This lesson is designed to introduce the student to Euclid.
• To be able to describe the main contributions of Euclid.
To be able to understand what a prime number is and Euclid?s theory.
To be able to list some of Euclid?s main works.
Euclid was a Greek mathematician who was also known as Euclid of Alexandria. He was born sometime around 365 BCE in Alexandria, Egypt and died around 300 BCE. Not much about Euclid?s life has survived. However, it is known that he lived during the reign of Ptolemy I, which was 323 BCE-283 BCE and that he taught mathematics in Alexandria. It is also said that he founded a mathematics school there. It is highly probable that he studied in Athens under one of Plato?s students.
Euclid wrote many books; at least five of them have survived to this day. His most famous book is called the Elements. It was translated from Arabic into Latin and was published in Venice around 1482. Until the 19th century, when people referred to geometry, they meant Euclidian geometry, as it became the foundation on which all geometry rested. All the textbooks and work done in geometry until that date was based on the Euclidian geometry discussed in the Elements. It was only after the 19th century that non-Euclidian geometry started.