10. King Adelstone: ca. 924-940

Anonymous English verses

The clerk Euclide on this wyse hit fonde
Thys craft of gemetry yn Egypte londe
Yn Egypte he tawghte hyt ful wyde,
In dyvers londe on every syde.
Mony erys afterwarde y understonde
Yer that the craft com ynto thys londe.
Thys craft com into England, as y yow say,
Yn tyme of good Kyng Adelstone's day.

Heath, History p. 363

The significance of this piece of evidence is that we don't know what its significance is. Was it just the "craft" of geometry that began to take root in England in the 10th Century? Or is the poem referring to a Greek, Latin, or even English translation of The Elements? The earliest English translation is Billingsley's printed edition of 1570. The poem is probably talking about Latin versions of the Elements.