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Euclid

Euclid
Euclid

The Greek mathematician Euclid lived and flourished in Alexandria in Egypt around 300 BCE, during the reign of Ptolemy I. Almost nothing is known of his life, and no likeness or first-hand description of his physical appearance has survived antiquity, and so depictions of him (with a long flowing beard and cloth cap) in works of art are necessarily the products of the artist’s imagination. (Source: Story of Mathematics)

He probably studied for a time at Plato’s Academy in Athens but, by Euclid’s time, Alexandria, under the patronage of the Ptolemies and with its prestigious and comprehensive Library, had already become a worthy rival to the great Academy. (Source: Story of Mathematics)

Euclid is often referred to as the “Father of Geometry”, and he wrote perhaps the most important and successful mathematical textbook of all time, the “Stoicheion” or “Elements”, which represents the culmination of the mathematical revolution which had taken place in Greece up to that time. He also wrote works on the division of geometrical figures into into parts in given ratios, on catoptrics (the mathematical theory of mirrors and reflection), and on spherical astronomy (the determination of the location of objects on the “celestial sphere”), as well as important texts on optics and music. (Source: Story of Mathematics)

Older books sometimes confuse him with Euclid of Megara. (Source: Euclid – Ancient History Encyclopedia)

Euclid was born in the mid 4th Century BC and lived in Alexandria; he was mostly active during the reign of Ptolemy I (323-283BC) His name Euclid means “renowned, glorious” – he is also referred to as Euclid of Alexandria. Details about Euclid’s life are sparse – the main biographical information was not written until many centuries later, e.g. Proclus c. 450 AD. Proclus writes about Euclid: “Not much younger than these [pupils of Plato] is Euclid, who put together the “Elements”, arranging in order many of Eudoxus’s theorems, perfecting many of Theaetetus’s, and also bringing to irrefutable demonstration the things which had been only loosely proved by his predecessors. This man lived in the time of the first Ptolemy; for Archimedes, who followed closely upon the first Ptolemy makes mention of Euclid, and further they say that Ptolemy once asked him if there were a shorted way to study geometry than the Elements, to which he replied that there was no royal road to geometry.” (Source: Euclid biography | Biography Online)