrical properties but rather general assumptions which allow mathematics to proceed as a deductive science. For example:-

Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.Zeno of Sidon, about 250 years after Euclid wrote the

*Elements*, seems to have been the first to show that Euclid's propositions were not deduced from the postulates and axioms alone, and Euclid does make other subtle assumptions.

The

*Elements*is divided into 13 books. Books one to six deal with plane geometry. In particular books one and two set out basic properties of triangles, parallels, parallelograms, rectangles and squares. Book three studies properties of the circle while book four deals with problems about circles and is thought largely to set out work of the followers of Pythagoras. Book five lays out the work of Eudoxus on proportion applied to commensurable and incommensurable magnitudes. Heath says [9]:-

Greek mathematics can boast no finer discovery than this theory, which put on a sound footing so much of geometry as depended on the use of proportion.Book six looks at applications of the results of book five to plane geometry.

Books seven to nine deal with number theory. In particular book seven is a self-contained introduction to number theory and contains the Euclidean algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor of two numbers. Book eight looks at numbers in geometrical progression but van der Waerden writes in [2] that it contains:-

... cumbersome enunciations, needless repetitions, and even logical fallacies. Apparently Euclid's exposition excelled only in those parts in which he had excellent sources at his disposal.Book ten deals with the theory of irrational numbers and is mainly the work of Theaetetus. Euclid changed the proofs of several theorems in this book so that they fitted the new definition of proportion given by Eudoxus.

Books eleven to thirteen deal with three-dimensional geometry. In book eleven the basic definitions needed for the three books together are given. The theorems then follow a fairly similar pattern to the two-dimensional analogues previously given in books one and four. The main results of book twelve are that circles are to one another as the squares of their diameters and that spheres are to each other as the cubes of their diameters. These results are certainly due to Eudoxus. Euclid proves these theorems using the "method of exhaustion" as invented by Eudoxus. The

*Elements*ends with book thirteen which discusses the properties of the five regular polyhedra and gives a proof that there are precisely five. This book appears to be based largely on an earlier treatise by Theaetetus.

Euclid's

*Elements*is remarkable for the clarity with which the theorems are stated and proved. The standard of rigour was to become a goal for the inventors of the calculus centuries later. As Heath writes in [9]:-

This wonderful book, with all its imperfections, which are indeed slight enough when account is taken of the date it appeared, is and will doubtless remain the greatest mathematical textbook of all time. ... Even in Greek times the most accomplished mathematicians occupied themselves with it: Heron, Pappus, Porphyry, Proclus and Simplicius wrote commentaries; Theon of Alexandria re-edited it, altering the language here and there, mostly with a view to greater clearness and consistency...It is a fascinating story how the

*Elements*has survived from Euclid's time and this is told well by Fowler in [7]. He describes the earliest material relating to the

*Elements*which has survived:-

Our earliest glimpse of Euclidean material will be the most remarkable for a thousand years, six fragmentary ostraca containing text and a figure ... found on Elephantine Island in 1906/07 and 1907/08... These texts are early, though still more than 100 years after the death of Plato (they are dated on palaeographic grounds to the third quarter of the third century BC); advanced (they deal with the results found in the "Elements" [book thirteen] ... on the pentagon, hexagon, decagon, and icosahedron); and they do not follow the text of the Elements. ... So they give evidence of someone in the third century BC, located more than 500 miles south of Alexandria, working through this difficult material... this may be an attempt to understand the mathematics, and not a slavish copying ...The next fragment that we have dates from 75 - 125 AD and again appears to be notes by someone trying to understand the material of the

*Elements*.

More than one thousand editions of

*The Elements*have been published since it was first printed in 1482. Heath [9] discusses many of the editions and describes the likely changes to the text over the years.

