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Topic: [HM] Euclid
Replies: 17   Last Post: Dec 6, 2002 12:27 AM

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David Fowler

Posts: 241
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: [HM] Euclid
Posted: Nov 12, 2002 8:45 PM
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George Gheverghese Joseph writes:

<< I have been following the postings on Euclid with some
interest. One question: Is there a discrepancy between the
following two messages? >>

I don't think so. You should look at the full passage in Proclus and
see how his confident (but not really very helpful) description of
mathematicians breaks down with Euclid, where we get a 'perhaps this,
perhaps that' kind of answer. Do not forget that Proclus was a great
collector and reader of texts, and would have been more confident if
he had found a credible story. The reference in Archimedes is surely
a later insertion. Pappus on Euclid is another gentle but vague
description which doesn't really say anything. Can anyone quote me
the bit from Apollonius, please..

David Fowler

-----> David Fowler <> writes:

<< "What is known, at present,
1. on the person Euclid ..."

Nothing. >>

-----> Kim Plofker <> writes:

<< ?? Proclus says "He [Euclid] lived in the time of Ptolemy
the First, for Archimedes, who lived after the time of the
first Ptolemy, mentions Euclid" (apparently meaning only a
reference to the _Elements_, the genuineness of which has been
questioned). Apollonius and Pappus mention Euclid by name. >>

-----> Avinoam Mann gives us Pappus:

<< From book 7 of Pappus' Collection (Jones ed., v.1, p.116,
section 34), about Euclid:
"-for he was the fairest of men, and kindly to everyone who was
the slightest bit able to augment knowledge, as he should be,
and he was not at all belligerent, and though exacting, not
This says a lot about Euclid the man, even if does not tell us
anything about his date or place. Pappus does not give a
reference, and these words are in the context of criticising
Appolonius (the one who is boastful), but still we cannot ignore
them, from somebody who had at his disposal sources no longer
available to us. >>

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