Back | Table of Contents |

**Euclid**, (lived circa 300bce), Greek mathematician, whose chief work, *Elements,* is a comprehensive treatise on mathematics in 13 volumes on such subjects as plane geometry, proportion
in general, the properties of numbers, incommensurable magnitudes, and solid geometry. He probably was educated at Athens by pupils of Plato. He taught geometry in Alexandria and founded a
school of mathematics there. The *Data,* a collection of geometrical theorems; the *Phenomena,* a description of the heavens; the *Optics;* the *Division of the Scale,* a
mathematical discussion of music; and several other books have long been attributed to Euclid; most historians believe, however, that some or all of these works (other than the *Elements*)
have been spuriously credited to him. Historians disagree as to the originality of some of his other contributions. Probably the geometrical sections of the *Elements* were primarily a
rearrangement of the works of previous mathematicians such as those of Eudoxus, but Euclid himself is thought to have made several original discoveries in the theory of numbers.

Euclid's *Elements* was used as a text for 2000 years, and even today a modified version of its first few books forms the basis of high school instruction in plane geometry. The first
printed edition of Euclid's works was a translation from Arabic to Latin, which appeared at Venice in 1482.

Back | Table of Contents |