The Life of Euclid

Euclid was born in 365 B.C. He went to school at Plato's acadamy in Athens. He founded the university in Alexandria, Egypt. He taught there for the rest of his life. One of his students was Archimedes.

Euclid was kind, fair, and patient. Once, when a boy asked what the point of learning math was, Euclid gave him a coin and said, "He must make gain out of what he learns." Another time, he was teaching a king. When the king asked if there was an easier way to learn geometry Euclid said, "There is no royal road to geometry." Then he sent the king to study.

In his time he was thought of as being too thorough. Now, in our time, we think he wasn't thorough enough. Euclid died in 300 B.C.

The Elements


Euclid's most famous work was the Elements. This series of books was used as a center for teaching geometry for 2,000 years. It has been translated into Latin and Arabic.

The Elements were divided into thirteen books, which subjects are as follows: Books 1-6= plane geometry, books 7-9= number theory, book 10= Eudoxus's theory of irratational numbers, and books 11-13= solid geometry. More than 1,000 editions of Elements have been published since 1482. Elements were popular until the 20th century.


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