Euclid Of Alexandria

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 13 times

Euclid of Alexandria To describe him as one of the most influential and most widely read mathematicians of all times would accurately portray Euclid of Alexandria. His fame comes from his writings, in particular his masterpiece, The Elements, the long studied thirteen volume work on geometry and number theory. Except for the Bible, no other book has been so widely translated and circulated. It is undoubtedly the best mathematic text ever written and made him known to all as "the father of geometry."� As legendary as his work is to the world, his personal like if just the opposite. There is very little known about his life. In fact, his birth and death places and dates are unknown. It is believed that he lived from about 330 BC until about 265 BC, was educated at Plato's academy in Athens and stayed there until invited to teach at Ptolemy I's newly founded university in Alexandria in Egypt.

It is there he is believed to have stayed until the time of his death.

All mentions of Euclid describe him as fair, kind, patient, someone who had no problem praising others' work, and someone who was ready and willing to help others. However, he was also known to be sarcastic at times. When one of his students, like most high school students, complained that he would never have any use in his daily life for the mathematics he was learning on he had left school, Euclid was quick to respond. He told his slave to give the boy a coin because "he must make a gain out of what he learns." Another story has Ptolemy wanting Euclid to give him a shortcut to learning geometry, rather than leaning all the theorems. Euclid replied, "There is no royal road to geometry," and told...