B L van der Waerden assesses the importance of the

*Elements*in [2]:-

Almost from the time of its writing and lasting almost to the present, the Elements has exerted a continuous and major influence on human affairs. It was the primary source of geometric reasoning, theorems, and methods at least until the advent of non-Euclidean geometry in the 19th century. It is sometimes said that, next to the Bible, the "Elements" may be the most translated, published, and studied of all the books produced in the Western world.Euclid also wrote the following books which have survived:

*Data*(with 94 propositions), which looks at what properties of figures can be deduced when other properties are given;

*On Divisions*which looks at constructions to divide a figure into two parts with areas of given ratio;

*Optics*which is the first Greek work on perspective; and

*Phaenomena*which is an elementary introduction to mathematical astronomy and gives results on the times stars in certain positions will rise and set. Euclid's following books have all been lost:

*Surface Loci*(two books),

*Porisms*(a three book work with, according to Pappus, 171 theorems and 38 lemmas),

*Conics*(four books),

*Book of Fallacies*and

*Elements of Music*. The

*Book of Fallacies*is described by Proclus [1]:-

Since many things seem to conform with the truth and to follow from scientific principles, but lead astray from the principles and deceive the more superficial, [Euclid] has handed down methods for the clear-sighted understanding of these matters also ... The treatise in which he gave this machinery to us is entitled Fallacies, enumerating in order the various kinds, exercising our intelligence in each case by theorems of all sorts, setting the true side by side with the false, and combining the refutation of the error with practical illustration.

*Elements of Music*is a work which is attributed to Euclid by Proclus. We have two treatises on music which have survived, and have by some authors attributed to Euclid, but it is now thought that they are not the work on music referred to by Proclus.

Euclid may not have been a first class mathematician but the long lasting nature of

*The Elements*must make him the leading mathematics teacher of antiquity or perhaps of all time. As a final personal note let me add that my [EFR] own introduction to mathematics at school in the 1950s was from an edition of part of Euclid's

*Elements*and the work provided a logical basis for mathematics and the concept of proof which seem to be lacking in school mathematics today.

### References (show)

- I Bulmer-Thomas, J E Murdoch, Biography in
*Dictionary of Scientific Biography*(New York 1970-1990).

