Euclid: The Measure of a man – Otto and Hannah Soderlund

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This paper is an attempt to take a measure of the man, Euclid, the Father of Geometry, also known as “the elementator.” Geometry in Greek, geometrein, means “the measure of the earth”. Out of the earth, man was made (Gen. 2:7 ). Hence, in a sense, when you measure the earth, you are measuring man.

Euclid attempted to compile and systematize all the mathematical formulas and theories in his 13-volume book, Stoichea or Elements. Written approximately 300 B.C., Elements had reigned for almost 2,000 years as the undisputed standard on Geometry. Proclus said, “Elements is to Mathematics what the letters of the alphabet are to language.”
Mathematics is the science that deals with quantities, magnitudes, and forms and their relationships or attributes expressed by numbers and symbols. Mathematical is from the Greek “mathematikos” and means inclined to learn, or generally meaning to be alert or to pay attention. To put it another way, the mathematical mind is to observe the natural order of the physical world and express its relationship by numbers and symbols. As stated by Kline, “Mathematics is the foundation of all exact knowledge of natural phenomena.”

Scope of Study:

Paul Cox wanted “a biography put together of the Greek mathematician, Euclid.” A biography is an account of a person’s life described by another. An account is to furnish a reckoning. A reckoning is a measuring of possibilities for the future.  Hence, this biography of Euclid considers the scant information about his life and the impact of his work. This is not a mathematical treatise or analysis of Elements.


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