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The Thirteen Books of the Elements, Vol. 1 (Dover Books on Mathematics)

The Thirteen Books of the Elements, Vol. 1 (Dover Books on Mathematics) [Kindle Edition]

4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Volume 1 of 3-volume set containing complete English text of all 13 books of the Elements plus critical apparatus analyzing each definition, postulate, and proposition. Covers textual and linguistic matters; mathematical analyses of Euclid's ideas; commentators; refutations, supports, extrapolations, reinterpretations, and historical notes. Vol. 1 includes Introduction, Books I and II of Elements, lines, angles, intersections, etc.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7186 KB
  • Print Length: 443 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 2 edition (18 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #260,871 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not for the faint of heart... 24 Oct 2002
By drsp0ck
Euclid begins by stating a few a definitions and logical rules. 'A line is a breathless length' and 'Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other'. The proofs that follow are simple and elegant. The second flowing from the first in a natural sequence. But this is no higgledy piggledy random wandering.
In the first book the author leads the reader to Pythagoras theorem. Just as every statement Euclid makes is essential to the proof, every proof is essential to the book's goal. The clarity and beauty of this book is something to behold
Heath's commentary is a very interesting complement. He provides alternative ancient and modern proofs as well as notes on the historical development of the mathematics.
A word of warning - this book took me about six months to read. I was unable to follow the book without following the proofs with a compass, ruler etc. However, if you are prepared to put in the time the rewards are considerable.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for torturing children with 28 Nov 2009
This used to be the basis of the mathematical curriculum in schools for long-time. Fortunately this changed, because its format is *not* for educational purposes. Unfortunately, the only way aspiring mathematicians can get to know this work is to study it independently.

There are several renditions of this work on the web (on which is works very well, because you can design interactive diagrams that illustrate the concepts admirably) but there's nothing like holding the real thing in your hands.

This classic translation is more footnote and commentary than body (you don't actually see anything by Euclid himself until half way in), but that's probably the way it should be. Heath gathered up everything that had been written about Euclid's work, extracted the juice and presented it as the definitive Euclid experience. Yes, his style's clothy and arguably over-academic, but then this translation is a century old. Maybe it needs updating and made more street, nah-mean innit, nome sane? but don't let that put you off.

Geometry *can* be a tricky subject to get your head round, but don't let all the horror stories of your ancestors' sufferings in schools throughout the centuries make you think that geometry in itself is torture. You never know, you may discover some geometric theorems of your very own. I did.

Oh yes, and there's another two volumes of this - but these first two books, comprising this first volume, are undoubtedly the greatest books of mathematics ever written.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Greek to Me. 23 Jan 2009
By Alun Williams VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nobody with an interest in Geometry, or the history of Western Civilisation should be without a copy of this book. What you get is far more than just the theorems and proofs to be found in the first two books of Euclid. Indeed, if this is all you want, one of the online versions of Euclid will probably be more to your taste. The book contains a mass of scholarly but fascinating detail on topics such as Euclid's predecessors, contemporary reaction, commentaries by later Greek mathematicians, the work of Arab mathematicians inspired by Euclid, the transmission of the text back to Renaissance Europe, and a list and potted history of the various translations and editions of Euclid from then on. The section on the postulates and axioms (and of course the all-important parallel postulate) is wonderful.

When we come to the actual theorems the amount of detail is just as impressive - references to earlier results are annotated, and textual variations are noted (especially where the proofs may have been amended by later writers in an attempt to correct gaps). In many cases alternative proofs are given - sometimes several different ones, with the history and references for each.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
This book is the foundation on which the mathematics is built. It is greatly enhanced by the translator's annotations. If you want to know what mathematics is all about, then you must have this book.
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