See THIS LINK. - Biography in
*Encyclopaedia Britannica.*

http://www.britannica.com/biography/Euclid-Greek-mathematician - J L Berggren and R S D Thomas,
*Euclid's 'Phaenomena' : A translation and study of a Hellenistic treatise in spherical astronomy*(Princeton, NJ, 1996). - H L L Busard, The Latin translation of the Arabic version of Euclid's 'Elements' commonly ascribed to Gerard of Cremona (Leiden, 1984).
- H L L Busard (ed.),
*The Mediaeval Latin translation of Euclid's 'Elements' : Made directly from the Greek*(Wiesbaden, 1987). - C B Glavas,
*The place of Euclid in ancient and modern mathematics*(Athens, 1994). - D H Fowler,
*The mathematics of Plato's academy : a new reconstruction*(Oxford, 1987). - P M Fraser,
*Ptolemaic Alexandria*(3 vols.) (Oxford, 1972). - T L Heath,
*A history of Greek mathematics***1**(Oxford, 1931). - T L Heath,
*The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements*(3 Volumes) (New York, 1956). - J Itard,
*Les livres arithmétique d'Euclide*(Paris, 1962). - S Ito,
*The medieval Latin translation of the 'Data' of Euclid*(Boston, Mass., 1980). - C V Jones, The influence of Aristotle in the foundation of Euclid's 'Elements' (Spanish),
*Mathesis. Mathesis***3**(4) (1987), 375-387 (1988). - G R Morrow (ed.),
*A commentary on the first book of Euclid's 'Elements'*(Princeton, NJ, 1992). - I Mueller,
*Philosophy of mathematics and deductive structure in Euclid's 'Elements'*(Cambridge, Mass.-London, 1981). - P Schreiber,
*Euklid : Biographien Hervorragender Naturwissenschaftler, Techniker und Mediziner*(Leipzig, 1987). - H Wussing, Euclid, in H Wussing and W Arnold,
*Biographien bedeutender Mathematiker*(Berlin, 1983). - R C Archibald, The first translation of Euclid's elements into English and its source,
*Amer. Math. Monthly***57**(1950), 443-452. - G Arrighi, Some indirect Latin versions of Euclid's 'Elements' (Italian),
*Rend. Accad. Naz. Sci. XL Mem. Mat.*(5)**11**(1) (1987), 155-159. - G Arrighi, Notes on Euclid's 'Elements' (Italian), in
*Proceedings of the Study Meeting in Memory of Giuseppe Gemignani*(Modena, 1995), 87-91. - B Artmann, Euclid's 'Elements' and its prehistory, in
*On mathematics*(Edmonton, AB, 1992), 1-47. - G Aujac, Le rapport 'di isou' (Euclide V, définition 17) : Définition, utilisation, transmission,
*Historia Math.***13**(4) (1986), 370-386. - N G Bashmakova, The arithmetical books of Euclid's 'Elements' (Russian),
*Trudy Sem. MGU Istor. Mat. Istor.-Mat. Issledov.*(1) (1948), 296-328. - J L Berggren and R S D Thomas, Mathematical astronomy in the fourth century B.C. as found in Euclid's 'Phaenomena',
*Physis Riv. Internaz. Storia Sci. (N.S.)***29**(1) (1992), 7-33. - A C Bowen, Euclid's 'Sectio canonis' and the history of Pythagoreanism, in
*Science and philosophy in classical Greece*(New York, 1991), 167-187. - C D Brownson, Euclid's 'Optics' and its compatibility with linear perspective,
*Arch. Hist. Exact Sci.***24**(3) (1981), 165-194. - M K Bucel', Rational numbers and quadratic irrationalities in Euclid's 'Elements' (Russian), in
*History and methodology of the natural sciences XIV : Mathematics, mechanics*(Moscow, 1973), 60-64. - H E Burton, The optics of Euclid,
*J. Opt. Soc. Amer.***35**(1945), 357-372. - H L L Busard, The translation of the 'Elements' of Euclid from the Arabic into Latin by Hermann of Carinthia (?),
*Janus***54**(1967), 1-140. - J Cassinet, La relation d'ordre entre rapports dans les 'éléments' d'Euclide : développements au XVIIe siècle, in
*Histoire de fractions, fractions d'histoire*(Basel, 1992), 341-350. - G de Young, The Arabic textual traditions of Euclid's 'Elements',
*Historia Math.***11**(2) (1984), 147-160. - V M Eremina, Aristotle on transitional unprovable propositions and five general concepts of Euclid (Russian),
*Istor.-Mat. Issled.***32-33**(1990), 290-300. - M Federspiel, Sur la définition euclidienne de la droite, in
*Mathématiques et philosophie de l'antiquité à l'âge classique*(Paris, 1991), 115-130. - E Filloy, Geometry and the axiomatic method. IV : Euclid (Spanish),
