Geometry has always been my favorite math class. I always wanted to take a college level geometry class but I've never been able to fit it into my schedule. So I decided to read Euclid's Elements and cover the basics again. I really wanted to see the Greek (I don't read Greek but I wanted to see it) while I read the text in English. Marcelle had read and used the Elements as a text book in her days at St. John's in Santa Fe and I asked her if her text had the Greek. She said that it did not and that as far as she knew an inter-columnar version didn't exist or they would have used it.

I searched on Google and found that in 2007 Richard Fitzpatrick published a completely free and wonderful pdf version of the Elements in both Greek and English along with a Greek-English Lexicon. My plan is to print and bind the book along with blank pages in between the text so that I can work the proofs along with the text. Towards this goal Marcelle bought me a great compass so that I can make it look good to.

While I was searching for information on Euclid I decided that I wanted some old manuscripts of the Elements like this one. So I bought a sheet of papyrus from the local art store and while Marcelle and the kids were visiting her parents I acquired some papyri with parts of the Elements on them. These are pictures of them.

These first two are the definitions from the start of Book 1 "1. A point is that of which there is no part." You can see that this item is a composite of two pieces of papyrus "glued" together to make one larger piece.

This is the end of Proposition 11 from Book 4 inscribing a regular pentagon in a given circle. I haven't decided if I'm going to distress these last two like I did the first one.

This, of course, is the famous start of Proposition 47 from Book 1 proving the Pythagorean Theorem.


The Bahens said...

Dave, you are for sure one of the most interesting people we know. And we mean that in a very good way!

Rebecca Stay said...

Those are awesome!
I especially like the distressed pieces you 'acquired.'
"Polymath" is a good descriptor of you , David!