Euclid - Hellenistic Mathematics - The Story of MathematicsEuclid enters history as one of the greatest of all mathematicians and he is often referred to as the father of geometry. The standard geometry most of us learned in school is called Euclidian Geometry. Euclid gathered up all of the knowledge developed in Greek mathematics at that time and created his great work, a book called 'The Elements' c BCE. This treatise is unequaled in the history of science and could safely lay claim to being the most influential non-religious book of all time. Euclid probably attended Plato's academy in Athens before moving to Alexandria, in Egypt. At this time, the city had a huge library and the ready availability of papyrus made it the center for books, the major reasons why great minds such as Heron of Alexandria and Euclid based themselves there.
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Euclid sometimes called Euclid of Alexandria to distinguish him from Euclid of Megara, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "founder of geometry" or the "father of geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I (– BC). His Elements is one of the most influential works in the history of He is mentioned by name, though rarely, by other.
15 Famous Greek Mathematicians and Their Contributions
Geometry can conceivably lay claim to being the oldest branch of mathematics outside arithmetic, and humanity has probably used geometrical techniques since before the dawn of recorded history. Initially, as with the Egyptians, geometry originated from practical necessity and the need to measure land; the word 'Geometry' means 'Earth Measuring'. Certainly, for measuring boundaries and for erecting buildings, humans need to have some inbuilt mechanism and instinct for judging distances, angles, and height. As civilizations developed, these instincts were augmented by observations and procedures gained from experience, experimentation, and intuition. The Babylonians were certainly skilled geometers, and the Egyptians developed a rich and complex mathematics based around surveying. Both of these cultures would pass their information on to the Greeks. The Egyptians and the Babylonians were not really interested in finding out axioms and underlying principles governing geometry.
The Elements is a mathematical treatise consisting of 13 books attributed to the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid in Alexandria, The books cover plane and solid Euclidean geometry, elementary number theory, Proclus (– AD), a Greek mathematician who lived around seven centuries after Euclid, wrote in his .
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His Elements is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics , serving as the main textbook for teaching mathematics especially geometry from the time of its publication until the late 19th or early 20th century. Euclid also wrote works on perspective , conic sections , spherical geometry , number theory , and mathematical rigour. Very few original references to Euclid survive, so little is known about his life. He was likely born c. He is mentioned by name, though rarely, by other Greek mathematicians from Archimedes c. A detailed biography of Euclid is given by Arabian authors, mentioning, for example, a birth town of Tyre.
Likewise, much of Western mathematics has been a series of footnotes to Euclid, either developing his ideas or challenging them. Almost nothing is known of Euclid's life. We do not know the years or places of his birth and death. He seems to have written a dozen or so books, most of which are now lost. He collected Greek manuscripts that were in danger of being lost. He told a story about Euclid that has the ring of truth:. Someone who had begun to [study] geometry asked Euclid, 'What shall I get by learning these things?
It is a collection of definitions, postulates, propositions theorems and constructions , and mathematical proofs of the propositions. The books cover plane and solid Euclidean geometry , elementary number theory , and incommensurable lines. Elements is the oldest extant large-scale deductive treatment of mathematics. It has proven instrumental in the development of logic and modern science , and its logical rigor was not surpassed until the 19th century. Euclid's Elements has been referred to as the most successful [a] [b] and influential [c] textbook ever written. It was one of the very earliest mathematical works to be printed after the invention of the printing press and has been estimated to be second only to the Bible in the number of editions published since the first printing in ,  with the number reaching well over one thousand. Not until the 20th century, by which time its content was universally taught through other school textbooks, did it cease to be considered something all educated people had read.