Essay Questions

Read the seventeen historical articles to answer the following questions:

1.

The Elements is a pure product of academic or research institutions and cannot survive in the general culture of a civilization.

2.

Islam as a religion was more easily able to accept The Elements than Christianity.

3.

Christianity helped to preserve and revitalize the study of The Elements during the Renaissance.

4.

The name "Euclid" is as irrelevant to the study of the history of Geometry as The Elements is central.

5.

The Elements as we have it in the Heiberg edition (p. 17) is most likely somewhat different from The Elements of 3rd Century B.C.E. Alexandria.

6.

The cultural mix of Spain in the early Renaissance was an important ingredient in bringing The Elements into European culture.

7.

The Septuagint (p. 2) did for the Torah what Arab commentators did for The Elements.

8.

The Elements must be included in Latin literature as well as in Greek literature.

9.

Cultural hybridization was very important for both the creation and preservation of The Elements.

10.

The Elements is a product of Greek culture more than anything else. Later cultures preserved it but added little.

11.

Commentators and editors of The Elements have both helped and harmed the text.

12.

Propaideusis, "clearing the eye of the soul," (p. 5) accounts significantly for the survival of The Elements.

13.

Populations with strong cultural mixes, Mozarabs, Egyptian Greeks, expatriot pagan thinkers, and Latin-speaking Europeans provided environments where The Elements could survive.

14.

The European university, like the Arabian "House of Wisdom" and the Alexandrian Library and Museum, provided just what The Elements required for its health: sanctuary.

15.

Ultimately, we will never be able to call any text of The Elements "authoritative," i.e. free from interpolations and omissions.

16.

The Old English verses are another compelling example of how little we know about The Elements.


  CONTENTS ARTICLES ESSAYS UNIT 1 UNIT 2 UNIT 3 UNIT 4 REFERENCES