*Mat. Ense nanza***9**(1977), 14-21. - R Fischler, A remark on Euclid II, 11,
*Historia Math.***6**(4) (1979), 418-422. - M Folkerts, Adelard's versions of Euclid's 'Elements', in
*Adelard of Bath*(London, 1987), 55-68. - D H Fowler, An invitation to read Book X of Euclid's 'Elements',
*Historia Math.***19**(3) (1992), 233-264. - D H Fowler, Book II of Euclid's 'Elements' and a pre-Eudoxan theory of ratio. II, Sides and diameters,
*Arch. Hist. Exact Sci.***26**(3) (1982), 193-209. - D H Fowler, Book II of Euclid's 'Elements' and a pre-Eudoxan theory of ratio,
*Arch. Hist. Exact Sci.***22**(1-2) (1980), 5-36. - D H Fowler, Investigating Euclid's Elements,
*British J. Philos. Sci.***34**(1983), 57-70. - J-L Gardies, L'organisation du livre XII des 'éléments' d'Euclide et ses anomalies,
*Rev. Histoire Sci.***47**(2) (1994), 189-208. - J-L Gardies, La proposition 14 du livre V dans l'économie des 'éléments' d'Euclide,
*Rev. Histoire Sci.***44**(3-4) (1991), 457-467. - I Grattan-Guinness, Numbers, magnitudes, ratios, and proportions in Euclid's 'Elements' : how did he handle them?,
*Historia Math.***23**(4) (1996), 355-375. - A W Grootendorst, Geometrical algebra in Euclid (Dutch), in
*Summer course 1991 : geometrical structures*(Amsterdam, 1991), 1-26. - H Guggenheimer, The axioms of betweenness in Euclid,
*Dialectica***31**(1-2) (1977), 187-192. - M D Hendy, Euclid and the fundamental theorem of arithmetic,
*Historia Math.***2**(1975), 189-191. - R Herz-Fischler, What are propositions 84 and 85 of Euclid's 'Data' all about?,
*Historia Math.***11**(1) (1984), 86-91. - J Hjelmslev, Über Archimedes' Grössenlehre,
*Danske Vid. Selsk. Mat.-Fys. Medd.***25**(15) (1950). - J P Hogendijk, The Arabic version of Euclid's 'On divisions', in
*Vestigia mathematica*(Amsterdam, 1993), 143-162. - J P Hogendijk, Observations on the icosahedron in Euclid's 'Elements',
*Historia Math.***14**(2) (1987), 175-177. - J P Hogendijk, On Euclid's lost 'Porisms' and its Arabic traces,
*Boll. Storia Sci. Mat.***7**(1) (1987), 93-115. - W R Knorr, When circles don't look like circles : an optical theorem in Euclid and Pappus,
*Arch. Hist. Exact Sci.***44**(4) (1992), 287-329. - W R Knorr, On the principle of linear perspective in Euclid's 'Optics',
*Centaurus***34**(3) (1991), 193-210. - W R Knorr, Euclid's tenth book : an analytic survey,
*Historia Sci.***29**(1985), 17-35. - W Knorr, Problems in the interpretation of Greek number theory : Euclid and the 'fundamental theorem of arithmetic',
*Studies in Hist. and Philos. Sci.***7**(4) (1976), 353-368. - W R Knorr, What Euclid meant : on the use of evidence in studying ancient mathematics, in
*Science and philosophy in classical Greece*(New York, 1991), 119-163. - K Kreith, Euclid turns to probability,
*Internat. J. Math. Ed. Sci. Tech.***20**(3) (1989), 345-351. - P Kunitzsch, 'The peacock's tail' : on the names of some theorems of Euclid's 'Elements', in
*Vestigia mathematica*(Amsterdam, 1993), 205-214. - T Lévy, Les 'éléments' d'Euclide : le texte et son histoire, in
*Mathématiques- philosophie et enseignement*(Yamoussoukro, 1995), 10-13. - Y Z Liang and C F Yao, Tracing the origins of Euclid's 'Elements of geometry' (Chinese),
*Natur. Sci. J. Harbin Normal Univ.***3**(1) (1987), 94-100. - D E Loomis, Euclid : rhetoric in mathematics,
*Philos. Math.*(2)**5**(1-2) (1990), 56-72. - R Lorch, Some remarks on the Arabic-Latin Euclid, in
*Adelard of Bath*(London, 1987), 45-54. - A I Markusevic, On the classification of irrationalities in Book X of Euclid's 'Elements' (Russian),
*Trudy Sem. MGU Istor. Mat. Istor.-Mat. Issledov.*(1) (1948), 329-342. - F A Medvedev, Corniform angles in Euclid's 'Elements' and Proclus's 'Commentaries' (Russian),
*Istor.-Mat. Issled.***32-33**(1990), 20-34. - V N Molodsii, Was Euclid a follower of Plato? (Russian),
*Trudy Sem. MGU Istor. Mat. Istor.-Mat. Issledov.*(2) (1949), 499-504. - I Mueller, Euclid's 'Elements' and the axiomatic method,
