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.

His Life

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.

Other Works

Optics, Data, Phenomena, and Division of Figures are the other books of Euclid.

Resources: http://aleph0.clarku.edu

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