# Biography of Euclid (330?-275? B.C.)

His Books
The Elements
Five Postulates
Important Facts
Bibliography

One of the most influential mathematicians of ancient Greece, Euclid, flourished around 300 B.C. For his work in the field of geometry he is known as the father of geometry. He created the geometry called Euclidean Geometry. Very little is known about his life. It is believed that he was educated at Platos academy in Athens, Greece. Most sources believe that he lived somewere around 300 B.C. His 13 books, the Elements, are some of the most famous books in the world. He wrote them at about 300 BC. According to Proclus (410-485 A.D.) he said that Euclid came after the first pupils of Plato and lived during the reign of Ptomlemy I (306-283 B.C.). It is said that Euclid established a mathematical school in Alexandria.

Most history states that he was a kind, fair, patient man. One story that reveals something of his character, concerns a pupil that has just finished his first geometry lesson. The pupil asked what he would gain from learning geometry. So Euclid told his slave to get the pupil a coin so he would be gaining from his studies. Another story says that Ptomlemy asked the mathematician if there was an easier way to learn geometry, Euclid replied, "there is no royal road to geometry", and sent the king to study.

### His Books

Euclid wrote many books such as: Data, On Divisions of Figures, Phaenomena, Optics, the lost books Conics and Porisms, and the most famous the Elements. This 13 volume set laid the foundation for almost all geometry. His 13 volume series eventually became the most influential geometry textbook. Quite possibly the most important book of the Elements is the first book. It has the definitions of : points, lines, planes, angles, circles, triangle, quadrilaterals, and parallel lines.

### Elements

The Elements was later translated into Latin and Arabic and is one of the earliest works to survive. The first printed copy was released in 1482. During this period Euclid was respected highly as a mathematician and the Elements were considered one of the greatest matematical works of all time. The postulates in Book I fit the geometry known as Euclidean Geometry. Euclidean Geometry fits both synthetic and plane coordinate geometry.

• Two points determine a line.
• A line segment extended infinitely in both directions produces a straight line.
• A circle is dertermined by a center and a distance.
• All right angles are equal to one another.
• If a straight line falling on two straight lines forms interior angles on the same side less than 180°, the two straight lines, if produced indefinitely, will meet on that side.

### Important Facts to know

.
 Euclid lived from about 330? to 275? BC. He wrote the 13 Elements. Because of his work in the field of geometry he is called the father of geometry. Most geometry is so named Euclidian Geometry because of his thirteen Elements which summarized most of the geometry during his time. By the 1700's the Elements was the text book.

### Bibliography

• Chapter One notes 2nd page
• Introduction to the works of Euclid, URL: http://www.ecomod.tamu.edu/~dcljr/euclidhs.html
• Euclid (330?-275?), Paul Golba, URL: http://www.shu/academics/arts_sci...sites/math/reals/history/euclid.html

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