*British J. Philos. Sci.***20**(1969), 289-309. - I Mueller, Sur les principes des mathématiques chez Aristote et Euclide, in
*Mathématiques et philosophie de l'antiquité à l'âge classique*(Paris, 1991), 101-113. - I Mueller, On the notion of a mathematical starting point in Plato, Aristotle, and Euclid, in
*Science and philosophy in classical Greece*(New York, 1991), 59-97. - T Murata, Quelques remarques sur le Livre X des 'Eléments' d'Euclide,
*Historia Sci.*(2)**2**(1) (1992), 51-60. - T Murata, A tentative reconstruction of the formation process of Book XIII of Euclid's 'Elements',
*Comment. Math. Univ. St. Paul.***38**(1) (1989), 101-127. - V A Ogannisjan, Euclid (Russian),
*Armjan. Gos. Ped. Inst. Sb. Naucn. Trud. Ser. Fiz.-Mat. Vyp.***3**(1966), 69-80. - S R Palmquist, Kant on Euclid : geometry in perspective,
*Philos. Math.*(2)**5**(1-2) (1990), 88-113. - A E Raik, The tenth book of Euclid's 'Elements' (Russian),
*Trudy Sem. MGU Istor. Mat. Istor.-Mat. Issledov.*(1) (1948), 343-384. - K Saito, Debate : Proposition 14 of Book V of the 'Elements'---a proposition that remained a local lemma. Comment on : 'Proposition 14 of Book V in the organization of Euclid's 'Elements'',
*Rev. Histoire Sci.***47**(2) (1994), 273-284. - K Saito, Duplicate ratio in Book VI of Euclid's 'Elements',
*Historia Sci.*(2)**3**(2) (1993), 115-135. - K Saito, Compounded ratio in Euclid and Apollonius,
*Historia Sci.***31**(1986), 25-59. - K Saito, Book II of Euclid's 'Elements' in the light of the theory of conic sections,
*Historia Sci.***28**(1985), 31-60. - P Schreiber,Euklid und die 'Elemente' aus heutiger Sicht,
*Mitt. Math. Ges. DDR***1**(1984), 71-82. - A Seidenberg, Did Euclid's 'Elements, Book I,' develop geometry axiomatically?,
*Arch. History Exact Sci.***14**(4) (1975), 263-295. - G Simon, Aux origines de la théorie des miroirs : sur l'authenticité de la 'Catoptrique' d'Euclide,
*Rev. Histoire Sci.***47**(2) (1994), 259-272. - E I Slavutin, Euclid's 'Data' (Russian),
*Istor.-Mat. Issled. Vyp.***22**(1977), 229-236, 303. - A Szab, The origins of Euclid's terminology. I (Hungarian),
*Magyar Tud. Akad. Mat. Fiz. Oszt. Közl.***10**(1960), 441-468. - A Szabo, Ein Satz über die mittlere Proportionale bei Euklid (Elem. III 36),
*Comment. Math. Univ. St. Paul.***39**(1) (1990), 41-51. - A Szabo, Euclid's terms in the foundations of mathematics. II (Hungarian),
*Magyar Tud. Akad. Mat. Fiz. Oszt. Közl.***11**(1961), 1-46. - C M Taisbak, Zeuthen and Euclid's 'Data' 86 algebra - or A lemma about intersecting hyperbolas?,
*Centaurus***38**(2-3) (1996), 122-139. - C M Taisbak, Elements of Euclid's 'Data', in
*On mathematics*(Edmonton, AB, 1992), 135-171. - W Theisen, Euclid, relativity, and sailing,
*Historia Math.***11**(1) (1984), 81-85. - W Theisen, A note on John of Beaumont's version of Euclid's 'De visu',
*British J. Hist. Sci.***11**(38, 2) (1978), 151-155. - R Tobin, Ancient perspective and Euclid's 'Optics',
*J. Warburg Courtauld Inst.***53**(1990), 14-41. - G Toussaint, A new glance at Euclid's second proposition (Spanish),
*Mathesis***9**(3) (1993), 265-294. - G Toussaint, A new look at Euclid's second proposition,
*Math. Intelligencer***15**(3) (1993), 12-23. - B Vahabzadeh, Two commentaries on Euclid's definition of proportional magnitudes,
*Arabic Sci. Philos.***4**(1) (1994), 181-198. - G Valabrega Elda, A hypothesis on the origin of Euclid's geometric algebra (Italian),
*Boll. Un. Mat. Ital. A*(5)**16**(1) (1979), 190-200. - B Vitrac, La Définition V.8 des 'éléments' d'Euclide,
*Centaurus***38**(2-3) (1996), 97-121. - R J Wagner, Euclid's intended interpretation of superposition,
*Historia Math.***10**(1) (1983), 63-70. - A Weil, Who betrayed Euclid? : Extract from a letter to the editor,
*Arch. History Exact Sci.***19**(2) (1978/79), 91-93. - M Ya Vygodskii, Euclid's 'Elements' (Russian),
*Trudy Sem. MGU Istor. Mat. Istor.-Mat. Issledov.*(1) (1948), 217-295.

