## Commentaries on the Exhibit’s Works

#### Files

Download Commentary (173 KB)

#### Description

A brief commentary prepared by Paul Eloe, PhD, Professor, Mathematics, on the following work:

** Euclid**

*Elementa geometrica (Elements of Geometry)*

Venice, 1482; first edition printed by Erhard Ratdolt

#### Permission Statement

This item and all others in the *Imprints and Impressions *collection are licensed for research, educational and private use. Proper attribution must be used when downloading or reproducing this content. If you wish to use the materials for other purposes, please contact University of Dayton Libraries to obtain permission: 937-229-4221.

## Comments

The Greek word

elementa(elements) is the same word used in Greek for letters in an alphabet. Hence,Elementa geometricais to mathematics what letters are to vocabulary. Euclid’sElementsis a masterpiece with two primary contributions to mathematical knowledge.First, the thirteen chapters summarize approximately three hundred years of mathematical development in Greek geometry, number theory, geometrical algebra, and solid geometry (and thus include the mathematical influences of Babylonia and Egypt). Second, in theElements,Euclid introduces mathematics as a deductive science. Before Euclid, the Greeks based their reasoning on unspecified intuitions; Euclid introduced definitions, axioms, and postulates into mathematical reasoning, then demonstrated how to produce results logically.Original Euclid manuscripts do not exist. This 1482 publication is the first publication of Euclid’sElements.