Who Is He?
Euclid, or Euclid of Alexandria, is an eminent Greek mathematician and sometimes referred as the founding father of geometry. He is one of the backbones of Hellenist time that fuelled scientific revolution and enlightenment centuries after they died.
Unfortunately, there are not many written records about the details of his life. According to some sources, Euclid (B.C. 325 – B.C. 265) was born in Tyre in today’s Lebanon. Also, his father name was thought as Naukrates and grandfathers name as Bereneikes. However, this information is not free from ambiguity.
However, it is certain that Euclid lived in Alexandria of Egypt during the reign of I. Ptolemaios Soter (B.C. 305 – 283) and taught mathematics. According to modern historians, he studied in the Platonic Academy and he was interested in geometry, calculus, astronomy and musics. He became a prominent figure before Archimedes of Syracuse.
His Main Contributions to Science
His priceless present to the history of geometry and mathematics is his book “Euclid Elements”, which is composed of 13 volumes. Content of each volume is as follows:
Volume I. Basics of geometry (angle, diameter, circle, triangle, area etc.) / 48 propositions
Volume II. Modern algebraic notation / 12 propositions
Volume III. All about circles / 37 propositions
Volume IV. Inscribing or circumscribing figures / 16 propositions
Volume V and Volume VI. Abstract theory for proportion and ratio / 25 and 33 propositions respectively
Volume VII, Volume VIII and Volume IX. Basics rules for number theory / 39, 27 and 36 propositions respectively
Volume X. Classifying the incommensurables / 115 propositions
Volume XI. Solid geometry / 39 propositions
Volume XII. Measuring figures (polygons , pyramids, cones and cylinders etc.) / 18 propositions
Volume XIII. Regular solids / 18 propositions
The book “Euclid Elements” became fundamental part of geometry and mathematics. Until 20th century, it remained as the main source of teaching of geometry in schools.
Optics, Data, Phenomena, and Division of Figures are the other books of Euclid.