### Additional Resources (show)

Other pages about Euclid:

- See Euclid on a timeline
- Euclid on elementary astronomy
- Bertrand Russell on Euclid
- Micaiah John Muller Hill on Euclid
- Euclid's geometric solution of a quadratic equation
- The five regular polyhedra
- The first page of
*The Elements*in the translation by Campanus. (This edition was published in 1482) - The five postulates (taken from this edition)
- Another page from this edition.
- The first page of
*The Elements*published in 1505 (This was the first Latin translation directly from the Greek.) - Propositions 1 and 2 from
*The Elements*Book I (1536) - Propositions 2 and 3 from
*The Elements*Book I (1536) - Propositions 6 and 7 from
*The Elements*Book I (The Campanus translation 1482) - Propositions 27 and 28 from
*The Elements*Book I (The Campanus translation 1482) - A page from
*Optics*(an edition of 1557) - Proposition 2 of
*Elements*(Campani edition of 1482) - ... and its continuation,
- Herbert Jennings Rose's Greek mathematical literature
- Miller's postage stamps
- Heinz Klaus Strick biography

Other websites about Euclid:

- Dictionary of Scientific Biography
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
- NNDB
- J Poole (Books I to IV of the
*Elements*) - David Joyce (
*The Elements*) - Vatican exhibition,
- Math Forum
- G Don Allen (An introduction to
*The Elements*) - Kevin Brown (A discussion of which propositions depend on which axioms)
- Tufts University (An on-line version of
*The Elements*) - J Domenech (Euclid's
*Elements*in Spanish and Catalan) - Google books
- MathSciNet Author profile

### Honours (show)

Honours awarded to Euclid

### Cross-references (show)

- History Topics: A chronology of π
- History Topics: A history of Zero
- History Topics: Arabic mathematics : forgotten brilliance?
- History Topics: Doubling the cube
- History Topics: Euclid's definitions
- History Topics: Greek astronomy
- History Topics: How do we know about Greek mathematicians?
- History Topics: How do we know about Greek mathematics?
- History Topics: Infinity
- History Topics: Light through the ages: Ancient Greece to Maxwell
- History Topics: Mathematics and art - perspective
- History Topics: Mathematics and the physical world
- History Topics: Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art
- History Topics: Non-Euclidean geometry
- History Topics: Perfect numbers
- History Topics: Prime numbers
- History Topics: Quadratic, cubic and quartic equations
- History Topics: The Golden ratio
- History Topics: The real numbers: Pythagoras to Stevin
- History Topics: The real numbers: Stevin to Hilbert
- Famous Curves: Circle
- Famous Curves: Ellipse
- Famous Curves: Hyperbola
- Famous Curves: Hyperbolic Spiral
- Famous Curves: Parabola
- Famous Curves: Straight Line
- Societies: Hamburg Mathematical Society
- Societies: Hungarian Academy
- Societies: Mathematical Association
- Student Projects: Indian Mathematics - Redressing the balance: Chapter 15
- Other: 1924 ICM - Toronto
- Other: 2009 Most popular biographies
- Other: 4th April
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (A)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (B)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (C)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (D)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (E)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (F)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (G)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (H)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (I)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (L)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (M)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (O)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (P)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (Q)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (R)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (S)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (T)
- Other: Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics (V)
- Other: Jeff Miller's Mathematicians on Postage Stamps
- Other: Most popular biographies

Written by J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

Last Update January 1999

Last Update January 1999